The Rain In Spain…

Some of my holiday reading

Some of my holiday reading

I was on holiday in Spain last week, hence the lack of posts.

I would like to say we had wall-to-wall sunshine BUT for the first time ever (it’s a tennis holiday and I’ve been 10 – or maybe even 11 – times), we had torrential rain for 24 hours and the whole first day of the programme was wiped out!

I wouldn’t have minded quite so much if it had been in the middle of the week (the rest would have actually been quite welcome!) but it was frustrating at the start.

However, it did give me chance to do some holiday reading! I took 3 magazines (see photo) and two books. One of the books was disappointing – and I don’t like to be negative about other writers (*pauses while she polishes her halo*) so I won’t tell you about that one but the novel I did enjoy was Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty.

Funnily enough, it had been on my ‘to read’ list for ages and then Della Galton wrote about it on social media, just before my holiday (she thought it was great), so that reminded me to read it, finally. And I wasn’t disappointed. The title’s a bit misleading, imo. It sounds like a sweet romance set in the countryside but actually it’s a court room thriller, with lots of twists and turns and well, it was pretty unputdownable.

Free Writing Competitions

It all seems very autumnal out there now, don’t you think? But, looking on the bright side, it’s easier to write when the sun’s not shining! So, here are a few FREE writing competitions that you might like to try your hand at:

1. Flash Fiction – 100 Words on theme ‘White’ Closing date: 30th September
Morgen Bailey has started a free monthly 100 word (‘drabble’) flash fiction competition. You can win her on-line writing courses. The deadline for this month is 30th September and the theme is ‘white’. If you scroll down the page, the themes for the next 12 months are also listed.

2. Writers Bureau: Flash Fiction: 500 Word Romantic Fiction Story aimed at MEN
Closing date: 14th October
Prize: On-line WB Fiction Writing course.

3. Commonwealth Writers Short Story Competition
For short stories of 2000 – 5000 words. Entrants must be citizens of a Commonwealth country
Closing date: 1st November 2015 (12 noon)

Tracy Fells whose story was shortlisted for the award last year has just put up an interesting post about it on her blog here.

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8 Responses to The Rain In Spain…

  1. Wendy Clarke says:

    Just got back from my own holiday too. Mine wasn’t nearly so energetic! Apple Tree Yard is one of my favourite books… and yes, I thought it was a tale of country folk!

  2. Hope you had a good time, Wendy! Yes, mine was pretty energetic but tiring too! I need a rest now to recover from it! Glad we agree on Apple Tree Yard! I have recommended it to so many people and someone is bound to hate it because not everyone likes the same book, but I really enjoyed it. I’ve admired Louise Doughty, as a teacher, critic and novelist, for some time.

  3. I thought Apple Tree Yard was brilliant too!

  4. Oh good – you can join our FOATY (Fans of Apple Tree Yard) club, Sally! It’s the sort of novel I would like to be able to write.. ah, in my dreams…!

  5. philippabowe says:

    Hi Helen, bad luck for the rain, when it has been really really dry all summer in the south…if it makes you feel better, we had the same torrential downpour – without a real roof on the house (hub is currently rebuilding it)! Oh the fun of hours of mopping…
    The Louise D book is also on my list, so I’ll make sure I get it.
    Ta for the comp news – I should be concentrating on novel research, but it’s always tempting…I’ve looked at the Commonwealth comp rules, and think I qualify, it looks like having a British passport suffices (Ninette will be pleased too!).

  6. Tracy Fells says:

    Loved Apple Tree Yard – a real page turner. Also thank you, Helen, for the mention re Commonwealth Writers competition. It’s FREE to enter so why not have a go!

    • philippabowe says:

      I meant to say in my reply, congratulations to you Tracey on that short list – and all the other achievements – I regularly seem to see your name cropping up on short lists and winners’ lists – so impressive!

  7. juliathorley says:

    Romantic fiction for men? Ooh, I love a challenge!

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