For the first time ever, in the history of the universe, my writing buddy Sally Jenkins and I have got a story each, at the same time, in The Weekly News (April 26th issue).
Ta dah! A full house! A clean sweep, or whatever you want to call it.
And what makes it even more satisfying, is that we both critiqued these stories for each other. Actually, I seem to remember there wasn’t a lot to say about either of these stories –we thought they were pretty much ‘there’ – and so, clearly did Jill Finlay of The Weekly News, who bought them.
If you want to rush out with your £1 and buy a copy (I’m sure you do) and are wondering where you can buy TWN (some of you, come on admit it, have never even heard of it!) then think of it as the opposite of a ‘top shelf magazine’.
The Weekly News is a gentle, ‘general interest’ newspaper, aimed at men and women and you can usually find it in the Co-op or other (large) supermarkets, on the bottom shelf, along with Daltons Weekly and Racing Post!
Talking of ‘racing’, I went to my first ever ‘point-to-point’ on Easter Monday, held just outside the next village to us. A ‘point to point’ is described on Wikipedia as “a form of horse racing over fences for hunting horses and amateur riders” and I couldn’t put it better myself. (Hmm, although I might actually add, “And the riders usually fall off.”)
But if I had to sum it up in one word, I would have to say: posh.
As well as the dogs and the picnics-next-to-Range-Rovers and the stalls selling expensive clothing, it was teeming with teenage girls (Tamaras and Imogens) in breeches and boots, with long flicky hair who probably have posters of Prince Harry on their dorm’ walls. I’m sure you get the picture.
It was fascinating. It will make a good setting for a story one day. To a writer, nothing is wasted! Not even the £20 we had to pay to get in (gulp!) because, on the first race, we won £24! (for a £4 bet). Hurrah! I bet on Basil Fawlty, because I liked the name (his rider fell off) but my OH wisely chose ‘Smugglers something or other’. I think he only won because all the others.. you’ve got it.. fell off.
Children’s writing competition c/d 2nd June 2014
And finally, here are a couple of competitions for you. The Independent is asking ‘Could You Be The Next Children’s Literature Superstar?’ If the answer is ‘yes!’ or a more circumspect ‘maybe..’ then have a look here.
First prize is a tasty £5000 publishing contract AND a weekend in Italy (oh, and a handmade pen!)
The rules, in brief are: one entry per person. Must be current residents of the UK or Ireland. Entry: A novel, written in English, for children aged 7-12. Entrants retain copyright in their work. One-page synopsis, author bio plus first 5,000 words to be submitted by 17.00 (BST) Monday 2nd June 2014.
World War I Short Story Competition c/d 16th June 2014.
This is a smaller competition but if you’ve written a story for the WWI anniversary this year – or you want to – then it might appeal. Swansea Writers have a short story competition, with a WWI theme. You can enter up to two stories of 1,500-2,500 words each and the first prize is £100, two runners up win £25, plus book tokens. The best stories will be published in an anthology. Entry Fee: £5 per story or £7.50 for two.