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July-deadline writing competitions

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 June already, below are the July deadlines (by format). If you find any information out of date, please do let me know (or leave a comment below). Thank you.

JULY
  • Children’sSociety of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Undiscovered Voices is a competition for unpublished and un-agented writers and illustrators living in the EU. The anthology will include twelve fiction extracts – from early readers up through young adult novels – and twelve black-and-white illustrations. The anthology will be published the following February and sent free of charge to editors, art directors and agents whose focus is children’s literature. Open for entries from 1 July to 15 August.
  • Children’sSmall but Mighty Writers runs free-to-enter writing competitions for authors aged 7-11 and 12-15, as well as being a ‘creative writing community for young writers’. Competitions currently close 1st July.
  • Flash FictionIndies Unlimited hosts a weekly 250-word max. prompt competition – see Indies Unlimited. Also see ‘Short stories’ below.
  • Flash Fiction: Weekly challenge on theironwriter.com.
  • 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: 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 FictionTethered by Letters’ Fall 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 as the featured flash fiction in the Fall Quarterly Journal. Three finalists will be considered for subsequent quarterly journal publications or a TBL monthly feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome.” Deadline: July 15. Prize: $50 and publication in the quarterly journal. Entry Fee: $4 per entry OR $10 for three entries URL: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission.
  • 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.
  • Flash fiction: An ongoing competition is the NAWG’s ‘100’ competition. The task is to write a 100-word story exactly (usually excluding the title) and when they have 100 stories in, the judge picks his / her favourite and awards £75 to the winner and £25 to the runner-up. Entry is £3 for the first story, £5.50 for two or £8 for three. Details on http://www.nawg.co.uk/3805.
  • 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: Christian magazine Pockets has a different theme per month, Matrix Magazine (poetry & fiction), Tenby Arts Festival (shorts & poetry), Arthritis Care (shorts & poetry), Wasafiri (poetry, fiction, life writing), Poundbury Voices (shorts & poetry with Dorset connection), Leaf Books (book reviews), Wells Lit Fest (novels, poetry, short stories), Slingink (shorts & poetry), Dream Questone.
  • 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.
  • Mixedglobalfeelgoodcompany.com/competition (opens May, closes 30th September – see ‘September’ for full details).
  • Non-fiction: another non-fiction competition is Sportswriters.org.
  • NovelsFirst Chapter Writing Competition: Prizes: £250, £200, £150, £100, £75. Closing date: 12th July. £4 per submission. Professional feedback is available for an additional £5.00 per submission. This competition is perfect if you have an unpublished novel and would like to enter the first chapter into our fantastic new competition. You can also have your submissions evaluated professionally for an additional £5.00 each. All we ask is that your first chapter has a maximum of 6000 words and that you are the author. Full details online.
  • 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.
  • Novels: Legend Press, the leading independent publisher in the UK has an annual bursary prize for writers called the Luke Bitmead Bursary. “The prize was set up in honour of Luke Bitmead. His debut novel was the first novel Legend Press published but sadly, after struggling with depression, Luke committed suicide. The award has been set up by his mother in partnership with us to support and encourage the work of struggling writers, and is the UK’s biggest prize for unpublished authors. This is an award that we are very proud to run and I am emailing you today to let you know about it in case any of your writers would be interested in entering. Submissions must be adult fiction, and only completed novels will be considered. Full guidelines can be found on our websiteClosing: Submissions open 1st May until 1st AugustPrizes: A publishing contract with Legend Press and a £2,500 cash bursary. Entry Fee: Free to enter.”
  • 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.
  • NovelsWells Lit Fest (novels, poetry, short stories) – Poetry and Short Story: First Prize £500, Second Prize £200, Third Prize £100.  In addition there is the Wyvern Prize of £100 for entrants living in the BA, BS, and TA postcodes. Crime Novel: The winning entry will be read by a major publisher and by a leading agent.  In addition there will be a cash prize of £100.  The judge may also arrange for an exceptional runner-up entry to be read by an agent or a publisher. Entry fees: Poetry and Short Story: £5 for each entry, Crime Novel: £10 for each entry. For an additional fee of £20, entrants may request comments from the judge. Deadline 31st July. For full rules see wellslitfest.org.uk/competitionrules.php.
  • Novels: other July deadline competitions include The Greenhouse Funny Prize (in association with The University of York’s Writers’ Workshop Festival of Writing), Aurora Metro‘s The Virginia Prize.
  • PlaysSussex Playwrights.
  • Plays: The 1st Liverpool International Open Short Story, Poetry and Playwriting Competition – see ‘Mixed’ above.
  • Poetry: Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competition has a closing date of: 9th July.
 First Prize: £1000 and a residential writing course at Tŷ Newydd

. Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competitions opens March with a great first prize of £1000 cash and a residential course at
 Tŷ Newydd.

 Adults: First Prize  £1000 and a week at Tŷ Newyd
 Second Prize £500
. Third Prize £250. 

See website poetry-festival.co.uk for details of Young People and Children’s competition section. 

Winners have the opportunity to read their poems at next year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival.
 Go to poetry-festival.co.uk for further details of our poetry competition and to download an entry form, or telephone 0845 458 1743 and we will put a leaflet in the post for you. Entry fees: first poem £5, for each subsequent poem £3.
 Children and Young People enter free for first poem.

 Ledbury Poetry Festival runs early July. If you wish to join our email list and receive a programme in May email: boxoffice@poetry-festival.co.uk.
  • Poetrywww.manechancesanctuary.org/writing has a poetry and short story competition, both with a 10 July closing date. Proceeds go to the horse sanctuary so you’re supporting a good cause, even if you don’t win.
  • Poetry: Liberated Words Poetry Film Festival Competitions. Deadline: 30 July. Videopoetry or digital moving poetry amongst other names is, according to Tom Konyves: the poetic juxtaposition of images with text and sound. See poetrycan.co.uk for details.
  • Poetry: The Portico Prizes. Deadline: 31 July. Manchester’s famous Portico Library is accepting poems on the theme of letters. Your poem could mention letters, be about sending letters, an extract of a letter, or actually about letters. There are two categories: One for under 18s (free to enter, judged by young writers James Mullard and Richy Campbell) and over 16s (£5 per entry plus £2.50 per extra) judged by published poets Mandy Coe and Sarah McLennan). See theportico.org.uk for details.
  • Poetry: The 1st Liverpool International Open Short Story, Poetry and Playwriting Competition – see ‘Mixed’ above.
  • PoetryTethered by Letters’ Fall Poetry Contest. We are 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 as the featured poem in the Fall Quarterly Journal. Three finalists will be considered for subsequent quarterly journal publications or a TBL monthly poetry feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome. Deadline: July 15. Prize: $100 and publication in the quarterly journal. Entry Fee: $5 per entry OR $12 for three entries. URL: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission.
  • 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 Mere Literary Festival’s Biennial Open Poetry Competition has a deadline of July 12th. See merelitfest.co.uk or send an sae to MLF, Lawrences, Old Hollow, Mere, Wilts. BA12 6EG. Proceeds to Mere & District Linkscheme (Re.Charity No: 1062328)
  • PoetryWells Lit Fest (novels, poetry, short stories) – Poetry and Short Story: First Prize £500, Second Prize £200, Third Prize £100.  In addition there is the Wyvern Prize of £100 for entrants living in the BA, BS, and TA postcodes. Crime Novel: The winning entry will be read by a major publisher and by a leading agent.  In addition there will be a cash prize of £100.  The judge may also arrange for an exceptional runner-up entry to be read by an agent or a publisher. Entry fees: Poetry and Short Story: £5 for each entry, Crime Novel: £10 for each entry. For an additional fee of £20, entrants may request comments from the judge. Deadline 31st July. For full rules see wellslitfest.org.uk/competitionrules.php.
  • 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 Aldeburgh First Collection PrizeBuzzwordsLIPPTenby Arts FestThynks PostcardVallum MagWriters BureauWriting Magazine (monthly), Essex Poetry FestivalMslexiaBuzzwords Open Poetry CompetitionFoyle Young Poets.
  • Science-fiction: Literary science magazine Cosmos is looking for short stories by end July.
  • Screenwriting: Canada-based Wildsound run monthly screenwriting competitions.
  • Scriptwriting: The First Liverpool Writers Poetry, Script and Short Story Competition has a deadline of 31st July. See liverpoolwriters.wix.com/liverpool-writers#!competition/c1vm7 for details.
  • Short storieswww.manechancesanctuary.org/writing has a poetry and short story competition, both with a 10 July closing date. Proceeds go to the horse sanctuary so you’re supporting a good cause, even if you don’t win.
  • Short stories: The Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition from Wrekin Writers – maximum 1200 words, 1st prize £150, entry fee £3 per story, all profit (Entry Fees less Prize Money) to Severn Hospice, closing date 15th July. See sites.google.com/site/wrekinwriters/Home/competitions-1/doris-gooderson-2013-competition.
  • Short stories: Tethered by Letters’ Fall Literary Contests. We are currently accepting submissions for our short story contest (1,000 to 7,500 words, open genre). TBL strives to publish writers with engaging stories, vivid characters, and fresh writing styles. All winners will be published in Tethered by Letters’ Quarterly Journal. All finalists will receive free professional edits on their submission and be considered for later publication. The prize is $250 (USDA) for the short story winner. Winner announced publicly on August 1st. Multiple entries accepted. International submissions welcome. Good luck to all our authors! Deadline: July 15th. Fee: $10 per story. URL: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission.
  • 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 storiesH G Wells Festival Short Story Anthology. Stories must be between 1500 and 5000 words long. Entry fees are free for entrants aged 25 or under, and £5 per story for entrants aged 26 or older. Shortlisted stories will be published in the Anthology, at the judges’ discretion, and extracts may also be used online to publicise the competition. Closing date 20th July.
  • Short storiesHayley Sherman 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 stories: The H.E. Bates Short Story Competition (run by Northampton Writers Group opened in June and has a 30th November deadline and for 2015 has me as Head Judge :) Prizes: £500, £100, £50. Entry Fee: £6 for the first story, £10 for two and £5 per story thereafter. Full details on http://www.hebatescompetition.org.uk.
  • Short stories: Scotland’s International Crime Festival Bloody Scotland (which runs mid-September) has a short story competition opens 19th June, closes 28th July.
  • Short stories3-into-1 story competition has a 3,000 word limit, £1,000 top prize (then £500, £300, £200 and top 20 stories will be published in an anthology. Fee £7. Judges Michael Dobbs and Adèle Geras. No genre limit but you have to include a black queen chess piece, bunch of fresh flowers and a £10 note in the story.  :) A portion of the entry proceeds goes to The Arthrogryposis Group charity and the deadline is 31st July.
  • Short stories: The Sean O Faolain Short Story Competition is run by the Munster Literature Center and is offering writers the chance to win cash, publication and a writer’s residency.Stories up to 3000 words. All themes and genres. Writers of any age and any nationality are welcome. Multiple entries are welcome. All stories to be original and unpublished. Closing date: July 31st. Entry fee: €15, US $20 or £15. See http://www.munsterlit.ie/SOF%20Page.html for details.
  • Short stories: Another 31st July deadline is The Carmel Bird Short Fiction Award, a short story competition run by Spineless Wonders. In this writing competition, authors have the chance to win cash and publication in anthology. Short stories up to 4000 words. Entry fee: AS$10. 1st Prize – $500. Winning and shortlisted stories will be published in the Spineless Wonders annual anthology along with stories by invited authors. See http://shortaustralianstories.com.au/submissions/the-carmel-bird-award for details.
  • Short Stories: The First Liverpool Writers Poetry, Script and Short Story Competition has a deadline of 31st July. See liverpoolwriters.wix.com/liverpool-writers#!competition/c1vm7 for details.
  • Short storiesMassacre Magazine runs a quarterly horror 250-word max short story competition. Deadlines end April, July, October, January. “We will pick one winner who will receive a £15/$20 Amazon voucher and have their story published in the summer issue of Massacre Magazine. Our decision is final, any moaners will be mangled.”  :)
  • Short storiesWells Lit Fest (novels, poetry, short stories) – Poetry and Short Story: First Prize £500, Second Prize £200, Third Prize £100.  In addition there is the Wyvern Prize of £100 for entrants living in the BA, BS, and TA postcodes. Crime Novel: The winning entry will be read by a major publisher and by a leading agent.  In addition there will be a cash prize of £100.  The judge may also arrange for an exceptional runner-up entry to be read by an agent or a publisher. Entry fees: Poetry and Short Story: £5 for each entry, Crime Novel: £10 for each entry. For an additional fee of £20, entrants may request comments from the judge. Deadline 31st July. For full rules see wellslitfest.org.uk/competitionrules.php.
  • 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.
  • Short stories: Other July deadline competitions include Glimmer Train (different category each month), HISSACLaurel HouseMonologue With A TwistTenby Arts FestWriting MagazineWrekin WritersLiterature WalesHay Short StoryMunsterNarrative MagazineHelene JamesWriters of the Future (<17,000 words), Writers’ ClinicLaurel House Creative WorkshopsAlibi.
  • SoundtracksMini Operas soundtrack competition opens 4th June closes late July.
  • NB. Don’t forget to check out the ongoing competition websites listed at the end of the competitions page.

Morgen Bailey Cover montage 2

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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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Post-weekend Poetry 031: Lies by Alison Strange-Green

Welcome to Post-weekend Poetry and the thirty-first poem in this series. This week’s piece is by Alison Strange-Green.

Lies

Quite unsure of her smile
Uncertainty plain to see
Vivid memories untrue
Of what had never been?
Desperate to attract with lies
Mischievous stories told
Twisted words of innocence
her smile remained unsure
Cross examined, yet arrogant
she misled the eager throng
Leashing untold chaos
to never right the wrong?
Tearing at the fabric
Vague truths inside her lies
Accepting penance with rigour
No longer could she smile
Her past was such a lonely place
Full of foolish fantasy
Circumcised by corrupt lies
all innocence had vanished

Brewing with neglect and need
her story unearthed a tale
of dangerous lies, spun sinfully
destroying friendships through the tears

***

I asked Alison what prompted this piece…

The poem “lies” was inspired by actual events. The poet was caught up in a web of deceit and lies. Finding her self in a position where by legally she was unable to expose the truth. Reeling from her anger and disgust at the out come of the situation she penned the poem “Lies”. It reveals the ugliness of human nature and lengths a person will go to achieve their ultimate goal of misguided revenge. Completely disregarding thoughts and feelings of others. Showing no remorse for the consequences of their actions. Destroying families and communities forever. A deeply personal and thought provoking piece of poetry as life seen through the eyes of the poet Alison Strange-Green.

Thank you Alison.

Alison Strange–Green was born during the 1970s in the sleepy coal mining community of Caerphilly, South Wales. Her early childhood memories mostly consist of life in the nearby village of Ystrad Mynach, where she attended the local girl’s school, until her family uprooted and moved to nearby Blackwood. Being an only child and finding it hard to adjust, she led a solitary existence initially, spending hours absorbed in her own imagination and thoughts. During this time she first explored her unique creative nature. Slowly gaining confidence she made friends with ease, although still a very introspective and shy creature.

An above average student at school, she provided more enthusiasm than talent in most subjects. It was only during her later years that the emphasis of education was realised, resulting in many academic achievements during her 20s. Unfortunately, a complex neurological condition was then diagnosed and work seemed unlikely. This however only excelled Alison’s thirst for knowledge. Longing for the acceptance of her peers she moved out of the family home in the late 80’s, only to return a few years later more confident and self-adjusted. Her more creative nature was in full flow, as was the poetry and short stories she had begun to write.

During the winter of 1993 she made a life-changing decision. Without warning she moved to Wigan, Lancashire at the tender age of 23, where she continued her combined Honours Degree in Sociology, Psychology and Forensic Psychology at UCLAN. She also established and managed a mental health unit for several years, which was both inspiring and rewarding.

As quickly as she arrived she left Lancashire. Even after 15 years she yearned to return to her native Wales. Wales often being the inspiration for many verses. Soon after returning home she married and is now happily surrounded by her family, husband Michael, Alexander 6 years and Isabella 10 months in Newport, South Wales. Alison’s creative streak shines throughout “Nocturnal Sunrise” displaying her own thoughts and imagination laid bare. Her website is www.strange-green.com.

***

If you’d like to submit your poem (40 lines max) for consideration for Post-weekend Poetry take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with novelist and short story author Marc Nash – the four hundred and fortieth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) :) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in ebooks, poetry

 

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Author Spotlight no.94 – Sheriff Garba

Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the ninety-fourth, is of Sheriff Garba.

Sheriff Garba is the author of the poetry anthology, Aries, Aphrodite, and Aries. He is a Nigerian novelist, poet, playwright, and essayist. His numerous works span the disciplines of literature, history, philosophy, and science. At present he is working on Nigeria and Her Leaders – a chronology of people and events that have shaped the life of Nigeria since independence from the British in 1960; Roses in the Twilight – an anthology of love poetry; Iskókí the Essaylogue – anthology of essays on humanities and socio-economic dialectics in Nigeria, Africa, and the world; and Legend of the Wakili Tales a multi-cultural YA novel.

He is the recipient of the 2006 Centre for Environment and Science Education, CESE of the Lagos State University, LASU Best Essayist prize. He is also a member of the Lagos State branch of the Association of Nigerian Authors.

In his leisure time, he loves to battle it out on Mortal Kombat, listen to music especially rap, and watch movies.

He was formerly an active contributor on the Canadian news website, Suite101.com and now writes a column, Sheriff’s Shelf in the Nigerian online magazine, Ayaka. He resides in Ogun state, Nigeria.

And now from the author himself:

If I could describe myself in two words, those words would be unconventional and versatile. Unconventional has a lot to do with my personal worldview and actions but versatile is what best describes my relationship with the arts. I love the evolving, the exciting and perhaps that is what led me to poetry. The unconventional part of me decreed my choice of free verse as the predominant vehicle to express my creative verve.

Coming from a multiethnic background and growing up in a multiethnic city like Lagos also played its own part in the fashioning of my versatile self. Little wonder that even though I started with the prose form, I subsequently branched out to other genres of literature.

I wrote my first book, a storybook when I was eight or so. The book unfortunately got lost in edition. I got over that awful experience and later went on to write a novel at the age of twelve / thirteen. However I had to wait till when I was eighteen before I was able to finally savour the euphoria of seeing my poetry anthology in print.

Unfortunately another attribute of mine with particular regard to the literary arts is laziness. On the one hand it is a good quality actually, for a writer to exercise patience and let his creative muse dictate his writing pace but on the other hand it is the major reason why I have only published one book to date.

As unconventional as I am, there is a part of me that remains obdurately conservative. That probably explains my weak social media presence. Nevertheless I still maintain some semblance of that. I am still an outsider to the e-book revolution but I manage a blog at http://sheriffgarba.wordpress.com and http://sheriffgarba.blogspot.com. I post articles rather infrequently – usually articles on socio-political and economic discourse from Africa and the rest of the world – but when I do, I ensure they are incisive and informative.

My choice of literary hangouts is the Association of Nigerian Authors monthly meet, which comes up second Saturdays of every month at the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos.

I strongly believe that a writer should never dissociate himself from the socio-political and economic happenings and or discourse in his immediate and larger society at any given time. As such I lend my voice to issues that crop up in this regard: politics, race relations, gender relations, and LGBT rights.

Having lived in Lagos for nineteen years, I now live in a rather rowdy but otherwise pleasant town in Ogun state, Nigeria.

You can find more about Sheriff and his writing via… Suite101.com, Ayaka Online magazine, and his blogs http://sheriffgarba.wordpress.com and http://sheriffgarba.blogspot.com.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with Christian author Henry Miranda – the four hundred and third of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) :) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

 

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Author Spotlight no.82 – Jaidis Shaw

Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the eighty-second, is of Jaidis Shaw.

Jaidis Shaw currently resides in a small town located in South Carolina with her husband and beautiful daughter. With a passion for reading, Jaidis can always be found surrounded by books and dreaming of new stories. She enjoys challenging herself by writing in different genres and currently has several projects in the works.

Her short story, ‘The Tower’, is published in the Twisted Fairy Tales Volume II anthology by Wicked East Press. Another short story, ‘Blind Justice’, has been accepted for publication in the Wicked Bag of Suspense Tales anthology, also by Wicked East Press.

Having previously only had short stories published, Jaidis entered the exciting world of self-publishing when she released her debut YA paranormal romance Destiny Awaits – book one in the Juniper Grove Chronicles. Although there are plans for other books in this series, each book is stand-alone.

When not reading or writing, Jaidis fills the position of Book Tour Coordinator for Nurture Your Books™, maintains the Juniper Grove blog and loves encouraging her daughter to let her imagination run wild.

And now from the author herself:

I began my writing journey with a timid attitude and being extremely self-conscious. I have always struggled with confidence issues where my writing is concerned and I allowed the fear of failure to rule over me, keeping my writing in the dark. After some much needed encouragement from friends, I submitted a short story to a publisher that was having an open submission call. Did I expect to be accepted? No. In fact, I was almost certain that my short story would be rejected but the mere act of submitting the story was my goal. I was a nervous wreck because I knew that someone would be reading and judging it. The courage to actually submit my story was what I was trying to achieve so that I could accomplish my goal of becoming a published author. When I received the email stating that my story had been accepted it was a beacon of hope. Maybe I could do this and it gave me the fuel to push ahead.

For me, the next step was to search out various open submission calls and find the ones that interested me. I was accepted to participate in a writing challenge where I would be given a prompt and genre and would have to build a story around it. I faced the challenge head on and created a story that I feel as though readers will enjoy. That short story, will be published in the upcoming Wicked Bag of Suspense Tales anthology by Wicked East Press.

With two acceptances under my belt and numerous hours spent building a platform on various networking sites gave me the confidence to pick up the manuscript that I had started while still in high school. Since I had grown as an individual I knew the story needed to grow as well and I did a complete rewrite, trying to create a world that readers would enjoy while being able to relate to the characters. On April 21st, 2012 I decided to self-publish, turning my manuscript into my debut YA paranormal romance novel Destiny Awaits – book one in the Juniper Grove Chronicles. Am I nervous about how the book will be received by readers? Of course! I think that concern crosses the mind of authors everywhere but for me, it is a life goal checked off of my list. I have released a book that I am proud of and can officially be called a published author. Now I only hope that I can remain open-minded and use the feedback received on Destiny Awaits to sculpt my writing so that I can improve not only myself but my writing as well.

Critique is how we learn, isn’t… that and lots of practice. :) Thank you, Jaidis.

You can find more about Jaidis and her writing via… Juniper Grove, GoodReads, Amazon Author Page, YouTube Channel, Facebook Fan Page, TwitterDestiny Awaits on Amazon.com.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with Christian teacher, non-fiction author and spotlightee Deborah McCarragher – the three hundred and sixty-first of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum and you can follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) :) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

 
 

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Short Story Saturday 010: Sexy Shorts charity anthologies

Welcome to the Short Story Saturday review slot and the tenth review in this series. This week’s is of the Sexy Shorts charity anthologies by Accent Press.

Anyone who knows me or has been following this blog will know how much I love my short stories and none more so than funny ones (and dark ones) and the Sexy Shorts series are just my thing. Although the stories are predominantly written by women (and quite probably for women), Robert Barnard, Bill Harris and David Wass to name three of the male contributors, they have something for everyone. Each book is themed and I have…

  • Sexy Shorts for Summer: including stories by Cathy Kelly, Fiona Walker, Adele Parks, Carole Matthews, Jane Wenham Jones, Lynne Barrett-Lee and over thirty others. One of my favourites (and not because she’s a prospective interviewee but probably because it’s about two writers :)) is short story author, novelist and writing guru Della Galton’s story ‘Waiting’. As you would expect these stories are written with a summer theme but in most cases this is just timing and with titles such as Julie Cohen’s ‘Whipped Cream Dreams’ (I’ll never see Sainsbury’s and stationery binders in the same light :)) and Sara Sheridan’s ‘HP Sauce’ just make sure you’ve eaten before you start reading them. Julie Cohen did a talk last weekend, by the way, at the Chipping Norton Literature Festival, on writing sex scenes – it was fantastic! :)
  • Staying on the topic of food is the Sexy Shorts for Chef collection, foreworded by Anthony Worrall Thompson. As you would expect they revolve around food but are so varied that you get caught up with the story not the theme. Top names such as Adele Parks, Sophie King and Veronica Henry mix with lesser known authors and that’s what I love about these collections, even if you think you know an author’s writing, there are still pleasant surprises in store… occasionally perhaps where a novelist is outside their comfort zone (although this is not a bad thing).
  • Jane, Katie Fforde and Sue Moorcroft appear amongst many others (including better-known-for-her-crime-writing Lesley Cookman) in Sexy Shorts for Christmas and although you would expect all the stories in this collection to be Christmas-themed (and best read at that time of year) surprisingly they’re not; Jane’s (hilarious Carla’s Gift) and Lesley’s (Wedding Day) being two of the exceptions and like the others in the series they’re so varied that they needn’t be themed at all.
  • Sexy Shorts for the Beach is another light read and as ‘Woman’ magazine put it, “A fine collection of heart-warming stories”. Of course there are levels of heart-warming but suffice to say they all have a degree of ‘sexy’. Regular short story authors in this collection include Jan Jones, Linda Mitchelmore and Sally Quilford.

With each story averaging less than 10 pages they’re perfect for a coffee (or my case, tea) break. Whatever your taste in short story, there’s something for everyone here and with a contribution from every new copy sold going to Cancer Research, even if the book sits on your shelf you’ll have had a warm glow from knowing you did your good deed for the day… or in my case four of them. :)

If you’d like to submit your story (50 to 2,500 words) for review take a look here.

Mystery / suspense author and interviewee Patricia Gligor’s spotlight follows shortly then the blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with short story author, article writer and 30-day challengee Christopher Starr – the three hundred and fifty-forth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Bookstore and Kobo. My eBooks are also now on Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum and you can follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) :) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2012 in ebooks, short stories

 

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