Wind And Words!

Phew, it’s blowy out there, isn’t it? I’ve just been out and I must admit, I was worried about parking my car under a tree in case I came back to find it crushed! (Drama queen, moi?).

‘December Magazine Madness’ is on its way (just in case anyone was wondering?!) but in the meantime, I wanted to let you know about a few writing ‘opportunities’.

Firstly, there’s the latest Writers Bureau competition, which is free to enter and open to anyone, regardless of whether you’re already a customer:

This time, you can win a novel and short story writing course and all you have to do is write the first line of a novel or a short story and email it to: with ‘First Line’ in the subject line.

See here for more details – and good luck!

Next – do you live in a town or village with a funny name? The January 2012 issue of Reader’s Digest is asking for funny place names (but you have to live there!) for a forthcoming article and will pay £30 for any suggestions that they publish.

Send them to:, including your name and address, by 20th January.

I used to know someone who lived in “Pratts Bottom” but of course, as I don’t live there myself, I don’t think I can send it in but if you live somewhere equally giggle-inducing, then email it off and wait for the cheque to arrive!

And finally, just to blow my own trumpet a little, I have got a 60-word story in this week’s Real People magazine (12/1/12 issue), which has earned me £25! Hurrah!

I zapped it off back in November and got an email from Real People which read:

Perfect! Best 60-word so far! So many are not 60 words, or don’t include their full address, or only their first name etc… Thanks!

Now, when they say ‘Best 60-word so far!’ I’m sure they don’t mean ‘best written’ (because it’s nothing special). They mean, “it ticks all our boxes!” And the reason I’m showing you that response is that it demonstrates the importance of giving the magazines (or whoever you want to write for) exactly what they want. That way, you’ve got much more chance of success.

If you want to send Real People a 60-word story, just email it to: But don’t forget to make it 60 words or less (mine was exactly 60) and include your FULL name and FULL address and phone number.

Right, just off to make my Christmas cake…! (I got a ‘Mary Berry’ Christmas cake pack for a bargain £2 from Tesco. Who could resist?!)

This entry was posted in Competitions, Magazines, Short Stories and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Wind And Words!

  1. Prue says:

    Congratulations on winning that competition, and earning some money. That’s got to be a good start to the New Year.
    Feedback about the Christmas cake would be welcome as I’ve never had a kit cake before.

    • Prue, it is in the oven, as we speak (write?!). It was very easy to mix and put together … hmm, suspiciously easy! And it should be cooked between 9.30 – 10pm tonight! I will let you know how it tastes over the coming days, once I get round to icing it! ooh, I feel all Delia-Smith-ish!


  2. Well done for getting the 60 worder published – and thanks for letting us know about this opportunity. I’ll be having a go myself.

  3. Julia says:

    Pratts Bottom is nothing. There is a village near me called Titty Ho!

  4. Graham Hawes says:

    Well done for getting the 60 word story accepted. I’ve been going to send one there for ages. Even drafted a couple but never actually submitted. Something to add to my targets for this year.

    If only I didn’t enjoy procrastination so much.

    • Graham, I’ve sent them a couple in the past and didn’t hear anything. I assume that if they like what you’ve sent them, they let you know pretty quickly, as I had an email within a day or so. Good luck with your submission!

    • Julia says:

      Graham, my latest column for the Northants Evening Telegraph is all about procrastination. I’ve just posted it on my blog, should you be interested.

  5. I submitted a 60-worder to Real People a few weeks back but heard nothing.
    By the way – I bought 2 of those Mary Berry cake mixes at £3 each (I like a bargain!) – haven’t made them yet but looking forward to munching through them over the next few months. Hope yours turned out well!

  6. Alice says:

    Hi Helen, Well done on your 60 word story! It’s very clever 🙂 Did you include a title? I’m guessing it can be as well as the 60 words, but just wondered what you had done?
    Many thanks,

  7. Alice says:

    Thanks Helen, that’s great 🙂 I won’t worry about thinking one up!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s