Howdy Partner! (And some writing competitions…)

I’ve had a busy morning. Cup of tea, followed by the Daily Express general knowledge crossword (it keeps Alzheimer’s at bay and is therefore a legitimate displacement activity).

‘20 Down. Co-star, with James Drury of the 1962-71 US western series, The Virginian’.

Ooh – it was Doug McClure (didn’t even need to look that up) – my very first crush – he played ‘Trampas’ – anyone else remember him? Of course…ahem, I’m sure they must have been showing episodes of The Virginian well into the seventies (probably even the eighties…), so I’m not really giving away my age here. Ah, he was lovely. So you see, doing the crossword can also take you down Memory Lane, in a very nice way. That’s my excuse, anyway.

Now, a few competition notices for you:

Short Story Competition: Woman’s Own

After all that kerfuffle, Woman’s Own have now agreed (rather grudgingly, one feels…!) to award £200 to the winner of their Summer Special Fiction Competition. Originally, when they weren’t offering any payment, they were asking for ‘stories’ – it suddenly seems to have become ‘story’ – but they have also said (this is all on their Facebook page, just in case you think I have a hotline to the editor!), that if any other stories are considered worthy of being printed in the Summer Special, they will also receive £200. Result!

Here are the details: Your story can be funny, heart-warming, tear jerking or a mystery with a twist in the tale. Stories should be between 1,000-1,300 words, must be original and have not been published elsewhere. Please email entries to wo_specials@ipcmedia.com before 30 April 2012.

What The Dickens..?!

Another free-to-enter short story competition, this time courtesy of Waitrose Weekend magazine, which is offering publication and a Dickens box-set worth £65 to the winner of their competition. (“Are you the modern-day Dickens?”).

There are more details here . Send entries by email to dickenscompetition@waitrose.co.uk closing date: 12th April 2012. Stories must be no more than 1000 words and must demonstrate the ‘poetic style and comic touches Dickens is known for, while providing a social commentary of 2012 Britain.’ Hmm, they don’t want much, then!

Stratford Literary Festival 22nd April – 7th May 2012

The Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival programme has just been announced, along with a poetry competition. It’s free-to-enter, but just be aware that, if you’re a winner in one of the 3 age categories or one of the shortlisted poets that they decide to put into their anthology, you won’t get a copy of the book – you’ll have to buy your own! (About £8). I was the adult runner-up in this last year and I never actually managed to get my grubby paws on a copy of the 2011 anthology, so I’ve never seen my poem in there!

The theme is ‘Words Paint Pictures’ and you need the entry form from the website. More details on that – and the programme for the festival – here.

The Rialto Magazine & the RSPB

At the other end of the spectrum, prestigious poetry magazine, The Rialto, is running a ‘Nature’ poetry competition in conjunction with the RSPB. The prizes are good and one of the judges is former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion – he of the golden-syrup voice – but I suspect that, with an entry fee for one poem of £6 (£9 for two) and the fact that it’s in The Rialto, means it’s going to attract the attention of lots of published (very good!) poets! Hmm, call me chicken, but I think I might duck out of this one! But if you want to take a look, the details are here.

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4 Responses to Howdy Partner! (And some writing competitions…)

  1. Tracy Fells says:

    Blimey I remember The Virginian too eek! But I think it’s good news on the Woman’s Own front in that they are no longer publishing some writer’s blood sweat and tears for nothing. That is a result. If they wanted to encourage novice writers i.e. not Womag or already published writers then maybe they should have pitched this quite differently – missed a trick really didn’t they…

  2. Prue says:

    Oh! The Virginian! I used to watch that. I remember Doug McClure. Also that other cowboy one, The Big Country or something? And Bonanza. Ah…those were the days…

  3. Thanks for the information Helen. I’ve got mixed feeling about Woman competition. It would have been good for me as I haven’t yet had a womag story accepted, I guess now the published writers will be entering, worth a go though. They’ve made themselves look plonka’s haven’t they? I remember Bonanza, but Virginian?? Mmmm, maybe when I was in my pram:))

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