Happy New Year & Some New Notices!

Hello and as it’s the first post of 2022 (I’m not sure where the time is going, are you?), Happy New Year to you all. Let’s hope it’s a good one.

Since I’ve last written, we’ve had the family wedding that I mentioned. I’m pleased to say it all went very well, nothing had to be cancelled and only a few people missed it due to You-Know-What. Phew, a relief!

I have a few ‘notices’: opportunities, comps and events-coming-up to share:

The Romantic Novel: Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival (Cotswolds)

If you live anywhere near Hawkesbury in South Gloucestershire (which, funnily enough, I don’t. It’s at the other end of the Cotswolds from me: a 100-mile round trip!), you might be interested in an event the Literary Festival is running on Saturday 29th January. They have just 30 tickets available, so it’s not going to be a mad squash, which in these still-socially-distancing times is no bad thing.

Here it is: “Four successful novelists will lead a lively discussion about aspects of the romantic novel, including its past, present and future, and to what extent they view themselves as romantic novelists.”

It’s only £5 for a ticket and that includes tea and CAKE and a £2 voucher off any book you buy on the day, so, let’s face it, it’s practically for nothing!

Win a romance writing package & online Romance Novel writing course

And still on the subject of romance writing (a subject close to my heart!), there’s a chance to win an on-line romance-writing course courtesy of Curtis Brown and Muddy Stilettos, which is led by Jenny Colgan and is worth over £500.

Don’t be dismayed if the county you live in isn’t listed on the Muddy Stilettos website. The terms of the Reader giveaways include the line: Reader Treats are available to Muddy Stilettos newsletter readers. Entrants must be residents of England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland, aged 18 and over.

So, as long as you live in one of those countries and you subscribe to at least one of the newsletters, you’ll be fine.

The giveaway ends on 14th February, Valentine’s Day (of course!)

The George Floyd Short Story Competition, run by Nottingham Writers Studio, closes on 31st March 2022 and is free to enter.

They are looking for previously unpublished stories of up to 5,000 words on the theme of ‘EARTH 2.0’.

There are cash prizes and a number of stories will be included in an anthology. As always, read the rules and conditions of entry carefully before you enter.

2022 Harpers Bazaar Short Story Competition

Harpers Bazaar has launched its annual free-to-enter short story competition which closes on 13th March (or, as it says further down in the rules and regs ‘15th March 2021’ I reckon someone’s just copied and pasted from last year’s competition).

Judges include novelist Monica Ali and the first prize is a lovely stay at Billesley Manor, near to Stratford on Avon and publication in the magazine. You must be a UK resident to enter this one.

The rules say: “We invite published and non-published authors to enter by submitting an original story of up to 2,200 words on the theme of ‘Treasure’ to shortstory@harpersbazaar.co.uk by midnight on 13 March. If possible, please send submissions as a Word document attachment, titled with your name and with a word count included.”

‘A Wartime Secret’ – E-book Out on 14th January 2022

Come on, you didn’t expect me not to mention this, did you?

My debut novel is published tomorrow, Friday 14th Jan, as an e-book (if you’re not an e-book fan, it’s out in paperback in March) and I will be blogging tomorrow (yes, again!), to celebrate and there will be 1940s goodies up for grabs, so do come back if that appeals.

One of the (many) things I have discovered in recent months is that, even when you have a publishing deal (ie: you’re not self-published) you’re still expected to do quite a lot of promotion and excitement-generating yourself. Unless you are one of the publisher’s Big Names of course and that’s completely understandable. So, forgive me if it all seems a bit over-the-top but it’s kind of ‘expected’!

It’s just 99p for the e-book, so if you are a Kindle-user I would of course be delighted if you wanted to buy it.

And if you want a sneak peek before you buy (or just want to read the first few pages and pretend you’ve read the whole thing…!) then the first 4 (short!) chapters are here.

This entry was posted in Books, Competitions, Cotswolds, E publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Happy New Year & Some New Notices!

  1. Eirin Thompson says:

    Happy Publication Day Eve, Helen! I was planning on holding out for the paperback, but I’m off to read those first four chapters, and might not be able to wait until March to read on. (I know where I can borrow a Kindle…)

  2. Thanks, Eirin! The ebook’s cheaper too…!

  3. Eirin Thompson says:

    Just had to pop straight back to say I LOVED those first four chapters! Congratulations! A sure hit.

  4. philippabowe says:

    Helen, what a fabulous way to start the year, huge congrats on the publication tomorrow, that’s so exciting!! I’m going to wait for the paper version as I don’t do electronic, same for my mum, I’ll be getting her a copy – she absolutely loved your last magazine story, I encouraged to go and get it from the news agent’s (seeing as I can’t over here in France!). Happy new year! xx

    • Thank you Philippa and Happy New Year to you too! Hope you’re all safe and well over there in La Belle France! Not long until March (not that I’m wishing the year away or anything…!) when the paperback comes out!

  5. Debbie Young says:

    Good luck with your launch tomorrow, Helen – your book looks terrific! Exciting times ahead for you… 🙂

  6. Penny Alexander says:

    This is great news! Very much looking forward to reading it. Have a lovely launch day.

  7. Hi Helen,
    Fantastic news re publication. I hope you have a great day. X
    Thanks for sharing details of what’s going on around and about too. I’m coming back to the writing
    fold this year and it’s good to hear writing news.

    • Thanks Maria. Glad to hear you’re coming back to the writing fold. I always love going to writing events, workshops, talks or whatever (even virtual ones) because I find it inspiring – and it’s nice to be with other like-minded folk, isn’t it? Might see you at something this year!

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