All I Want For Christmas..

free-christmas-clipart-RcG7RdpcLIt’s Christmas Eve and it’s taken me all week to write this post.

I’ve had a funny few days.

I’ve been to a funeral that was, at times, more like a pantomime (because we laughed, a lot) and a pantomime that was more like a funeral and on Monday morning we walked along the canal in Stratford with some friends and Bonnie the dog fell in! Luckily she was still in her harness and was hauled out by the lead. She was OK but not happy at being soaking wet on a freezing December day. Our friend kindly dashed home to fetch her a towel (he was Bonnie’s handmaiden).

Still on my to-do-list for the end of the year:

1. Submit story number 52! I set myself a target of 52 womag story submissions this year and I’m just one off.

2. Finish part two of the serial I’m writing for The People’s Friend. My aim is to have it done by 31st December so I can submit it to the editor (eek, scary) when she’s back at her desk in January.

3. Send Sally my writing goals and targets for 2016. We agreed to do this when we met up a couple of weeks ago (and I’m still waiting for hers…!). They won’t be written in stone, it’s just to get us thinking and to have some kind of rough ‘road map’ for the new writing year.

If you’re wondering how you’re going to get through Christmas and still stay sane, remember my handy hints from last year? ‘10 Ways For A Writer To Survive Christmas...’ (just note that the TV programmes are out of date, of course!)

Writing Competitions

If you want to get stuck into some real writing over the holiday, then take a look at the Harpers Bazaar short story competition (closing 21st January 2016, max 3000 words on the subject ‘The Jewel’) which is free to enter if you’re a UK resident

OR, the Evesham Festival of Words short story competition, which doesn’t close until 31st March 2016 and is open to any writer, worldwide, published or non-published.

There’s a £5 entry fee for that one BUT if you win, as well as £100, you get a trophy and a presentation by novelist Katie Fforde! The theme is ‘An extra day’ (max 2,500 words) because of, course, 2016 is a leap year, so we get an extra day on February 29th.

Have a great Christmas and see you on the other side..!

PS: All I want for Christmas is to see my ‘followers’ reach 600. Just another 11 people to go! If you want to sign up for notifications of new posts by email, the button’s in the bottom right hand corner of the screen! Thank you! 🙂

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17 Responses to All I Want For Christmas..

  1. Downith says:

    Very impressed that you managed 52 submissions! Well done. And poor Bonnie !

    • Thanks Downith but please note, that doesn’t mean I wrote over 50 new stories! I am ‘allowed’ to resubmit stories that get rejected and that counts towards my 52, so it’s probably not as impressive as it might sound…!

  2. CJ says:

    52 submissions is phenomenal, even if some of them are the same, well done you. A list of writing goals and targets is a great idea, I need to do something like that I think. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and successful New Year.

  3. Helen Lowry says:

    52 submissions is pretty good… A good idea to have a goal. I’m aiming to have the same goal next year! Hope Bonnie is none the worse for her swim! Merry Christmas everyone and a very Happy New Year

    • Merry Christmas, Helen and thanks for popping in! Bonnie is fine but she’s had a very exhausting Christmas Day (she likes to help every person open every present) so she’s well and truly conked out in her bed now. Little does she know that it’ll all be revving up again tomorrow…! Happy Christmas to you too!

  4. KateHogan says:

    Well done on all your efforts, Helen. Loved your Jessie story in the WW. Many thanks for all the info advice and good cheer you share. Wishing you, and yours, all good things for Christmas and new Year. Good wishes Kate Hogan

  5. Thanks Kate – and for your comment about my story in WWFS. That was rejected last year by TAB and was too late to send it anywhere else until JUNE this year when it got zapped off to WW, as one of my 50-ish submissions and they accepted it straight away. A long wait to see it in print but I really liked that story myself (*she says, modestly*) so I was glad someone liked it too! Happy Christmas to you too. Hope you’ve had a good day.

  6. Linda says:

    Hi Helen, good for you for having a target and actually reaching it. And well done you also for winning the PF serial competition. I hope that 2016 is even more successful for you and for us all.

  7. Maggie says:

    I’ve just signed up Helen, so only 10 to go now. I’m impressed with your 52 submissions, but then I looked at the authors in the recent TAB and WWFS and other mags and saw that the same names appear over and over again and realised that in order to be successful you need to submit and submit and submit. I would love to know how you keep the story ideas coming. Do you just sit down and write until a story starts to make sense?

    • Thanks for signing up, Maggie! I appreciate it! To answer your question, some of my writing ‘colleagues’, such as Wendy Clarke and Della Galton (who both also have great blogs, by the way!) do, I know, get a first line or an initial idea and then just start writing and see what happens – so you could try that – but I don’t work that way. I get ideas from all over the place – tabloid newspapers, anecdotes, things that people say, or things that happen to me (eg: the dog fell in the canal last week – I might base a story around that) and then I wait until I have a pretty good idea of the whole story and how it’s going to end before I start writing. Of course, sometimes I change that initial idea as I go along but I don’t start ‘blind’! Good luck with your writing!

  8. Keith Havers says:

    I’m working my way through your 10 point survival plan. Best wishes and plenty more successes in the New Year, Helen.

  9. Thanks for the nudge about the writing goals, Helen. Only problem is, the more I think about them the more they change & I can’t decide on my next ‘project’.

  10. juliathorley says:

    I expect you’re too busy to read this comment today, but poor Bonnie! I’m defininitely going to take a look at the Harpers Bazaar comp. Happy New Year, Helen.

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