Wednesday, 29 April 2015


Umbriferous means providing shade.

The depth of Lydford Gorge would make it a pleasantly shady place to walk in summer, even without the umbriferous canopy of vegetation.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Playing to the crowd.

Sorry, not much notice for this playwriting competition, but I thought it was worth a mention in case anyone had anything suitable already written. Prizes include performance of your play as well as cash (£250) and one of the judges is a script reader for the BBC so it's a fantastic opportunity for the winner.

Don't be a Wally and waste time swanning around - give your pay a final polish and send it in!

Friday, 24 April 2015

Writing Ink

Creative Writing Ink run a monthly competition for short stories and poetry. There's a small prize which varies from month to month.

This is my special writing pen - bought with part of the payment from my first ever sale.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


I hope to keep this post compendious, that is comprehensive yet fairly brief. To write so compendiously would demonstrate my compendiousness, which would be nice.

Cakes are also nice (and round here they're comprehensively dealt with in a very brief time)

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The small print.

Please - never enter a competition without first reading the terms and conditions and please don't sign any kind of publishing contract without first being sure you understand what it is you're being asked to agree to.

Monday, 20 April 2015


The Jerry Jazz competition offers $100 for the winning story. You can send up to 5,000 words, but they'd prefer less. (It looks like an old post, but scroll down a bit and you'll find the details)

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Staying in touch and up to date

Here are a few things you may find interesting ...

Writer's and Artist's Yearbook have an events calendar. You can find out what's going on and add in what your group are doing. (Thanks to Anne Rainbow for passing on the link)

Bridget Whelan's website contains writerly news and information, as does her free newsletter which is sent out every 6 weeks. Subscribe by emailing bridgtewhelan (at)

The rather lovely Womagwriter blog contains lots of info, plus all the guidelines for those interested in writing fiction for women's magazines.

#writingchat is a twitter event held each Wednesday evening from 8-9 PM UK time. There's a different writerly them. To join in just tweet using the hashtag.

The Sphere is going to write his memoirs as soon as he gets round to it.

Do you know of anything else writers might like to read, sign up for or get involved in?

Friday, 17 April 2015

Writer's Abroad

I've been sent these details of a publication opportunity for ex pat writers - Expat Writers Wanted for Writers Abroad Anthology
Opening dates: 1 May – 15 June 2015.
Entrants: Only for expat and former expat writers.
Fiction: up to 1700 words. Flash Fiction: – 500 words. Poems: – 30 lines.
Theme: Light.
Free to enter, all profits from the anthology will be donated to the charity Room to Read, and a Foreword will be written by author, Christopher Allen.
Full submission rules and guidelines:

I'm not an ex pat* so I can't enter, but I am a writer and I've been abroad, so you get a picture.

I'm a current Pat(sy) Sorry.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015


Fatalism can mean either a submissive attitude to events as being inevitable, or the belief that everything is predetermined and that we have no influence over anything which may happen. A fatalist is a person who thinks fatalistically.

I'm not a fatalist. Some things are out of our control, and luck plays a part, but I believe that it's generally possible for us to influence the future.

What about you?

Sunday, 12 April 2015


Rollick magazine are looking for submissions in a wide range of forms including short stories, memoirs, photography, reviews, poetry and confessions. There's no payment, but the most popular piece in each issue wins $250.

I know it's not Wednesday, but rollick means to behave in a carefree, boisterous manner or to have a frolicksome adventure.

I often have a rollicking good time on our campervan adventures (I'll spare you the details of any frolicking which may occur)

Friday, 10 April 2015


Metamorphose is a new magazine which is holding a kickoff writing competition. Science fiction and fantasy stories are wanted, in two different lengths for each genre. Entry is free and there's a $25 prize plus publication for the best five in each category.

I'm not explaining the butterflies - if you can write sci-fi you can work it out.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015


An aardwolf is a grey and black stripy, African animal, related to hyenas. It eats insects (up to 250 termites per sitting) and is nocturnal. They're rather cute. I'm sorry I don't have a picture - next time I'm wandering the scrublands of Easterm Africa at night, I'll be sure to put that right.

I mention them because stories, amongst other things, are often listed alphabetically and being near the top can be an advantage in some situations and aardvarks have been overused for that purpose.

Three points are on offer to the first person to write a story titled, 'Adam the Aardwolf's Amazing Adventures Amongst the Agave in Aberystwyth.'

btw, it's #writing chat again tonight. The topic is genre. Do join us on twitter from 8 to 9 UK time, by tweeting using the hashtag.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Out and About

Today I'm over at Wendy's blog.

Two other recent interviews have been with Misha and Creative Frontiers.

Anyone else I can go and talk to, or will I have to get on with some work for a change?

Friday, 3 April 2015

Launch party - Over The Garden Fence

Today is the official launch of my short story collection, Over The Garden Fence. It's available as an ebook and paperback.

Thanks for popping in - and for wearing that fabulous hat! Would you mind describing it for those who can't see it?

Do help yourself to a drink and a snack and feel free to wander round the garden.

Sue fills a room with white carnations to celebrate her twenty-first wedding anniversary. Yvonne looks forward to the garden party and gets hot and bothered by charming Dr Mathews' bedside manner. Maria dreads Valentine's Day with all those red roses to remind her of past hurts.

Maddie longs to visit her brother's wonderful English garden. Dare she go? Luisha Summer was once Lucy Winterbottom, almost everything about her has changed. Does she still love flowers and remember those who aided her success? Old Myrtle promises the kids a trick along with their treats, but they're too greedy to hear the warning.

Adam has the chance to help his hero, PC Mark, and prove himself a worthy deputy if he can only discover who's responsible for stealing a prize-winning marrow and three old roller skates. Will the mystery caller persuade Beverley to make time to smell the flowers? Gran's forget-me-not brooch will lead Mazie to true love... eventually.

Gardens, plants and people all have their stories. Lean over my garden fence and I'll tell you a few.

Just like Up The Garden Path, it's a collection of 24 short stories all with a vaguely garden/plant/flower/gardener connection.

The party is on my facebook page and twitter too.

I'm giving a free e-copy of the book to two participants which will be selected at random from those Gary likes best. (If you've already bought the book by then, I'll offer an alternative)

Thursday, 2 April 2015

I won!!!

I knew if I entered enough competitions I'd eventually win another one ... My winning story is in the May issue of Writing Magazine (part of Writing Magazine) There are competitions every month which are free for subscribers (and some with entry fees)

Look what the judge said! (Don't worry about the mention of common sense - that's the character, not me)

Anyone else won anything or had other writerly good news recently?

Wednesday, 1 April 2015


It's Insecure Writer's Support Group time again.

In the UK, April 1st is known as April Fool's Day. Practical jokes, pranks and hoaxes are popular (but you have to get them done by midday, or the joker becomes the fool). I'm not feeling insecure about that though. I have a book coming out on Friday. I don't have to say anything more than that to explain my current insecurities, do I?

Do join me here for the release party if you can.

btw, my collection 'Not a Drop to Drink'is currently available as a FREE download.