I hope you’re all fully recovered from the festive season and ready to write again.
Here are a few bits and pieces that might be useful for the new year:
- ‘Don’t Break the Chain’ – nip over to Vikki Thompson’s blog to read about a great method of encouraging you to write every day. It involves using a chart to mark each day that you’ve written something. Hopefully, all these marks will form a long chain that you will do anything to avoid breaking. Follow the link on Vikki’s blog to down load the chart for free. And it doesn’t matter when you start because there are no dates on the chart. So no excuses - you can start any time of the year!
- Prima magazine have changed the word count for their monthly ‘Your Winning Story’ competition. It is now a maximum of 1000 words. The prize is still a Kobo eReader. Email your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name, age, address, phone number and a recent photo. You’ll have to buy the mag. for the full rules plus the address for postal entries.
- Uniquely Dublin International Competition wants entries that ‘celebrate Dublin today’. There are categories for all the arts (music, animation etc) including the written word – and you only need to write 100 words about Dublin to be in with a chance of winning the category prize of 1,000 Euros or the overall prize of 10,000 Euros. Closing date is Jan 28th 2013 and entry is free. Full details are here.
And finally a couple of thank yous:
- I would like to thank Maria’s Book Blog and Jenny Schwartz for my prize of a Kindle copy of ‘Drawing Closer’ – Jenny’s contemporary romance. Maria regularly hosts author interviews and book giveaways, so if you want to win – pay her a visit.
- Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank Susan for nominating me for an Inspiring Blogger Award, which she did before Christmas. I’m supposed to tell you 7 things about me but I’m sure your eyes are glazing over by now so maybe I’ll leave that for another time. But do have a look at Susan’s blog - she’s a lovely lady.
I already have a basic Kindle (without the keyboard or any of the fancy stuff) and I’ve just won a Kobo e-reader in the monthly flash fiction competition in Prima magazine (my story is in the December issue). The Kobo hasn’t arrived yet so I don’t know which model it will be but it’s supposed to be worth £149.
I’m trying to decide whether to tear open the packaging of the Kobo when it arrives and have a play with it, or whether to keep it all brand-spanking new and advertise it on eBay.
Because of its price, I’m assuming the Kobo will have a much wider functionality but what about the selection of books available? Does it have as many titles as the Kindle? I know that many authors who self-publish, only do so on the Kindle but the file format used by the Kobo is supposed to be more ‘open’.
Which screen is easier on the eye and is the page turning functionality as good on the Kobo as it is on the Kindle?
There’s an interesting article here from the MoneySavingExpert team. It recommends Kobo if buying for oneself but Kindle if buying as a present – but only so that you don’t appear a cheap skate by giving a less expensive Kindle substitute.
So what do you think? Is one better than the other – or should I keep both (I’m thinking that if I ever get round to self-publishing an e-book it might be useful to see what it looks like on the two devices).
Prima is a monthly women’s magazine that offers several slots for the aspiring writer to see their name in print:
- The letters page – every letter published wins a year’s subscription to the magazine and the star letter wins a skin care set worth £64. All the letters referred to previous items that had appeared in the magazine.
- Each month the letters page also features a poem. In June’s issue this was written by a man in praise of his wife.
- The Home life page ‘is your chance to pass on good ideas for the benefit of other Prima readers and, in doing so, encourage the highest quality service and great value for everyone’. Each contribution to the page receives £25. In June’s issue the contributions included a reader’s favourite shop, a picture of grandchildren, a suggestion for a day out and a couple of product recommendations.
- The Readers’ Kitchen page wants your recipes and tips plus recommendations for a favourite cafe, food shop or gadget. Recipes receive a year’s subscription to the magazine, tips and cafe or other recommendations earn £25.
- Picture Perfect - £25 for each photo printed on this page. June’s page is a Father’s Day Special and each picture includes a dad with young children.
- Do you have a winning story? - this page asks for 400 word stories. Reading the June winners, it looks like either fiction or real life experiences can be submitted. The winner receives £200 and two runners-up each receive a year’s subscription to Prima.
- Reader’s tips are dotted throughout the magazine – each one receiving £25. Plus the best tip receives £50.
- Wise Words - each month Prima is looking for wise words on a set theme. The June issue sets the theme ‘The best things in life are free, such as…’ and offers £25 for those chosen.
Why not nip out and buy a copy of the magazine? Study the style of your chosen section and then compose your contribution to fit. If you don’t try you won’t succeed!
And don’t forget to sign up for a free email subscription to this blog if you want a chance to be the next home for my World Book Night books.