• To pay for a critique or not?
    Is it worth paying for a critique for your short story or novel when entering a competition? Some competitions offer them, but they can vary enormously in price. Some critique

  • Eye catching beginnings and anonymous characters
    My first tip for short story competitions this month is true of all short stories, and that is to start with the action. There isn’t time in a piece of fiction

  • Publication without payment?

    The list of competitions seems rather a sparse month this time round, but for good reason. Four of the competitions I found declared they had the right to publish any entries,

  • Francesca talks this month about keeping a record of your entries
    This month I’d like to mention record keeping. I’m certain I’d have got into a right mess with my submissions without my spreadsheets. I

  • A mix of competitions to keep you busy 

    There’s a nice variety of competitions this month, including writing for children, fantasy, flash, spooky, a couple of non-fiction contests and genre mash-up.

    A m

  • A Bumper Crop of Competitions for Spring

    Not only is there another abundance of competitions as we approach spring, but there’s a preponderance of short story contests to get stuck into.

    Something a

  • What’s in a title?

    Titles are important. You need something that will catch the judge’s eye and interest before they even start on the story. Long, rambling titles might seem indicative of a long, rambling

  • Keeping Tabs on Competitions and Entries

    How do you keep tabs on both the writing competitions coming up, and those you’ve already entered? I have my own methods of dealing with both, which I find very

  • Christmas: Resting or Writing?

    Christmas is fast approaching, which brings its own problems when you’re a writer, whether you’re entering competitions or writing for publishers. Most of us work at home, so

  • Some different competitions to enter

    There aren’t so many competitions to enter the beginning of the next year, though there are three free ones to have a go at. The disadvantage of these is that a lot of

  • Make sure you always read the small print on competition rules.
    In the process of researching this month’s blog, I seem to have discounted more competitions than normal. This is due to the organisers claiming

  • Be careful of trying to wedge a theme into, or a word count onto, an already completed story… and some good news!
    Many of the short story competitions I come across have an open brief, but this month four of t

  • Entering writing competitions has many benefits, even when you’re in the middle of writing that novel.
    Sometimes it can be hard to get a competition entry written when you’re up to your eyeballs in creating a n

  • Flexing our nonfiction muscles in competitions can be good practice for all the blogs and interviews we undertake as authors.
    Most of you reading this will spend much of your time inventing stories for a cast of

  • I quite agree, Phillipa!

  • Francesca looks at the different prizes on offer

    A few days ago it was announced that the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction will not be awarding the annual prize to anyone this year.

  • Francesca’s final look at competition rules and why it’s important to follow them

    This is my third month of looking at competition rules. Click Part 1 and Part 2 to find the previous posts.

    For those of

  • Francesca looks at more competition rules and why it’s important to follow them
    To reiterate what I wrote last month, it’s amazing how often competition rules are ignored. Is it because people don’t bother to

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