I Am Back!

I have not been ‘away’ here, sadly.

Hello! I can’t believe I’ve been away for almost a month! (I don’t mean away in some exotic place – I wish – but ‘away from the blog’).

I have been working on novel #2 – the notoriously difficult one (and I can confirm this is true).

I got the first draft back from the editor and it was honestly like handing in your homework to the teacher and getting a ‘D’ and ‘Must Do Better’ or ‘See Me!’ in the margin.

It was 65k of gobbledy-gook and when the blasted thing came winging its way back, I agreed with all the editor’s comments.

But, I am pleased to report that the next draft was 84k of not-such-drivel. I submitted that last Saturday and although there’s still work to do, it’s in much better shape now (fingers crossed. It will be back with me, marked up with the red pen, next week…).

But enough of that!

In other news, Bonnie has had a minor op, which has involved several trips to the vets. She has a love-hate relationship with the vet’s (apostrophe or not? hmm, not sure). She associates it with nasty things, like collars-of-shame and injections, so she always does a scaredy wee when she gets there but she loves the fuss they make of her and the biscuits they give her for being a Good Girl.

We are back there tomorrow afternoon for hopefully the ‘sign off’ and the OK to let her tear around off the lead again.

Also, my mum has been poorly bad and is now in hospital, so all of that has been taking up time and headspace, so I hope you can forgive my non-posting. It’s not because I’ve lost interest in the blog, it is purely a time thing.

People’s Friend Short Story Competition

NB: As Sharon has kindly found out (see comments below), DC Thomson, the publishers of The People’s Friend, are taking all rights to the entries in this competition. Which seems very strange but there we go. Read the rules on the PF website and think very carefully before you enter. They don’t take all rights to normal (ie: non-competition) submissions.

If you’ve never had a story published in The People’s Friend magazine – and you’d like to – you may be interested in the competition they’re running, which closes on 24th June 2022.

Stories must be 2000 words long and, obviously, suitable for publication in the PF (read the guidelines!) and they must have some connection to Scotland. All the details are below. NB: it’s only open to people who’ve never had a story published in the People’s Friend.

Evesham Festival of Words ‘First Line’ Competition c/d 31st May 2022

And talking of competitions, Evesham Festival of Words is running another free one, in which you have to complete the story, from a given first line (or two!), in no more than 50 words. Details of that one are here.

Bookish Events

I wasn’t able to go to either the Stratford or the Chipping Norton Literary Festivals, which were both on a couple of weeks ago. They had some fabulous events and it was galling not to be able to go to any.

Author Gillian McAllister being interviewed at Tasting Notes Live 2022

However, I did go to an all-day bookish event ‘Tasting Notes Book Club Live’ in Kenilworth at the end of April, which featured no less than 5 authors interviewed on the stage, including Bonnie Garmus, debut author of the much-feted (and already optioned for TV), ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ and AJ Pearce, author of ‘Dear Mrs Bird’, which I love.

There were over 100 people at that event and the next day I went to a Chinese banquet in Liverpool (part of my stepdaughter’s wedding celebrations), at which there were another 100+ people. If ever I was going to catch Covid, that was the weekend but, amazingly, I managed to escape it. Phew! (*for now*).

This entry was posted in Blogging, Bonnie, Books, Competitions. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to I Am Back!

  1. Penny Alexander says:

    Good to hear book news and other news Helen! I imagine you have no time to catch ye Bug at the moment!
    Umm I reckon it’s Vet’s. It’s= it is, but Vet’s=the place that belongs to the vet, so indicates a possessive. Think that’s right!

  2. Sharon boothroyd says:

    Well done on getting book 2 knocked into shape, Helen! It sounds like very hard work.
    Sadly, DCT take all rights to all entries in the TPF competition, so if anyone enters it, their story (or stories) will no longer belong to them -which is why I won’t be be entering.
    I hope your mum makes a speedy recovery.

  3. juliathorley says:

    Sorry to hear about your mum, and wish her well. Notwithstanding Sharon’s comment, which under normal circumstances I would agree with, I’m tempted just because I’ve had so many PF rejections this might be the only way I ever get in!

    • Thanks Julia. She’s out of hospital now but still not very well, but hoping to build up her strength over the next couple of weeks. Good luck if you do go in for the PF competition!

  4. Sharon boothroyd says:

    I’ve had this confirmed from TPF themselves, Helen. In this comp, DCT all rights to all of their entries. It is stated clearly in their competition terms and conditions, and these are found via a weblink on the comp page of their magazine. HOWEVER they don’t take all rights to the normal submissions.


    Thanks for the heads up about the First LIne competition. I gave it a go. Amazing how long it took me to perfect my 50 words.

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