I’ve had a makeover*, a birthday and a weekend in London to see the Harry Potter studio tour at Warner studios (Even if you only like HP a little bit – go! It’s brilliant and it makes you proud to be British).
Here I am, outside number 4, Privet Drive (the Dursley’s residence. But you knew that…!)
Oh, I’ve also missed my blog’s second birthday, which was October 14th. And when I did finally manage to log on, I had 81 spam messages waiting for me. Which probably served me right.
And in between times I’ve been acting like a ‘lady what lunches’ and all that kind of stuff, which I definitely can’t afford (from a time or money point of view).
Enough! It stops here.
So, let’s catch up on some free writing competitions….
Virago: ‘Fifty Shades of Feminism’
if you’re 18 – 25, a UK resident and..err, (sorry guys), a WOMAN, then you might be interested in this competition, which has a £100 prize and the promise of publication in Fifty Shades of Feminism, an anthology that ‘will bring together 50 women, from politicians to actors to scientists’.
They want 1000 words (max) on ‘what feminism means to you’ no later than 1st November 2012, so if that sounds like your cup of tea (and you are enviably young! According to the blurb, actually you are ‘on the cusp of your adult life’!), then have a look here.
The Guardian Travel Writing Competition
And for the rest of us, who don’t fit the bill for Virago, The Guardian has just launched a lovely travel writing competition, with no less than 7 fabulous holidays up for grabs as prizes.
The person who forwarded the link to me said this competition is, “a bit like that awful school task, ‘What did you do on your holidays?’” Hmm, I actually used to like that ‘awful school task’! (not that I had anything particularly exciting to impart, I should add. My holidays mostly revolved around guinea pigs and riding my bike).
They are looking for pieces about holidays from the last year or so (but who’ll know?) and you’ve got until 4th November to submit up to 400 words on one of the 7 categories:
•‘An encounter’ – win a nine-day tour of Brazil
•‘A place I stayed’ – win a luxury week in Turkey
•‘A journey’ – win a rail trip across Canada
•‘A short break’ – win a winter break in Iceland
•‘A thrilling activity’ – win an activity trip to Finland
•‘Family holiday’ – win a UK glamping trip for six
• And, my personal favourite: ‘My crap holiday’ – win a cycling trip to Denmark
Read the rules at the bottom of the page carefully if you’re going to enter. Don’t get disqualified, for example, by sending them an attachment. They clearly state that all entries must be in the body of an email.
They’ve also kindly included some tips on writing a travel article, here.
You can enter a different story in every category, if you like (but only one entry per person per category).
This sounds like a fun competition and 400 words isn’t too arduous so come on, we can all have a go! (errm… I’ve just realised that I haven’t actually been on holiday this year. Not a ‘proper’ holiday – just mini-breaks – so I’m going to have to be pretty creative with my attempt!)
Bingo Short Story Competition
And finally, you’re going to love this one: ‘Playing Bingo’ website is running its first ever short story competition! It’s free to enter, there are cash prizes of £300, £100 and £50 and all you have to do is send them a story of between 1500 – 3000 words by 28th Feb 2013. Oh and the theme of your story must be ‘bingo’.
This is the perfect excuse to ask my friend Julie to take me to bingo with her mum. I mean, proper bingo, in a bingo hall, where it’s all serious stuff.
It will be purely research, of course.
*I won a ’10 years younger makeover’ from Cotswold Style magazine. (I sent them a photo in which I looked about 75. They had no choice but to pick me!). Here is the before… and the after! (I know, it’s weird. I have that cardboard cut-out at home now and it even made the builders scream).