The Naughty List

It was my birthday on Sunday and a very nice time I had too. Over the weekend we did a whistle-stop tour of the South-West (Devon, Somerset, Cornwall and Dorset! Obviously only bits of each). Yesterday I was battling the elements on The Cobb at Lyme Regis, feeling very ‘French Lieutenant’s Woman’ (minus the cloak) and getting drenched with sea spray.

Yes it really is that ‘slopey’! And there are no rails! But it was fun! And very nice to be in a place with such great literary associations.

Apart from the John Fowles classic novel, there is of course that scene from Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’. If you’ve read it (or seen the film?), you’ll remember when the wilful Miss Louisa Musgrove (boo, hiss!), insists on jumping from the steps of The Cobb (known locally as ‘Granny’s Teeth’) and slips, only to be carried off – unconscious – by dashing Captain Wentworth, leaving the book’s heroine, Anne – and the reader – to wonder if that’s the end of any hope of rekindling their love. Aah, it’s good stuff!

Anyway, what’s all this got to do with a ‘naughty list’, I hear you say? Well, now that I’m a year older and I therefore almost qualify for ‘grumpy old woman’ status, I feel quite within my rights to name-and-shame (in a small way), a few publications who have recently let me down.

Yes, I know – I’m sure they are quivering in their boots – but it has made me feel better to write this down (therapy, you know) and if you have any that you’d like to add to the list (disguise their names if you wish), then please do join in the moaning!

The Guardian
For telling me my ‘Playlist’ would be printed on 1st October, for not replying to my polite email asking where it was (!) and for choosing to publish a different Playlist every Saturday since (just to rub it in). Oh and for making me to spend £6 (so far) on the Saturday Guardian – in the vain hope that I might be in there …
AND, for printing lots of ‘Unwanted Heirlooms’ articles (which I wrote about here) on Saturday 22nd October, when they previously stated that the closing date for articles on that topic, was October 26th. (Clearly, you need to get them in quick, if they run anything like that again!)

Yorkshire Ridings Magazine
Also makes it onto my naughty list for not printing the names of the winners of their short story competition on their website (it closed on 20th July 2011) and for not replying to my (again, polite!) email of 15th September asking if the results were out. I only know that I haven’t won (and can therefore send my story to a hopefully more receptive ‘home’), by Googling ‘Yorkshire Ridings Magazine short story competition’ and discovering, from her blog, that Stephanie Cage won the competition back in September. Well done Stephanie. How did they let you know? Carrier pigeon, perhaps?

Buzz Magazine (now TV Buzz)
Yes, it’s changed its name and its format (slightly) but it’s still owned by The Sun and hasn’t gone bust, so why won’t they send me the Vodaphone Smart phone which was my prize for the star letter published on 23rd July? When I left a message on their Facebook site, they promised to ask their Competition Department but I heard nothing else and they’ve just ignored all other requests. I suppose that’ll teach me to write to The Sun…!

P.S: Entries are starting to trickle in for my Autumn Mini Saga Short story competition – don’t leave it too late! You’ve got until the witching hour of midnight on 31st October 2011 to email me your entry. Details of how to enter are here.

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18 Responses to The Naughty List

  1. Michaela Eyley says:

    Happy belated birthday Helen. Glad you had a great time. x

  2. i suggest using carrion pigeons instead

  3. It’s annoying to be let down like this – just shows how much they value their readers, doesn’t it?

  4. Jenny Francis says:

    I would like to add to the naughty list please. I will not tell you the correct name, but a certain blog site that has now moved to France takes so long to even judge competitions that I have stopped entering them. A shame really as they were cheap to enter , good subjects, and the site is very good( I still subscribe). There are two competitions that I entered in Feb of this year that have not been judged , one was to write a topical poem, well it sure ain`t topical now.Goodness knows when that will get judged. I moan because you cant put the work out anywhere else, in case you win( I live in hope that it might one day happen) ,

    • Jenny I can sympathise. It’s very frustrating isn’t it – and a poor show from the organisers – when they are very quick to take your money but then they don’t judge the competitions in good time and you’re left ‘hanging’. Of course the Yorkshire Ridings magazine competition was ‘free to enter’ – and I expect, eventually, they will put the results on their website – so I can’t complain about them taking my money but part of the enjoyment of entering competitions, which the organisers clearly don’t realise, is finding out the results. Even if we don’t win ourselves, I think most of us are interested in seeing the winning entries and reading a little ‘judges’ report’. It helps us understand perhaps where we went wrong and fires us up for the next time. They should, in my humble opinion, send an email out to all entrants (not very difficult to do) directing them to their website, when the results are announced. We shouldn’t have to hunt around for the results! Anyway, I hope your little moan has made you feel better. There are plenty of more worthy competitions out there, I’m sure! Good luck with your entries!

  5. Anne Bravey says:

    I wondered who had purloined Mr Angry from your stack of Mister Men cards! You were keeping it for yourself!

  6. Jenny Francis says:

    Thanks for allowing the moan. Yes I do feel better putting down in print what I have been feeling for so long. You are correct , its not really about paying the money , but it`s nice to see who won(if not yourself) and compare. Then move on.

    • Maggie May says:

      Did you see the terrible news about the lady in a wheelchair who fell off The Cobb. I’m amazed that this sort of thing doesn’t happen more often really. I did hear from all my submissions this summer – all rejected! But still waiting to hear about a couple of competition entries and for a critique for a poem I sent in to a popular writing magazine. They cashed my cheque ages ago – still no critique!

      • Maggie, yes, I did read about that terrible story recently and I hadn’t realised that it had happened at The Cobb. I feel a bit bad about my jaunty ‘health and safety’ comments now. Very sad.

  7. Graham Cowley says:

    Some good news for you Helen , after buying my lunch at Sainsburys I took a look at the magazines and bought Writing Magazine November edition – page 41 Broaden your horizons by guess who – sandwich was ok too.

    Graham Cowley

    • Ah yes, Graham, Writing Magazine have been taking a few articles from me lately, so it’s not all bad news! (and of course, they are not on the ‘Naughty List’!) Glad you spotted it though – and are keeping up with Writing during your week off!

  8. Suzanne says:

    And more good news for you – a handy hint in December’s Prima (about bananas). Well done. (I have one in there about handbags, so am doubly pleased.)

    Belated Happy Birthday and boo to the nasty naughty list.

    Suz XX

  9. Prue says:

    Ooo! The Cob. Brings back fond memories – both real and on screen.

    Your naming and shaming doesn’t fill me with much confidence for those competitions I’ve entered this year. Is there any way of spotting the dodgy ones, I wonder?
    And if there’s going to be a ‘black list’, maybe there should be a ‘white list’ too 😀

    • Ooh, Prue, I didn’t mean that to come across as a ‘black list’ – merely a ‘slap on the hand’ list! Most competition organisers do a good job – particularly the ones that have been going for years, so don’t let my little moan put you off entering anything. The only ones I would treat with some caution are competitions that demand copyright for all entries – or even just the winners, as that’s not really ‘on’ – most competitions reserve the right to publish the winners but copyright should stay with you – or competitions that are charging extortionately high entry fees but only offering very small prizes! And I’m sure you could work that out for yourself anyway. Good luck and keep me posted of any successes you have!

  10. Prue says:

    *lol* I’ve gone OTT as usual 😀
    Thanks for the info about the copyright. And you’re right – I’d probably twig about the other.
    Thanks for your good wishes. I got into Warwick Words anthology this October (under my ‘real’ name) and am on the look-out for other outlets for my fledgling muse.

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