The Mojo returns.. and Mslexia Short Story Results

Bonnie at the Dog Show 002I am ‘home alone’ this week, as his Lordship has nipped up to Scotland to play some golf. (Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t have told you that, in case you’re an axe murderer. Ahem, please note that I own a vicious, award-winning* wild animal – see left – who, at my command, would quite happily lick you to death).

My writing mojo is making a tentative return. I wrote and despatched a piece for the Telegraph’s ‘Just Back’ travel slot at the weekend. Not expecting much luck with it (the standard is sooo high!) but it was about our trip to Italy and I did enjoy writing it, so what the heck.

And I’ve also polished up and sent a story to the Hysterectomy Association’s short story competition. The organiser was complaining about lack of entries for this a couple of weeks ago, so why not have a go? It’s only £3 to enter and no, you don’t have to write about anything ‘medical’ (bleurgh!). They’re looking for stories “of up to 2,000 words on almost any theme related to women.”

Mslexia Short Story Competition 2013

The results of the Mslexia Short Story competition are here (I entered.. why did I bother and waste £10, as Keith-the-Gremlin would say?!). You can read the top 3 stories. I actually liked the one that came third – ‘Jewels’ by Josie Turner – better than either of the first or second placed stories, mainly because I cared about the main character and I was rooting for her all the way through. See what you think.

*Did I forget to tell you? After our dismal failure at dog show number one, Bonnie came FIRST in the ‘Best Puppy’ class at the very next one we entered! Hurrah! It just goes to show, you should never give up!

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13 Responses to The Mojo returns.. and Mslexia Short Story Results

  1. Debbie W says:

    Well done to you Helen, and to Bonnie. She looks adorable in that pic and seems very happy with her win. I don’t know how you can though. It’s a bit like entering a ‘Best Baby’ contest. I’d be so upset if mine didn’t win.

    Pleased for you to see you’re feeling in the mood for writing again.

    Debbie W—maria-smith.html

  2. Wendy Clarke says:

    My Bonnie is very proud of her little namesake, Helen. Well done for getting the travel article finished – good luck with it.

  3. Julia says:

    It would be perfectly reasonable, knowing that entries were low, to keep news of this competition to yourself to boost your chances, but no: you are far more generous than that! Glad your mojo is back – and well done, Bonnie. 🙂

  4. Keith Havers says:

    Congratulations to Bonnie.
    Just looked at the comp link and it’s for women only which is a shame as it’s for a good cause.
    PS Still not happy about your gremlin’s name.

    • Sorry Keith, on two counts – 1. I should have mentioned that the Hysterectomy comp is only for women (why??) and 2. my gremlin’s name. Hmm. I will have to change it. Any suggestions..??


  5. Edith says:

    Glad your mojo has returned from whence she fled! 🙂 Mmm the cost of entering writing comps is often a deterrent for me…why are they so expensive to enter?

    • Debbie W says:

      Helen, I sent you a comment but it doesn’t seem to have materialised. Wondering now if pressed the right button to send it? Can’t remember exactly what I said now, lol although I do remember mentioning I liked the pic of Bonnie. Also, I think it’s good to have a break from writing now and again.

      Edith, I don’t understand why some writing comps have to be expensive either, it’s a major put off for me too as I like to aim to enter several a year.

      Debbie W

  6. olivespastavino says:

    My mojo also left for a while, I think it was the heat, 45 deg in Italy at one point last week. Now the temp has returned to something near normal….30!

    Thank you for posting the information re writing comps. Congrats on getting one in! There are so many that I have honestly lost track and need to work out a new system of logging writing comps…I thought of getting a diary to dedicate to it. How do you keep up to date with entries and deadlines etc?

    By the way, well done Bonnie!


    • Ninette

      I have a list on a ‘Word’ document. Just the month as a header and then a list of the competitions for that month (with their deadline date and in order) underneath that. It’s nothing very clever or special but it seems to work for me! Obviously, I don’t have ALL the comps on there – just those I’m intending to enter – and I still miss some!! (but that’s laziness, not lack of organisation!)

      Am jealous of your lovely heat/view/food in Italy… read your last blog post (about the Toad-in-the-hole – or lack of it! You could/should write a story about that, by the way!)


  7. olivespastavino says:

    Re: the comps. Thanks for this info. I also have a word document but as a table, however, I’m constantly forgetting to update it and now the headings disappear because there are 6 pages! I think that for me I would be better keeping a hand written book.
    I’ve entered the biography comp, just a minute ago and have been editing an entry for the Hysterectomy comp!
    I’ll think about the Toad in the Hole story! 🙂

  8. Christine Steenfeldt says:

    Bonnie is so cute! Give her a big pat from me for coming 1st! I’ve read the 3 stories- all v good- I agree about Jewels. I liked it very much and for the same reason, I cared about what happened to the main character. Interesting POV shift at the end of the winning story- and, was it me, but I didn’t get the reference to the photo at the end? Good story though- I rather like the idea of someone secretly living in a house. There’s no one in mine or, if there is, they don’t clean very well! And thanks for the mention of the writing comp. Might well give that one a go!

  9. Philippa says:

    Thanks for the tip on the travel writing comp, and hat’s off for getting a piece in! Whatever the comp outcome, It is excellent that it encouraged you to write something you enjoyed so much and that extended your enjoyment of your holiday a little longer. I might try a piece on Tunis, where I was recently. I’d already seen the Hysterectomy comp (great name!) and it’s on my list for this month. On the subject of its women-only status: I imagine it’s about positive discrimination, and though there are arguments for and against, and I understand the frustration of male writers like Keith, I tend to be for, since women are still so massively underrepresented in the literary world (see, for example, Mslexia: I must admit to some of that nasty envy when reading the judge’s comments, how wonderful for the winners to have such amazing things said about their work! I enjoyed all three stories, but seriously loved the winning piece, it was like a perfect little precious stone found nestling in a box…And lastly, well done Bonnie, give that puppy a juicy bone!

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