The Great British Write-Off!

Strawberry scones 002That title’s not completely true, but I do have 2 free writing competitions to tell you about.

But first, in other news, we’re awaiting the birth of a BABY! My partner’s daughter is in hospital as we speak and there might be a baby by the morning, or maybe by tomorrow evening. These things can take a bit of time, can’t they? (All the mothers out there are saying “Ouch, yes!” and crossing their legs).

Girls, Girls, Girls (Free Writing Competition)

Those nice people at Stylist magazine are running a free writing competition, based on the US TV series ‘Girls’ (if you’re a fan then you’ve got a head start in this competition. It’s one of those programmes I intended to watch but it passed me by. A bit like ‘The Great British Bake-off’).

Anyway, even if you’ve never seen it – or heard of it (where have you been?) – don’t let that put you off. You’re a fiction writer, aren’t you? BLAG, LIE, USE YOUR IMAGINATION!

The closing date is 16th September and the prize (for 10 winners) is a day’s writing workshop in London (with one of Pan Macmillan’s editors, who looks very attractive and, young, in her picture on the website! Is it like policemen? As you get older, do editors look younger too?).

The workshop is taking place on 25th October. So, don’t enter if you live in Outer Mongolia (bless. Someone has to – and that might account for you not having heard of ‘Girls‘) or if, like me, you can’t make that day for any other reason, or you don’t fancy forking out for the train fare to the capital.

If all that hasn’t put you off, there are more details here but even if you’re not interested in entering the competition, there are some useful writing articles on the site, so it’s worth a click and a scroll down.

Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Competition

OK, I admit it. I really wanted to keep this to myself because I rather fancy a book worth £3000 and a retreat in Scotland BUT, I apparently have a reputation for being kind and generous to keep up (plus, someone else will post it if I don’t).. so here it is:

Harper’s Bazaar is running a FREE writing competition for ‘published and novice writers alike’. Entrants should submit an original short story (up to 3,000 words) on the subject of ‘spring’ by 13 December 2013 to:

Now, there must be some proper rules somewhere but I can’t find them, so if anyone buys Harper’s Bazaar (does anyone!?), then have a flick through and please let us know!


We are guessing the baby will be a boy (no-one knows until he pops out) and if so, he’s going to be called Finlay. But watch this space – it could all change!

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11 Responses to The Great British Write-Off!

  1. Wendy Clarke says:

    That’s very exciting about the baby – I think it will be either a boy or a girl… Be sure to let us know, Helen.

  2. ann harrison says:

    Hi, thanks for comp info, as always.

  3. Debbie W says:

    Looks like an interesting comp, thanks for the info. May well give that some thought. Well done on winning a prize in Sally Quilford’s b’day give away, btw.

  4. Thanks for the links Helen, I won ‘A new puppy in the family’ looking forward to reading that. I would love a puppy, but when the time is right. Great news on the baby.

  5. philippabowe says:

    The baby must have arrived by now (hopefully for the mother!), I hope it went well and that she or he is a bouncing healthy new arrival to your family.
    You are indeed very generous – hoist by your own reputation! I’ll wait to hear if the comp extends to writers outside the UK – so many of them don’t.

    • NOoo, the baby still hasn’t arrived!!! She went in on Thursday evening and was going to be induced. Last night she was still in the induction room (if that’s what you call it – urgh, sounds horrible, like something out of 1984) and labour was going very, very slowly. Must be later today though, surely…!? (it’s now Saturday afternoon!)


      • philippabowe says:

        A labour nightmare – poor her! But I’m sure it won’t go on much longer, I think there’s a maximum time they allow labour to go on…

  6. philippabowe says:

    Here’s the link to the 2010 winning Harper’s Bazaar story:
    I think it’s a lovely tale, with a Latin American feel to it, but shot through with sadness – she conjures up the dismissive attitude towards older people very well. I’m not sure if the end as you see it posted is really the end – I assume not, as it just seems to cut off. I suppose this is an extract. Shame, I’d love to know what happened to Nesta, the red pepper and the Virgin Mary.

  7. Keith Havers says:

    Yay for Finlay! My step-grandson is called Finlay and I used the name in my story in the 2013 Yours magazine yearbook.

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