Friday, 19 January 2018

A double, Jim?

I have a couple of competitions for science fiction writers today.

The Jim Baen Award is for a short story of up to 8,000 words. The prize package includes a trophy, paid publication, books and free entry into the 2018 Space Development Conference.

The James White Award is for short stories up to 6,000 words. Only non prefessional authors may enter. The prize is publication and £200.

This whisky drink is not Jim Beam. Yes, I do realise that's probably my most terrible attempt at connecting a photo with a post to date, but be fair – I've not yet been to the future, so I don't have any pictures taken there.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018


Rebutter, surprisingly isn't something you do to bread when you consider it's not been spread with a liberal enough amount of dairy goodness. 

It's actually a refutation (a word which probably deserves its own WWof theW post) or 'a defendent's reply to the plaintiff's surrejoinder'.

Sometimes I'm no help at all, am I?

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Did I... ?

I'm not entirely sure whether or not I've already mentioned these two competitions, but they have great prizes and you might have missed the post even if I did, so I'll do them again.

This one is for script writers. The prize is £250 plus performance of your play to an expected audience of 2,000.

This one is for non fiction. The prize package includes an Arvon course, £1,500, membership of The Royal Society of Literature and meetings with an agent and editor.

Both are (as usual) free to enter.

I know I've mentioned this marvellous writing book before, but as I'm a co-author I like to remind people now an then. It isn't free, but it's great value. Amongst many, many other things, it includes lots of information to about writing for competitions.

(I promise the photo is relevant, but admit only in a tenuos and slightly cryptic way.)

Friday, 12 January 2018


The BBC short story competition is now open. To enter you need to be British and/or resident in the UK and have a prior record of creative writing publication in the UK.

The prize is £15,000, with £600 going to all short listed entries. That seems a heck of a lot of money, especially as it presumably comes from licence payers. What do you think – can a prize be too big?

If playwriting is more your thing, then take a look at this competition. The prize is £2,200 and to have your play broadcast on the world service. Thanks to Hilary for bringing this one to my attention.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018


My dictionary gives three definitions for the word tidemark

It can be the line on a beach at the high water point, the scummy ring around the bath at the level the water reached, or a line on a person's body revealing they didn't have a bath and just washed the bits they thought would show.

I'd like to suggest a fourth – the patterns left on sand as the tide recedes. Don't you think this tidemark is beautiful?

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

A result

I don't just blog about free to enter competitions – I enter some too. I was a winner in this one, which I mentioned a while back.

Did you enter that one, or have you tried any of the other competitions I've featured recently?

Will you be trying any of those I'll be providing details of other the coming weeks?

Monday, 8 January 2018

Grippingly gothic

This competition is for a story of up to 500 words using the following phrase for inspiration - 
“It might be possible, of course, that far from being one, we may possess two selves.” 

Stories should grip readers in the same way gothic novels captured Victorian imaginations.

Stories will be be selected by actors from Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde who will do filmed readings and these will form the shortlist. I think I've got that right...

Anyway, it sounds like fun, is free to enter and offers a £300 prize. 

Saturday, 6 January 2018

It's On You

For this competition from On The Premises, you have from 1,000 to 5,000 words to write about an article of clothing.

Hats are OK, it says so. Reprints aren't. It doesn't say so, but as I have a previously published story involving a hat I asked. They said no.

Friday, 5 January 2018

A little alien

Thanks to Alyson Hilbourne for passing on the details of this competition from Legend Press. You're asked to write up to 200 words on the theme of Alien.

The prize (or prizes) is your choice of book from their catalogue, in paperback or ebook, plus some publicity.