A year ago, I posted here about having lost my beautiful mare, Cracker, how hard I was finding adjusting to life without her – and how difficult it was to focus on anything, even writing.
Since then, a lot has happened (including a house move), and while I’ve been horse-less, I’ve definitely had more time for writing-related activities. On the non-fiction front, I’ve had my first full-length article published in a national magazine (equine-related, of course). And on the fiction front, most excitingly, I achieved my aim to release an eBook short story collection on Amazon. (Two, in fact!)
I’m quietly proud of “Beyond Words” (the second of the two collections) as it brings together some of my favourite short stories, all of which have achieved competition success. There’s so much to be gained from entering competitions – the discipline of meeting deadlines, word counts and themes can only help improve your writing, especially when it takes you away from your comfort-zone, and being short-listed, placed or commended can only increase your writing confidence. If you’ve never entered a writing competition before but would be interested in having a go, there’s a reference list at the back of “Beyond Words” which gives each of the competitions in which the stories were entered.
And a year on… Well, I finally decided it was time to take on a new equine partner. This is Deemon Whirlwind, my new part-Arab gelding:
After 15 educational years with Cracker, I’m looking forward to an equally long and inspirational partnership with this handsome chap. And of course, I’ll keep you posted!
If you’re a writer of short stories or flash fiction, you may be interested in the “One Million Stories Creative Writing Project” at:
As their homepage states, “It is our mission to discover, select and showcase some of the very best new short fiction being written today, and then publish it right here for you to enjoy…”
They have a specific page dedicated to flash fiction, called The Sharp End and they have just published my 100 word piece, “Sunburn”:
The One Million Stories Project is open for submissions now. They are looking for anything between 50-5,000 words. Check out their guidelines here:
And of course, if you like my flash piece, you might want to read my short story collection Beyond Words available here:
Last month I discovered I’d managed to place not one but two stories in the 2016 Erewash Writers open short story competition (cue slightly smug grin!). I’ve made it as far as the shortlist in past Erewash competitions, but to find this year that Resolution had been placed 4th, and Never Far From the Tree highly commended, was a real boost.
One of the nice things about Erewash competitions (as well as the fact they post the judge’s comments), is that the winning stories are published on their site: http://erewashwriterscompetition.weebly.com/winners-2016-open-short-story-competition-with-patsy-collins.html
If you enjoy Resolution and would like to read some more of my stories, don’t forget Raspberry Ripple is available free here: https://fictivedream.com/2016/11/27/raspberry-ripple / and if you’d like to read some others I’ve written which have been successful in competitions, you can find my ebook Beyond Words on Amazon, here:
Hopefully the festive break will provide lots of reading (and writing!) time – and perhaps even a blog post or two. Until then, thanks for reading – and Merry Christmas! x
Thank you, o’ dear reader
For clicking on my book
For scrolling through the others
And giving mine a second look
I hope you like the cover
(It was professionally designed!)
And the blurb sparks interest –
Makes you want to “Look inside”
When you read the first few pages
I hope you find you’re hooked
And that you click to download
To read the whole eBook
I hope the writing grabs you
And the stories entertain
The dialogue rings true
The plotline doesn’t wane
And if you find you loved it?
Tell all your friends – please do!
And then tell all the reading world –
Please, please, leave a review!
~ Jenny Roman
To download “Beyond Words”, or to leave a review, please visit:
Friends and regular readers of this blog will know that it’s not uncommon for my online presence to turn into…well, an online absence…as I devote my time to all things equine rather than writing-related. Which makes it all the better when I can combine my two passions in life, and write about horses.
This morning, I picked up a copy of Horse & Rider magazine (which my husband affectionately referred to as the “nag rag”), which features the first article I’ve written for a long time – and it’s really exciting to see it in print (after having the original idea sometime over the Christmas holidays!).
It was a good discipline, trying my hand at non-fiction for a change – and certainly something I’d like to do more of in the future.
Also delighted to discover I’ve now had 11 reviews on my eBook The Camel in the Garden – a big thank you to everyone who has taken the trouble to share their thoughts on the stories. It’s really appreciated.
Having also finished edits on, and subbed, a new story this morning, I think I’ve had a productive writing-related day, and can feel justified this evening in watching a bit of telly – so Eurovision it is!
With the weather wet and miserable for the last Bank Holiday weekend, I decided it was a perfect time to run a free download promotion for my new eBook. Here’s some things I learned from the experience:
- The free promotion itself is easy to set up through KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). Simply go to your Bookshelf, and in “Your Books” next to the book you wish to promote, you’ll see “Book Actions” and, underneath, a button to “Promote and advertise”. This takes you to “Promote your book on Amazon” where you can find the section “Run a price promotion”. I chose “Free Book Promotion”, and you then click on the dates you want the promotion to run (you have a maximum of five days for your current enrolment term on the Select programme).
- Although I set my promotion to run from Saturday to Monday, my eBook didn’t show as free until about 9am on Saturday and was therefore also free for the first few hours of Tuesday morning. Bear in mind when setting your promotion dates that time zones or volume of deals to process may affect timings (embarrassing if you’ve been telling everyone it will be free!)
- Remember that your free promo is only as good as your…er…ability to promote! You need to get active on social media, and tell all your friends and family. The best promotion is the kind which gives your potential readership something in addition to just the specifics of the book you’re plugging, something which engages their interest. For example you might want to tell people a bit about the inspiration for your stories, or (if it’s non-fiction) some interesting facts from your background which demonstrates why you’re the best person to be writing this particular book.
- You need to know why you’re running the promotion in the first place. What are you hoping to achieve? Giving away your work for free certainly isn’t sensible in every situation. I chose to do it because: a) this is my first Kindle upload, so in that respect it’s a learning experience for me, and I want to try out all the features; b) my current eBook is (I hope) the first of many, so my main aim with this one is to get my name out there, and have something to show an audience on the Kindle platform; c) promo downloads can push your book up the bestseller rankings quickly because the rankings are skewed towards the most recent downloads, so it’s good for exposure, and d) feedback is really important – the free promo allowed me to pick up some star ratings and reviews that I probably wouldn’t have got otherwise. (A huge thank you, by the way, to everyone who has left a review – it really does make so much difference – and I really appreciate it.)
- Beware! Running a promotion turns you into a stats obsessive! You will find yourself constantly refreshing your Amazon Sales Dashboard, checking your Twitter-feed, gazing at your star-rating and sales ranking. There is a grave danger that you will get a bit tedious to your nearest and dearest too – they’ll probably be too polite to mention it, but you just have to acknowledge they probably aren’t quite so excited about your book as you are! ;0)
NB: The free promo is now over, but ‘The Camel in the Garden’ is still available for 99p (UK), and remains free for subscribers to Kindle Unlimited.
David Mitchell (not the comedian, the other David Mitchell, author of one of my favourite novels Black Swan Green) has recently joined Twitter, and yesterday he started tweeting his story #THERIGHTSORT… Yes, that’s right – telling the entire story (which has been written especially for the medium of Twitter) in bite sized chunks. It’s a bizarrely compulsive sort of reading. And, as he is a master of the narrative voice, it’s completely absorbing. I thought it might be irritating reading the wrong way up, as it were – scrolling to the next tweet, but it’s not a problem, just gives that extra element of suspense. Of course, I’ve been catching up, and therefore reading a chunk at a time, which helps.
It might be a bit gimmicky, and clearly it’s designed to be a good bit of publicity before the launch of his new book, The Bone Clocks in September, but perhaps this is another stage in the evolution of the short story – such a versatile creature adapting to a variety of new media.
I’m even tempted to have a go myself. Quite a challenge, chopping up one’s prose into lengths of no more than 140 characters!
If you want to read #THERIGHTSORT for yourself, look for tweets starting from yesterday @david_mitchell.