Friday, 28 March 2014

Ghostly goings on

Do you believe in ghosts? I sort of do a bit. Ghost stories are another matter. I very firmly believe in them. They can be funny, romantic, scary or sad and are a great way to bring in historical or crime elements if you like to mix your genres.

Here's a ghost story competition. There's a top prize of £250, then two runners up will get £100. All the best entries will go in an anthology. Although the authors won't get paid, they will get £100 worth of books. Thanks to Suzy for telling me about this one. She found it over at The Busy Teapot. It's almost spooky the way these competitions get back to me!

Here's another competition for 'spine tingling' stories. There are good cash prizes and it's monthly so there are lots of chances, but it looks like submitted stories are all published on the site which probably means you wouldn't be able to submit any which didn't win anywhere else.

If tight deadlines don't scare you, take a look here.

Just like the stories, ghosts come in all shapes and sizes. This one is spherical!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Blogging with a flourish

To flourish is to grow vigourously, thrive, prosper or be successful. These grape hyacinths have really flourished since I first planted them.

Flourishing something is to brandish it or wave it vigourously, or to show it ostentaisiously. An elaborate expression, rhetorical embelishement or ornamentally curved handwriting could all be considered to add a flourish to your writing. (But not necessarily, especially those first two)

A fanfare played on brass is sometimes known as a flourish, as is an improvised addition at the end of a musical composition.

I hope you're well, in top form and a real flourisher!

If you can write a romance with a dramatic, pulse racing flourish you might want to take a look at Pulse. They have several calls for short story submissions. They pay £30 plus a share of any commision.

Want some inspiration? Then try these 'workshops'. Thanks to Anne Rainbow for sending me the link.

A film credit would add a flourish to your poetry c.v. The chance to win that is here.

Monday, 24 March 2014


My romance novel, A Year and a Day is through to the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. (Apologies if you've already heard, but I'm rather chuffed about this and couldn't keep quiet)

Any kind of good news, acceptance or success always spurs me on to send out more work and try other competitions. I think I'll look out for something to sent to The Fiction Desk. They pay £20 - £30 for accepted stories.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Time and Tide

You've just got time to enter this poetry competition which closes at the end of the month. The theme is 'tide' and there's a £25 prize.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Up with the larks

A lark is a small brown bird which sings as it flies. You have to look up to see them, but not neccesarily early in the morning.

Larking around is behaving in a playful or mischevious way. A lark can be something done for fun, but is often considered silly or a waste of time. As a lark, a former colleague made me this map.

There's nothing playful or silly about this competition. There is a top prize of £200 though and you can enter a fiction or poetry.

UPDATE - Here's a competition for novel openings, but you need to be quick.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Progress update.

I haven't made massive progress on my novel, but there has been some.

How are all those who wanted to be nagged getting on? Have you written more than me? Or less, but have a fabulous excuse? I want to hear those fabulous excuses!

Mine is that I entered this competition. Thanks to Sheila  for reminding me in time.

The competition is monthly and has a word count that shouldn't take up all our writing time.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Hungry Elephants

Here's a short story competition with a £2,000 first prize. The theme is hunger or lack, but to get the top prize you'll need to connect that to the natural world.

Runners up are published without payment. I don't like that.

I like buns though and apparently so do elephants.

Do you like buns?

Do you think the link between my posts and photos is ridiculously tenuous or am I still getting away with it?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Scarred for life

A scar is the mark left on our skin after a wound has healed, or on our mind after an unpleasant event. If I were to show you a photo of my operation scars* while the staples were still in, I reckon you'd be scarred (and maybe scared too)

A scar also the mark left on a plant stem after a leaf is removed. Plants can be scarred deliberately, by scratching them. When I was a kid, my dad scratched my and my brother's names on tiny marrows in letters so small we couldn't see them until the fruit swelled and the scars were clearly visible.

A scar is also a steep cliff or outcrop of rock. I think the word escarpment may be connected, but I'm not sure. I'm also not sure if this bit of rock is actually a scar**, but it's a nice picture isn't it?

*It was a long time ago, there's not much to see now.

** Geography was never my strong point.

Friday, 7 March 2014

It's all about sex

Or do I mean gender? Either way, here's a poetry competition for women only There's a cash prizes of £1,000, so I'll understand if you're tempted to have a go.

Sorry boys, but obviously you all write far too well for any girlies to stand a chance against you, so you can't enter. At least, I assume that's the point the organisers are trying to make.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Size matters

It's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post. My current insecurity is to do with word count. Not so much the lack of it* as getting it under control. I want to write nice, lighthearted short stories - say around 900 words. I keep getting ideas for much longer stories.

*Although when it comes to the novel that is a concern.

The problem isn't that I'm padding them out and waffling (despite what darling hubby says) but that my plot ideas are too complex for my desired word count. Do you have any tips for keeping it simple?

Maybe having a go at this 50 word competition will help? Thanks to Della for highlighting it.

Size matters with other things too - cake, glasses of wine, bars of chocolate ...