Goodness Me, I’ve Won!

FireworksI’m eating a big slice of humble pie. After all I said about social media – specifically Facebook – a couple of weeks ago, I’ve now got cause to think it’s rather wonderful.

I’ve just won The People’s Friend serial writing competition (remember, I blogged about my last-minute entry here?) and since the good news was made public yesterday, I’ve had zillions of kind, congratulatory, yes and mostly on Facebook. Eek. I am suitably ashamed and all ‘Facebook-friendly’ again (for the time being, at least!).

And now I have to tread very carefully and not do the exact thing that I accused Facebook-users of doing – ie: being all ‘boasty-boasty’, which I know, when you’re struggling to feel inspired or just not getting the strokes of luck that you need (because there is a lot of luck in this writing lark, as well, obviously, as skill and hard work), boasty-boastiness is not what you want.

So, please feel free to switch your attention to something else, if you’d rather not read the next bit. Go and watch the mad woman on ‘I’m A Celeb‘ or read a book. I quite understand, I really do.

Right, here goes. Last Friday, at midday, I got a phone call and it turned out to be Shirley Blair, the editor of The People’s Friend. I met Shirley very briefly, at Swanwick last year and very nice she was too. Why is she ringing me, I thought? Then a little glimmer of hope sprang up, just before she told me I was the winner of their serial competition.

Wheeee! Actually, I thought I might cry because I was so happy.

The story I sent them (or at least, the first part and the synopsis), was something that’s been brewing in my mind for years, ever since I visited the museum at Cadbury World in Birmingham. As I’m a Brummie, born and bred, I thought it would be nice to set a story in that part of the world, so taking the chocolate factory as my inspiration, that’s what I’ve done.

But now comes the scary bit: I’ve got to write instalments two and three and I feel a bit of pressure (more than a bit!) to make them live up to the promise of instalment one! Guess what I’m going to be doing over Christmas? (With lots of chocolate for inspiration, of course!)

This entry was posted in Competitions, Magazines, Successes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Goodness Me, I’ve Won!

  1. Kate Harmind Allan says:

    That’s so brilliant many congratulations

  2. bill says:

    Well done! You certainly deserve it.

  3. Michaela Eyley says:

    Fantastic Helen, so pleased for you. Brilliant news!!! All the hard work is paying off now. This certainly is a “high-five” moment so grab someone and do it 🙂 Very well done you. Chuffed to bits.

  4. Wendy Clarke says:

    You will love every minute of writing for them, Helen. In my opinion, the second and subsequent installments are easier than the first and it sounds a great story line. Feel free to boast as much as you like – it’s well-deserved 🙂

  5. Valerie Harrison says:

    Well done!

  6. Alex G says:

    Are you allowed to brag? I should cocoa! (As should you …. ) You’d be a fruit and nut case not to (Groan … ) CONGRATS!

  7. banksywrites says:

    Hurray! Congratulations and very well done, Helen. You superstar, you. Xx

  8. Boast away. It’s a wonderful achievement! I’m looking forward to reading the serial as the theme is so interesting – historical that is although chocolate is good. I purchased a bar to celebrate your win xx

  9. KateHogan says:

    Well done, Helen! I’m delighted for you. Good wishes Kate Hogan

  10. Julia says:

    Super congrats, Helen.
    Julia x

  11. Sandra says:

    Well done! You must be walking on air. 🙂

  12. Karen says:

    Congratulations Helen! That’s Fab!

  13. ados123 says:

    Well done. Lovely to get the idea down that has been spinning around too. Good luck with the rest of it.

  14. Ninette says:

    Well done Helen…I’m delighted for you. I’m sure you’ll find the next episodes are no problem at all! xx

  15. Tracy Fells says:

    Congratulations again, Helen. Remember this is not boasting this is sharing your good news. Writers suffer enough bad news in their daily lives with endless rejections ( or perhaps that’s just me!) so we LOVE to hear about another writer’s success. Keep sharing and enjoy the moment.

  16. CJ says:

    Congratulations! That’s absolutely brilliant news, I’m really thrilled for you. CJ xx

  17. Heather Walker says:

    Brag away! You deserve it. Congratulations. Enjoy the fame. Well done.

  18. juliathorley says:

    Many congratulations. You are definintely allowed to be a bit boasty-boasty about this.

  19. rosgemmell says:

    Huge congratulations, Helen – and of course you should be singing this from the roof tops, or the Internet or wherever. Writers often complain about rejections etc so it’s much better to read about and enjoy another writer’s success!

  20. A fantastic achievement!

  21. Leonora Francis says:

    That is such wonderful news. You should be really proud of yourself. Well done x

    • Thank you Leonora. I know you write serials for PF, so you’re a little ahead of me..!

      • Leonora Francis says:

        Sorry I’m replying late, Helen. I write serials for WW, not PF. Serials for PF are notoriously difficult to write, at least for me. (I have tried several times and failed.) Your story must have been outstanding so you should be terribly, terribly proud of yourself xxx

  22. Keith Havers says:

    As my wife (also a Brummie) would say – bostin! Congratulations, Helen.

  23. Many congrats Helen! I think the PF are very difficult to write for, so it’s a fabulous achievement.

    • Thank you Sharon. About 3 days after I submitted my competition entry, I got a rejection from PF for a story I’d sent them earlier this year. They didn’t pull their punches with their comments and I just thought ‘that’s it- I haven’t got a clue what they want’ – so I didn’t have high hopes for the serial!

  24. Jane W says:

    That’s so brilliant! Congratulations!!

  25. I have to smile, because I agreed with you on the fb debate and as Keith says, bostin chuck, sock it to em. People’s Friend are the hardest to write for, so megga chuffed for you and look forward to the interview on 2nd Jan issue and the story as well.

  26. Patsy says:


    Re boasting. Yes, I can see that if we’ve just got a pile of rejections, seeing loads of people mentioning acceptances isn’t good for our morale – on the other hand, it’s great to know that ‘ordinary’ writers are getting acceptances and even better to share in friends’ success.

  27. ninevoices says:

    Congratulations from ninevoices! Some think that writing for PF is an easy option. Not so. With a huge amount of entries they can afford to hook out something special.

  28. Well done you! Great to hear your news.

  29. philippabowe says:

    Huge congratulations Helen, what a great achievement – boast away!!

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