Sunday, 19 November 2017

Ad hoc flashing

Ad hoc fiction run a regular flash fiction competition. They provide a prompt and ask for 150 words.

If you win, you'll get free entry into the Bath Flash fiction award. For that they want 300 words and are offering a prize of £1,000.

(It's a lighthouse... they flash!)

Friday, 17 November 2017

That's sound

Soundworks are running another of their short story competitions. Entries can on any theme and submitted from anywhere in the world and be up to fifteen minutes long. That last bit is because the prize is to have your story recorded and made available for people to listen to on the site.

There's no charge to listen, or to enter. Previously published stories may be entered and it's an
interesting experience hearing your story read in this way (I know as I'm a previous winner).

There's just a few hours left to enter this competition, but as they only want 100 words, you might manage it. (Note - now closed)

Seagulls are noisy birds, aren't they? Have you heard the racket they make whenever the feel the need to protect their young?

Wednesday, 15 November 2017


To miaul is to cry like a cat, or to mew. I have no idea, other than the spelling, how it differes from miaow. Do you know?

Bagpuss doesn't miaul, he snores.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Paid for reviews

I've received the following email - "I just found out on Goodreads that you are looking for reviews for your book. If you are still looking for reviews, please do contact me. I have an extremely affordable review tour service available for authors. With the help of my service, you can reach out to more than 14,000 readers and 2,000 book bloggers. Only SERIOUS inquires will receive a response, thanks. "

In common with all writers, I really, really want reviews on my books (If you're read one of mine please, please pretty please, leave a review on Amazon/Goodreads) and I totally understand the temptation to resort to unethical ways of getting them, but please don't. When you get found out, it'll undermine all credibility in your own writing – and tarnish the reputation of other indy authors, even those who don't cheat in this way. 

Not A Drop To Drink is still free and reviews for that will be just as welcome as those for my other books.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Coming and going

This competition is for a poem on the theme of migration. The human kind, not birds and animals.

There's a £200 prize.

I don't really know what came over me, but I've entered this one.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Would this be cheating?

I'm doing Nano, and I was on track until yesterday, when a magazine editor asked me to rewrite a short story I'd subbed. I think I was entirely right to do that – but perhaps not to slip back into short story mode so fully that I forgot about the novel and drafted another short story.

Although I wrote 2,500 new words, they don't count towards my NaNo total. Unless ...

Would it be completely cheating for my main character to pick up a magazine and read an entire short story? If it is, how else can I get myself back on track?

Local – if you're from the West Country

This novel writing competition is for any author 'based in Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Devon and Cornwall or have written on a subject matter that is directly relevant and closely related to those counties'. I do most of my writing on location, in the camper van, I wonder if that will be enough to qualify me. 

As well as living in the right place, you need to produce your book as printed copies either by self publishing, or through a local independent publisher. The prize is £1,000.

I took this photo somewhere in Dorset, but didn't make a note of the precise location. If you're a local, perhaps you could remind me where it is.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017


A contranym (or contronym or even autoantonym if you prefer) is a word for which there are two opposite or contradictory meanings.

As examples–

 'Left' can mean remaining or departed. When the girls left the room, the boys were left behind.

'Trim' can either mean adding or removing something. I trim my hat with flowers, but trim the hedge with shears. 

'Refrain' is either to stop or repeat depending on the context. I might sing the refrain, or refrain from singing. (If you're nearby, you'll prefer the latter.)

Can you think of more examples?

Tuesday, 7 November 2017


Do you use your local library? Over on my womagwriter blog, I'm running a poll asking that question   - please pop over and vote if  you have a minute to spare.