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Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 24 April 2015

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs (and poems, script / novel extracts, stories at the weekends, when I get them). As you’ll see by the headings, you’ve missed a few but they’re listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there…

Poetry Writing Exercises 594: Friday 24th April

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

594 canoe_01 924811Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: unbelievable, hope, close, volcano, attention
  2. Random: seven-and-a-half years
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. One-word prompt: clang

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

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Story Writing Exercises 598: Friday 24th April

Here are your four story exercises for today.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2015 in ideas, poetry, short stories, writing

 

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Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 23 April 2015

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs (and poems, script / novel extracts, stories at the weekends, when I get them). As you’ll see by the headings, you’ve missed a few but they’re listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there…

Poetry Writing Exercises 593: Thursday 23rd April

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABelow are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: space, largest, body, today, later
  2. Random: 35,000 people
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Thursday Title: Hope and Change

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

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Story Writing Exercises 597: Thursday 23rd April

Here are your four story exercises for today.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2015 in writing, ideas, poetry, short stories

 

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Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 22 April 2015

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs (and poems, script / novel extracts, stories at the weekends, when I get them). As you’ll see by the headings, you’ve missed a few but they’re listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there…

Poetry Writing Exercises 592: Wednesday 22nd April

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

592 Golden Weaver 929637Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: million, finds, funding, early, test
  2. Random: new medicine
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Sentence start: In some cases…

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

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Story Writing Exercises 596: Wednesday 22nd April

Here are your four story exercises for today.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2015 in ideas, poetry, short stories, writing

 

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Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 21 April 2015

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs (and poems, script / novel extracts, stories at the weekends, when I get them). As you’ll see by the headings, you’ve missed a few but they’re listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there…

Poetry Writing Exercises 591: Tuesday 21st April

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

591 cabin 871457Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: party, converge, forge, grouping, Bennett
  2. Random: party, converge, forge, grouping, Bennett
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Tuesday Title: Second Class

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

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Story Writing Exercises 595: Tuesday 21st April

Here are your four story exercises for today.

Time yourself for 15 minutes for each one, then either have a break or move on to the next one. When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

595 drag car 53533Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: reflects, society, neurosis, case, bring
  2. Random: a clay sculpture
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Tuesday Title: Just Wondering

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what they say on the tin. You can start the beginning of the story with them or a later sentence but they’re a great way of kicking off.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the story but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • One-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = two characters, an object, a location, a dilemma, a trait. Mix them all together and you have a plot… hopefully.
  • First person piece or monologue (a one-sided conversation).
  • Dialogue only = this is where you literally just write a conversation between two people. No ‘he said’, ‘she said’ or description, just speech and the reader has to be able to keep up. :)
  • Second-person = some of you will know that I champion. The prompt can be in any style but has to be written in second-person viewpoint… oh, what a hardship. :)
  • Title: This is the title of your story.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

Tips

  • Don’t forget your five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell
  • Show don’t tell: if your character is angry, don’t tell us he is, have him thumping his fist on the table.
  • Colours: Include at least one colour in your story. It does add depth.
  • Use strong verbs and avoid adverbs: Have a character striding instead of walking confidently.
  • Only use repetition to emphasise.
  • When you’ve finished the first draft, read the story out loud. It’s surprising how many ‘mistakes’ leap out at you when you read out loud… assuming you have any of course!
  • And there are loads more writing tips on https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/writing-101.

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Pictures above courtesy of morguefile.com

Morgen Bailey Cover montage 2

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If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2015 in ideas, poetry, short stories, writing

 

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Writing competitions – May 2015 deadlines

On my blog’s Competitions page is a list of some writing competitions by closing date (month by month) then by regularity, followed by competition websites.

If you would like your competition listed please email me the details as per the format below (i.e. one line per competition) ensuring that it starts with the type of competition it is and highlighting the month it closes. Thank you.

As we’re over halfway through April already, below are the May deadlines (by format). If you find any information out of date, please do let me know (or leave a comment below). Thank you.

MAY
  • Children’sbookweek.ca/information-artists
  • Flash FictionIndies Unlimited hosts a weekly 250-word max. prompt competition – also see Indies Unlimited and ‘Short stories’ below.
  • Flash Fiction: Weekly challenge on theironwriter.com.
  • Flash Fiction: Each month the Scottish Book Trust provides a prompt to get you started, but where the <50-word story goes from there is entirely up to you. Their favourite story will be published on their page and the writer will receive a lovely Novel Poster from The Literary Gift Company. You can submit your story in the body of an email or as an attachment and remember to include your full name with your entry. They also welcome entries in Gaelic or Scots.
  • Flash Fiction16th May is National Flash Fiction day and you can find some competitions (various dates) on nationalflashfictionday.co.uk/competitions.html.
  • Flash Fiction: The Writing Competition is a short story competition hosted by Jeni Durlston-Powell. This writing contest offers writers the chance to win cash and publication, and is currently run quarterly (late Feb, late May, late Aug, late Nov). Short Stories up to 500 words. Titles to be limited to 10 words. Open theme and genre. Entry fee: £4. Prizes: £100, £75, £50. See http://www.writingcompetition.org.uk and http://www.shortstorycompetitionhq.com/the-writing-competition-writing-competition for details.
  • Flash Fiction: The Bridport Prize. Poems 42 lines max, short stories 5,000 words max, flash 250 words max. £15,000+ prize fund, closing date 31 May. See bridportprize.org.uk.
  • Flash FictionErewash has a 1,000 words maximum with free mini-crit feedback for all entrants. First Prize £50, Second Prize £25. Closing date: 2nd May.
  • Flash Fiction: The NLG Flash Fiction Competition (that I am Head Judge of) is open – see ‘June’ for full details.
  • Flash Fiction: The New Writer Annual Prose & Poetry Prizes launches every April. £2,000 in prizes. Closing date 30th November. Short stories, flash fiction and poetry.
  • Flash Fiction: Tethered by Letters’ Spring 2015 Flash Fiction Contest is “currently accepting flash fiction submissions of 55, 250, or 500 words in length. The flash fiction contest winner will be published in F(r)iction. Three finalists will be considered for subsequent quarterly journal publications or a TBL online monthly feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome.” Deadline: May 31, 2015. Prize: $150 and publication in the quarterly journal. Entry Fee: $7 per entry OR $15 for three entries. URLhttp://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submissionContact Info: Joe Reinis, jreinis@tetheredbyletters.com.
  • Flash Fiction / Short StoriesThe Writer’s Notebook is a monthly, free to enter short story competition. Each month has a set theme, and each writer can submit up to 2 stories per month. A new theme opens on the 1st of each month, and the deadline for entries is the 28th of each month. Future themes are available to view on our webpage. The prize is publication of the short story in our Anthology at the end of the year, and an equal share of sale profits of said Anthology. It is an experimental idea for a free to enter writing competition, relying on social media to drive sales of the Anthology and increase the prize. Stories should be 400-1500 words. A short list of three stories will be published on our blog for our readers to vote for a winner. For more information please see http://thewritersnotebookgroup.blogspot.com.
  • Memoir: Lightship Short Memoir Contest. Tell your own story, or an episode of it. 1st prize £1,000, judge Rachel Cusk. Closing date 1 Maylightshippublishing.co.uk/competition/the_lightship_short_memoir_contest.
  • Mixed: Submission to the non-fiction and fiction Shirley You Jest Book Awards opens 20th May 2015 (closes 22nd July 2015). I’m one of the sponsors!
  • Mixed: Winchester Writers’ Conference has opened their mixed writing competitions (deadline 24th May). Details in their competitions brochure. £7 per entry if attending, £9 if not.
  • Mixed: The International Yeovil Literary Prize has a closing date of 31st May and there are three categories: THE NOVEL – Please send the synopsis with opening chapters (up to 15,000 words in total) : Prizes: 1st = £1,000; 2nd = £250; 3rd = £100. Fee £11. THE SHORT STORY – Up to a maximum of 2,000 words. Prizes: 1st = £500; 2nd = £200; 3rd = £100. Fee £6. POETRY – A poem with a maximum of 40 lines. Prizes: 1st = £500; 2nd = £200; 3rd = £100. Fee £6, two for £9, three for £11. The Yeovil Literary Prize can be entered online or by post. The judges are all professional writers and publishers. For details see the website (yeovilprize.co.uk) or write to: Yeovil Literary Prize, The Octagon Theatre, Hendford, Yeovil, BA20 1UX.
  • Mixedglobalfeelgoodcompany.com/competition (opens May, closes 30th September – see ‘September’ for full details).
  • Mixed: Christian magazine Pockets has a different theme per month.
  • Mixed (novels & short story collections): iWriteReadRate and Cornerstones Literary Consultancy (voteformyebook.com) are offering a monthly social competition to members of the community – see ‘Monthly’ towards the end of this page.
  • Non-fiction: another non-fiction competition is FBFT Sports Writing.
  • Novels: The Flash 500 Novel Opening Chapter & Synopsis Competition, established 2013, is an annual competition, opening for entries on 1st May and closing on 31st October.  The judges for this competition will be the senior editors at Crooked Cat Publishing. Entry fee: £10. Prizes: £500 first prize, plus a runner’s up prize of £200.
  • NovelsNovel Rocket runs an annual Launch Pad Contest: Boosting You Out of the Slush Pile. Entries will be accepted in all genres beginning mid-January. The deadline for submission is different for genre categories according to the following schedule. In each case, entries must be received by 11:59 PM EST on the 10th day of the month (April to September) listed on novelrocket.com/p/launch-pad-contest.html. They also post a new writing-related article seven days a week, from author interviews to marketing discussions to articles about the craft of writing. NB. The entry fee is $45 so give this very careful consideration.
  • Novels: Words With JAM is running a ‘First Page Competition’ where you can enter the first page of a finished novel, work in progress or page specifically written for the competition. Closing date 31st May. Prizes £500 / £100 / £50 with fee of £6 first entry, £4 per entry thereafter. See wordswithjam.co.uk/#/first-page-competition-2013/4573741026 for details.
  • Playwriting: RealDeal Theatre is looking for 10-15 minute scripts for its new event, Popcorn Saturday!, short plays inspired by the movies, to be held late June to be held at Westminster Reference Library, off London’s Leicester Square. Entries to scripts@realdealtheatre.org.uk. A link straight to the entry details realdealtheatre.webs.com/scripts.htm.
  • Playwriting: Lightship First Act Competition. Judges: Micheline Steinberg, Dave Whybrow, Anthony McCarten. Maximum 6,000 words, closing date 31 May. See lightshippublishing.co.uk/competition/lightship_first_act_competition.
  • Playwriting: Pint-sized Plays. Scripts should be capable of being staged in a pub with a running time of 5-10 mins, closing date 31 May. See pintsizedplays.org.uk.
  • Poetry: Email received from The Pen Company.co.uk: With the start of Spring fast approaching, The Pen Company have launched a competition to win a Graf von Faber-Castell Guilloche Fountain Pen in the colour of your choice. All the details to enter the competition can be found here: thepencompany.com/blog/competitions/spring-poetry-competition (deadline 1st May). We look forward to seeing your entry. Take care, Anna, Marketing Assistant, The Pen Company.
  • Poetry: The Poetry London Competition is in its 14th year. Judge Pascale Petit. 1st Prize £1000, max 80 lines. Closing date 1 May. See poetrylondon.co.uk/competition.
  • The Poetry Box International Dark & Horror Poetry Silver Cup Trophy Award – Poetry Competition – Deadline: 1 May: The Poem/s Must Be Dark, Horror, Gothic, Gothic-Horror, Fantasy or Satire-Themed. Prizes: First Prize Winner – the elegant, generously-sized and engraved ‘The Poetry Box International Dark & Horror Poetry Silver Cup Trophy’  and the decorative ‘Winner’ Award-Winning Certificate. 2nd and 3rd Place Finalists – will receive decorative Award-Winning Certificates and Prize Cheques of £50.00 and £30.00 each respectively.  The ‘Judge’s Special Commendation Award’ winning Entries will receive decorative ‘Judge’s Special Commendation Award’ Certificates and ‘Highly Commended Award’ winning Entries will receive decorative ‘Highly Commended Award’ Certificates. ALL Prize Winners and Finalists will receive a copy of the Special  ‘Winners & Finalists’ Edition of ’The Poetry Box Dark & Horror Poetry Magazine Monthly’ which will include their published Winning Entry/ies. Entry Fees: GBP £5.00 for 1 Poem – GBP £10.00 for 3 Poems – GBP £14.00 for 4 Poems, up to a maximum of 4 Poems per Entrant. Entry Fees are Payable By Personal Cheque Drawn Against a British Bank Only to: LK Robinson – or – via Paypal to Account: NLKROBINS@aol.comEntry Form available via The Poetry Box website ThePoetryBox.co.ukPostal Entries, Entry Forms and Enquiries to The Poetry Box Magazine and Studio Address: The Poetry Box, ‘Ramshackles’ 2 Downview, Nyewood, Petersfield, Hampshire GU31 5JA, England.  Tel: 01730 821030 Email: FairyTaleRhymes@aol.com.
  • PoetryTemplar Poetry Pamphlet & Collection Awards closes for submissions on 7th May.
  • Poetry: Northampton Literature Group usually runs a yearly poetry competition with a mid-May deadline but it’s currently on hold and the group is running a flash fiction competition instead!
  • Poetry: The Montreal International Poetry Prize has a top prize $20,000 CDN, single poem, max 40 lines. Closing date 15th May. See montrealprize.com.
  • PoetryThe Welsh Poetry Competition. £4 entry per poem. Prizes: £400, £200, £100. The deadline is 26th May. Poems in English, 50 lines, unpublished. See welshpoetry.co.uk for entry forms and rules.
  • Poetry: The second ‘Poems Please Me’ Poetry Competition has a deadline of 31st May. Entry is by subscription to the site and the example given is a ‘single’ at £12 which entitles you to three entries to the competition. See poemsplease.me/?page_id=118 for more details.
  • Poetry: The fourth Battered Moons Poetry Competition is now open to all UK residents aged 18 or over and accepts poems on any topic and style of up to 40 lines. Main judge Alice Oswald and Cristina Newton will read all the poems. The 3 winners and 4 commended poets will be invited to read their poems at the Swindon Festival of Poetry early October. Winning and commended poems will appear in the Battered Moons pamphlet and website. First prize, £300; second, £150; third, £75. Entry fee: £3 each poem or £10 for 4. Closing date for entries is 31st May. Online and postal entries accepted. For further information and to enter, visit batteredmoons.com. Queries to Cristina Newton on cristina.ne.newton@gmail.com. Supported by Swindon Artswords, the Swindon Festival of Poetry, and Arts Council England.
  • Poetry: David Burland International Poetry Prize – in either French or English – closing date 31st May, 1st prize £200 + website publication. See davidburlandpoetryprize.com.
  • Poetry: The Bridport Prize. Poems 42 lines max, short stories 5,000 words max, flash 250 words max. £15,000+ prize fund, closing date 31st May. See bridportprize.org.uk.
  • Poetry: The Frogmore Poetry Prize has been annual since 1987. You can win 200 guineas and 2-year sub to The Frogmore Papers. Max 40 lines, closing date 31st May. See frogmorepress.co.uk.
  • Poetry: Tethered by Letters’ Spring 2015 Poetry Contest is “currently accepting poetry submissions of all genres and styles—from traditional form to free verse. Length requirements are no more than three pages per poem, single-spaced with double spacing between stanzas. The poetry contest winner will be published in F(r)iction. Three finalists will be considered for subsequent quarterly journal publications or a TBL online monthly poetry feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome.” Deadline: May 31, 2015. Prize: $150 and publication in the quarterly journal. Entry Fee: $7 per entry OR $15 for three entries. URL: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission. Contact Info: Joe Reinis, jreinis@tetheredbyletters.com.
  • Poetry: Another 31st May deadline is Wigtown Poetry Competition. First Prize: Main Prize £2000. Runner-up £400. Gaelic Prize £250. Scots Prize £250. Eight additional prizes of £25 each. The first poem submitted costs £7.00. Multiple entries: the first three poems cost a total of £19.00. Each subsequent entry after the first three costs £5 or a total of £14 for every additional block of 3, ie: 1 poem £7; 2 poems £14; 3 poems £19; 4 poems £24; 5 poems £29; 6 poems £33; 7 poems £38; 8 poems £43; 9 poems £47; 10 poems £52; 11 poems £57; 12 poems £61 etc. Main Prize Judge: Robin Robertson, Gaelic Prize Judge: Meg Bateman, Scots Prize Judge: Liz Niven. Winners will be invited to read their poems at the Wigtown Book Festival (late September to early October).  Winning poems will be published on the Festival website. For further details, rules and entry form, visit: wigtownbookfestival.com/poetrycomp.
  • Poetry: The Writers’ Forum Poetry Competition is a monthly contest for poems of up to 40 lines. Closing: Monthly. Entries arriving too late (after the 15th) for one month go forward to the next. Prizes: 1st – £100. Runners-up – A Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Entry Fee: £5 each, £3 each thereafter. Includes a critique (sae required if entering by post). Comp Page: writers-forum.com/poetrycomp.html.
  • Poetry: The New Writer Annual Prose & Poetry Prizes launches every April. £2,000 in prizes. Closing date 30th November. Short stories, flash fiction and poetry.
  • Poetry: Other poetry competitions include Bridport Prize (also shorts / flash), Northampton Literature Group (on hold for 2013 but flash fiction instead), PartnersTemplar Poetry Pamphlet & Collection AwardsWriting Magazine (WM: subscriber-only theme: poetry for children), Stephen Spender.
  • Screenwriting: Canada-based Wildsound run monthly screenwriting competitions.
  • ScriptwritingMini Operas scriptwriting competition opens March closes May.
  • ScriptwritingThe 10th Annual Screenwriting Challenge is a competition open to screenwriters around the world. There are 3 rounds of competition. In the 1st Round (June), writers are placed randomly in heats and are assigned a genre, subject, and character assignment (see examples of past assignments here). Writers have 8 days to write an original short screenplay no longer than 12 pages. The judges choose a top 5 in each heat to advance to the 2nd Round (July) where writers receive new assignments, only this time they have just 3 days to write an 8 page (maximum) short screenplay. Judges choose a top 25 from the 2nd Round to advance to the 3rd and final round of the competition where writers are challenged to write a 5 page (maximum) screenplay in just 24 hours (August). It’s easy to register.  First, download and read the Official Rules and Participation Agreement.  Once you have read, understood, and agree to the terms, you are ready to register by clicking here.  The entry fee is USD $39* until the Early Entry Deadline of mid-May and USD $49* until the Final Entry Deadlline of mid-June.
  • Short Stories: Tethered by Letters’ Spring 2015 Short Story Contest is “currently accepting short stories of any genre ranging from 1,000 to 7,500 words. The short story contest winner will be published in F(r)iction. Five finalists will be considered for subsequent journal publications or a TBL online monthly feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome.” Deadline: May 31, 2015. Prize: $500 and publication in the quarterly journal. Entry Fee: $15 per entry. URL: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submissionContact Info: Joe Reinis, jreinis@tetheredbyletters.com.
  • Short stories: The Writers’ Forum Short Story Competition is a monthly no-theme contest for stories between 1,000 and 3,000 words. Closing: Monthly. Entries arriving too late (after the 15th) for one month go forward to the next. Prizes: £350, £150, £100 and publication in Writers’ Forum magazine (and possible anthology). Entry Fee: £3 per story for subscribers, £6 each non-subscribers. £5 extra for a critique (sae required if entering by post). Comp Page: http://writers-forum.com/storycomp.html.
  • Short stories: Curry Mallet History Festival Short Story Competition judge is novelist Amelia Carr, max 2500 words with the title The Reunion or The Journey or The Letter, 1st prize £100, closing date 17 May. See currymallet.org/short-story-competition.
  • Short stories: The Bridport Prize. Poems 42 lines max, short stories 5,000 words max, flash 250 words max. £15,000+ prize fund, closing date 31 May. See bridportprize.org.uk.
  • Short stories: The Fiction Desk Ghost Story Competition welcomes ghost stories from 2,000 – 5,000 words. Closing date: 31st May. (Annual competition). Prizes: First prize £500, second prize £100. Entry fee:  £6 for one story; £9 for two stories submitted together. For more details, see: thefictiondesk.com/submissions/ghost-story-competition.php.
  • Short storiesGlimmer Train (different category each month), The Lorian HemingwayWriting MagazineBiscuit Publishing.
  • Short storiesHayley Sherman also runs a monthly short story competition for submissions on any subject up to 2,000 words. The winners are published on the website, promoted online and receive a £10 First Writer voucher. All entrants are also considered for publication in The New Short Story Annual at the end of the year. Deadline 25th of the month. Heather Marie Schuldt runs a similar contest, although 500-750 words max., but with the same deadline.
  • Short storiesSaga is running a ghost short story competition. Max 3,000 words. Deadline: 31st May.
  • Short stories: The New Writer Annual Prose & Poetry Prizes launches every April. £2,000 in prizes. Closing date 30th November. Short stories, flash fiction and poetry.
  • NB. Don’t forget to check out the ongoing competition websites listed at the end of this blog’s Competitions page.

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You can contact me and find me on the internet, view my books (including my debut novel The Serial Dater’s Shopping Listvarious short story collections and writer’s block workbooks) and If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating. Thank you.

For anyone looking for an editor, do take a look at Editing and Critique.

If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.

 

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Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 20 April 2015

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs (and poems, script / novel extracts, stories at the weekends, when I get them). As you’ll see by the headings, you’ve missed a few but they’re listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there…

Poetry Writing Exercises 590: Monday 20th April

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

590 waterfall 937677Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: consultation, suggest, challenge, treatment, decision
  2. Random: ten minutes’ grace
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Monologue Monday: Write a first-person poem – someone with an important issue

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

*

Story Writing Exercises 594: Monday 20th April

Here are your four story exercises for today.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 20, 2015 in ideas, poetry, short stories, writing

 

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Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 17 April 2015

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs (and poems, script / novel extracts, stories at the weekends, when I get them). As you’ll see by the headings, you’ve missed a few but they’re listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there…

Poetry Writing Exercises 589: Friday 17th April

 

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

589 leaf 951307Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: month, guide, profit, council, generate
  2. Random: a full recovery
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. One-word prompt: care

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

*

Story Writing Exercises 593: Friday 17th April

 

Here are your four story exercises for today.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 17, 2015 in ideas, poetry, short stories, writing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
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