And So That Was Christmas…

Hello! Did you all have a good Christmas?

Commiserations if you’re back at work but at least you’re earning some money! (I had my credit card bill in the post this morning and I’m still reeling from the shock…. !)

The highlight of my Christmas was the ‘family quiz’ which I traditionally run at my brother’s house on Boxing Day for 8 adults. It’s never ‘without incident’ (I managed to smash a glass of white wine all over the table this year!) and I always have to remind everyone, at the beginning, to ‘be nice’ and that ‘it’s Christmas!’ because it all gets rather competitive and the kids usually come in to tell us that we’re making too much noise. Ah, happy days!

So, it’s all over again for another year and if, like me, you feel like your brain’s a bit ‘sludged up’, you might be interested in these little writing-related competitions and opportunities running over the next few days:

1. Win yourself an article-writing course with the Writers Bureau. This is a treasure hunt – and it’s free to enter – but you’ll have to be quick because the closing date is 31st December (but you can email your answer, so I assume you’ve got until midnight on that day). See the details here.

2. The lovely Della Galton – queen of the womag short story – has recently started a blog on her website and she’s running a free writing competition to win a copy of her latest book (‘Moving On – From Short Story To Novel’). Closing date: 10am, 4th January, which is the day before the book is published.

All you have to do is to write a story in no more than 250 words on the theme of ‘The New Year Resolution That Went Wrong’. Email entries directly to Della at More details here.

3. The Write Invite short story competition website, which I’ve mentioned before, here and here, is running a Christmas competition which ends at midnight on 4th January.

You need to sign up to the site (if you’re not already a ‘member’ – which is free) and the competition costs £2 to enter.

Here are the details:

“For a minimum £25 prize write a story under the heading ‘At The Table’ – this should be about your thoughts at the meal table at Christmas – or what happened at the table – you may have been alone or just the two of you – there may have been a crowd – it can be true or totally made up – poignant, funny, reflective, vampire! whatever. Email it to us, not more than 100 words please.and under the heading ‘COMP AT THE TABLE’

Here’s the email address:

Payment is £2 only through the usual way you pay for WriteOnSite. Stories after midnight on Wed 4th will not be read. The winning story will be sent out to all members to read. Tell your non-members friends who can also take part if they sign up (free) to Writeinvite.”

4. Learn to type! And finally, on a completely different note, if one of your New Year resolutions is to learn to touch-type (a great asset for a writer!) then you can learn ‘for free’ on the BBC children’s website here.

The voiceover is a little bit annoying but if you can put up with that, then, with a bit of practice (and that’s all it is!) you could be typing up your work at top-speed in 2012!

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8 Responses to And So That Was Christmas…

  1. Kaitlin says:

    Haha, ‘incident’ is the best way to put ‘smashing a glass on the table’ ever.

  2. Thanks for the links Helen, the W.B. one looks too long winded for me, number one asks for letter 3, then tells us it’s letter 5??? Della’s competition looks good though, Happy New Year, and good luck if you’re having a go at them.

    • Susan – I see what you mean about the Writers Bureau competition! All I can say is, I did manage to decipher it. I didn’t work out all the clues – just enough for me to work out what the carol is, so it isn’t quite as complicated as it might appear at first sight! Good luck if you decide to have a go!

  3. Prue says:

    A quiet Christmas because Mr Prue is still recovering from pneumonia and being treated for latent TB. The antibiotics mean no alcohol so this was our first ‘dry’ Christmas – although Waitrose non-alcoholic Chardonnay has a good flavour and isn’t at all bad. Better than Shloer by a long way.

    Thanks for the links, Helen. I noticed the one Susan points out so wasn’t surprised when question 3 said word 2, 5th letter and the second word only has 4 letters 😀 So I turned my attention to making turkey stock which now is filling the house with a wonderful aroma. Mmmmm…

    • Prue Sorry to hear about Mr Prue’s pneumonia – that’s not nice. My partner also had pneumonia a couple of years ago (completely out of the blue – no warning symptoms apart from a pain in his shoulder which we thought was muscle strain!). Strong antibiotics are required!! I hope he’s better soon and in the meantime, enjoy your non-alcoholic Chardonnay – sounds good, I might give that a try!


  4. I tried the Writer’s Bureau one but the letters I got don’t make a Christmas carol! Must have gone wrong somewhere …

  5. I had an amazing Christmas.
    Thanks for the links

  6. Stephanie Holliday says:

    Thanks for these good ideas. I’ve tried the WriteInvite one and now I’m going to tackle Della’s. Cant be bothered with the Writers Bureau one as I want to write so have to keep at it while I can.
    Thanks for inspiring me yet again.

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