Up to Snow Good – Updated with details of Good Housekeeping Novel Writing Competition

Now, no one likes a whinger, right? So, let’s get it over with: I am still ill (and I’m going to claim that as a 2-word poem as it’s just about the only writing I’ve done for a week).

I’ve had to cancel a dentist’s appointment for tomorrow because I have so many cold sores that if I try to ‘open wide’ my whole face would crack.

It probably didn’t help that we’ve just been on a tennis weekend and I ran about in the freezing cold for two days (I know, I know).
It has given me a ‘relapse’ when I was getting better. (I doled out antiseptic hand gel to everyone I played with; that’s how guilty I felt).

Have you noticed that, just as ‘busy-ness’ has become a competition, so, at this time of year, does ‘illness’? We met friends for dinner on Friday night. And we were late, of course (because we are always late. Partly, this time, because the Victorian market in Stratford had made the traffic even worse than usual).

“Sorry we’re late!” we chimed, as we rushed into the restaurant, breathlessly. They wanted to greet us with a kiss on the cheek but we waved them away. “No, no – we’re ill!” we said, expecting sympathy and understanding for our tardiness but no. “Oh, we’re ill TOO!” they cried, the implication being, that everyone’s ill and THEY were actually ‘ill-er’ than us.

But enough of this. The lovely Jackie Sayle has passed on the information I was lacking regarding the Good Housekeeping Novel Writing Competition (I have 2 copies of the mag coming to me but due to the snow and the lurgie, I haven’t been able to pick them up from my mum yet). So, here it is (and NB: you need the entry form, so make sure you buy the magazine pronto, if you want to enter):


Competition opened at midnight on 28th Nov. 2017 and closes at midnight on March 30th 2018.

Unless you live in Northern Ireland, you must post your entry (5,000 words of your novel) + a full synopsis on no more than 2 A4 sheet + a 100-word mini biography of yourself + the completed entry form from the magazine to:

Good Housekeeping Novel Competition, Orion Books, Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0DZ.

If you live in NI, you can email your entry + synopsis, biography and a scanned copy of the entry form to:


Genre must be women’s fiction. M/s to be double-spaced, 12pt font, on A4. Only one entry per person.

To be eligible you must never have had any novel published by a publishing company or ever have been represented by a literary agent, although you can have self-published.

1st prize: £6,000 advance (paid in instalments) + publication of your book + representation by Amanda Preston, literary agent. Five short-listed contestants will get feedback from Clare Hey at Orion Fiction and will have the chance to be respresented by Amanda Preston. Two runners-up will receive an Acer Switch 3 tablet/laptop worth £449.99.

Judges are: Cathy Kelly (author), Amanda Preston (director of LBA Literary Agency), Clare Hey (publishing director for Womens’ Fiction at Orion Fiction), Michelle Hther (Executive Editor of Good Housekeeping), Joanne Finney (Books Editor at Good Housekeeping).

Although, of course, it doesn’t specifically say so (men, after all, can still write ‘women’s fiction’), I would guess this competition, like the magazine, is really aimed at ‘the ladeez’ so if you’re a chap – or you’re just interested in novel competitions, per se – then there are more novel writing competitions on Jessica Davidson’s blog here.


Have you got lots of snow?

I’ve waited over 4 years for our dog Bonnie to see snow. She’s nearly 5 and it has never snowed (not properly) in all the time we’ve had her. So, of course, it snowed Big Time this weekend while she was at the dog sitter and I didn’t see her first experience of snow! Aagh! Like a parent missing their child’s first step.

Anyway, she came back today and duly raced around the garden like a loony, as I had expected. I tried to take a photo but this was all I could manage… !

Tomorrow we are going to build a snowman and try taking the camera out again. And yes, I will wrap up warm!

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

8 Responses to Up to Snow Good – Updated with details of Good Housekeeping Novel Writing Competition

  1. You’re definitely iller than me. Hope you feel better soon.

    (No snow here.)

    • Thanks, Patsy. It’s funny to think of you – and Ninette – having no snow. We’ve got tons of the stuff! Had trouble getting the car off our (sloping) drive today and our neighbours haven’t ventured out at all since it snowed on Sunday.

  2. Ninette90 says:

    No snow here in Dorset, but not a lot of writing going on either. I’m not ill so can’t make that excuse. I’ve been out and bought the Good Housekeeping Magazine which means I might…resurrect my novel. (only might)

    • I managed to have a sneaky look in one of the handbag-sized copies of the magazine in Waitrose today and – as you’ve probably seen by now – you’ve got until 30th March to get your entry in. Good luck, if you do decide to go for it!

  3. Wendy Clarke says:

    Sorry to hear that you’re still I’ll, Helen but thanks for the Good Housekeeping info. I might have a go at this one.

    • Yes, it’s a good competition, isn’t it Wendy? But there are lots of rules and regs so read those carefully before you spend your hard-earned cash on a copy of the magazine. There’s something about not having had an agent, for example. Am feeling a lot better now, thanks.

  4. Wendy Clarke says:

    Although the advertising says you shouldn’t ever had had an agent, the terms and conditions say ‘The competition is open to entrants who have never had any novel published by a publishing company and who are not already signed to a literary agent’. That is contradictory.

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