Saturday, 22 March 2014

Blogging and Novella competitions

A few competition links for you today.

Firstly, one for all bloggers and article writers.

Write an article on the theme of “Generation-Y” and receive a cash prize of $200

Generation-Y, also known as Millennials, or the YOLO Generation. The generation that are into selfies, swag, drunken snapchats, instagramming your food and #hashtaging#everything#you#say. Every generation has its own set of aspirations and challenges, and these are both exciting and uncertain times to be living in.

What are your thoughts on Generation-Y?

We're calling all bloggers, writers, thinkers, part-time philosophers and aspiring journalists to write an 800 word article on the theme of Generation-Y. Enter it into our Gen-Y competition on ReadWave and the article that receives the most 'likes' will win a cash prize of $200 (or equivalent value in your local currency).

We accept entrants from all over the world. Articles that are over 800 words will not be considered. The deadline for submissions is 14th April. For more information, visit

And two for novella writers:

In 2014, Manchester Metropolitan University’s Cheshire Faculty is launching the inaugural MMU Novella Award, the first iteration of what will become a bi-annual literary prize. The competition will conclude with a one-day Novella Festival at the Cheshire Campus consisting of readings, talks and panel discussions. Novelist Jenn Ashworth will front the judging panel and decide the winner after a team of internal readers whittles down the submissions to a shortlist.

The Write Time: a unique writing competition for previously unpublished authors aged 50+
If you have always dreamed of being a published author, here is an opportunity that you won’t want to miss. We have launched a writing competition for the over 50s, exclusively for Mature Times readers.
“The Write Time” competition offers the winner a two-year digital publishing contract, with full editorial and marketing support, and a generous royalty on all sales.

Sadly, or is it happily, I'm too young to enter that last one but it looks like a great opportunity so if you're old enough (no need to be 'mature' though!) unpublished and have a novella kicking around, do check it out. 

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Guest Post by Julie Phillips

Julie Phillips has been a blogging and facebook friend of mine for many years. She's a short story and article writer, and if you've bought any UK writing magazines over the last couple of years you are sure to have read some of her work. She's recently published a book, The Writers' Group Handbook. I asked her for a guest blog post for this blog, and what she's produced will I am sure strike a chord with many of you. Over to Julie:

Less is More

It can be said that a writer's work is never done. There is always so much to write about and never enough hours in the day to do it. Life can get frantic and, more often than not, it's our writing time that is the first thing to go as our time is pressurised by family commitments and emergencies or work deadlines.

It can be tempting, after disruption to our writing time, to try and cram as much writing as we can into the remaining time available. But is burning the candle at both ends and playing catch up the way to go? It used to be for me, until I realised something; the more I tried to catch up and the more I worried about what I hadn't written, instead of what I had achieved. I became more and more frustrated, unable to think clearly and rationally or enjoy what I was writing and my productivity and the quality of my work plummeted.

I was stuck in a vicious cycle and my worries about not being able to write enough and being behind on my writing schedule actually stalled me even further. The situation had become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Enough was enough! It was time to stop fretting, moaning, pulling my hair out and gnashing my teeth because I wasn't achieving what I wanted with my writing. It was time, instead to stop, take stock and formulate a plan of action on how I was going to get out of the rut.

The first thing I changed was to re-design my writing agenda. I write around my day job in a school, so writing 9am-5pm for me is not an option. I was writing part time but scheduling as if I was writing full-time. It was no wonder I was falling behind. I realised that I had inadvertently set myself up to fail!

So I allowed myself 15 hrs a week to write. This would happen in the evenings for 2-3 hrs per evening and then a few hours over the weekend, with a full day off a week. I also reduced what I expected myself to do during my allotted writing time from working on three items to two.

By doing this, the pressure was off and, quite often, I now find that I am actually ahead of myself most weeks. If this happens, I don't pile more pressure on myself by adding new tasks - that would just bring me back to square one! Interestingly, though, my productivity has actually gone up, but because I'm spending more time and effort on my projects, the quality is better. So next time you're fretting that you're not getting enough writing done, think of it in terms of quality rather than quantity and remember that less is more.

Thanks Julie! I can certainly relate to this: I also have a full time job and lots of other demands on my time. I don't manage 15 hours writing a week, so I take my hat off to you for that. But I do try to make the writing time I have really count.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Call for submissions

Pulse Romance are putting together a couple of anthologies of short stories and are open to submissions. Details below.

Call for Submissions – Holiday Romance Anthology
Sweet or sensual, Pulse is looking for summer holiday romance short stories for an upcoming anthology. We're open to any setting as long as the weather is warm and the romance is dramatic or interwoven with a dramatic story line. Word length guidelines aren't strict but we're looking for stories from around 2,000 up to 7,500 words. We're offering an advance of £30 per story and a share of the anthology royalties. Closing date: 30 April 2014. Send your stories to submissions AT

Call for Submissions – Emergency Romance Anthology

Sweet or sensual, Pulse is looking for romantic stories involving the emergency services! Fire, police, ambulance, it doesn't matter which emergency service as long as there is romance and emergency drama involved. We're looking for pulse racing stories for an anthology themed around the Emergency Services. Word length guidelines aren't strict but we're looking for stories from around 2,000 up to 7,500 words. We're offering an advance of £30 per story and a share of the anthology royalties. Closing date: 31 May 2014 Send your stories to submissions AT

Hmm, stories about firemen, wahey! My pulse is racing just thinking about the possibilities!