Archive | Writing competitions RSS feed for this section

Colette’s Christmas Countdown – Day 5

5 Dec

Success and Disappointments – not quite at the end of the year, but I’m Scottish, and if you think I’m blogging on Ne’er Day, you’ve got another thing coming (that, and the fact that I usually do my resolutions in August when the schools go back). So, no resolutions yet, but a little look back on the year: Publications – I was published in Pushing out the Boat, Postbox and the Reflex Anthology and I’ve got another publication pending; Wins – I won the Writing Quarter competition twice in January and July; Success – my proofreading and editing business, Beech Editorial Services started to bear fruit; Disappointments – I had a sniff at a book-sized publication, but unfortunately it didn’t come to fruition. Other Stuff – Pledged money to two crowdfunded literary ventures, one Extra Teeth has just arrived through my letterbox – a new magazine on the block, the other I will let you read about here. Alan Gillespie is an ex-G2 member.

Not One More

10 Oct

Not One More

I promised you I wouldn’t: not one more shoe; not one more drink. The shoes should have been easy, once the diabetes had taken my legs, but the beauty of them persisted, especially without the attendant blisters and wobble.

I didn’t care that staff laughed behind my back, or in front of my face, when I wheeled myself into their shop. Didn’t respond to their wisecracks of whether I thought they would be comfortable. What size? they would ask like it didn’t matter, but it did: there had to be consistency. A six is always easy to get and has the added benefit of looking in proportion, not shrunken or supersized, and I would always consider it my size.

I had low-level shelves erected all around the apartment and furnished them with my collection. I could touch the soft leather, smell the unboxed fragrance; pierce my fingertips with stiletto heels. Nubuck, patent, distressed or polished; red, pink, electric blue, anything but black. I don’t do laces either, or pumps, they must have a heel. Boots would be problematic for the height of my shelves, and they would flop unless I reinforced them, and no one would want to see that.

The drink, at least, was more understandable: I’d drink too, in her situation. The fact that it had contributed to my situation was neither here nor there.

I imagine that most drunks crave the alcohol, but for me, it is all about the aesthetics. My cupboards contained an array of glass sizes and shapes, for whisky, brandy, red or white wine. They didn’t have to be crystal, although a good malt deserved nothing less, but they do have to be beautiful. I love sitting (which is just as well) with a glass in my hand; warming the liquid to the optimal temperature or downing it before it loses its chill.

Breathing in the scent of a full-bodied Bordeaux warms my spirit for hours. The consumption, such as it was, was a by-product of the pleasure.

Not one more shoe; not one more drink. I would have kept my promise too, if you had kept yours: not one more fling; not one more affair.

photo-1568197260846-5e4e2aa3e9af

This piece was inspired by a prompt at Creative Writing Ink (2nd Oct 2019)

 

Oh So Middle of the Road

23 May

morgan-sessions-6256-unsplash

Stay in the middle of the road, Mum said, that way no one can jump out at you, attack you from the edges, or the hedges.

Walk in the direction of on-coming traffic, Dad told me, so you can see what’s coming and take evasive action, if they don’t.

Don’t stray over the line, my instructor commanded, keep yourself safe.

The cop had asked me to walk the line.

Like Johnny Cash, I asked.

Like I’ve never heard that before.

I wasn’t drunk or high. I had not been using any illegal substances. There was nothing in my actions that would betray me.

If you don’t count the destruction I had wracked behind me. Still, at least I had kept myself safe.

 

This piece was inspired by a photo on 23rd of May 2019 @ Creative Writing Ink – Prompts 

If you liked this piece, maybe you would like to buy me a coffee.

 

 

Another Day, Another 30 Dollars

28 Feb

The Writing Quarter has once again chosen a story of mine as their monthly winner. The exchange rate between here and Australia means that I get £1 less than last time, but enough to cover the competitions I am busy entering today.

The story Pot Luck is one I wrote a few years ago, though the theme has become even more pertinent (and personal) over time, to the point that I almost consigned it to the bin, but didn’t, as it is always useful (if painful) to raise awareness.

I sometimes think that I spend an inordinate amount of time entering writing competitions and submitting to magazines – tweaking the text so that it is within word limits; making sure the headers and footers abide by the rules; removing or adding my name – but the reason I carry on is because I want people to read my work, and if I don’t send it out, then it won’t be read.

I checked the proofs yesterday of one of my stories that will appear in the next edition of Pushing out the Boat, and Postbox Magazine, with another wee tale, is coming soon. So, it’s the last day of February and that’s three ‘yeses’ since the new year. I’m happy with that but I need to carry on with the submissions if I want to carry on in the same vein.

 

Nevermind

17 Dec

I’ve been rather obsessively checking the Reflex Fiction website everyday where they have been publishing one non-winning flash fiction since the middle of Nov. Their top three are going to be announced at the end of the year (and win between £250 and £1000). Well, my wait is over (this time around anyway), as I was published today. You can read my story Lie Still here. It would be great if you could leave your comments on it, either here or on the Reflex Fiction forum. In the meantime, enjoy.

Winning Story – The Writing Quarter

3 Dec

I do like a competition, especially ones that have no entry fee and still give a prize. So I am now AU$30 better off, and have now been published by magazines in Scotland, England, Ireland, America and Australia.

You can read my winning story Crooked  at The Writing Quarter.

Reaping Rewards

1 Oct

Sometimes as a writer all you receive are knock-backs and it is difficult to keep going. Self doubt comes easy and motivation leaves just as easily. BUT, I’ve been putting on my resilience flack jacket and sending out lots and lots of writing recently – I don’t believe you should have unpublished pieces languishing when there is maybe a market out there for them – and have been reaping the rewards.

Hot on the heels of my Writing District win is a long leet, which will possibly the most stressful ever. Reflex Fiction will publish the non-winners, one per day in November and December, and then the prizewinners on the last three days on the year. The good news is, even if I don’t win one of the prizes, my flash fiction will still be published in their anthology in the Spring of next year.

Might need to start biting my nails.

Oh Look, it’s me

28 Sep

Delighted to have won this month’s Writing District Short Story competition. Even better that there is a prize but no entry fee – result. If only the exchange rate was better!

You can read my story It here. Don’t worry, it’s not got anything to do with the Stephen King story.

A Touch of Magic

31 May

                                                                    A Touch of Magic

farhan-siddicq-200523-unsplash

Stuck in a hospital bed, he practises his trick over and over. The magician at the wedding had captivated us all, but only one thought, that’s going to be me. He got lessons for his birthday; membership of the JMC; secret codes and tricks. We watched as things didn’t quite work out; marvelled when they did.

I watch him shuffle, the professional way, the way of a boy with too much time on his hands. I try to catch him out, or at least understand what he is doing. There’s no way he can know what card I am holding. No way he can turn it from Hearts to Spades. But there is a way, he knows the way, he has the power.

Now, we just need someone to work a little magic on him, and I, the glamorous assistant, can pull back the tucked in sheets, and he will have disappeared from this single room, with all it’s beeps and pings, and reappeared on the other side of the city, running with his friends, laughing. Abracadabra.

 

This piece was inspired by a photo at Creative Writing Ink

Bridge

10 Oct

I’m pretty sure I’m not a witch, though Mum tells me not to cross the bridge. Water runs fast below it; trees grow tall beyond it; birds fly overhead and nest there. We can find all we need here, Mum says, as she adds eye of newt to the cauldron.

 

This piece was inspired by the theme Bridge on the Scottish Book Trust’s 50 words section for September.

Shooter Literary Magazine

Short fiction, non-fiction and poetry

Paula Williams Writer

a blog about writing, books and sometimes Dalmatians

remixtmag

Remixt: a magazine of multiple perspectives

Scottish Writers' Centre

Company No: SC349247 - Charity No: SC040823

paulahunterblog

Stumbling about gob-smacked by the world

Sarah Tinsley

The Power of Words

Sally Jenkins

A Writer on Writing, Reading and Life

Morgen 'with an E' Bailey

Author, Tutor, Speaker, Editor, Comp Judge: www.morgenbailey.com

The Bath Novel Awards

international prizes for emerging novelists

JoUnwin

Helping authors get their books published

Zoë Strachan

News from www.zoestrachan.com

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

The Reading Room (Seòmar Leughaidh)

For lovers of the written word in Skye

Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD

EDGAR NOMINATED CRIME WRITER

Blog About Writing

Just another WordPress.com site

makemeafrock

I make nice frocks and write average poetry. And there's a bit of embroidery and the occasional rant.