Polar Bear Alert!

Have you got snow? I went to the hairdresser’s today and all they could talk about was the snow that was definitely on its way. It was going to snow BIG TIME! At RUSH HOUR! A whole 5 to 10 centimetres of the stuff (if you live in Canada, please don’t laugh. That’s a lot for us).

All the hairdressers were rushing out to move their cars to a different car park (off the hill) because ‘last time it snowed this much, buses were skidding down the High Street, cars were bouncing up onto the pavements, polar bears were roaming the town…’ OK, maybe not that bit, but you get the picture. They really scared me! I just wanted to buy soup and run home before the blizzard hit. And guess what – ? We haven’t had a flake of flippin’ snow! Pah!

Woman’s Own magazine has caused a bit of a kerfuffle on Facebook today with this little ‘call for submissions’:

Calling all budding authors! Would you like your short story to appear in Woman’s Own? If you love writing fiction, we want to hear from you – and the best entries will appear in print in the Woman’s Own Summer Special! 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. There is no fee for publication. Please email entries to wo_specials@ipcmedia.com before 30 April 2012.

Sounds OK, doesn’t it? A magazine that stopped printing fiction some time ago, now asking for fiction submissions! Ah, but there’s that little sentence tucked away just before the end of the paragraph: ‘There is no fee for publication’. What they actually mean is: give us your stories for FREE! (Add Woman’s Own to the Naughty List immediately!)

Needless to say, there’s been a bit of an outcry. Go to the Woman’s Own facebook page if you want to see the heated comments or add your own.

But you might be thinking ‘I’d like to have a go – and sod the fact that I won’t be paid!’ and that’s your right, of course. You won’t have much competition from the ‘Womag’ writers, that’s for sure!

On a different note, the Writers Bureau have just launched the latest in their monthly writing competitions (free to enter – hurrah!) and this time they’re looking for ‘flash fiction’ – a 50 word love story, inspired, no doubt, by Valentine’s Day next week. If yours is chosen as the winner, you’ll get a fiction course, so it’s probably worth a go.
For more information see here. The closing date is 29th February.

And one more thing. If you wanted to enter the Good Housekeeping novel writing competition but missed the issue with the entry form in, the kind people at GH have printed one on their website, which you can download on this page here.

Good luck!

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

5 Responses to Polar Bear Alert!

  1. Gosh, when I read ‘Polar bear alert’ I thought surely not, lol. I knew you were getting a lot of snow over your part of the world but….. lol. I’m stunned to read what you wrote about Woman’s Own – that is sad really. Border line, insulting in fact.

  2. Prue says:

    It’s 11.30pm and snow has fallen here (mid-way between Warwick and Stratford). Hardly cms. Perhaps a millimeter or two.

    As for Woman’s Own, writers should think of the future, band together and boycott magazines that want free stories. If everyone did it, the magazines would either give up, or pay up. Instant gratification of seeing stories in print should be firmly pushed to one side!
    *kicks soapbox under desk to avoid longer rant and goes to bed, hoping for snow on the morrow*

  3. Tracy Fells says:

    Sadly the next step could be charging entry fees with the ‘prize’ of publication on offer. I guess it will come down to how many struggling new writers have that overwhelming desire to be published in a mainstream mag – plenty probably. Loved the cute polar bear. I had short walk on edge of snow covered South Downs this afternoon – a truly gorgeous day.

  4. Keith Havers says:

    My wife stopped taking WO when it went all ‘celeb’. Come to think of it – why don’t they try getting some of their celebrities to see if they’ll give them free material. I think I know what the answer might be.

  5. Kath says:

    Oh dear! I cannot believe Woman’s Own are serious about asking writers to submit for free. They must think we are a sad lot! I truly hope people do not respond. It says a lot about the magazine, I think.

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