Bumper Post: Lots of Free Stuff!

Green SnowmanAs promised, I have lots of exciting, writer-ly goodies to tell you about:

(1) A FREE competition for erotica novelists
(2) A FREE poetry competition
(3) A FREE short story competition
(4) A FREE competition for anyone with a ‘novel in progress’

(1) ‘Racy Reads’ Novel Comp. c/d 28th Jan

There’s not much time to get your entry in for this one but you may already have something suitable, so here goes.

Jumping firmly on the ’50 Shades’ bandwagon, the ITV morning TV programme ‘Lorraine’ has launched a competition to find a ‘racy read’ – and the winner gets the chance to have their novel published.

Jackie Collins is one of the judges! (Remember Jackie Collins?!)

You have to submit the first 1000 words of your ‘steamy story’ via the form on the link here no later than 12pm on 28th January.

Just make sure you read all the rules and conditions of entry carefully. You have to be prepared to be filmed –obviously – if you’re the winner or even, maybe, one of the shortlisted writers, so if appearing on morning television, particularly to talk about your erotic novel, sounds like your idea of hell, then perhaps you should give this one a miss!

(2) Clickinks Poetry Competition (c/d 1 Feb)

I’ve been sent the details of a FREE poetry competition, which is on the Clickinks blog, has the theme ‘New Beginnings’ and is open to anyone, anywhere in the world. (Don’t panic – Clickinks is nothing to do with ‘kinky’ and a lot to do with ink, as far as I can see!)

The winner will receive $100 of Amazon vouchers, which is a rather nice prize. Send a maximum of 45 lines, no later than 1st Feb 2013 to feedback@clickinks.com

I am having trouble with this link to the website (aaagh!), so may I suggest you cut-and-paste it (which seems to work!) rather than trying to ‘click’ on it, if you’d like more details.

http://www.clickinks.com/blog/2013/01/10/Clickinks-Poetry-Competition

(3) Country Life Short Story Competition (c/d 15 Feb)

A very kind lady (thank you Marie!) sent me details of this FREE short story competition that she spotted in January’s Country Life magazine.

First prize is a very tasty £500 and publication in the Easter issue of the magazine.

And it’s open to anyone, published or not (but it doesn’t say if you have to be a UK resident in order to enter).

The closing date is February 15th 2013, the word limit is 1,500 and the theme is ‘Country Life’.

Author Alexander McCall Smith will be judging the story (along with the editor of Country Life). Try to think what kind of person buys and reads that magazine because that’s who you’ve got to appeal to! So, I would suggest, nothing too ‘chick-litty’ or female-orientated, nothing too racy, gory or…well, you don’t need me to tell you all this.

Alexander McCall Smith has kindly posted ten tips on the website , along with details of how to enter.

I was particularly struck by the last tip: ‘Try to get in a surprise or two. A good twist helps a great deal’.

That, I suspect, is a good clue to the kind of story that he will be looking for. (But don’t beat me up if the winner turns out to be something completely different!).

Anyway, good luck. I’ll definitely be having a go at this one too. But remember, entries have to be posted – you can’t email them – so give yourself a few days BEFORE 15th Feb, to get your masterpiece finished, polished and sent off!

(4) Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge (c/d 15 Feb)

If you’re in the process of writing a novel, you might be interested in this competition from Kobo (the e-reader people).

The ‘Jeffrey Archer (remember him?) Short Story Challenge’ is open to residents of UK, Canada and…er some states of the USA (it’s complicated – see the rules!) and has a first prize of a Curtis Brown on-line novel-writing course.

In the first instance, you need to submit a 100-word ‘stand alone’ short story (ie: not an extract from your novel) and 20 ‘semi-finalists’ will be chosen to appear in an on-line anthology (no mention of any payment for that, by the way!).

Three finalists will be chosen from those 20, who will then be asked to submit 3000 words of their ‘novel-in- progress’ to Curtis Brown Literary Agents, who will give written feedback and choose the overall winner.

So, it could be a useful competition to enter, even if you’re not the eventual winner. At least you may get the opportunity to put your work in front of an agent!

See the website for more details.

And good luck!

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14 Responses to Bumper Post: Lots of Free Stuff!

  1. Debbie W says:

    Thank you so much for these, Helen. It feels like Christmas all over again, lol.

    I’m sorry but I can’t seem to access the clinkink’s link. Also, when I looked at the website I can’t find any reference to the competition.

    Did you have a pleasant walk in the snow, btw? It’s been raining here.

    Regards,
    Debbie W

  2. Julia says:

    Thanks for posting these comps.To be honest, since the New Year I’ve had real trouble getting enthusiastic about writing for competitions but the Country Life one has really stirred up my muse! I’ve left a comment on their page asking whether we submit anonymously or with our names on the stories. I’ll let you know when I hear an answer in case anyone else is entering.

  3. KH says:

    Thanks, Helen and Marie for sharing the info on the Country Life comp. I’ll be having a go! Thanks for all the other info and advice also. Good wishes KH

  4. Jackie Sayle says:

    Thanks for sharing these, Helen (and Marie). I most likely have got a story that is suitable for for first competition but one of my ideas of hell (other than spending eternity locked in a room being forced to listen to songs like Renee & Renata’s ‘Save Your Love’, St. Winifred’s ‘Grandma, We Love You’, ‘The Birdy Song’ and stuff of that ilk) is to have to go on TV, especially morning TV, since I am a night owl by nature. So, I’ll give that one a miss.

    I’m giving poetry a rest for a while, so I’ll pass on the second comp., too.

    I like the sound of the ‘Country Life’ comp., and might have a go at that.

    I probably won’t try the 4th competition because even the slightest mention of ‘JA’ brings me out in an allergic rash and I really can’t afford the cost of cream to cure it on prescription at present.

    Once again, thanks for the links.

  5. juliathorley says:

    Thanks for the all the info. I’ve mentioned you on my blog today.

  6. PhilippaB says:

    What an excellent bumper pack, thanks Helen! I think I’ll have a go at the Country Life comp: I’ve read copies of it at my mother’s so have an idea of the style they like (I’ll definitely leave off the Proustian prose) … the JA competition might have been fun, but alas, alack, I’m not a resident of any of those places – lucky it so lovely here, or I might start getting bitter! 😉

  7. Keith Havers says:

    Thanks for the links, Helen. Generous as ever.

  8. Thanks Helen, I read a lot of Alexander McCall Smith books and he has a definite style, sort of everydayish, and fabulous characters. Funny as well. Good luck to everyone who enters. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone who replied to your blog post won. Then they could mention you, and then they’d come out and interview you in the crystal cave. Are you feeling scared yet!!!!!!

  9. Downith says:

    Thank you Helen. Really glad I stumbled across your blog.

  10. Julia says:

    Hi Helen and all those entering the Country Life competition. I’ve had an email from Katy Birchall (from the magazine) and she says that the competition isn’t being judged anonymously, ‘And please do put your name on it.’

  11. I’m glad I found you – great resource! Feel all fired up now!

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