Sunday, 30 November 2014

Short list

The winner of this novel writing competition will win agent representation and coaching for a year.

It took me ten years to write this novel, but as they only want 500 - 1000 words for the competition I might manage something by the deadline.

If you'd rather read books than write them, you might like to try winning yourself a year's supply.

Friday, 28 November 2014

World domination

I thought it was time to update you on the progress of my world domination bid. Actually it's going rather well. You can read an extract of my story in Canadian magazine Ficta Fabula here. Two of my stories have recently appeared in Indian magazine Woman's Era and there should be one soon in Australian magazine That's Life Fast Fiction.

It's making me feel as though I should be laughing manically *mwa ha ha ha* and stroking a cat. Luckily there's one of them in my latest Ireland's Own story. Further updates (should there be any) will appear on my short stories page.

Where next? The world of poetry? Hmmm, perhaps not for me, but if poems are your thing, you might be interested in this competition.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014


This post was inspired by my friend Richard Peej's Facebook post. He put up a picture of a carpentry joint (I don't know why, but who am I to judge people's odd hobbies?) Soon others added images of a marijuana joint, Sunday joint and an elbow joint being put to good use (er, yes that last one was me)

Other uses for the word include a place to meet someone for a drink, something done in partnership (eg jointly writing a book) part of a book cover, cutting up a carcass for food, held or belonging to more than one person (joint account) the contrivance by which two artificial things are joined together (that's something to do with plumbing, I think) the part of a stem from which a leaf grows, the cement bit between bricks and to prepare something ready to be joined to something else.

If I've missed any, please let me know - that way this post will be a joint effort.

Talking of which, thanks to Julia Hones for telling me about this competition. There's a £200 prize and it's open to all.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014


You don't have long to get an entry in for this competition, but how long do you need to write 20-40 words? One of those must be refrigerator.

There are cash prizes.

I was going to illustrate this post with a picture of our fridge, but it's full of beer and wine and I didn't want to give you the wrong idea. So here's something else cold instead.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Travelling writer

If you're a travelling writer, (which I am aren't I, Suzy?) this competition is perfect. They want 500 words on how you got into motorhomes. If you had some vague idea people generally got into camper vans through a door of some kind, you'd probably best sit this one out.

Do you have a motorhome or van? (if so, you might like the blog Gary and I are setting up) Or some other interest you'd like me to try and find a competition about? Or do you know of a free to enter competition with an unusual or speciality theme?

Friday, 21 November 2014

Are you a techie type?

This competition might appeal to those less technologically challenged than me, as they want stories, poems, documentaries etc which can be interacted with on computers and devices. I expect the £1000 prize will appeal to everyone.

For those who are as technologically challenged as I am, here's a pretty picture.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014


A mull is a promontory. Mull can also mean to ponder or consider. Mulling wine, beer or cider is heating it with sugar and spices. Eg I went to the Mull of Kintyre and mulled over whether or not to have a glass of mulled wine.

Mull apparently can also be a form of non acidic compost or a particular type of muslim, so I suppose I could have sat on a pile of mull at a mull* in the company of a mull. We may have mulled things over together, but we'd not have drunk any mulled wine.

*Not Kintyre though as the soils is acidic there.

Now I could have mulled some wine and photographed that as I do like the stuff, but then I remembered how much you like my pictures of Scotland (or at least are too polite to beg me to stop, which is just as good) so here's one of the foghorn at the Mull of Galloway. (I don't actually know the  man in the picture, but he stayed there so long I took the shot anyway, then walked down to see what he was looking at. It was a HUGE seal. He (the man, not the seal) then pointed out various different birds and explained about the tides and other interesting stuff.)

Tuesday, 18 November 2014


Winning this novel writing competition will get you a publishing contract and a place on a writing retreat. It's for unpublished writers only.

I couldn't think of a suitable picture to illustrate this, which was a bit of an emergency, so I called in the police. One of the policemen had an accent, so it all worked out in the end.

Perhaps I need to go on some kind of retreat?

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Swanning about

Paper Swans are looking for submissions of poetry. The only payment is two complimentary copies of their anthology, which is actually better than is offered by many publishers of poetry.

Friday, 14 November 2014

What makes you happy?

The theme of this competition is joy. The prize is £500 plus a residential course at one of Arvon's historic houses.

Visiting historic houses is one of the things which make me happy.  The (quite long) list also includes writing, winning things and getting cash, so I'd be very joyful to win.

What does, or would, make you happy?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


Uxorial means of, or relating to, a wife. I'm not sure how useful the word is in everyday conversation, but it must be more useful than uxorious which means to be excessively fond of one's wife. Speaking as a married woman I can't see how such fondness could possibly be excessive.

btw, I've just become aware some people's comments had just vanished. If that happened to you I'm sorry - they never reaced me so I didn't know you'd tried.

I've now made a setup change which I believe has solved the problem.

Monday, 10 November 2014

True Travel Tales

Here's a non-fiction travel writing competition. There's a £200 prize on offer - every week! I'm good at the travel part and here's a picture to prove* it. I'm less good at the non-fiction part. A lot less good.

*It was taken about 6 miles from my home so proves nothing, except my point about non-fiction.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

This Morning!

Here's a novel writing competition. The winner will get a free place on a Curtis Brown novel writing course and representation by Curtis Brown. Naturally, as I'm mentioning it, it's free. You only have a short time to get an entry in though, so you'd better start soon. This morning would be a good time.

OK, so this wasn't the view from my window this morning, but this is a fiction competition.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Feeding frenzy

For this competition you need to write a story (true or otherwise) involving food or drink. The prize is £7,500. Even if you go for the really good stuff, that would buy you a lot of healthy vegetables.

Obviously I wouldn't spend it on healthy vegetables but you might be more sensible than me.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Less interesting than grass

This is an Insecure Writer's Support Group post. If you're a writer and ever suffer from insecurity, do join us.

I went to Scotland recently. If that's news to you then hello and welcome to the blog, you must be new! Anyway, I wanted to photograph a Highland cow while in the highlands (I'm a farmer's daughter) We saw some. We stopped. We photographed, but even when I got really, really close they took absolutely no notice and just carried on chomping away.

Now cows can't read. Maybe if they could they'd have been thrilled to see me? No of course they wouldn't. To a cow, grass is far more interesting than anything I might write.

When our writing gets little reaction that can make us feel insecure. Perhaps it shouldn't. If we're showing it to family who don't write themselves, or friends who aren't fans of our genre, can we really expect anything more than an unconvincing 'how interesting'?

Try not to let that put you off. Write what you want to write and only concern yourself with the reactions of those who share your passion - your writing group and/or buddies, readers, publishers and editors of your genre.

Oh and when your non writing friends and family share their golf handicap, baby photos or plans to repaint the bathroom, smile as brightly as you can and say 'how interesting'.

Monday, 3 November 2014

500 panthers courageously stampeded through the woods

Helen Yendell has a flash fiction competition up on her blog. There's a £25 voucher on offer for the winner.

You're required to include the words she's listed. One of these is 'wood' but as she advises you not to use them in an obvious way, the picture might not be much help.

Do you think she'll like the minimalist nature of my effort (shown in the title)?