Sunday, 31 July 2011

Fighting for Ebook Equality!

Katherine Roberts and Susan Price have launched the webpage to boost ebook sales and support authors struggling in the narrowing paper print publishing arena.

They are looking for authors with a proven publishing record. They are keen to support both children's book and adult book authors.

Roberts is quoted saying 'The whole of the paper-based publishing is now set up for bestsellers and instant profits, while e-books offer a better opportunity to build a long term career.'

Price went on to say that books which would have easily been bought by editors are now homeless, and she would like to turn this around.

Sunday funny

thank you inkygirl

Thursday, 28 July 2011

What inspires you?

Monday Morning

Huggies makes silicon snow in the Indesit washer

Forgotten cookies really do start a fire

Felt markers and scissors go in the key locked box

We’ve already lost seven socks

Breakfast at six, snacks at nine

Another song of ‘horsey horsey’ is pushing the line

Bananas in the carpet, bananas in the baby’s hair

There’s even bananas in the glider chair

And nap time is still 2 hours away!

(Perhaps, I ought to go out and look for inspiration)

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

August Competitions

There are lots to choose from this month, including some free entry opportunities!

1st Aug

Stepping Stones Short Story Competition. This one in aid of the charity Stepping Stones Nigeria is for stories of up to 1,000 words beginning or ending with ‘In the distance stood Mount Kilimanjaro’. You can read about the chairity’s work on the competition page.
Prizes: 1st - Publication and an Anne Aylor Creative Writing voucher. 2nd - £20 book voucher. 3rd - £10 book voucher.
Entry Fee: £5.

Malahat Review Creative Non-Fiction Prize. This international contest from Canada’s premier literary magazine is for non-fiction (essay, memoir, cultural criticism, nature writing, etc) of between 2,000 and 3,000 words.
Prizes: $1,000 plus publication in the mag.
Entry Fee: $45. All entrants receive a one-year subscription to The Malahat Review.

Tony Lothian Biographers Club Prize

Biography: 20 pages, to incl synopsis and 10 page sample chapter. Also incl CV and note on marketing for the book and competing literature. Fee: £10. Prizes: £2000. Details: web post Anna Swan, 119A Fordwych Road, London NW2 3NJ email

Unbound Press Flash Fiction Award

Story: 500 wds. Fee: £5. Prizes: £250/£125/£50. Details: web post Unbound Press, PO Box 16864, Glasgow, Scotland, G11 9DJ

3rd Aug

Over The Edge New Writer of the Year Comp 2011

Fiction: 3000 wds. Poem: 3 poems of up to 40 lines each or 1 poem of 100 lines. Fee: €10 single entry or €7.50 each for multiple entries. Prizes: €300 to winner in each category then €400 to overall winner (meaning winner receives €700 in total). Details: web post: Over The Edge, New Writer of the Year competition, 3 Carbry Road, Newcastle, Galway, Ireland

12th Aug

The Manchester Fiction Prize

Story: 3000 wds. Fee: £15. Prizes: £10,000 (may be split amongst up to 2 winners). Details: web post Manchester Fiction Prize 2011, HLSS Finance Office, Geoffrey Manton Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, 4 Rosamond Street West, Manchester, M15 6LL, UK.

7th Aug

Stringybark Erotic Fiction Award.

The contest, from Australia, is for erotic stories of up to 2,000 words.
Prizes: 1st - A$300. 2nd - A$150. 3rd - A$50. Winners will be published in hard copy and/or electronically (can’t make their minds up), and will received a certificate which, if they are not unduly modest, they can photocopy and hand out to their visitors or indeed to complete strangers.
Entry Fee : A$9.50 each.

12th Aug

HLF Open Poetry Competition. This one from the Havant Literary Festival is for poems of up to 40 lines on any theme. Is there any town in this country that doesn’t have a literary festival these days? It seems not.
Closing: 12.8.11.
Prizes : £200, £100, £50.
Entry Fee: £4.

14th Aug

Eyelands 2011 Short Story Competition. This free-to-enter international contest from Greece is for unpublished stories of up to 2,000 words in any genre. Stories must somehow refer to this year (2011). Entries must be in Greek or, for those who feel they will not be able to learn the language in time, English. If you happen to speak Greek already, you will be able to discover what the Eyelands website is all about. The rest of us can only wonder, as the contest page alone is in English.
Prizes: 1st - A notebook computer. 2nd - A digital video camera. 3rd - A digital photo camera. There will in addition be four Honourable Mentions. All shortlisted entries will be published in a book. The writers will receive a free copy of the book and another (unspecified) book. As I understand it, the book featuring the winners will be in Greek. It seems they are determined to make you learn Greek one way or another.
Entry Fee: None - free to enter (only one entry per person).

19th Aug

Words With Jam Best Comedy Scene comp

Script, novel extract, short story, play etc: 1000 wds max plus 40 word synopsis if required. Fee: £5, then £3 for subsequent entries. Prizes: £200/5x£25. Details: web post 'Comedy Scene Competition 2011', Quinn Publications, 2 Malt Kiln Road, Newbiggin, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 0TU, United Kingdom (cheques payable to J Smith)

26th Aug

Didsbury Open Poetry and Short Story Competition. This one from the Didsbury Arts Festival is for poems of up to 40 lines and stories of up to 2,500 words. The theme is Maps. There are four age categories: Under 12, Under 18, Over 18, Over The Hill. Actually I’m not too sure about the last. I think I may have imagined it.
Prizes (in book tokens): In each of the two older age categories - £50, £30, £15. Under 12s - £25, £15, £10.
Entry Fee: None - free to enter.

New Eastbourne Writers’ Short Story Competition. This one from New Eastbourne Writers, ‘a friendly, informal group’ who hold their meetings in a wine bar opposite the town hall, is for stories of up to 1,500 words on the theme of Lucky Break. The judge is Bloomsbury author Vanessa Grebbie.
Prizes: £100, £50, £25. Winners will be publishe don the website.
Entry Fee:£5 each, £7 for two.

31st Aug

Brighton COW Short Story Competition. This one from Brighton COW is for stories of up to 3,000 words on any theme. Why not have a go yourself?
Prizes: £100, £50, £25.
Entry Fee: £4.

CheerReader Autumn Story Competition. Make ’em laugh in up to 1,500 words and you could win a handful of euros. But don’t worry - you can convert the euros into something more stable, such as, er ... gold, or wheat. This is the third of these quarterly contest from CheerReader, a website dedicated to writing that amuses.
Prize: 100 euros. The winner and commended entries will be published on the site.
Entry Fee: 5 euros.

Earlyworks Press Memoirs & Journalism Competition

is for stories/articles of up to 2,000 words in two categories: autobiographical, from the writer’s own or their family’s experience; opinion/journalistic pieces on current affairs. Prizes: £100, £50, 10@£10, plus publication opportunity.

Entry fee: £5 per article.

Gemini Flash Fiction Competition. This one from the American magazine Gemini is for stories of up to 1,000 words. ‘Absolutely no restrictions on content, style or genre,’ they say. I feel queasy just thinking about some of the stuff they might receive.
Prizes: $1,000, $100. There will be four Honourable (or as they put it in America Honorable) Mentions. The six finalists will be published online and in the mag.
Entry Fee : $4 for the first, $3 thereafter.

Paws n Claws Children’s Wild Animal Story Competition. This is for fictional stories of between 500 and 1,500 words about a wild animal. There are three age categories based on the school years 5 & 6; 7 & 8; and 9,10,11. The actual ages that these usually apply to are given on the website. Virginia McKenna, well-known actress and founder of the Born Free Foundation, not to mention winner of the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award 2011, will be one of the judges.
Prizes: Publication in a book that will be sold to raise money for the Born Free Foundation, which aims to keep wildlife in the wild.
Entry Fee: None - free to enter.

Northern Crime Competition

seeks fresh new voices and great crime stories from writers who live and work in the North of England. Submit: the opening chapter of a unpublished crime or thriller novel, of up to 3.000wds; a synopsis; a short biography. Prizes: 4@£1,000, plus each winner will have their novel published in print and as e-books by Moth Publishing in 2012.

Entry fee: £20 per submission.

Northern Crime Competition, Business Education Publishers Ltd, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Chase House, Mandarin Way, Houghton-le-Spring DH4 5RA.

Aesthetica Creative Works Comp

Images: at least 300 dpi. Story: 2000 wds Poem: £40 lines Fee: £10 (allows up to 2 entries in each category). Prizes: £500 in each category plus 'additional prizes' and publication. Details: web

Salopian Poetry Society Annual Open Poetry Comp

Poem: 40 lines. Fee: £3 or 4 for £10. Prizes: £200/£100/£50/6x£25. Details: web post Roger Hoult, 5,Squires Close,Madeley,Telford, Shropshire, TF7-5RU

The Write Place Short Story Comp

Story: 1500 wds. Theme: open. Fee: £4.50. Prizes: £100/£75/£50 Details: web post TWP Competition, Francesca Burgess, 34 Capelands, New Ash Green, Longfield, Kent, DA3 8LG

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Sign post - story prompts

Good Luck Road Sign


For our children's book writers

Earnings for Writing Children's Booksthumbnail

Thursday, 21 July 2011


The first you can search and download books, magazines, and
newspapers free.

The second is for free text books.


Sunday, 17 July 2011

Friday, 15 July 2011

Sites of interest

interesting_websites.gif - 7237 Bytes

Mostly American, but still an open for grabs English market! - Specfic and humor webstravaganza - general writer's market website - information centre for children's magazine writers - children's fiction market information - a vast listing for the market of anthologies

Duotrope's Digest

Duotrope's Digest

Duotrope's Digest is
an award-winning, free writers' resource listing over 3475 current Fiction and Poetry publications. Use this page to search for markets that may make a fine home for the piece you just polished.

Thank you Sara for sourcing this diamond. :D

Exhibition of Paintings

North hill by Sara Hayward

Exhibition of paintings by Sara Hayward & Paul Powis
Landscapes, Seascapes and Venice Revisited
July 10th - August 21st 2011
Malvern Theatres, Grange Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 3HB.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

A dialog exercise

Here is a dialog exercise from my most recent writing course.

Write a conversation in which someone is inviting a new acquaintance for a date, taking the point of view of the invitee and revealing their thoughts. Now delete everything that is unspoken, leaving only the dialogue. The speech will leak hidden feelings without further commentary. Be ruthless and try it with other dialogue scenes you have already written.

Happy writing.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


theory of relativity
Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity. - Albert Einstein

Monday, 11 July 2011

Now accepting manuscripts!

Egmont books has its doors open to new unsolicited manuscripts.

They are accepting illustrators too. (Not naming any one *coughs* Sara)

"Finding bright new writing and illustration talent is an important part of what we do and so we really appreciate you submitting your work to us.

Unfortunately we are unable to accept submissions made by post. Anything received in hard copy will be recycled.

However, we are happy to review all submissions sent by email to, which meet the following criteria:


Fiction: please email a synopsis and first three chapters of your novel as a word processed document (saved as a word, rich text or open office file).

Picture Books: please email stories in full in the form of a word processed document (saved as a word, rich text or open officefile).

Texts do not need to be accompanied by illustrations.

Due to the number of manuscripts we receive, we can only accept non-agented submissions from writers based in the UK and Ireland.


Please email a selection of JPEGS together with a copy of your CV. Please note we will also accept art work samples by post.

We will respond to all submissions made by email. Please note that due to the sheer volume of submissions that we receive, this may take approximately six months from receipt of your work.

Our mailing address for art work submissions is: Egmont UK Ltd, 3rd Floor, Beaumont House, Kensington Village, Avonmore Road, London W14 8TS "

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Friday, 8 July 2011

Primo Parole Parlate

Thursday night saw the first Parole Parlate to be held post festival. An excellent audience turn out emphasized how much support there is for the wealth of talent we are blessed with in Worcestershire.

The line up for July introduced some new faces.

Bobby Parker, a Kiddiminster poet selected for Small Press Poet of the Year in Purple Patch magazine. He recently founded Last Change Before Bath Time publications ( LCBB), which publishes pocket size poetry pamphlets. Bobby shared his rich tactile style to great response.

Another new face to Little Venice was Math Jones with his sonnet to an ex - girlfriend 'Coat'. You can read more poetry by Math on the Be: magazine webpage.

From the heartfelt and graceful words of Lyndsey Stranberry - Flynn, the captivating and agile Amy Rainbow, to the engaging and passionate closing set performed by Maggie Doyle, there were words spoken to reach us all.

For those that could not attend, here is Amy Rainbow and Maggie Doyle.

Parole Parlate will be back at Little Venice on August 4th at 7:30pm.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

It's a great day!

Watching the sun come up this morning, the smell of the dew on the grass warming, a hot cup of coffee, and my little boy's good morning smile.

It's a great day to be alive. There is not a more promising day than today to write. Days like today were made for finding, living, and fulling dreams.


Orkut Scraps - Saturday

Has anyone else noticed how under played Saturdays seem to be in stories. It is almost as though Saturdays are thought of puppy dog nap days. A day where nothing much happens; except mowing the lawn, and watching the children's football match. Well maybe that is my Saturday, but still back to the neglected Saturday rant. I'm here on behalf of Saturday to see more stories feature this equally worthy day for interesting and life changing events.

Friday, 1 July 2011

July Competition listings

1st July

Friends of Morley Literature Festival short story comp 2011

Story 3000 wds. Fee: FREE Prizes £50/£25/£10 Details: email for PDF entry form Post: FM LITFEST 84 Rein Road Tingley, Wakefield , WF3 1JA

The Ifanca Helene James Short Story Comp

Story: 2,200 wds. Fee: £3. Cheques payable to The Ifanca Hélène James Trust Prizes: £100/£50/£25. Details: web post: The Ifanca Hélène James Short Story Competition, Green Plain, 185 St David's Road, Letterston, Haverfordwest, Pembs SA62 5SS

4th July

Mere Litfest Biennial Poetry comp 2011

Poems: 40 lines max. Fee: adults £3.50 first poem, £3 subsequent poems. Jnrs: £1.50 per poem, £1 subsequent poems (25% discount on school entries of 10 or more poems - see website for details). Prizes: adults £200/£100/£50/3x£15/local awards. Junior cash awards and The Grace Wines Memorial Prize for resident of Mere or Mere school attendee. Details: web MLF Competition, Lawrences, Old Hollow, MERE Wilts.BA12 6EG

Laurel House Creative Workshops Short Story Comp

Story: 4000 wds. Fee: £4 (incls. 400 wd critique for every story entered). Prizes: £100, full LHCW critique, online workshop and publication/Full LHCW critique. Details: web post Laurel House, Groesfaen, Rhondda Cynon Taff, CF72 8NS, South Wales, UK

11th July

The Doris Gooderson Short Story Comp

Story: 1200 wds. Fee: £3 or 2 for £5. Prizes: £150/£70/£40. Details: web post The Competition Secretary, 29 Christine Avenue, Wellington, Telford, TF1 2DX

12th July

The Allen Raine Celebration 2011 Short Story Comp

Story: min 1000 wds, max 7500 wds. Fee: £5. Prize: £200 for winner in each language (Welsh and English). Details: web post: ARCS Short Story Comp, David Heal, Competition Administrator, College, Tanglwst, Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthenshire SA38 9NJ

14th July

Lippfest Poetry Comp

Poems: 45 lines max. Fee: £4 or 3 for £10. Prizes: £250/£150/£100/Leeds Prize £50. Details: web post LIPPfest Poetry Competition, 6 Oakdale Meadow, Leeds, LS14 2HB, United Kingdom

15th July

Tenby Arts Festival Writing Comps

Story: 1500 wds. Poem: 40 lines. Fee: story £4 poem £4 or £6 for 2 poems, £8 for 3 poems. Prizes: £150/£70/£50 both categories, plus £25 in each category for West Wales resident. Details: web Writing Competition, PO Box 67, Saundersfoot, SA70 9AP

The Elmet Poetry Prize

Prizes: 1st, £300 / 2nd, £100 / Runners-Up, £50 For unpublished poems of no more than 40 lines on the theme of Connections. Entries must be in English and typed on one side of A4 paper, double-spaced. No identifying marks should be shown on the typescript. Pages should be numbered and clipped together, with the title on each page. Use an entry form for each poem. Visit: for full details and entry form.

The Virginia Prize

Novel: length not specified but must be unpublished and written by a woman. Fee: £5. Prize: £1000 plus conditional offer of publication by Aurora metro. Details: web post: The Virginia Prize, 67 Grove Avenue, Twickenham, TW1 4HX

The Ted Hughes Young Poets' Award

Prizes: 1st, £100/ Runners-Up, £50 in each of 3 age categories (6-10, 11-14, 15-18) For unpublished poems of no more than 40 lines on the theme of Connections. Entry fee: Free. Visit: for full details and entry form.

18th July

Mslexia Women's Poetry comp

Poem: any length. Fee: £7 (which allows entry of up to 3 poems - however, entrants may only win one prize.) Prizes: £2000 plus 1 week poets' retreat at Cove Park and mentoring by editor of Poetry Review/£400/£200/20x£25. Details: web post Women's Poetry Comp Mslexia Publications Ltd, PO Box 656, Freepost NEA5566, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1BR

20th July

Swale Life Poetry Competition

Prizes: 1st, £100 / 2nd, £50 / 3rd, £30 / Commendation (x2), £10 For previously unpublished poems in English with any subject or style up to 40 lines. The competition is administered by Eastern Light EPM International in aid of Diversity House, a UK charity and publishers of Swale Life Online Magazine. One third of the entry fee goes to Diversity House. The judge is Mandy Pannett, Creative Writing Tutor and prize-winning author of Frost Hollow. Enter by post or online. Entry fee: £3 for one poem, or £12 for 5 poems. Address: Eastern Light EPM International, Unit 136, 113-115 George Lane, London, E18 1AB. E-mail: Visit: to enter online or to download entry form.

29th July

Ipswich Poetry Feast International Poetry Writing Competition (Australia)

Prizes: of $7800 in cash prizes. An annual poetry writing competition giving poets of all ages the oportunity to compete for over $7,800 in prizes. Widely promoted to schools, libraries and the general community, the competition attracts local, interstate and global entries. Entry fee: $5 per poem for open age categories,free for children aged 5 to 17 years. Visit for entry form and further details.

Wasafiri Magazine Annual New Writing Prize

Prizes: £300 will be awarded to the winner in each category and their work will be published in Wasafiri. For creative submissions in one of three categories: Poetry, Fiction or Life Writing. The competition is open to anyone worldwide who has not published a complete book. Maximum length 3000 words. All entries must be accompanied by an official entry form. Entry fee: £6.00 if entering one category, or £10.00 for two, or £15.00 for three categories. Address: Wasafiri, The Open University in London, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, London, NW1 8NP. Mark clearly on the envelope ‘New Writing Prize’. Visit: for entry form and more information.

31st July

Hay On Wye Short Story Comp

Story: 2000 wds. Fee: £6. Prizes: £400/£200/£100. Details: web Hay & District Community Support, Oxford Road, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford, HR3 5AL

HISSAC Short Story Comp

Story: 2500 wds. Fee: £5 or 3 entries for £12. Prizes: £400/2x£50. Details: web post HISSAC, 20 Lochslin, Balintore, Scotland IV20 1UP

Sussex Playwrights 2011 Radio Play comp

Radio Play: 30-45 mins. Fee: £7 (one free entry for Sussex Playwrights members). Prizes: £150/£100/£75 plus readings at Sussex Playwrights meetings. Details: web Mr Nicholas Quirke, 24 Highcroft Villas, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 5PS.

Wells Festival of Literature Short story and Poetry comps

Story: 1800-2000 wds. Poem: 40 lines. Rules: no more than 5 entries per person. Fee: £5 per story or poem. Prizes: £500/£200/£100 Wyvern Prize £50 (subject to confirmation by committee - check website for details) Details: web (nb: the website also carries very useful page of tips for entrants. )

Dream Quest One Poetry and Writing Contest (USA)

Prizes - Writing: 1st, $500 / 2nd, $250 / 3rd, $100, Prizes - Poetry: 1st, $250 / 2nd, $125 / 3rd, $50 This is an international competition, open to everyone. Write a poem of 30 lines or fewer on any subject and/or write a short story with a maximum length of 5 pages, on any theme. All entries may use either single or double line spacing and must be neatly hand printed or typed. All contest winners will be published online in the Dare to Dream pages, on 31 August 2011. Entry fee: $10 per story, $5 per poem by postal mail. Electronic entries will incur a $2 transaction fee. Visit for details on how to enter.

Higlands & Islands Short Story Association Annual Open Theme Short Story Competition

Prizes: 1st, £400 / 2nd, £50 / 3rd, £50 For stories up to 2500 words on any theme, but no stories for children. It is not necessary to have a connection to Scotland, either in the location of the theme or the entrant. An entry form can be obtained by sending a stamped addressed envelope, or one can be printed from the website. Entries must be typed, double-spaced,and have numbered pages. If sending entries by post, collate your work with paperclips rather than staples. The winners will be announced in October and winning entries will subsequently be published on the website. Entries can be submitted by e-mail or post (postal entries to be accompanied by PayPal receipt or cheque). Entry fee: £5 per story, or £12 for 3 entries. Payment by cheque to HISSAC or via Paypal. E-mail: Visit: for more details.

Buzzwords Open Poetry Competition 2011

Prizes: 1st, £600 / Runner-up, £300 / Highly Commended (x5), £50 / The Gloucestershire Prize - for Gloucestershire residents only, £200 For poems up to 70 lines. Judged by Alison Brackenbury. Entry fee: Postal - £4 per poem or £10 for 3 poems, e-mail - £4.35 per poem for £10 for 3 poems. Address: Buzzwords Open Poetry Competition, 2217, Brockworth, Gloucestershire, GL3 9DL. E-mail: For entry conditions and form, visit

Brighton COW Summer Loving Writing Competition

A free-to-enter competition for stories about Love. The trick with this one is that it's for stories with a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 1000. You don't have to be a Barbara Cartland - your story can be soppy, romantic, dark, uplifting or depressing - or even terrifying, much like love itself. Visit for more information.

The 2011 Unbound Press Flash Fiction Award

Prizes: 1st, £250 + publication / 2nd, £125 + publication / 3rd, £50 + publication. All prize winners and other short-listed entries will receive one free copy of the annual print anthology. For fiction up to a maximum of 500 words. There is no theme. All styles (including experimental) and genre-based fiction (mystery, crime, fantasy, science fiction, historical) are welcome. Entries may be submitted via email or post. Entries submitted via email must be attached in the form of a Word (doc) or Rich Text Format (rtf). Entries submitted via post must be printed on standard-size paper and double-spaced. Entries sent via post will not be returned. Submissions must be your own original work and must be previously unpublished. Work that has appeared online, in print or has been broadcast is not eligible. International submissions are welcomed but all entries must be written in English. As a condition of submitting, the author agrees that Unbound Press has permission to publish the material online and in print. Copyright remains with the author. Entry fee: £5. Payment can be made by cheque or via PayPal. Address: Unbound Press, PO Box 16864, Glasgow, Scotland G11 9DJ. E-Mail: For full details visit