Shaggy Dog Tales Required! FREE Writing Competition

dogHappy Easter, everyone!

The sun is shining out there today – although it’s still bitterly cold. Hopefully, though, it’s a sign that Spring is on its way!

I promised you when I reached 300 followers on the blog, I’d run another free writing competition, so, here it is!

I’m running it on the same lines as before but this time it’s ONE ENTRY per person please – only because I expect to have more entries and I might be ‘swamped’ if I let you all send in 2 or 3!

My world is rather dog-centric at the moment (as we’re ‘expecting’ a puppy), so the 4 random words that I want you to include in your story this time are all taken from the highly-recommended book, ‘It’s Me Or The Dog’ by Victoria Stilwell, which is our bible and is already looking pretty dog-eared!

The words are: dog, bone, stray, collar

The competition will be judged, as last time, in two categories: ‘Open’ and ‘New Writer’.

Please state in the header of your email if you’re a ‘New Writer’. Otherwise, I’ll assume you’re not a ‘newbie’ and include you in the Open judging.

What do I mean by ‘New Writer’?

If you’ve never had a paid article or story published in a magazine, newspaper or on-line and if you’ve never won a competition or been runner-up (regardless of whether it was published or not).

I will still count you as a ‘New Writer’ if you’ve done none of the above but you’ve written (or posted work on) a blog; had letters published in a magazine or if you’ve written for a non-profit making publication and not been paid (eg: an article for the local parish magazine or a school magazine).

If you’re in any doubt, email me or leave a comment and I’ll tell you whether you qualify as a ‘New Writer’. If you think you might be ‘borderline’, then please avoid the ‘New Writer’ category.


First prize in each category (so, two winners), is an £11 Amazon e-voucher*, so you can choose your own book and/or download, plus (and this is, of course, optional!), a detailed critique from me of a longer short story that you’re working on (of up to 2000 words).

*£11, so that if, by any chance, you want to buy the Victoria Stilwell book, which is £10.87, you can!

How to Enter:

Write a story (max 250 words) and email it to: in the body of the email (no attachments). Your story MUST include the following 4 words at least once:

dog, bone, stray, collar

NB: your story does NOT have to feature a dog! (but it can, if you wish). I will be judging on originality, content and writing skill/style and won’t be unduly influenced by sweet stories about a black puppy called Bonnie..!

You can use the words anywhere in the story (including the title), or in any way – as long as it makes sense and is ‘proper English’!

You can, in the interests of creativity, ADD to the words but you can’t take any letters off. Eg: straying is fine (or astray or strayed) and dogged is OK, but bony is not, because the ‘e’ drops off. As a test, ask yourself, if I did a search on Word for each of the words in your story, would they appear? If you’ve included all the letters as above, they would.

I’ll acknowledge all entries with an email back to you.

Names and email addresses will NOT be passed on to any third parties. All entries will be deleted after judging has taken place.

I will be short listing 5 stories in each category and they’ll be put on the blog but the final judging will be done by someone else (tbc!) and anonymously.


1. Send your entry in the body of the email (not as an attachment), to: Don’t forget to add your name too, as sometimes it’s not always possible to decipher it from an email address.
2. The competition is FREE to enter and open to anyone.
3. One entry per person, please!
4. The winner and 4 other short-listed stories, in each of the 2 categories, will be published on the blog.
5. Your entry must be your own original work and must not plagiarize. (as if I really need to say that…!)
6. Copyright remains with the writer.
7. Maximum length: 250 words (but less is OK).
8. Your story’s title is in addition to the 250 words
9. Your story must not have won or been placed in another competition.
10. Deadline for entries is 3 weeks today: midnight on 21st April 2013. The results will be announced on here 1 week later, on 28th April 2013.

Good luck and I look forward to reading your stories!

This entry was posted in Books, Competitions, random word competition, Short Stories and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Shaggy Dog Tales Required! FREE Writing Competition

  1. Generous as ever Helen, off to think up some ideas.

  2. Patsy says:

    Thanks! Will see what I can come up with.

  3. Tracy Fells says:

    Congrats on reaching 300 followers Helen! And great to see another competition – I love these random words comps 🙂

  4. olivespastavino says:

    I will do my best! Always like a challenge. hmmm….off to think about it now. 🙂

  5. Sharon Thompson says:

    Am ragging as I missed this competition! I have a doggie tale/ many tales about dogs and missed competition. Scrolled feverishly to see the closing date and almost cried! Boo hoo

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