Exeter Writers Short Story Competition 2018

I’ve been a member of Exeter Writers for a few years now, and one of the things we do each year is run our international short story competition.

We receive entries from all over the world, and there’s no restriction on theme or genre (other than that we don’t accept children’s stories).

The entry fee is £6, which goes straight towards the prizes, and they’re good prizes;

1st prize – £500, 2nd prize – £250, 3rd prize – £100

And if you’re lucky enough to live in Devon, there’s a special prize of £100 for the best entry from a Devon writer.

We have over 20 members in our group and nearly everyone gets involved in the judging process, and even though we have varied tastes, we all enjoy a good, well written story.

Visit the website for further details and to see examples of the stories that have won in the past and then get your entry in for this year before the closing date of 28th February!

 

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#IWSG Jan18: Planning and schedules (oh my!)

Happy New Year! It’s a nice fresh, clean slate to be insecure and procrastinate all over! So it’s very apt that my first post of 2018 is for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group monthly hop.

This merry band of writers, started by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, blog on the first Wednesday of every month to share their hopes, dreams and fears. If you’d like to join us, then you can sign up here!

This month’s prompt question is: What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

This is a very timely prompt for me, because it made me realise that although I have a high level plan in my head, I hadn’t nailed anything down on paper. That, of course, means that any plan is subject to the vagaries of memory and distraction.

The plan so far was; work on short stories in November and December, then in the new year revisit my novel for a complete plot overhaul following some feedback.

That still works as an overall plan, but I still hadn’t thought through the minutae. A timetable, if you will.

There’s the daily stuff, the small print. We now have a puppy, so my morning routine will be; get the kids to school and walk the dog before I get to start writing. That gets exercise into the mix, and maybe I can give myself a daily ‘agile’ meeting at the same time to work out the day’s requirements.

(And I absolutely must be stricter with social media this year. Writing must come first, otherwise the time gets sucked away.)

Then, back to the bigger picture, I need to work out a timetable of what I want to acheive, and when by.

I’m going to leave it there for now. (I don’t want to scare myself into failure!) Let’s get a few things in place at a time and fine tune as I go.

How about you? Do you have plans in place, or do you need a nudge too?

Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to visit this month’s co-hosts; Tyrean Martinson, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Jennifer Lane, and Rachna Chhabria!

(Oh, and before I go, can I plug the Exeter Writers Short Story Competition? First prize is £500, 2nd prize is £250, and 3rd prize is £100. The closing date is 28th Feb 2018. It’d be great to see some IWSG-er’s among the winning entries!)

 

 

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Merry Christmas!

I suspect this will be my last post of the year as I’m soon to be overwhelmed with school holidays and the Christmas season. If I do sneak any time, I’ll probably be writing.

So I’m taking this lull (or, moment when I should be tidying really), to wish you all the very best regards of the season, and to share my latest bit of news;

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a story in the bumper Christmas edition of The People’s Friend, which is out today. I love the artwork, by Ruth Blair. (Sometimes magazines use stock photos, other times they commission an artist. I always look now that I know that, because – well, probably because I’m a bit geeky like that!)

I also have a story in the Christmas special of My Weekly, (although I’m not sure if that’s still in the shops). But here’s a pic in case you’re interested;

 

 

 

 

 

 

What was particularly interesting about this one (apart from the story, of course 😉 ) is that it was my first commission! Also, that all the stories in that edition were based on each line of The Twelve Days of Christmas, and it was really interesting to see how everyone approached the different stories. I’m really chuffed to have been a part of it 🙂

That’s all for this year. Have a lovely Christmas, and all the very best for next year!!!

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#IWSG December: What would you do differently?

Hindsight is great isn’t it? If we could live our lives with our hindsight apps switched on we’d all be perfect human beings.

Or would we?

This month’s prompt question for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is;

As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

My reply has to be about time management. I should know better. I do know better. And yet, I let my day start with the time suck of social media, when I should insist on writing for a set amount of time first. Of course it’s not always social media, sometimes it’s hanging out the washing, or writing lists, or… ok, I admit I haven’t gone as far as housework, but you get the picture.

So, now I’ve outed myself I really should do something about that.

How do you manage your time? Hints and tips gratefully accepted!

Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forgot to visit this month’s co-hosts; Julie Flanders, Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

And if you’d like to join this merry band of writers, started by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, then you can sign up here!

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Indie Authors Advent Calendar 2017

This year I am participating in the Indie Authors Advent Calendar again.

What is it?

It’s an online calendar you subscribe to by clicking on this link and typing your email address into the pop-up box. Then, each day over the advent period, a new window opens with a short story by one of 24 different authors. (And yes, one of them is me!)

Each day’s email alert includes a bonus from the day’s author, and on Christmas day, you receive an e-book with all the stories bundled together.

This year, the theme is on ‘Trees’. I think writers have an affinity for trees (all that paper!), so I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone came up with.

Oh, and it’s free too, so why not mention this bundle of Advent fun to the reader in your life?!

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Don’t mention the C word!!

I figure it’s time for a mid-month update on life, the universe and a few other bits and bobs.

Nano. Hmmm, not doing so well this year. To be fair, it was a last minute decision (although it was last year too), and I’ve gone into it with different intentions. Last year I had the first draft of a novel to write. This year I’m writing lots of different stories. I’ve also had lots of … just stuff, going on. Nothing major in itself but it all adds up; new puppy (aka third child), 12 year old’s birthday, 8 year old’s grouchiness that it’s not their birthday, tortoises to hibernate  (a first for me – they’ve done it before!) and just stuff, stuff, stuff! And don’t even mention the C word!

Ok, ok – I hear you, quit whingeing and get on with it. (I am, really – I’m fishing and cutting bait as we speak 😉 )

I realised that last year’s method of putting words to screen wasn’t working this time. Because I’ve been working on different stories I’ve needed to fiddle around with pen and paper to allow my mind to roam properly. Now I’ve accepted that, things are coming along.

I’ve got at least four stories in various stages, have had one accepted for an anthology, and… oh yeah, a Christmas story in My Weekly 🙂

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#IWSG November – Is Nano worth it?


Good grief, it’s the first Wednesday of the month already, and I haven’t managed to blog since last month! Not even about being featured in last month’s Writing Magazine (Yes, moi!) about Nano, which is what this month’s IWSG post covers (surprise!)

(By the way, here’s part of the reason I’ve been busy – new addition to the family).

So, back to Nano. This month’s question is; Win or not, do you usually finish your nano project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

Well, last year was the first time I took part in nano, so my ‘average’ answer will be based on just the one occurrence.

Last year I ‘won’. That was down to determination. It was part of my target and there was no way I wasn’t going to reach it. This year I doubt I will. It has been a last minute decision, and I mainly intend to use the focus to prep up some short stories. (I think that makes me a ‘nano rebel’ this year).

Nano is good for making you concentrate on getting the words down, and that’s how I plan to use it this time.

As to the second part of the question… Watch this space. I spent a month writing the first draft last November and have spent the rest of the year revising it. Mind you, I did a lot of pantsing, so there was a lot of restructuring required. Maybe next time I should plan more…

Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forgot to visit this month’s co-hosts; Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton, MJ Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass!

And if you’d like to join this merry band of writers, started by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, then you can sign up here!

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