Back To ‘Normal’?!

woman with a headacheI’ve decided I am allergic to Christmas. As I alluded to a few days ago, I was a bit sniffly-run-down-not-quite-myself over the whole holiday period. I felt floppy and ‘ugh’ and I was, I admit it, asleep on the sofa at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

But today! First day ‘back’ to work, all that holiday stuff over and I feel great! Yes, I still have a cold sore decorating my septum (!) but I have energy! I’ve been swimming and done some writing and here I am, blogging like a good ‘un.

Well, that must be it then, mustn’t it? I am officially allergic to Christmas.

Just in case you, too are feeling all fired up and ready to go (and if you’re not, you’ve probably already clicked off this post, in disgust), then here are some writing competitions that you might like to have a go at:

1. The Homestart short story competition (closing date 1st Feb 2015) is a little pricey at £7 an entry BUT it’s being judged by novelist Tracy Chevalier, there’s a whopping £500 first prize (and other prizes) and the entry fees all go towards a very worthwhile course – the Homestart charity that helps families with small children.

2. Writers & Artists 2015 Short Story Competition (c/d 15th Feb)
I’ve mentioned this one before, but thought it was worth flagging it up again, as it’s free to enter and also has a tasty £500 first prize AND a place on an Arvon course. The theme of your story should be ‘Joy’.

3. Here’s Mslexia’s annual short story competition (c/d 16th March). The entry fee is an eye-watering £10 but the prizes are good and it would be soooo good to win or be placed in this (but sorry chaps, it’s ‘ladies only’!)

4. And finally, if you fancy yourself as a bit of a songwriter, Stratford Literary Festival is running a competition (c/d 20th Feb) in which you’re invited to submit the lyrics of a song (theme or title: ‘My Voice’). The winning lyrics will be set to music and performed by a choir! ooh, fancy.

There doesn’t seem to be a particular ‘prize’ – just the glory of winning and perhaps being the next Tim Rice..?!

And finally, a date for your diaries! In November, The Festival of Romance is coming to a town near me! ie: it’s going to be held a few miles outside Stratford and about 15 minutes from my house! Hurrah!

No, I’m not offering B&B to the first two people to respond (sorry!) but just wanted to say that I’m hoping/planning to be there, as it’s on my doorstep, I can’t resist, so if anyone else is going, it would be great to meet up! The day tickets aren’t on sale yet but they’re taking bookings now for the weekends. More info here.

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15 Responses to Back To ‘Normal’?!

  1. Nicola says:

    WOW!! Helen you are full of energy. Good on ya! Thank you for all the info and for being more on the ball than me, myself and I. Oh deary, you have put me to shame. But I’ll dust of those cobwebs, go for a swift walk in the freeeeezing temperature and make a start. Keep up the positive vibe. It’s great!!

  2. juliathorley says:

    I have a (very unscientific) theory that we get ill at Chrismtas because we can. We let down our guard and the germs say, ‘Quick,she’s not concentrating!’ and in they come. However, your bout of what my mother-in-law would have called ‘summat or nothing’ has clearly done you no harm. HNY.

  3. Lee J Dawson says:

    Well Helen, now that you have a diagnosis, you’ll be prepared for next year. 🙂 Thank you for all the information about competitions.

  4. Keith Havers says:

    Maybe you were ill over Christmas because nearly everyone else was?
    Glad to hear you’ve got your energy back. If anyone sees mine can they let me know?
    Happy New Year. Looking forward to more of your posts.

  5. networksue says:

    Thank you so much for all the competitions Helen, it is my aim to enter them all! Happy New Year and it is exciting that the Festival of Romance is on our doorstep too 🙂

  6. Linda says:

    Hi Helen – Glad you’re feeling better. There was a lot of illness around this Christmas, but what a relief that its all over now! Thanks for the comps – I might have a go at the W&A Yearbook one this year – thanks for reminding me. Let’s hope we can all keep up the good work. Happy New Year.

  7. Wendy Clarke says:

    Really sorry, Helen, but I love Christmas! hope you’re feeling 100% very soon.

  8. Patsy says:

    Glad you’re shaking off the cold and feeling energetic.

    I think Julia’s theory could be right. Seems to happen to a lot of people when they take a break.

  9. rosgemmell says:

    I think the Christmas ‘bug’ hits a few people each year, though I enjoy the whole period! I would really like to get to the Festival of Romance this year and definitely fancy Stratford!

  10. philippabowe says:

    Christmas is a tricky one, glad to hear your energy has returned for the new year. Ta for the comp tips.

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