Fancy Winning a (free) Writers’ Retreat?

Writers_Retreats_ClockhouseWriting Magazine Competition

Those lovely people at Writing Magazine are running a competition to win a place on a writers’ retreat (worth £600) at Arvon’s new centre in Shropshire, The Clockhouse.

The prize is specifically for the week 6 – 12 September 2016, so don’t enter if you can’t go on those dates!

You’ve got until 4th July to submit your entry (max 500 words) which can be poetry, fiction or non-fiction but must be on the theme ‘retreat’ and the competition is ‘open to any writer’.

I always wonder how they manage to judge non-fiction against fiction against poetry. Tricky, isn’t it? Will you be at a disadvantage if you write a short poem when someone else has used up their full quota of 500 words on a story, say? But as we don’t even know who’s judging the competition, there’s no way of even second-guessing what they might prefer. So, just go for it, if you decide to enter. Do your best! (I sound like Brown Owl now). You’ve got nothing to lose.

do your best

Oh and there are lots of other competitions on the Writing magazine website – like this one – so have a browse. They aren’t all free and some are ‘subscriber only’ but I’m sure you’ll find something to inspire you to write!

Mark Haddon on Radio 4 Talking Short Stories

I was driving to a tennis match on Saturday morning, listening to Saturday Live on Radio 4 and had to stop listening to a really enjoyable interview with novelist (amongst other things), Mark Haddon – probably best known for his novel The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Nighttime.

His collection of short stories The Pier Falls, has just been published and he had some really interesting things to say about that and about writing in general. eg: that you can take more risks with short stories. He’d never think of setting a novel on Mars, for example but he could do with a short story (and that’s one of the stories in the collection). He also admits that he throws away about 80% of what he writes and that he doesn’t think he’s a good writer but a ‘pretty good editor’!

The great thing about radio these days (I’m doing it with The Archers!) is that you can just listen to anything you’ve missed on the internet. So here’s the interview here and if you want to skip all the introductory stuff, start listening at 05.40 minutes. Hope you enjoy it. (I just can’t bring myself to write ‘Enjoy!’)

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7 Responses to Fancy Winning a (free) Writers’ Retreat?

  1. juliathorley says:

    I heard that interview, too. I love Saturday Live: you never go what’s going to pop up – and round here we claim Richard Coles as one of our own, because his parish is in Northants.

  2. Sherri Turner says:

    I heard it too. Very interesting.
    And I am delighted that you can’t write ‘Enjoy!’. It is one of my current TV pet hates – it shouldn’t be a command! If I were a taster on a cookery programme I would be inclined to answer ‘I will if you’ve made it taste nice. Otherwise…’

    • juliathorley says:

      ‘Enjoy!’ is very irritating, but my pet hate is ‘Can I get…?’ instead of ‘May I have…?’ When a customer asks, ‘Can I get a coffee, please?’, if I were the waitress I’d be replying: ‘No, let me get it for you. That’s what they pay me for.’

  3. philippabowe says:

    Hi Helen, I’m tempted by the comp as have to be in the UK around then anyway. And I’ll download the Mark Haddon interview – good that it’s available as a download, sometimes it’s impossible to access programmes when you’re outside the UK, Thanks for all the interesting info as ever – and sorry to have been absent, lots of work + Camp Nano in April + now actually writing every day for the first time ever!!

  4. Wendy Clarke says:

    Having set a story on Mars – that’s good news for me 😊

  5. Not seen who won this retreat competition. Does anyone know?

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