Hello, Goodbye and Happy Birthday to ‘Us’!

birthday cakeJust a quickie from me this time, as I’m going on holiday early tomorrow morning (got to get up at 3am – aaagh! What stupid person booked the flights at Silly-O’-Clock?!), so I need to try to cram in a smidgen of beauty sleep before I have to get up again.

A couple of FREE writing competitions to tell you about:

1. Writers Bureau are running their regular monthly competition and for October they want you to ‘scare them to death’ with your spooky Halloween stories. They go on to say, “But, there’s a twist (as there should be in any good story). You have to write a spine tingling chiller in just 140 characters – like you would use on Twitter.”

The prize is a fiction writing course, including short stories, novels, TV and theatre and radio dramas.

Send your entry to draw@writersbureau.com by the 31st October 2013

2. Reader’s Digest are running their 100 word (exactly 100 words, mind!) flash fiction competition again and you’ve got until January 31st 2014 to send them your masterpiece. There’s £1000 for the winner (wow!) and two runners-up will receive £100 of book tokens (not quite so ‘wow’ but better than nothing – please note BEST magazine!).

Last year, if I may brag for just a moment, I KNEW both runners-up! The lovely Tracy, my blogging-buddy (OK, so we’ve never met but we still ‘know’ each other across cyberspace) and the lovely Clare, who was a student of mine earlier this year.

All the rules and regs are on the website (although, strangely, they don’t say if you can enter more than once or if they want a title – I assume not, in both cases but if anyone knows differently, please tell me!).

And yes, as usual, they want the copyright of all entries, so you need to decide if that’s against your principles before you enter.

One thing to add, though, in past years, they’ve paid a decent amount (£70, I think) for any of the entries that didn’t win but that they subsequently published on-line or in the magazine. I don’t know about you, but £70 for 100 words doesn’t sound too bad to me.

While I’m away, I will be celebrating that BIG birthday of mine- it has a zero on the end. (ooh and I’ve just been given the new Bridget Jones to take, as an advance birthday present! Can’t wait!).

It’s also Alice Parrant’s birthday on the same day as mine – 23rd – AND Ninette Hartley’s – fellow bloggers and ladies that I’ve met on separate writing courses (Caerleon last year and Italy this year, respectively!). I don’t think Alice or Ninette have ‘big zeros’ this year, but happy birthday to you both, in advance!

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19 Responses to Hello, Goodbye and Happy Birthday to ‘Us’!

  1. KH says:

    Hope you have a very Happy Birthday, Helen. Good wishes. KH

  2. olivespastavino says:

    Happy Birthday Helen, thanks for the mention and the good wishes. I’ll be picking olives on my birthday in the Italian sunshine, the forecast is good for the 23rd. I hope the sun shines on you too! Enjoy your holiday and your birthday. x Ninette

  3. aliceinwritingland says:

    Happy Birthday for Wednesday, Helen and Ninette! I’ll be having afternoon tea out to celebrate mine 🙂 Have a wonderful holiday, Helen and thank you for the competition info. X

  4. olivespastavino says:

    Happy Birthday to you Alice too…I’ll be popping over to your blog later! x

  5. Linda says:

    Happy Birthday, and hope you enjoy a lovely holiday!

  6. Helen Lowry says:

    Happy Birthday and Happy Holiday!

  7. Wendy Clarke says:

    Happy birthday, Helen. Have a great holiday.

  8. Tracy Fells says:

    Hope you have a terrific holiday, Helen, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Thanks for the mention too. Re the Reader’s Digest competition I didn’t give a title for my story, as thought that would give too much away, but I think the winning story did have a title – so title is probably optional.

  9. olivespastavino says:

    I can’t enter the Reader’s Digest 100 word competition because it’s open only to residents of the UK…boo hoo 😦 I was all excited, inspired and enthused for a moment. I’ll get over it.

  10. Happy big 0 birthday Helen, and happy hols.

  11. Julia says:

    I’ve just made good use of a dreary Monday morning by entering both of these comps. Thanks for the info. 🙂

  12. julielees says:

    Hope it’s a fabulous birthday! Joanna Trollope said 40 was the new 22 at the Manchester Literature Festival yesterday so, by that reckoning, you haven’t even reached 30 yet. That’s what I believe and I’m sticking to it.

  13. Sara Kellow says:

    Is it really that time of year again? (I mean the Reader’s Digest 100 word competition) I just thought I’d mention that my story was published on-line and all I got was a warm glow of satisfaction. Hope you’re having a great time somewhere sunny!

  14. banksywrites says:

    Happy birthday, Helen. Hope you are having a fabulous time. Thank you for the mention. I’m still spending my winnings. But did blow some of it on the 2014 Writers and Artists Year Book. Yay. Look forward to a catch up when you get back.

  15. charliebritten says:

    First of all, happy birthday! And thanks for mentioning all those writing comps. Good to know about.

  16. philippabowe says:

    Hi Helen,
    Thanks for yet more valuable comp info, I’ll definitely have a go at the Writer’s Bureau tweet-story.
    And I hope you had a FAB birthday last week on your holiday: my own biggie-ending-in-a-zero is coming up soon, I intend to celebrate it loudly!
    A technical question: I haven’t been getting notifications of new posts sent to my email box (one of the reasons I’ve been absent for the last few weeks) and I don’t know why – I haven’t clicked any “unsubscribe” buttons or anything…I thought before clicking the “follow” button again I’d check with you, if you can see your followers and if I’m still included. If not I’ll just click again.

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