A Touch Of The Woolly Aphids (+ GH Novel Competition results)

I’ve got woolly aphids. Well, not me exactly – it’s the apple trees in our garden.

It looks like fungus, but the trusty internet assures me insects lurk beneath (the white stuff is their protective gear).

Apparently the way to get rid of them is to blast the stuff off with a hose, which should be fun! Those pesky aphids need to get their Speedos and their googles on, NOW! (If it ever stops raining for long enough to actually get out in the garden and zap them).

Here’s a FREE short story competition:

The curiously-named A.Vogel Dormeasan Short Story Competition is running again this year. It’s free to enter and there’s a yummy first prize of £500, as well as cash for two runners-up, so I reckon it’s worth a go.

The final closing date is 31st October 2012, but don’t wait until then. You can submit your stories now (up to a maximum of 3) and they’re featuring a winner every month, who’ll receive £50, with a chance to win one of the big prizes at the end of the competition.

There are writing tips on the site here and you can read last year’s winners here.

Just remember, this is supposed to be a bedtime story so I’d advise that you avoid anything too gory or scary!

Good Housekeeping Novel Competition – Results

The winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition was Diana Bretherick with her novel ‘The Devil’s City’ and apparently there’s an interview with her in the current issue of the magazine (ooh, I can feel a purchase coming on). There are extracts from the 12 runners up here.

This was another one of those competitions that I didn’t enter in the end! I am useless. Anyway, they had 7000 entries so maybe it was just as well (did they need another one? No, I think not). If your story was one of them, well done for getting much, much further than me. And if you were the winner or a runner-up, Congratulations!

Barber Institute, Birmingham – Free Writing Workshops

And finally, if you live in or around Brum (which sadly counts me out now), The Barber Institute of Fine Arts at Birmingham Uni, is inviting ‘aspiring writers’ to join a series of free writing workshops led by novelist Andrew Killeen; this year’s Barber writer-in-residence.

Participants will write and develop stories inspired by the fascinating exhibition Cityscapes: Panoramic Views on European Coins and Medals as well as other city-themed works in the collection.

A selection of stories will then be read out at a live event during the Birmingham Book Festival and may be published in a book produced as part of the project.

Workshops take place on Sundays 12th August, 2nd September and 16th September. Participants must commit to attending all three workshops. For further information and to reserve your place, contact the Learning and Access Team on: Tel. 0121 414 2261 / 7335 or email education@barber.org.uk

(Strangely, I can’t find anything about these workshops on the website BUT I got the info today, via Facebook, from Writing West Midlands, so I can only assume that they – and now you – were the first to know!)

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9 Responses to A Touch Of The Woolly Aphids (+ GH Novel Competition results)

  1. KH says:

    Thanks for the info. Well done to all the GH winners. As a rather bad loser I was disappointed with the GH Novel competition though. I’m amazed that they were able to get through 7000 entries in less than six weeks! I’m assuming they sifted on the covering letter and or synopsis as even publishers and agents don’t get through that many submissions in a year. I’m also aware that quite a few people who entered never received the card they’d sent for return as receipt of their submitted manuscript. I think if GH had not informed of the winners till the end of May I may have felt a bit more confident. I don’t think I’d enter again. What the heck though as I’ve got a completed novel, synopsis and covering letter completed with the extra motivation the competition gave me. I’m now looking for an agent. Wish me luck. Thanks again for all the great info and help on your site. Good wishes KH

    • Yes, I can understand your slight ‘frustration’ but I suppose no competition is perfect and they were probably a bit overwhelmed with the number of entries. But you’re right though – if the target and incentive that the competition gave you, has resulted in a completed novel and synopsis, that can only be good! You are a winner anyway because you’ve got to a stage that many people (including me!) can only dream of! Well done you and good luck in getting your novel ‘out there’!

  2. KH says:

    Thanks, Helen. Love this blog. Good luck with your writing and much good luck in your new home too! Good wishes KH

  3. Prue says:

    I’m not surprised the aphids are in their woolies; it’s so darn cold!

  4. KH says:

    Hi Helen – Re Vogel and also Woman’s Own Short Story Competition

    Story For Bedtime – this was another competition I didn’t win but after having a look at the winners I can see that the competition was tough – they’re all very good. And whilst I haven’t had time to read all the winning entries in the Woman’s Own Short Story Competition yet I was bowled over by Melanie Whipman’s ‘Memories’. This is a beautiful story – outstanding, I loved it. Well done to the judges for choosing something that is such a worthy winner. Well done to Melanie and to the judges. My faith in competitions is restored. Thanks for keeping us informed, Helen – much appreciated.

    All good wishes KH

  5. Thank you so much! I really enjoyed writing it and was absolutely delighted to hear I’d won.
    Best wishes, Melani8e

  6. Melanie – sorry, I’m confused. Did you win the GH competition, mentioned in this post? I thought you won the Woman’s Own Summer Special competition?!

  7. Apologies, was just over-excited about someone saying something nice about one of my stories… I was replying to KH’s comment. And didn’t submit to the GH novel comp as all my novel attempts have been rejected.

  8. Ah yes, of course, I understand now, Melanie! (Should have read the other comments again first, shouldn’t I?!). And yes, it’s lovely when someone says something nice about a story you’ve written! Good luck with novel attempts in the future…!

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