Never Give Up!

Culture clubNever give up, that’s my motto this week.

Since the start of this month I’ve had 3 stories accepted by 3 different magazines, one of which has been floating around since 2009 (the story, not the magazine) and I’ve finally had my ‘Playlist’ piece published in last Saturday’s Guardian* (albeit ‘abridged’), a whole 2 years since they first told me it was going to appear. (Scroll down a bit – no, that’s not me on the motorbike, although that piece is lovely and worth reading!)

Actually, maybe my motto should be ‘patience is a virtue…’

In other news, I tripped over the dog in the garden today and fell ‘splat’ on the ground, onto my arm and twisted my ankle. Whoops! Falling over isn’t nice. You don’t tend to do it much between the ages of 12 and 70, though, do you? I’d forgotten what it felt like.(I’m OK though! Do not worry!).

I have got a million things to tell you about, so I’d better get cracking:

1. Erewash Writers: Short story competitions

Debbie at Erewash Writers has asked me to mention their Open Short Story competition (stories can be on any theme), which closes on 26th September 2013. So, here it is, duly mentioned.

Details: 6 prize winners, two categories of entry: ‘New Writer’ Category and ‘Open’ Category. Prizes for both categories are: £60 First, £40 Second, £10 Third, plus we will make a charitable donation (in 2012 they donated £100).

Entry Fee: £3.00 for one entry, £5.00 for two, £2.50 thereon. Max 2,000 words, no minimum

Please see Rules of Entry to determine which category you should enter.

They’re also running a free-to-enter short story competition here, which is open to anyone, worldwide and has an interesting theme: ‘full stop’ and closes on 7th November 2013.

2. Festival of Romance/Piatkus Entice competition

There’s not long to go for this one but if you’ve written (or are in the middle of writing) a romance novel, you might be interested in winning an ebook publishing contract with Piatkus Entice (one of last year’s winners, Celia Anderson, was on my course in Italy last month!).

The winner will be announced at the Festival of Romance in November.

You have to email the first two chapters of your novel and a short, enticing synopsis of no more than 100 words to before the closing date of 2nd September. But read all the rules here first.

3. Christmas Novel Competition c/d: 16th October 2013

And talking of romance, there’s a competition for a romantic ‘Christmas Novel’ (or New Year or Hannukah), here. The prize is a three-book contract with HarperImpulse and afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason in London. – See more here.

The closing date is 16th October and I rather fancy this one myself!

4. Chicken Soup For The Soul

The US publisher of ‘inspirational and heart-warming stories’ is looking for anecdotes about the relationships between owners and their cats and dogs. (Do you think they’d be interested in one about a dog that keeps tripping up its owner?)

Submissions should be non-fiction, no longer than 1.200 words, and comply with Chicken Soup for the Soul’s detailed guidelines.

There is a payment of $200 for each accepted story. The deadline for submissions is 30 September. (But they seem to be calling for submissions for other books too, if you look here on the ‘submit a story’ page).

Anyone ever had anything published in a ‘Chicken Soup’ book – or read one? I see there’s one for writers! I wonder what that’s like?!

*Re my ‘Playlist’ piece, they cut a line out. It also, originally said, “We’d never heard anything like that spine-tingling slow start, Boy George’s melodic voice (was ‘it’ a boy or a girl? No-one seemed to know) and that fantastic reggae beat.”

This entry was posted in Bonnie, Competitions, Events, Newspapers, Short Stories, Successes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Never Give Up!

  1. KH says:

    Very well done on your successes, Helen! Love to hear about the story that has been floating around since 2009. Good wishes. KH

  2. Yes, I’ve read several of the chicken soup books and find them very inspiring, though I’ve yet to read the one for writers. Congrats on all your successes:-)

  3. cathos says:

    Well done on your three stories in three different magazines – what a result – which mags are they going to appear in?

  4. Wendy Clarke says:

    Three stories in three months is great. I’m intrigued by the 2009 one!

  5. Wendy, it’s 3 stories in 2 weeks.. not 3 months! (that’s what I usually manage!!). The 2009 one was a story I wrote back then and sent to my writing buddy for comments and it’s done the rounds of a few magazines but has finally found a home!!

  6. Congratulations! It’s great when the hard work pays off. I’m not very good at patience – if something doesn’t work I move on (or self-publish!) You’re a lesson in patience and tenacity!

  7. Well done Helen, and I think your piece would have read better with your line they cut. I agree, it’s a song that sticks in your mind. Thanks for the links

    • KH says:

      Great news, Wendy. well done! Love to know more about the story that’s been floating around – have you done rewrites? Good wishes Kath KH

  8. Jade Reyner says:

    Thank you so much for sharing all of those tips and competitions – and I am so pleased that you have had some success. Shame about tripping over the dog…! 🙂

  9. Debbie W says:

    That was a neat little story, Helen, your ‘Playlist’ piece. I enjoyed it. I remember that song being played a lot then. Ooh, the memories are flooding back.

    Thank you for mentioning the competitions.


  10. Keith Havers says:

    I’ve always said that persistence is the key to being a successful writer. Congratulations on the sales, Helen.

  11. Linda says:

    Yes, if you want instant success don’t even think about writing! But isn’t it wonderful when a story or article that you think must have been lost down the back of a sub-editor’s filing cabinet suddenly appears in glorious black and white? (It’s happened to me a couple of times.)
    Hope you’ve recovered from your fall. It probably surprised the dog too!

  12. I’ve got a copy of Chicken Soup for Writers that I’m reading at the moment. It’s the sort of book you can just dip in and out of and so far (I’m about a quarter way in) the stories have been about writers not giving up, or how they became published etc. I’m enjoying it 🙂


  13. philippabowe says:

    Well done for the successes – however long you’ve had to wait! I started uni in 1982 too, and around that period was actually once mistaken for Boy George in a hotel in Brighton where we were both staying; I did have similar hair and make-up at the time, I admit, but the fans who rushed over screaming when I stepped out of a lift were really bloody cross when they realised I was just some unknown girl.
    Glad the fall didn’t have any consequences: as you say, once pas the age of toddling, it’s a shocking thing falling over.
    Thanks for the new comps news, will try and get something ready for the Erewash.

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