The twenty-fifth episode of the Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast was released on 7th February 2011 and the content has never been released other than website links (on my website http://www.morgenbailey.com) so I hope you find this information useful. In the first twenty-four episodes (see http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/bwt-podcast for earlier blog posts), I covered ‘show not tell’, the five senses, repetition, points of view, tenses, dialogue, characters, crime, poetry, short stories, novels, writing for children, scriptwriting, comedy, romance and chick lit, erotica, ‘writing rules’, historical & the classics, name & characters, Christmas, opportunities, songwriting, reading, auto/biographies and computer tips (parts 1&2).
This episode had a focus on competitions and submissions. Although some of the dates have passed, I have left the details in as it will show you what was available and many competitions are yearly so they may well be run again in 2012. Please note: I can’t vouch for these competitions so do check the information thoroughly before parting with your hard-earned writing and money but having a competition win or shortlist is always a good thing to have on your writing CV so I would recommend having a go.
- www.poetryandstories.com is a site where you can register for free then post poetry or short stories on the website for other members to comment. They announce winners on the 1st and 16th of each month.
- Backed by travel writer Bill Bryson OBE, www.globalshortstories.net will select a monthly winning story and a highly commended work to receive a cash prize and will be posted on their website. At the end of twelve months, each winner will be considered for an annual cash prize.
- Txt Lit is a new literary genre of creative writing using a mobile phone texting system. A single mobile phone text message contains just 160 characters, including spaces and punctuation. Each entry costs £1 plus the normal cost of a text message as charged by your network provider. You can enter each competition as many times as you like. First prize: at least £50. Competitions every month. More details including the theme of the month on website atwww.txtlit.co.uk.
- Writers’ Forum monthly Short Story Competition is judged by one of my former tutors (and my first podcast interviewee) Sue Moorcroft – any genre, but stories must be original and previously unpublished. Aim for a word count between 800 and 3,000. Stories may embrace crime, mystery, romance, sport, humour, fantasy, erotica or science-fiction. Monthly prizes of £300 for the best story published and then £150 and £100 for runners up. Text should be typewritten or word-processed, printed in double spacing. Fee is £6 for non-subscribers, £3 for subscribers with an extra £5 if you wish critique. See www.writers-forum.com. Sue will also be a speaker at the forthcoming Verulam Writers’ Get Writing Conference in Hitchin, Hertfordshire on Sat 19th Feb.
- Writers’ Forum Magazine also runs a monthly Poetry Competition. Prizes: £100 plus publication; three runners-up receive a dictionary plus publication. Entry fee: £5 per poem, £7 for two. No theme, up to 40 lines. Every entry with SAE receives a free tick-box critique. Like the short-story comp there’s no deadline as the competition is continuous. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and website www.writers-forum.com. The magazine is available by subscription or from branches of WH Smith and other good newsagents.
- Writers’ Billboard has bi-monthly writing competitions in various formats, including poetry. Website: http://writersbillboard.net.
- The Seventh Quark runs three separate competitions, a Quarterly Story Prize (2000-4000 words), a bi-Monthly Shorter Story Prize (under 2000 words) and a regular simultaneously written Frantic Flash Competition. Please see details of dates and entry fees on the website http://seventhquark.blogspot.com or email email@example.com.
- Quarterly competitions include The British Fantasy Society’s next ‘Pages Quarterly Open Short Story’ competition (deadlines 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December) – see www.britishfantasysociety.org.uk/index.php/short-story-competition and American quarterly internet magazine ‘The First Line’ (deadlines 1st February, 1st May, 1st August and 1st November) – see www.thefirstline.com for full details.
- 14th February – Words by the Water/Mirehouse Poetry Prize: www.wayswithwords.co.uk/news/words-by-the-water–mirehouse-poetry-competition-46.
- 14th February – www.writersandartists.co.uk/short-story-competition-2011
- 16th February – Norwich Writers’ Circle Open Poetry Comp: www.norwichwriters.org.uk.
- 25th February – www.franceslincoln.co.uk/en/Page/98/Diverse_Voices.html: The Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award. Min 15,000/max 35,000 words, you must be an unpublished children’s novelist.
- 28th February – Grace Dieu Writers’ Circle Open Poetry/Short Story Comp: www.gracedieuwriterscircle.co.uk.
- 28th February – Kelpies Prize 2010 (again children’s novels): www.florisbooks.co.uk/kelpiesprize.
- 3rd March – Windsor Fringe: www.windsorfringe.co.uk.
- www.sigriddaughter.com/GlassWomanPrize.htm accepts submissions of 50 to 5000 words written by female authors until 21st March.
- Meridian Writing Quarterly Short Story Comp: www.meridian-writing.co.uk (next: deadline is 31st March).
- www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travel-writing-competition has a weekly competition.
- www.fishpublishing.com/writing-contest-competition.php and www.writersreign.co.uk/comp.html have a variety of competitions run throughout the year so do take a look – you never know what you might be missing.
- Park Publications also runs numerous competitions (www.parkpublications.co.uk/writingcompetion.htm) as well as producing short story magazine ‘Scribble’, ‘Countryside Tales’ (for which they invite fiction, articles and poetry) and the new ‘Debut’ magazine.
- For those of you who have written a novel, details of YouWriteOn‘s ‘book of the year’ competition can be found at www.youwriteon.com/info/competitions.
- www.wordsmag.com/compcal11.htm lists their forthcoming competitions. Entry by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to WORDS, PO Box 13574, London W9 3FX.
- www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/competitions lists UK poetry competitions.
- www.eastfortyseventh.co.uk/comps.htm and www.kudoswritingcompetitions.com list loads of different competitions.
- www.sfx.co.uk/category/competitions has a variety of competitions for the science fiction genre.
- www.20x20magazine.com/about details their guidelines. There is currently no payment for submissions but you would get a free copy of the relevant magazine (with your name in print!).
- www.shadowtrain.com is “a bi-monthly gathering of poems, translations, articles and other writings, from the lyrical to the innovative, whatever stings and stuns the editor”. Submissions are by email only – see www.shadowtrain.com/id6.html for more details.
- Don’t forget to keep an eye on Jacqui Bennett’s markets listings for www.jbwb.co.uk. She covers markets for short stories, novels, articles, non-fiction, poetry, agents, small press and overseas news.
Hints & tips
- Whenever submitting to a competition or magazine etc., wherever possible read the publication and / or website that you’re submitting to. Apparently a large portion of submissions are inappropriate or have very bad grammar so if you do your best to get what they may be likely to want, you’re half way there. Also, do keep a list of everything you send and whatever you do don’t send a story/poem to more than one place at once… if you’re accepted by two or more places, you’ll have to upset someone and apparently editors have good memories!
- www.writers-editors.com/Writers/Contests/Contest_Tip_Sheet/contest_tip_sheet.htm has some interesting tips for submitting to writing contests.
- www.writersdigest.com/GeneralMenu has general tips and info on competitions.
- www.scribblepad.co.uk/EnteringACreativeWritingContest.html is a site packed with information and tips on entering creative writing contests.
- www.sfx.co.uk/page/sfx?entry=short_story_writing_tips_from has writing tips for sci-fi and fantasy competitions.
- www.poetryclass.net/kids.htm is the same but for poetry especially for children.
- Thanks to Fiona from the Midlands, England for http://wow-womenonwriting.com which is an “ezine for promoting the communication between women writers, authors, editors, agents, publishers and readers.
- http://thewritersghillie.wordpress.com is the website for Nairn Writers’ Group and has a variety of information including links to courses / workshops, events, guest interviews, non-fiction, short stories, competitions and writing groups / workshops.
- www.fanstory.com/index1contest.jsp lists ongoing competitions of which there are 50 each month! You can submit poetry and/or short stories free of charge for cash prizes! It’s an American site which sounds like fantasy but also have categories of sci-fi, humour, mystery, war, horror, non-fiction, children and ‘others’. They make their money by advertisers and membership. Work listed is reviewed and you can review other people’s work.
- www.theprizefinder.com contains loads of competitions you can enter under a variety of topics.
- www.loquax.co.uk is a similar site but doing a search on ‘book’ only produces three competitions and one with a ‘writing’ search. Let me know if you find more.
- http://kudoswriting.wordpress.com/welcome-to-kudos is the website for Carole Baldock’s Kudos which is published bi-monthly and advises where writers can submit their work for competitions, anthologies, books and other format. The magazines are currently £3 each (£18 per year).
- www.prizemagic.co.uk/html/writing_comps.htm and www.creative-competitor.co.uk/competitions.htm list a variety of competitions.
- http://writelink.co.uk/res_dbmain.php?cat=competitions, www.jbwb.co.uk/writingcomps.htm and www.writing-4-profit.co.uk also list a variety of competitions.
- www.winningwriters.com/contests/free/log/frl_annc.php lists free contests to enter.
- www.sallyquilford.co.uk/page6.htm lists a variety of, mostly British, magazine guidelines. As she says “the guidelines for women’s magazines change on a regular basis, so always go back and check for the latest.”
Here I provide a couple of story ideas or ways to get new ideas then list seven sentence starts listed on my http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/sentence-starts page; each one, if you’d like to use them, for a daily writing project.
- The lottery has been written about so many times, millions of people play it each week and many of them watch the live shows but try thinking of a new angle. I saw a TV series a few months ago where a man fakes winning and his life spirals out of control, others have been made about people winning the lottery then losing or spending the lot.
- Write a story about two people competing for the affection of a third.
The podcast concluded with Quotes, News & Feedback, On This Day in History and a 60-worder called ‘Bigger fish to fry’: Barrie loved the smell of fish. He’d wanted to be a trawler man but was violently seasick. Living in the Outer Hebrides he’d often watch the boats go out and wished he could be on them. He was skimming his local paper for a job and spotted the perfect position. ‘Assistant wanted at ‘The Fryer’ fish shop. No experience required.’
That’s it. Thank you for visiting – a list of the other transcripts and summaries can be found at http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/bwt-podcast.