Wine Required!

I was up early this morning, despite being really tired because I can’t sleep when it’s so light! Is it just me? I know I shouldn’t be moaning (it’s SUMMER!) but even with the blinds down, the sun sneaks through the gap in the window and prods me to get up! Oh, I’m sounding very John Donne! (Ahem, ‘The Sun Rising’ being one of my favourite poems, don’t you know…).

Since my last post, the Evesham Festival of Words has (mostly) taken place.

My pal Chris and I ran the Book Quiz last Thursday night. Major panic when we realised the venue, which has only just reopened after a fire, didn’t have any WINE! And over forty people were due to arrive any minute.

“Oh, do you think they’ll want wine?” the lady behind the bar asked.
“Erm, yes,” was the answer. We even offered to go to Lidl and buy some ourselves!
But, thankfully, someone else whizzed off in a van and came back bearing bottles and judging from the glasses on people’s tables, most of it was sold!

Putting on brave faces but actually, VERY stressed at the thought of no vino!


On Friday night, Chris and I went to the Prue Leith interview (as well as being a novelist and restauranteur and chef, of course, she’s a new judge on the Great British Bake-Off. I’m sure lots of people – like me – were hoping for some juicy goss about GBBO but she wasn’t allowed to talk about it! ☹)

The junior and adult winners of the Festival Short Story competition were announced on the same evening and presented with their prizes by Prue Leith. When I booked the tickets, a few months ago, I imagined that Chris and I – or at least one of us – might have been on the shortlist, which would of course have made the evening really exciting… but sadly, it was not to be. There’s always next year! And we consoled ourselves with a glass of rose…

On Sunday afternoon, I ran the first of two workshops (because the first one sold out) on ‘Writing Short Stories for the Women’s Magazines’. Of course, as we all know, the markets for short stories are much more limited than they were even just a few months ago (when Take a Break closed its doors to all but a selected few) BUT, as I point out in my workshop, The People’s Friend magazine publishes over 600 stories a year, Woman’s Weekly needs 20 stories a month for its Fiction Special and 2 stories a week for the weekly issue and… well, to find out the rest, you have to come to the workshop, of course! (Still a few places for this Sunday’s…!)

Luckily I had set off early because although Evesham is only 20 minutes from me, I encountered: a road block and diversion (because the fair was in town) which took me miles out of my way, queues of traffic, a full car park and slight palpitations when I thought I might be late! (I wasn’t). Eeek. If it hadn’t been the early afternoon, wine might have been required then too.

Short Story Competition – Win A Writing Retreat (closes Sept 2017)

And on a different note, here’s a lovely FREE writing competition, courtesy of the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook and Retreat West.. they’re looking for a 1000 word short story set on a beach. You can do that, can’t you? I happened to have one set on a beach and that’s never been published, so I’ve zapped it off already.

There are more fiction competitions on the Retreat West website. They’re not free to enter but might be worth checking out.

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This entry was posted in Books, Competitions, Events, Magazines, Short Stories, The People's Friend, West Midlands, Woman's Weekly. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Wine Required!

  1. Kate Hogan says:

    What a busy woman you are, Helen – even organising the wine. You’ve obviously got your priorities right! As for the sleeping, I like you, am awake at the first sliver of light. I have blinds, curtains and anything else I can attempt to obscure the light with, yet I have a sister who doesn’t even need curtains to sleep like a baby. Not fair. Well done on all your successful workshops. Good wishes KH

  2. I’ve just submitted my beach story. Fingers crossed for both of us.

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