Sunday, 31 May 2015


If you can write something epic and do it by 3rd June (sorry about that) then you could win a bound copy of your story, plus a cash prize.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Alfie Dog

Alfie Dog are running another short story competition. The prize is £200 plus optional publication of your short story collection (on which you would earn royalties)

This one isn't entirely free to enter as you do have to download 5 stories from the site. Most of them cost 39 each and some are by me! I don't think it's a bad deal.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015


An alpinist is a climber of high mountains (generally, but not neccessarily the Alps). I'm not an alpinist.

I don't know if there's a word for climbers of not very high mountains, only when it's sunny, the path doesn't look too treacherous and regular stops are permitted, but if there is, I'm one of them.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Get going

Thanks to Carol Bevitt for sharing the news about this travel writing competition. The top prize is a holiday to Iceland for two. I want to go to Iceland*. There's also a trip to Italy for the best unpublished writer and a young writer category. If you don't qualify for that, then you might be interested in a sepaate competition for people over 60

You might want to have a look at Helen Yendall's blog too)

*but then I want to go nearly everythere I haven't visited yet and to go back to many of the places I have.

The picture is of somewhere in Italy - d'you know where?

In case you missed it, here's a sort of travel writing thing I wrote.

Sunday, 24 May 2015


I won the this silver trophy in our writing group's annual short story competition. Nice, isn't it?

I also have a new website. I'm still fettling it; any comments and suggestions are welcome.

Friday, 22 May 2015

It's the future

There are monthly cash prizes in this science fiction and fantasy writing competition.  There's also a grand prize of $5,000. You have up to 17,000 words to tell your story, retain all rights and it's free to enter. Definitely worth a try, I reckon.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015


Specious means either misleadingly attractive or superficially plausible, but actually wrong.

Custard made with salt instead of sugar would add speciosity to your trifle. An example of speciousness is the specious claim that as chocolate is dervived from plants, a family sized bar of Aero counts as one of your five a day. That's only true if you choose the orange flavoured one (she adds speciously*)

*mint's a plant, so the green ones are OK too.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Complicated Caladria

For this free competition you need to write a story set in the fictional world of Caladria, using one of the detailed themes provided. Doesn't sound my kind of thing at all, but if you like goblins, dragons and the word consternation and fancy winning a £25 gift card, you'll probably like it.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Bitmead and Bruntwood.

Winning the Luke Bitmead bursary will earn you a publishing contract and £2,500 cash. It's free to enter and open to anyone over 16 who hasn't had a novel traditionally published and who's written a complete novel for adults.

The organisers are particularly interested in entries from those whose personal or financial circumstances make it difficult for them to focus on writing.

Playwrights will probably want to have a look at this. The prize fund is £40,000!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

All about the words ... and lifeboats

Wordsmag have three writing competitions this year. Two open themed and one for murder stories (must try that - haven't killed anyone for ages)

Here's a chance to win £2,000 to spend on a trip for writing a 500 word travel piece. £4 per word is a pretty good rate!

Thursday, 14 May 2015


I've been working jolly hard at 'not-the-day-job' as you can see by the rucksack of camera gear I'm carrying.

The occasion was the naming ceremony for  Gosport's shiny new ferry 'Harbour Spirit'. I was very excited that we had a tug escort with water jet for our trip.
It wasn't all fun though. I conducted vital research into the kind of mini cakes I might want to serve at a book launch. With the latest book currently being assessed by a publisher that's something I just might need to know.
Actually the hardest bit was resisting pressing the big red button labelled 'ship's horn'.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015


A monticule is a small hill. Sounds rather friendly, doesn't it? The sort of place you'd walk up to enjoy a picnic involving ginger beer and home made cake. A monticule can also be a mini mound caused by a volcano.

Here's the view from a hill (quite a big one) I climbed up last summer. Recognise it?

Clue ... instead of climbing up, you could just swan about down the bottom.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Weekly poetry competition

There's good news and bad news with this one. Bad news is there's no prize. Good news is the competition is weekly, free to enter and offers the (voluntary) possibility of your work being published in a book.

I was struggling to find an illustration for this one until I remembered poetry can be about absolutely anything. These are rhubarb forcers. Good luck with that.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The End is Nigh!

If Dystopian, dark, weird or horror is your thing and you fancy writing about the apocalypse then you'll be nuts about this competition. Like most of the competitions I mention it's free to enter and as always you're advised to read the t&cs before taking part.

The prize includes £100 and exposure (I don't think they mean the horrible death in a nuclear winter kind)

Friday, 8 May 2015


Thanks to Beatrice Charles for passing on the link to this competition from David Fickling Books. There's a chance to get your book published. It can be pretty much any type of book - one with pictures, one with words ...

They don't promise to publish any of the submissions (although they hope to) but the best five will recieve some publicity and someone will be named as the 'Master of the Inkpot 2015' and who wouldn't want that?

Unfortunately I don't have a suitable photograph to illustrate this, so I'm going to pick something at random and claim it's a story prompt. ( You can all knock out a perfectly polished novel between now and the 19th May, can't you?)

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

IWSG - and some news

It's the first Wednesday of the month, so time for an Insecure Writer's Support Group post.

Insecure doesn't cover how I'm feeling at the moment. Neither does secure. Apprehensive is sort of there, but too negative. Hopeful, perhaps that's it?

Maybe I should just tell you my news? I sent the synopsis and first three chapters of my fireman story to a publisher and they've asked to see the rest. There must be a word for that.

I hope that however you're feeling, you need positive words to describe your state of mind.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Romantic (writing) life

Actually I do have quite a romantic writing life, travelling about as I do in the van with my lovely husband and making up stories in between exploring castles, admiring the scenery and drinking wine.

But this post isn't about that, it's about this. Sounds like an excellent opportunity to get your romantic novel published.

Friday, 1 May 2015


Thinkerbeat are running four fiction competitions this year. There's a $25 prize for the current one.

Note - they like US, not UK spellings. I got told off for putting an s where they wanted a z.

ER, I couldn't THINK of a suitable illustration. Rather than BEAT myself up about it, I've picked one at random. Can you guess where I took it? Or who designed the bridge?