Saturday 18 May 2024

Over to You

 Do you have any writing news?

Do you know any market news? Have you heard about any free to enter writing competitions? Or come across calls for submissions or other opportunities?

Are you researching, writing, subbing? Had any acceptances or rejections? Still waiting to hear back on outstanding submissions? Do you have a question? Can you offer tips or encouragement to other writers?

Any other writing related news, questions and comments are also welcome and appreciated. As well as allowing us all to share information, help and encourage each other, comments show editors, competition organisers and others that the blog is read and will therefore be more likely to answer my questions, or provide information for me to share with you.

Feel free to use these photos as picture prompts. If you'd like written writing prompts, short exercises and story/scene suggestions then you might find this book useful.

Womag / competition news

Thanks to Sharon Haston for notifying me that My Weekly are running a short story competition for amateur writers. The prize is publication, a signed book and a film download – and I imagine that after being published in the magazine the author would go on 'the list' and be able to regularly submit to the magazine.

Today is your last chance to enter the competition to win a free book cover design.

My news

The second book in my cosy mystery series has been proofread and sent out ready for ARC reviews.


Pamela Gough said...

The My Weekly competition is open to amateur writers only, whatever that means.

Patsy said...

@ Pamela – Thanks - I'll add that to the post. (Hmmm, do you think me not thinking to put that in to start with proves I'm not very professional, so I'll qualify?)

Sharon boothroyd said...

But again, it's like TPF bursary competition, isn't it?
What exactly describes an amateur writer? I assume it's someone who isn't a full- time writer and who doesn't earn their living from it.
The person who won TPF bursary was already a full- time, non- fiction writer and was widely published -yet the bursursy t&c's clearly stated that it was only open to non -published, amateur writers only.
As she hadn't had any fiction published,TPF thought she met their T&C's.
I didn't enter it because I was unsure about the term amateur. But the winner had no doubts,entered it and won it.
I've read the t&C's in this MW comp and it does not define what they mean by amateur.

Marguerite said...

Thank you to Sharon for that one - think I'll just go for it. I don't earn a living from writing and they can make of it what they will. I always used to think 'professional' vs 'amateur' was the difference between getting paid a salary for something as opposed to doing it mostly for the love (amo...). I think the definition has changed somewhat? I have double figures of stories out there... for the first time (thanks to a comment Sharon B made some while ago, the more there are out there... The issue was in the generation of them, not the actual sending them out!). I'm looking forward to the next outing to Little Mallow, Patsy :)

Sheelagh said...

Thanks Patsy & Sharon, I've had one acceptance & one rejection this week (& the rejection came with some great reasoning & advice so that was brilliant to get & really appreciated).
As a non-UK resident the MW competition unfortunately excludes me as did TPF one.
I did make a query last year to BEST magazine re whether ROI might be included & I received a very nice reply from someone who said nobody had ever asked before & they would put it to their legal team & let me know.. & well that was over a year ago & I'm still waiting for a reply so I'm taking that as a 'no'
Unlike Nationality or Residency though'Amateur' is less clear cut & definitely needs a tighter definition otherwise & in light of previous competition results it feels like one should enter & let the judges decide.

Sharon boothroyd said...

Yes, that's what TPF were saying Sheelagh - 'Send it in and we'll decide if it meets our
T &C's'.
Which is fair enough I suppose, but if you're a worrier, like me, it's hardly reassuring.
I didn't have the courage to enter, as I felt too intimidated about it all. The winners and runner- ups weren't though.
I was also excluded by their later opportunity, which was for TPF published fiction writers only. So I lost out twice!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Patsy and Sharon H, for the MW competition.
Like Marguerite, I have always thought the difference between amateur and professional was about being paid.

My non-writing news (feeling the need to share) is that I had to say goodbye to my beloved 14-year-old springer spaniel on Monday night. I am heartbroken.

My writing news is that I sent a story to TPF on Bank Holiday Monday (anything to avoid the same-day rejection!) and haven’t heard back yet. Not sure whether to dare hope...


Patsy said...

@ Sharon – I agree that a person who doesn't earn their living from writing is an amateur – but is that what the competition rules mean? Does someone who makes a part time living qualify? How about people who used to make their living through writing, but don't do so much now?

@ Marguerite - just go for it sounds like a good plan! If the rules aren't precise, we'll have to go by our own definition and to me if it's not a person's main job and livelihood, then they're amateur rather than professional.

@ Sheelagh – A rejection with useful advice is a rare thing and you're right to appreciate it. I do understand why all editors don't give feedback on all submissions, but it does mean we could be repeatedly making the same mistakes.

@ Sharon – It's not reassuring at all - sounds as though they're not totally sure themselves!

@ HB – So sorry about your dog. They leave a big hole, don't they.

Good thinking re the timing of your submission! I hope the no 'no' yet turns into a yes.

Sheelagh said...

@HB So sorry to hear of your sad loss, its hard to lose a little family member. Hopefully you will get some good news soon though in the form of an acceptance from TPF

Sharon Boothroyd said...

Hb - I'm so sorry for your loss. It's sad and difficult when you lose a much loved pet. We lost our cat in 2015 and we have never got another one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Patsy, and to Sharon H re the MW competition. My story successes are still firmly in single figures, so I don’t consider myself a professional writer and might give that one a go with a story I have featuring a couple of shady characters(hopefully that qualifies as cosy crime?).

Nothing much to report. Two stories that I subbed to WW at the end of January are obviously no no’s. I subbed another to them last week and the acknowledgment now states a decision time is made within twelve weeks instead of the previous sixteen.

@HB Sorry to hear of your sad loss. And good luck with your TPF submission. My fastest rejection from them was 39 minutes, the longest eight days, so you’ve surpassed me.


Eirin Thompson/E.D. Thompson said...

HB - I am very sorry for the loss of your beloved pet. Springer spaniels are such lovely dogs - my sister fosters older Springers alongside her own younger ones and I have included this breed in several stories because I have enjoyed them so much and they have the size and temperament to fit nicely into lots of households. Like Sharon B, we were a cats family for many years, but no longer, and we still miss them (and have zero interest in trying to 'replace' them (impossible).)

Wishing everyone much productive writing and some acceptances, wins or other signs of encouragement.

Anonymous said...

With reference to the MW comp, first of all it states a word count "up to 1800 words".

Then lower down it says "Submissions must have a word count of 1800 with no more than 10% over or under that number."

So does that mean no more than 10% over 1800 and anything less than 1800 is OK?

Or is it literally 10% EITHER over or under 1800?

Sorry to be dense! Any thoughts? Kind regards, Sue

Anonymous said...

Sue. I think it means 10% either way, like what TPF allow. So anything between 1620 and 1980 words is acceptable.


Anonymous said...

Thank you to everyone for all your kind messages.

Eirin – fostering older Springers sounds like a good idea. A Springer puppy is a handful!


Patricia G said...

Thanks as always to Patsy and Sharon for the competition info.
I've had a story accepted by TPF for one of their summer issues but I'm yet to hear when it's appearing. Also yet to here from them about my PN (submitted well over a year ago!) but hope springs eternal ...
So sorry, HB, about the loss of your dear dog - always feels such a wrench.

Eirin Thompson/E.D. Thompson said...

HB - I say 'fostering' (and these are older Springers whose owners cannot continue to keep them, for whatever reason) and officially fostering is what is happening, but I have yet to see her give one back ...

Patricia G said...

Yet to *hear* - doh!

Marian said...

I had an unexpected acceptance from Best of Woman's Weekly Fiction to cheer me up as I was getting over Covid last week. I have been writing while ill, but I rather think a lot of editing will have to follow!

I'm sending sympathy to HB for your loss. Like Eirin and Sharon, we haven't been able to replace our last cat, who we had for 16 years, but reading all the comments on here today, inspired me to include a similar cat in a story I'm working on.

Patsy said...

@ Sharon – Sad and difficult sums it up perfectly.

@ Michael - cosy crime usually means no graphically described violence and there's usually more about the characters than strictly relates to the crime part of the plot.

@ Eirin – People may decide to get another pet after losing one, but I totally agree that doesn't replace the first one.

@ Sue – If you have a go, I'd get it as close to 1,800 words as possible. A much shorter one, even if not disqualified as being too short, just won't have as much to it as one using al the allowed words and will therefore be at a disadvantage.

@ Patricia – Congratulations on the acceptance. I think a polite query about the PN would be in order.

@ Marian - congratulations on the acceptance, and I hope you're feeling much better now.

Anonymous said...

@HB - so sorry to hear about your dog. It's heartbreaking to lose a pet.

I sold a story to TPF recently, and am currently trying to get into a proper writing routine. Although I only work three days a week, the job is fairly intense, and I have a very long commute. So I am tired after the three days, but I want to devote at least one of my days off to writing. Otherwise, I'll have another full year of writing very little and feeling frustrated about that.