#Tempted To Write (for Mills & Boon?) + Crime Web Workshop


Hello and ‘Happy Weekend’!

Is it just me, or is it raining a lot? (OK, not if you’re in Australia but here in UK-upon-sea?). Every time I take the dog for a walk I have to go through a quagmire and at least two paddy fields.

Thank God for green wellies, that’s all I can say.

Crime Fiction – Web Workshop

Now, this is very short notice (they only sent it to me today!) but if you want to write crime, then you might be interested to know that ‘Writers WebTV’ are broadcasting a free on-line Crime Writing Workshop tomorrow, Saturday Jan 18th, from 10am (GMT).

“Ken Bruen, Jane Casey, Declan Hughes and Niamh O’Connor all appear in a 4 hour workshop, where we look at plotting, backstory, character development, foreshadowing and research, which is crucial for the crime genre.”

You have to register (‘enroll’) on the site, then you can watch it free here from 10.00am on Saturday morning and it will last about 4 hours. It is a rebroadcast of a live workshop from late 2013.

Let me know if anyone tunes in!

Mills & Boon: New January Writing Competition

And, changing the subject and genre completely, those lovely people at Mills & Boon are running a new writing competition, from 20th January – 10th February 2014.

The first stage of #TemptedToWrite will take place on Twitter and Facebook (sorry folks, but you need to be ‘social media savvy’ if you want to do this one!). During this stage, they’ll be asking daily questions for ten days, designed to get you thinking about characters, conflicts and plot.

Each day, they’ll choose their favourite answer and every winner will receive a Modern Tempted book as a prize.

At the end of the 10 days, entrants will be invited to write a short story (10,000 words max) based on the questions and answers, to be submitted by 10th February. The winner will be published on Mills & Boon’s website on Valentine’s Day, and will also receive an editorial mentor.

Mumsnet Shortlist Announced

Today the shortlist of 20 was announced for the Mumsnet/Gransnet Children’s story competition. They had over 600 entries (wow!) and I’m pleased to say I ‘know’ 2 of the people whose stories made it to the short list! Hurrah!

Jo Tiddy has come second, twice, in competitions I’ve run on this blog and it’s great to see her on the Mumsnet shortlist and Nina Hoole, also a reader of this blog, used to be a student of mine, back in the days when I taught Creative Writing for Solihull.

So, fingers crossed for them both as they have a nail-biting wait to see if they’re picked for the final 10 and their stories will appear in the book!

I can still remember how I felt when I was waiting to hear whether my story about Allie the Alpaca (that’s one of the lovely illustrations from the book up there), had been chosen. It’s a nerve-wracking time.

If any more of you out there are on the shortlist, give us a shout!

Green wellies

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8 Responses to #Tempted To Write (for Mills & Boon?) + Crime Web Workshop

  1. Jo Tiddy says:

    You are our writing guru!!

  2. Jan Baynham says:

    Have enrolled for the Crime Web Workshop in the morning, Helen. Will let everyone know what it’s like. Last week, I wrote an initial draft of a crime short story – my first ever – so I’m looking forward to what they have to say.

  3. Wendy Clarke says:

    Oh, I’m with you on the muddy dog walking, Helen. I nearly got stuck in a swampy gateway by the river walking Bonnie last week. The M & B comp sounds good but i set myself so many silly goals this year, there’s no time for anything else!

  4. Jan Baynham says:

    I watched the Crime Web Workshop this morning as planned and got a lot from it. It was quite a long time to sit – one quick loo break was all I allowed myself! If you download the workshop for 29 euros today or 49 euros normal price, coffee and lunch breaks are built in and you can rewind etc but the free one today was over 4 hours continuous viewing. The guest authors were all interesting and very different in the ways they write. The aspiring writers on set were given useful crime genre tasks to complete and then received feedback on their writing.

    • Great Jan, thanks for letting us know and I’m glad you found it worthwhile. I ‘tuned in’ for about fifteen minutes and it did look interesting but I had to go out then, so I missed the rest of it!


  5. philippabowe says:

    Don’t worry Helen, it’s been raining here too! Literally ankle-deep in mud, it gets everywhere, it’s a bit dispiriting at times…but the days are lengthening and tiny leaf buds appearing on the elders, hooray!
    Big congrats to Jo and Nina for the Mumsnet shortlist, a great achievement and I hope they make it into the top ten!

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