Tag Archives: H E Bates

Proud to be one of Northamptonshire’s authors

The lovely Lisa at the Bookalicious blog has included me in her gallery of local (to me) authors… I’m sure you’ll recognise some of the other names too.

Yes, that’s me there on the right. Lisa’s put us in alphabetical order so, as Bailey, I proudly lead the honourable gallery…

Click here to read the whole article.


Leave a comment

Posted by on June 18, 2017 in articles, writing


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

H.E. Bates Short Story Competition: 2015 winners

H.E. Bates rulesI was honoured to be invited to be the Head Judge for the latest H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, and the results were announced at a ceremony earlier this month.

The winners’ stories are listed in full on the H.E. Bates competition website but here’s a taster…

First Prize Winner: Louise G Cole with ‘Five Staves and An Instant’

I am friend to the old five bar gate into our yard, and she to me as she holds back the world from my grandparents’ place. It’s a time when childhood days pass long and quick, short and slow.

She is oak-beamed and seasoned heavy with age; I am the spindle-legged orphan brought to this wilderness for the solid calm, the reparation of the country.

I have no recollection of what brings me here.  Whenever possible I wriggle away from my grandmother’s gulping, moist-eyed hugs and we don’t talk about what has happened.  I’m aware of conversations that stop when I enter the room, and the old people who are my grandparents’ friends who can’t quite look me in the eye. ‘Bless you,’ they murmur, clattering cups and saucers in trembling hands.

Read more here.

Second Prize Winner: Dan Purdue with Last of the Sand Dragons

As he is about to leave, Michael realises he’s made a mistake. He shuts off the car’s engine, gets out, and opens the boot. He takes out a small, carrier bag-wrapped bundle, locks the car, and hurries towards the house.

Inside, as quietly as possible, he pulls down the loft ladder and climbs its creaking aluminium steps. He moves with practised stealth to avoid disturbing his wife, finally asleep after another restless night. Pausing on each rung to listen for signs of her stirring, it seems to take forever to reach the boarded floor of the loft where he can move in relative silence again.

Read more here.

Other Winners:

  • Anne Corlett won the Third Prize with The Look Of Leaving, and
  • Julia Thorley won the Northamptonshire Prize with Scoring An Own Goal In Tennis.

Congratulations, everyone.

If you like entering short story competitions, take a look at my 100-word comp and 500-word challenge, both free entry where you could either win my Online Courses or Editing & Critique.


Posted by on February 19, 2016 in competitions, short stories, writing


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

H.E. Bates Short Story Competition closes 4th Nov!

the short story writer's toolshedThe H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, run by one of my writing groups, Northampton Writers Group, closes tomorrow, Monday 4th November (midnight UK time).

This year we have Della Galton as our Head Judge (as Chair of the Group, I see and mark all the entries).

If you have a short story (up to 2,000 words) that you’re proud of, take a look at for details.


Posted by on November 3, 2013 in writing


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

#NaNoWriMo 2012 – Crime Novel ‘Once Perfect’ – Days 17 to 19 & Festival of Romance

Every day around 5pm (UK time) during November, instead of the 5pm fiction slot (because it’s on hiatus for November / December – there are only so many hours in the day, even mine), I shall be updating you on my progress of my NaNoWriMo novel.

Where have the past three days gone? I spent the weekend at the Festival of Romance, Bedford (just under an hour from Northampton). Despite me not really being a romance writer (I say “not really” as my NaNoWriMo 2009 debut novel is a girl-meets-boy-boy-boy-boy… – I could go on, she meets over 40 of them! – chick-lit) I had a wonderful time and really enjoyed meeting up with some ‘old’ friends and meeting new ones.

I wasn’t expecting to get any writing done and I managed a big fat zero on Saturday then 142 words yesterday (don’t ask me how!) but have made up for it (almost) today with 2,815 words today. I’m still over 13,000 behind (13,618 to be exact) but still not panicking. I’m home all this week so hopefully if I have few distractions I should keep the momentum going.

The lovely NaNoWriMo stats tell me that at this rate I’ll finish on December 22nd (it said Christmas Day earlier today) so if I can squeeze 33 days into the next 11, I’ll be fine.

How are you doing? I know some of my Facebook and Twitter compatriots are not only storming ahead but they’ve passed the finish line (woo hoo!) but as long as I get over it I’ll be happy. Plus I’m loving what I’m writing (tighter perhaps than it should be but that’s no bad thing) so that’s what’s important.

More on the Festival of Romance (report on the Sunday morning pitch session and photos from the Saturday night rock art party) to follow shortly.


** NEW!! You can now subscribe to this blog on your Kindle / Kindle app!


or for outside the UK **

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books (including my debut novel!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance 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.


Posted by on November 19, 2012 in ebooks, events, NaNoWriMo, novels, self-publishing, writing


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