Trials & Tribulations of ‘Turning Pro’

Pic courtesy of

Pic courtesy of

As I write this, British hopeful Marcus Willis is playing Roger Federer at Wimbledon and I’ve got it on the TV (TV or tv? anyway…)

Bless. It’s a bit of a David and Goliath match. No-one of course, expects him to win but at the moment I’m just willing him to get a game! Or a couple of points in a row would be nice.

He’s a local lad, too. He plays at Warwick Boat Club, not far from me. When I went on my tennis holiday in May (yes, the one in which I sprained my ankle, which still hasn’t mended completely), there was a big group from Warwick Boat on the same holiday (sadly not Marcus, or I could have claimed to ‘know’ him!)

Whoops that’s the first set over. I’d better hurry up or the whole thing will be finished before I’ve written this.

But what the heck? He’s making the most of the opportunity and he’s going to get £50,000 just for reaching that far and playing! (I might be prepared to make a fool of myself on Centre Court for that kind of money).

Anyway, enough of that. Here’s the latest news from me!

1. There’s still time to enter my FREE ‘random word’ writing competition, which closes on July 12th. Full details on the post before this one. I’ve had 8 entries so far…!

2. The last part of my People’s Friend serial has been published today!

3. Tomorrow night, my friend Chris and I are running a book quiz as part of the Evesham Festival of Words. Eeek! We have 8 teams booked in and we’re hoping to get a couple more on the night. Although we’ve run quizzes for a few years now, at Writers Holiday in Wales, this is the first time we’ve done it for money (a little bit of money). Yes, we’ve turned pro. But when you turn pro, it puts the pressure on! So I’m a bit nervous but I’m sure it’ll be fine – and fun!

4. I’m going to be a guest on the lovely Wendy Clarke’s blog on Sunday!

5. And finally, I have discovered that The Scottish Book Trust has a great website, full of tips and competitions. Here’s a post for example, on ‘writing around the 9 to 5‘. And every month they run a 50 word writing competition, with categories for ‘all ages’ or under 18s.

The prompt for this month (and there’s a photo – you could use it as a general writing prompt if you don’t want to limit yourself to just 50 words) is: Write a story about swimming…


And given the awful weather out there today, that’s pretty apt!

This entry was posted in Competitions, Finding Time To Write, Successes, The People's Friend and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Trials & Tribulations of ‘Turning Pro’

  1. Good luck with the quiz tomorrow, and congrats on selling your serial. It’s a humbling reminder that if we want to write for a living we can’t be precious about our work. Thanks for that warning! Now I’m going to check out the competitions you mention 🙂 Gratitude, Harula x

  2. juliathorley says:

    Wasn’t it a great match? How lovely to see a tennis player smiling! Good luck with the quiz. It’s an awesome responsibility being quiz-mistress (which sounds much naughtier than quiz-master).

  3. Yes, he made it look fun – which is, of course, the point of tennis (until it involves big bucks!). I need to remind myself tonight – when/if things go wrong – to channel my inner Willis and SMILE! (you can get away with a lot, I find, if you smile…!). Thanks for your good luck wishes, Julia!

  4. Wendy Clarke says:

    I watched that match – fun, wasn’t it. Wonder whether we’ll be seeing more of Willis in the future. Very much look forward to your visit to my blog on Sunday!

  5. Linda says:

    Curious to know the serial’s original last line! Can you tell us?

    • I will tell you Linda, yes! Just give me chance to get all my papers together…!

    • *spoiler alert*! (I’m assuming anyone who bought last week’s PF to read the final part of the serial will have done so by now but if not – DON’T read on!). To answer your question, Linda, my original ending was:

      “Will you marry me?”
      The water sparkled beside them, the sweet aroma of chocolate filled the air.
      “Oh, yes,” Annie said. “Yes!”
      She’d never been so sure of anything in her life.

      They changed it to:

      “Will you marry me?”
      “Oh, yes,” she cried. “Yes!”
      The water sparkled beside them and the sweet aroma of chocolate filled the air.

      There’s not too much difference I know, just an ’emphasis’ – and the ‘being sure’ thing tied in with something earlier in the story. But never mind, it’s fine!

      • Linda says:

        Thanks, Helen. It’s always interesting to see the changes made by editors. Overall, it must be rewarding to have won the serial competition!

  6. Keith Havers says:

    I’ve just finished reading your serial about the chocolate factory and then polished off a bar of Cadbury’s Bournville so it must have had some effect on me. I liked how all the story threads were tied up neatly at the end.
    I don’t read my stories once they’re published so I don’t know if they get changed. I must be rubbish at titles though because they’re always getting changed.
    Still working on my random words story.

    • Thanks Keith. That’s three men (at least!) that have read the story. My former writing tutor read it and bless him, said some very nice things too (although he didn’t mention anything about having to eat chocolate..!) That’s very sensible of you not to read your stories once they’re published. I just can’t resist it but maybe I’m a masochist!

  7. rosgemmell says:

    Loved the young guy getting his moment of fame against such a great opponent! What a shame about your last line – I know they have a habit of changing other parts of stories but I can imagine this would annoy anyone.

  8. philippabowe says:

    I thought your last line was much better than the edited version – and I’d be raging if someone changed the last line of a story of mine. Hope the quiz turned out well and that your nerves gave way to enjoyment… 🙂

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