The country air has gone to my head: I’ve just bought a Pashley bike on Ebay for £500*!!! Eek!
This particular model normally costs £645 and the one I’ve bought has only been ridden once so, at the risk of sounding like Becky Bloomwood in the ‘Shopaholic’ books – it was a BARGAIN!
The seller bought it for his Mum and she couldn’t ‘take to it’ (there’s a story there somewhere!), which is why it was for sale. I hadn’t intended to bid that much but I got a bit carried away. Aw, what the heck! I’ve always wanted one, I WILL ride it and it will probably last me for ever, as long as I don’t collide with a tractor on the way back from the pub!
But enough of that. If you write, or want to write for children AND you are a woman (sorry, but them’s the rules!) AND you are prepared to fork out £25 for the entry fee, then you might be interested in this Children’s Novel competition, which Mslexia magazine is running as a bit of a ‘one off’ (ie: it’s not going to be an annual event).
First prize is £5000 but there are opportunities for shortlisted writers to meet agents and stuff, so it’s probably worth a look. There are some details below (all taken from the Mslexia website) – and here are the rules.
The competition is open to children’s novels in any genre by previously unpublished women novelists, but it must be for children who are able to read for themselves or for young adults. Crossover fiction (i.e. that aimed at children and adults) is eligible. Nonfiction, and fiction intended for adults is not eligible. To qualify as a novel, your book must total at least 30,000 words.
Closing date: 10 September 2012
Who is the competition aimed at?
• Women who’ve always wanted to write a children’s novel, but could never find the time. You only have to write 30,000 words minimum for this competition, so even starting from scratch, there’s plenty of time.
• Women with an unfinished manuscript languishing in a bottom drawer. (Could this be the impetus you need to finish it?)
• Women who took up the write-a-novel-in-a-month challenge with NaNoWriMo and have a rough first draft. (Why not polish it up and send it to Mslexia?)
• Women who’ve submitted their completed novels over and over, and have despaired of finding an agent. (If you reach our shortlist, they’ll all sit up and take notice.)
SOME REASONS TO ENTER
• Being shortlisted will put your novel at the top of any agent’s or editor’s in tray
• We guarantee an anonymous reading, so your book will be judged on the same basis as those by ‘a friend of a friend of the editor’
• We will work with the future publisher of the winning entry to chronicle the book’s progress in the magazine and on our website
• 12 shortlisted authors will be invited to a networking event and introduced to a specially invited group of literary agents
• £5,000 – need we say more?
*please do not email me and say “Oh, I’ve got one of those Pashleys tucked away in my garage. Never rode it. You could’ve had it for £250!“