Black Pear Press Short Story Competition and KISHBOO

September 2, 2014 2 comments

On Saturday I had lunch with the Birmingham Chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

It was a very positive affair with lots of people having good news to share such as excellent reports from the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme, publishing deals and competition successes. As always I came away eager to get writing again.

One of our members, romantic comedy author Alison May has been asked to judge a short story competition for the first time and she gave us the details (unfortunately there’ll be no favouritism because it’s all judged anonymously).

The first Black Pear Press Short Story Competition is for stories up to 1500 words in any genre/theme.

First prize is £75 and second prize is two Black Pear Press publications. Entries may be published on the Black Pear Press website and may be included in an anthology.

Closing date is 26th September 2014 and entry is via email. Entry fee is £5.

Full details are here.

Another ‘first’ short story competition that you might like to consider is that currently underway at KISHBOO. This will become a regular quarterly competition with a first prize of £50 and a second prize of £25. The entry fee is £3 and the first competition closes on October 20th 2014. Again any genre/theme is acceptable and the maximum word count is 2,000. The full terms and conditions are here.

Good Luck!

Mountain Kingdoms Travel Writing Competition

August 26, 2014 8 comments

I’m just back from a short (wet) bank holiday break in Gloucestershire. Mountain Kingdoms Travel Writing Competition

Whilst wandering around Wotten-Under-Edge looking for the Town Hall (where tea and cakes were being served) I spotted this competition in a travel agent’s window.

Entry is FREE. Prizes are vouchers for Bob Books. First prize is £75, second £50 and third £30.  ALL entries receive 15% off the usual photo book prices.

Entries should be a minimum of 100 words and be accompanied by a photograph. The judges are looking for either a unique experience, a cultural encounter, a trekking tale or a piece of advice. A selection of entries may be published on Mountain Kingdoms’ website.

Full details are available on the Mountain Kingdoms Blog. Closing date is 30th September 2014.

I don’t think my tale of a wet bank holiday will be a winner – but maybe you’ve been somewhere more exciting?

The One Plus One by JoJo Moyes

August 19, 2014 9 comments

Here’s an interesting fact for you – Tanzie (one of the main characters in The One Plus One) was named after the daughter of the highest bidder in a charity auction in aid of the Stepping Stones Down’s Syndrome Support Group. The One Plus One

It’s a wonderful name and absolutely suits the young girl in the story. It makes me wonder if the book would have been different if someone named Hilda had been successful in the auction …

Anyway, I digress. I received this book to review for Mumsnet Bloggers. So here we go:

Tanzie is a young Maths genius. Her elder half-brother Nicky is being badly bullied. Jess, their mum, is struggling to keep them financially afloat with cleaning and bar jobs. They own a gigantic, drooling dog.

Ed Nicholls is wealthy, having made his money writing computer software. Then he makes a mistake and his world comes tumbling down.

This set of characters ends up on a car journey from the south coast to Aberdeen. Tanzie’s car sickness limits them to 40 mph. The dog’s digestive system pollutes the car. They live on sandwiches and food stolen from a hotel breakfast buffet. Relationships develop and are tested during the days and nights they spend cooped up together.

This is great light-reading and perfect escapism if you want to think about someone else’s problems instead of your own. I totally believed in this band of people and was rooting for each of them.

What more can I say – for me the characters make a book and these characters were brilliant.

Swanwick 2014

August 15, 2014 11 comments

Just back from my ‘white badger’ week at Swanwick (first time visitors are given a white name badge and everyone else gets a yellow one).

There was a packed program plus lots of friendly people to meet. After all that ‘busyness’ and chatter the following points stick in my mind:

  • Three great talks from People’s Friend fiction editor, Shirley Blair. She told us a lot about the magazine’s requirements and how to improve our chances of success, including the fact that 3,000 to 4,000 word stories are particularly needed and that the magazine is willing to ‘push the boundaries’ on some of their previously taboo subjects.
  • Tips on novel editing from David Hough, including the advice to get the novel printed as a proof paperback at Lulu.com for the final read through – seeing the manuscript in this different format should make the errors jump out.
  • Meeting some of my virtual acquaintances ‘in the flesh’ for the first time and re-establishing contact with people I’ve met at other writing events and courses in the past.
  • The stress of creating an improvised play for public performance with only a few hours to prepare it.
  • The peace of morning meditation around the lake.
  • Never sit at the end of a table in the dining-room because you’ll have to serve the meal (and make sure everyone gets equal portions!)

Bead Roberts (who writes for the womags and is also a creative writing tutor) was one of my ‘re-establishing contact people’. She’s a lovely lady with a wealth of experience to pass on and is tutoring a weekend short story writing course in Leeds on the 26th to 28th September at Weetwood Hall (a great venue – I went there last year). Details can be found on the Relax and Write website.

Bits and Pieces

August 8, 2014 2 comments

Today I was going to post about the Telegraph/Saga Travel Writing Competition but my writing buddy, Helen, got there before me. Read all about it on her blog. I’ll be joining her at Swanwick tomorrow – and hopefully partaking of some of that wine which she also mentions on her blog …

Not sure if I’ll get much free time at Swanwick but I’m taking with me JoJo Moyes‘ latest book The One Plus One. I received a copy for review via the Mumsnet Bloggers’ Network. So watch this space for my opinion in a couple of weeks (just noticed the book has 654 reviews on Amazon UK – does it actually need anymore?!).

Next, a shout out for Janice Preston. I know Janice through the Birmingham Chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and she recently had her debut novel, Mary and the Marquis, published by Mills and Boon. How great is that! It’s a steamy Regency romance and well worth a look.

Finally, if you’re one of the few readers of this blog who haven’t already got the short story collection One Day for Me, you’ve only got until the end of Saturday 9th August (i.e. tomorrow) to download it for the bargain price of 99p/99c (UK/US only). Then Amazon will stick the price back up.

 

The Journeyman

August 3, 2014 11 comments

The tagline for The Journeyman magazine is, ‘a collection of short stories from emerging authors‘. 
Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

It is distributed free (in the Sheffield area, I’m guessing from the adverts) to be read ‘on the train, in the office, at home …‘. There is also an example edition to be read online.

I’ve just received a complimentary copy containing my story, ‘One Day for Me’. Like most small magazines the payment is not great – only £10. But the editor will accept things that have been previously published elsewhere, provided that copyright and publishing rights still remain with the author. This means that you can get a little bit of extra mileage out of a story that’s already earned its keep, plus The Journeyman also has a ‘Meet the Authors’ section which includes a short bio of all the writers published in that edition.

If you fancy submitting, the guidelines are here. In brief, the editor is looking for well-written stories across all genres. The preferred length is up to around 3,500 words.

And the mention of ‘One Day for Me’ gives me the excuse to tell you that my e-book ‘One Day for Me – 8 Award-Winning Stories‘ is available for just 99p/99c (UK & US only) until August 10th 2014.

One Day For Me by Sally Jenkins

Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society

July 27, 2014 15 comments

I’ve finally got around to joining the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and registering my short stories and articles that have been published over the last three years.

Being a member of ALCS ensures that you get paid any secondary royalties earned by your works, for example if an article is photocopied by an organisation like a school.

Life membership of ALCS costs £25 but this is deducted from the writer’s first royalty payment – so there is no upfront charge and therefore no risk of being out of pocket by joining ALCS.

I have to admit to not totally understanding how ALCS knows what has been photocopied and how payments to writers are calculated. And I don’t imagine that at this very moment zillions of people are photocopying my work and handing it out to all and sundry. So will I actually ever see any money from ALCS? I have absolutely no idea, but you’ve got to be in it to win it, as they say.

Registering work published in magazines (newspaper articles are not accepted) is easy and can be done on-line. But only things published in the last three years are eligible – so it’s better to do this sooner rather than later and then keep it up to date.

The only problem that I encountered was finding the ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) for some publications. The ISSN is an identification number for periodicals but not all magazines have them. I’ve had several articles published in Freelance Market News which I discovered had no ISSN. However, when I contacted the magazine’s lovely editor, Angela Cox, she went to the trouble of obtaining an ISSN for Freelance Market News (thank you, Angela!) So I’ve now been able to register those articles, although I’m not sure of the implications if the ISSN wasn’t in existence when the article was first published.

Has anyone else got any experience/knowledge of ALCS?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 209 other followers