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