Let The Games Begin …

Caerleon Writers’ Holiday

Hurrah, I’m back from Caerleon Writer’s Holiday and now I need a week to recover. Caerleon is great fun BUT exhausting. All that chatting, laughing, late nights, eating and drinking (there’s a lot of that). I didn’t wake up this morning until 11am! EEK! My chap thought I’d died.

Note how I’ve not said much about all the writing I’ve done? I must admit, I did very little. But I am inspired and fired up and…well, that’s enough of the excuses.

If you want to read more about the Caerleon experience, read Alice Parrant’s blog here. She went for the first time this year and her post will tell you all you need to know.

Don’t Give Up!

One conversation that I had during the week has stuck in my mind and I thought I’d share it with you. A woman told me that she’d once sent a story to People’s Friend, which they turned down. She was so upset by this ‘rejection’ that she wrote a letter of complaint to one of the writing magazines and then was outraged when they didn’t print that, either.

And she’s never submitted a story to a magazine again.

Her friends were laughing as she told the tale – and had clearly told her many times that it was ‘par for the course’ (how many people get their first ever story accepted for publication, after all?) and I told her that Womagwriter once admitted, on her blog, that although she sold her first story she ‘then had 42 rejection slips before I published next one.’ That’s perseverance, isn’t it, not to give up after 10, 20, 30, 40 rejections… ?

You can’t give up at the first hurdle. And you can’t take it that personally if your story is not accepted. And it’s no wonder that the writing magazine didn’t publish her letter because she wasn’t saying anything new!

The Olympics

You might have noticed that the Olympics have started. Did you watch the Opening Ceremony last night? I loved the children’s literature and the funny bits – the Queen and ‘James Bond’ and Mr Bean on the keyboard. It’s what I like when I’m reading too: surprises and funny bits.

The ‘Crabbit Old Bat’, Nicola Morgan has created a new Olympic sport ‘How About You All Stop Carping?'(about the Olympics but also in general..). She definitely deserves a gold medal for her post and valiant attempt to make us all stop moaning, something which is, sadly, becoming a bit of a British trait.

We can’t moan about the weather at the moment (although someone is probably ‘too hot’) so the whingers are turning their attention to the Olympics. Not me. I’m loving every minute of it. I’m sitting here in my ‘London 2012’ T-shirt (see above) and I’m off to see the athletics next Sunday. Can’t wait!

Costa Book Awards – Short Story Competition

I’m home alone for a few days now, as ‘him indoors’ has nipped up to Scotland for golf, leaving me with 2 sides of written instructions on how to work the tele’!

So, there’s no excuse for not getting some writing done.

Here’s one competition that’s caught my eye:

The Costa Book Awards have announced the details of their new short story prize, for stories up to 4,000 words, entered online, anonymously, by Friday 7th September.

It’s free to enter and it’s open to unpublished as well as published authors, so, potentially, our stories could be up against people like Ian McEwan.

There’s a fantastic first prize of £3,500 too! And two runners-up get £750.

There are more details here. Have a go! What have you got to lose?

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3 Responses to Let The Games Begin …

  1. Thanks for the mention, Helen! And for the competition link too 🙂
    I totally agree about not giving up. I had heaps of rejections before I sold my first (and so far only!) story. All writers have to go through it and it does get easier after a while…
    Enjoy the athletics!

  2. Glad you had a great time, I also loved the opening ceremony, plenty seem to be moaing about it, but what do they want? I loved the funny bits, and found the children lighting that beautiful torch at the end quite moving. I’m looking forward to watching it now. I’ve already bookmarked that costa competition, nothing to lose is there? Happy writing.xx

  3. Thanks for the words about not giving up… It’s so frustrating when you put so much effort into something and it gets rejected. Good to know that others (all?) have been there and that it’s part of the game (Olympic reference… 😉 ).
    I think that all of us that’s writing must focus on the pleasure and lifestyle of writing in itself and what it gives us instead of “external” success. Easier said then done though…

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