A Storm In A Tea Cup?

1PIH021435 PH Breakfast Cup lIf anyone still thinks writing for women’s magazines, such as Woman’s Weekly, is only for amateurs, may I turn your attention to page 27 of the current Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special (March issue)?

It contains a short story (‘Hot Pork Sandwich’.. hmm, I’m saying nothing), by DAME MARGARET DRABBLE, esteemed novelist and famous person (actually, she also had a story in the Feb issue!).

Apparently, in 2009, Ms Drabble said she wouldn’t be writing any more fiction but she’s clearly changed her mind, as she has a new novel out – ‘The Pure Gold Baby’ – (which gets a plug at the end of her WW short story, of course).

I have to admit though, I find the most interesting thing about Margaret Drabble is the fact that she’s apparently engaged in a long-running feud with her novelist sister, A. S. Byatt, over “her alleged appropriation of a family tea-set in one of her novels that Byatt had planned to write about herself.”

The pair seldom see each other and neither reads the other’s books. Ooh, handbags at dawn! (or should that be tea cups?)

Margaret Drabble’s story, by the way, in WW, is very good – worth a read.

Cute pink tea cup courtesy of Emma Bridgewater. Other crockery is available but I rather like her stuff..!

Worcestershire Lit-Fest

On a different note, the Worcestershire Lit-Fest has a flash fiction competition closing on 2nd May, which may be of interest and should you live in Worcestershire and dabble in poetry, then you’ve got until 28th March to apply to be the new Worcestershire Poet Laureate!

Ahem, as a former regional Poet Laureate myself (Warwickshire), I can confirm that it’s fun, terrifying and ‘door-opening’ to be a PL so it’s definitely worth a go!

FlashBang Crime Flash Fiction Competition

And talking of flash fiction, there’s not a lot of time for this one (2nd March deadline) but if you’re interested in Crime writing and fancy winning a weekend pass to CrimeFest from 15 – 18 May in Bristol (worth £150) then have a look here at the FlashBang crime flash fiction competition.

It’s just £2 to enter and they’re looking for crime stories with a maximum of 150 words.

I couldn’t help but notice, as I looked for last year’s winners on the site (didn’t find them but the 2012 winners are here) that the 2013 winner claims, on his blog, to live in “a house in the South of England with no telephone and no television.”

Aha, I thought, this is where I am going wrong! (Although actually, when my OH goes away, I AM cast adrift from the 21st century! He’s wired up the tele’ in such a way that you need 3 remote controls and a degree in electronic engineering, just to turn the thing on!).

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9 Responses to A Storm In A Tea Cup?

  1. Wendy Clarke says:

    Oh, Helen, I feel your pain – one of the reasons I married my husband was so that he could control the wires, sockets, plugs and remotes linked to the TV.
    P.S I hope Margaret Drabble was pleased to be sharing the pages of WW with me!

  2. Wendy, I’m sure she was (let’s hope it doesn’t cause another tiff with ‘A.S’.. perhaps she wanted to be in WW with you too but Margaret got there first…?!)

  3. Oh that’s so funny, sounds like a story title Helen. ‘The house with no phone or t.v.’ now I’ve got to find his blog. I read the Dudley Zoo one, excellent. Good way to promote her books as well. She ought to get her money’s worth and write ‘The tea set tiff:)’

  4. Patsy says:

    You know, I was completely unaware of the rule that only one sibling per family could write about tea sets. I should probably keep up to date with these things in case my brother ever decides to start writing.

  5. Yes, Patsy, very important! It’s worth getting these things clarified, perhaps even in writing!

  6. Tracy Fells says:

    Interesting to hear about Dame Drabble’s story in WW (I’ve given up on them, sigh, but good luck to her) and the feud with her sister over the teaset story. Will definitely check out the Flash competition – thanks for that!

    • Tracy, don’t be too quick to give up on WW! I was about to give up with TAB – in fact, the story that they eventually accepted, was going to be my last attempt to ‘crack’ them!

  7. philippabowe says:

    Thanks for the flash fiction info – I’ve checked out the Worcestershire comp and it doesn’t say anything about UK residents only so I assume it’s open to everyone, but maybe it’s worth checking. Yes, the famous warring literary sisters, it sounds like something made up for a novel! I have a sister who writes and she gives me unfailing and valuable support in my writing – and hopefully I do the same for her.

  8. Linda says:

    My sister is researching our family tree and thinking about writing a book about it – not my cup of tea at all! But I’ve bookmarked that flash fiction comp – thank you!

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