I Am Back! (did I miss summer?)

Two things ‘of note’ have happened:

1. Today, I got my hair cut for the first time since DECEMBER 2020. Aagh. No, I will not post a photo but trust me, it looks better (and my head is a lot lighter).

2. I seem to have written a novel.

And this second point is the reason that I’ve been away for so long (and now it’s gone all wintery so I think I must have missed summer). Since I embarked on the third draft, I’ve spent a huge number of hours on it (I daren’t admit how many because you’ll be expecting nothing less than a Booker-prize-winning tome…!).

Anyway, I sent it to my agent on Sunday night and he has now responded to say that it’s ready to submit to publishers.

Now, let’s not get too excited. There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip, as the saying goes. There’s no guarantee that anyone will want it, for a start.

BUT (and this is a big but, deserving of capitals), whatever happens, I have finished a novel, properly, for the first time in my life and it kind of makes sense and it’s not too bad. (Will that do, for an elevator pitch? ‘It kind of makes sense and it’s not too bad’?)

I will keep you posted!

So, I am having a little rest now from this novel-writing lark because it is Hard Work.

I listened to (fabulous) novelist Clare Chambers interviewed last week and she said how much she loves reading. She compared reading and writing to hosting a wedding or being a guest at a wedding. If you’re a guest (reading!), all the hard work’s done for you and you can enjoy it. If you’re hosting the wedding (writing!) you have all the stress and the hard work. I thought that was a good analogy.

Evesham Festival of Words: 6-word story
Evesham Festival is running its ‘6-word story’ competition again and you’ve got until 31st May to submit up to 6 entries (but they must all be sent in one email and in the body of the email too).

Make sure your entry is 6 words, by the way! It might sound obvious but one entry had to be disqualified this week because the word count was wrong.

It’s free to enter and there are book token prizes. All the details are here. I have nothing to do with the judging of this one, so can’t (sadly!) be bribed.

This entry was posted in Competitions, Novels. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to I Am Back! (did I miss summer?)


    Well done on finishing your novel. Now you can relax and enjoy the summer…..

    • Thanks, Margaret. Not sure that I can completely enjoy the summer – as Jane has pointed out in her comment, I do have to start thinking about the next one and I have a deadline of 31st August to send a manuscript to the RNA’s feedback scheme, so… ahhh. But I will give myself a couple of weeks off!

  2. jbettany2013 says:

    Yaay! Well done on finishing your novel. I knew you’d do it. You’ll soon be itching to start book two! 😉 xx

    • Thanks Jane! Yes, there’s no sitting on one’s laurels, is there?! You’re right though, of course, because any potentially-interested publisher will want to know what else I’m working on. ie: that I’m not a one trick pony and do have at least another novel in me. Pressure!

  3. Sue Cook says:

    Well done on completing, Helen, and on getting an agent. You haven’t missed much, but hopefully, you can enjoy summer when it finally arrives.

  4. Congratulations on getting to the ‘submitting to publishers’ stage!
    Fingers crossed and I look forward to reading it when it’s out.

  5. pennywrite says:

    Congratulations on your achievement! But I would say the best way forward is to ban writing absolutely for a while… nothing like it to make you want to start work again 🙂 Meanwhile, put your feet up!

  6. Congratulations! Hope the next step goes well!

  7. Congratulations on finishing your novel.
    Looking at the weather, today, I would say we are fast heading to Autumn.
    It’s rubbish out there!

  8. Kate Hogan says:

    Well done, Helen!!! Good luck with everything. Enjoy a well earned rest. Also I’ve read lots of your stories, which I thought were great and possibly novel material. Do you remember the Jessie story? I can’t remember all the details just now, but it was novelish/filmish. Good wishes Kate Hogan

  9. Wendy Janes says:

    Congratulations on the hair cut and on completing your novel. Hope you enjoy your rest.
    Thank you for posting the details about the competition.

  10. Julia Thorley says:

    I won third prize in the six-word story comp!

  11. Wendy Janes says:

    Thank you so much for mentioning this competition. I came second in the six-word story comp!
    Congratulations to Julia.

    • Well done, Wendy!! That’s 2 out of 3 so far (and I had absolutely nothing to do with the judging. I haven’t even been informed that the competition’s been judged. Will be interesting to see who got first place!!)

      • Wendy Janes says:

        Thanks, Helen. Yes, I’m eager to hear who won and to read the other entries.

  12. Ah ha, results are on the website now: “Our annual Six Word Competition has now closed, after receiving an impressive number of 249 entries! The worthy winner was Jenny Moore, with her entry ‘Apologetic magician seeks recently vanished assistant.’ Second place was won by Wendy Janes with ‘He lost pounds. They weren’t his.’ Third was Julia Thorley with her entry, ‘Missing man. Suitcase on baggage carousel.’ Many congratulations to all three winners and thanks to all who entered.”

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