Tag Archives: writing competitions

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.

 

 

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Short short list

6 Mar

I’ve been trying to submit more regularly to the Writing Magazine‘s monthly competitions and have made it onto the shortlist again. Big up to Michael Callaghan and Dominic Bell whose names are on almost every list. And of course to the winner and runner-up whose work will appear here very soon, or now in the April edition of The Writing Magazine, which comes with a competition supplement and an advert for Beech Editorial Services (plug plug).

 

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.

Interview Online

29 Nov

I’ve just done an interview with The Writing District about my winning short story It. You can read the interview here.

Woodland Farewell

24 Nov

Died of cancer, he did. Wanted a woodland burial, like the smell he said, reminded him of when he was a kid and could run about without getting out of puff. Packet of fags and a lighter in there, you know. Just in case I need to burn my way out, or give the lungs another blast, and die again, happy.

 

This piece was inspired by a photo prompt at Creative Writing Ink

Catching up on my reading, and getting rewarded

28 Mar

I restarted a new subscription to Writing Magazine about a year ago and got second place in one of the first competitions I entered with them. Read it HERE So far so good, but my reading had slipped a bit, as the magazines are crammed full of articles, stories and various other info about outlets etc.

Anyway, I was sitting at my desk today reading January’s edition, and look:

Writing Magazine Jan2017

Bizarrely I was just working on that very story this afternoon to make it fit the word count of another competition. The Scottish Art Club’s short story competition has a hefty entrance fee, but feeling more confident after seeing this.

Inheritance

3 Nov

‘And now,’ Clare said, ‘do you regret not opening the door.

She’d caught her at a bad time, otherwise Eve would never have shared so much with Clare, but once she had started it had all come out. She re-focused on the obituary in her hand, carefully cut from a newspaper and sent thousands of miles.

She had made the journey in the opposite direction two years before. The streets of her home town had been both familiar and foreign. A differently coloured front door causing her mind to falter, to stop the memory, to check the dream.

She’d driven the rental out to the farm, parking a mile away, then walking slowly towards the house. At no point did she think she wouldn’t go through with it. Her kids had jobs now, no longer dependent on her; and her divorce settlement allowed her to book the plane ticket with barely a thought.

It was only when she was there, her hand on the doorknob, that she hesitated.

A noise from within startled her. Footsteps. A nicotine-strained cough. The scrape of a chair.

Fear clenched at her stomach, anger at her bowels. The scars she had etched on her thighs with sharpened sticks, pulled.

She wasn’t sure if she had come to forgive or seek forgiveness.

‘Do you regret not opening the door?’ Clare repeated.

What Eve couldn’t explain was that she had heard no raised voices, no pitiful cries or smashes of crockery. But she could feel the quiet disappointment oozing through the door; the aggressive silences; the oppressive power.

‘No,’ Eve said finally. ‘Je ne regrette rien.’ She smiled, deflecting with humour.

‘And did your mother leave you anything?’ Clare asked, picking for secrets to share at her book group.

Eve nodded. ‘I inherited everything.’

 

 

This piece was inspired by this prompt at Creative Writing Ink

 

prompt door open

Update – Event More Excited ‘Lost’ – Writing Magazine

3 Aug

Very excited that my short story Lost, which won second prize in the Writing Magazine’s 750 words competition, is now available to read on the Writers Online website, although you may need to be a subscriber to access. Great to get feedback to in the judge’s comments section.

Update:

Just found out that the story is also in the printed version of the magazine – unfortunately mine doesn’t normally arrive until Saturday, so need to make do with a photography sent via the lovely Ethly Smith, whose book Changed Times is out now.

If you manage to read the story I’d love to know what you thought. And you just know you’re going to get a photo of me with the magazine tomorrow, with a big grin on my face.

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

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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, Podcaster - website/shop: 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.