Within two days of putting my house on the market, he’d secured me FIVE viewings! First one is today – so I’m just dashing this off before I start my Mrs Mop act.
I am, in fact, a long way from having a novel to show an agent – or anyone, for that matter. Last Saturday, my writing buddy Sally and I went on our third Martin Davies workshop, in Derby. This one was called ‘Finishing Your Novel’ and, you may remember, I’d set myself the target of at least starting a novel and having a synopsis, to take to the course.
Well, I failed miserably (but I was impressed by some of the other participants, who’d also set themselves a bigger target, of actually finishing a first draft of a novel – and managed it!).
During the day, I confessed how I was finding it difficult not to write an autobiographical novel (which I definitely don’t want to do!) and Martin’s advice was that I should perhaps try writing something completely different.
I think he’s right – so, it’s back to the drawing board. At least I haven’t wasted too much time on it.
Now, here are some ‘colourful’ writing competitions that you might be interested in (can you see, I’m desperately trying to get a theme here?!). BUT they all close on 31st March 2012 – so get writing!
Telegraph Short Story Club
The winner of the Telegraph Short Story Club competition for February has been announced and you can read the winning story by Jo Senior (‘The Green Suitcase’) here.
There’s a ‘forum’ element to the Short Story Club, so people can leave comments. And needless to say, a few ‘trolls’ have put finger to keyboard (I do wonder, if they had to actually make their comments to the writer’s face and couldn’t just hide behind a nickname, if they’d be quite so ‘brave’). So, while many people have left complimentary comments, others have been quite vitriolic – and called the winning story ‘unoriginal’, ‘immature’ and ‘something you might expect from a sixteen year old’ (hmm, a sixteen year old genius, maybe).
I liked it, although, being really pedantic, the use of some of the German words in the story left something to be desired (I mean, they were wrong. No capitals on nouns – all nouns are written with capitals in German, as you probably know – and one of the words was a plural when it wasn’t supposed to be).
I can see why it won, though. Have a read and see what you think. The numbers of entries is dropping for the Telegraph short story competition and Louise Doughty, the moderator, reckons it will be down to 100 – 200 entries soon, so that’s even better, if you’re considering entering.
So, just a little reminder that if you want to enter this month’s competition, your story has to be emailed no later than 31st March. It’s free, so what have you got to lose? Just bear in mind that, if you win, there’ll be a few snide remarks from some of those who didn’t! Here are the details of how to enter (from the website):
Entries should be emailed to email@example.com by the last calendar day of each month. The winner will be announced in Telegraph Review as soon as possible after that date. Entries should be no longer than 2,000 words. They can be on any subject but must be your own original work.
BA Highlife Magazine
And here’s another little (non-fiction) competition. If you want to try to win an overnight hotel stay in London, you need to write a 200 word ‘essay’ (their words, not mine) on why you love London! (You can always make it up… can’t you?!)
Details here And why does that have a colour, I hear you ask?! Well, if you’re feeling a little blue, a trip to London would cheer you up, right?
Runners-up will be published in the BA Highlife magazine – I assume for no payment, but it could be the start of a great travel-writing career?
If you like writing ‘literary’ short stories – and don’t mind paying a small entrance fee, Sue Moorcroft has information on her blog about The Yellow Room’s latest short story competition, here. Although The Yellow Room magazine is aimed at women writers, the short story competition is open to men and women!
The Writers Bureau
And finally, you’ll be tickled pink if you win a copywriting course from the Writers Bureau, here are the details:
You only have to write 50 words (max) but it has to be a ‘print advertisement for the Complete Copywriter course.’ Good luck!
Right, got to get on! Now then, where’s that Mr Sheen…?