Tag Archives: poetry

3 Writing Competitions for Your Diary

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For those of you who might benefit from a writing goal to help with motivation, or new writers who are thinking about sending some work out into the big wide world, here are three writing competitions which might appeal:

  • The Fiction Desk – Newcomer Prize 2017 for short stories (1,000 – 7,000 words) – deadline 31st May, £500 to the winner (entry fee £8)

http://www.thefictiondesk.com/submissions/newcomer-short-story-prize.php

  • Reflex Fiction: flash fiction (180-360 words) – deadline 31st May, £1,000 to the winner (entry fee £7)

http://www.reflexfiction.com/flash-fiction-submissions-entry-form/

  • Hysteria Writing Competition – deadline 31st August – 3 categories:
    • Poetry – max 20 lines, £75 to the winner (entry fee £3)
    • Short Story – max 2,000 words, £150 to the winner (entry fee £5)
    • Flash fiction – max 250 words, £75 to the winner (entry fee £3)

https://www.hysteriauk.co.uk/

And if you’re thinking of entering any of these, and are looking for some tips, I’ve blogged about my experience previously here:

https://jennyroman.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/short-story-competitions-5-tips-for-success/

Best of luck!

 

The Judging Panel – Hysteria 2017

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Regular readers of this blog will know I love short story competitions. The demands of sticking to a specific theme or word count, the inclusion of a special word or phrase, or even just having the focus of a deadline can all help with motivation. In fact, sometimes the more restrictions that seem to be imposed, the harder your story-telling brain seems to work to come up with a idea which will fit the bill.

I’ve tried my hand at entering lots of short story competitions in recent years – sometimes I’ve been successful, sometimes less so. But I’ve usually found that the discipline involved in editing a story to suit the demands of a specific competition has helped me to improve on the original idea or draft.

It seemed an obvious next step to try my hand at judging. I’ve previously assisted with short-listing for a competition, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and so when the opportunity came to become part of the short story panel on the Hysteria UK 2017 writing competition, I jumped at the chance. Being one of a panel of five seems less daunting for a first timer too!

Of course, short story judging is subjective, so even though we have a clear set of criteria to use while we’re judging, I’m sure there will be pieces which impress me but do nothing for another member of the panel, and vice versa. Overall though, I’m confident we’ll be able to make a good decision. And during this process, we’ll have had the opportunity to read a huge variety of stories – from which I’m sure we’ll learn a great deal.

If you’re a female writer, writing in the flash fiction, poetry or short story genres, you have until 31st August 2017 to submit your piece – head over to the website for details:

https://www.hysteriauk.co.uk/

If you’ve never entered a writing competition before, why not have a go at this one which supports the work of the Hysterectomy Association, helping women worldwide. There are cash prizes, and winners and runners-up will be published in the annual anthology.

And if you aren’t successful, it doesn’t necessarily mean your story wasn’t well-written or enjoyed by the judges. There’s still a story which sticks in my mind from my short-listing experience – the story in question didn’t make the final selection and, as it was judged anonymously, I have no idea who the author was, but years later I can still remember the quirky writing which I enjoyed tremendously. So keep writing, keep sending out your work, because there is an audience out there who will appreciate it.

If you’re interested in entering the competition, and want to find out more about the judges, they will each be interviewed in the coming weeks. You can read my interview on the Hysteria website here:

https://www.hysteriauk.co.uk/2017/04/17/meet-jenny-roman-hysteria-2017-short-story-category-judge/

#Hysteria2017 Now Open for Entries

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The Hysteria Writing Competition 2017 is now open for entries.

If you’re a female writer in any of the following genres:

  • short stories (up to 2,000 words)
  • flash fiction (up to 250 words)
  • poetry (up to 20 lines)

then this could be the competition for you.

The competition is run annually by the Hysterectomy Association, which provides information and support to women all over the world. They are looking for entries which appeal to their website visitors who are mostly women between 25-65. Stories should not be about hysterectomy itself, but can be in any genre except erotica or horror.

Entry fees are £3 per flash fiction or poem, and £5 per short story.

An anthology of winners and runners-up is published each year, so if you’re interested in entering, you can see what has been successful in the past.

For more information, visit the website: https://www.hysteriauk.co.uk/

The Modern Writer’s New Year’s Eve

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So here you are again –
Another cycle is complete
Just time to log on and look back
Before the “Happy New Year!” tweets

Your blog is looking healthy
Lots of followers and views
And you’ve followed lots of others
To keep up with all their news

You’ve been busy on your Facebook page
Uploading posts and gaining “likes”
You keep active in your interest groups
Hearing other’s joys and gripes

You’ve done your Twitter research
Checked the graphs on “Analytics”
Charted profile visits, top mentions
Who knew? An interest in statistics!

You check your KDP reports
For each and every sale,
Your current review rating,
And your ranking, without fail

You’re proud of all your efforts
And the benefits they’ll bring
It’s just with all these tasks to do,
You’ve had no time to write a thing!

 

Thanks for reading & following me this year – wishing you all the very best for a successful, inspirational, and fun-filled 2017! x

Christmas Gifts for Writers

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So it’s Christmas time again
Black Friday deals are rife
And you’re wondering what to buy
For the writer in your life

In the past you’ve tried all sorts
‘How-to’ books, diaries, pens,
Fancy paper, post-it notes
A writer’s mug (again!)

But the best gift is often simple
You might not even have to buy it
Arrange to give them space and time
To write in peace and quiet

Nag them when they’re lazy
Cheer them up when they’re dejected
Give them wine and cuddles
When their stories get rejected

And when their book is published
Spread the word of their debut,
Buy a copy for yourself
Leave an honest, fair review

Tell all your friends who care to hear
And then tell all the rest
And I guarantee your writer
Will think you are the best!

 

 

PS: Socks are also good! :0) xx

Popshot Magazine -Submissions Open

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I was lucky enough to receive a subscription to Popshot magazine for Christmas, and I’ve been really impressed so far.  Popshot is devoted to literary fiction and poetry, but if you’ve seen an issue, you’ll know it’s beautifully designed and illustrated so there are also submission opportunities if you are a budding artist.

There have been 15 issues released so far (subscribers get three issues a year – I’ve had “The Curious Issue” and “The Adventure Issue”) and submissions are now open for their 16th issue, on the theme of “hope”. For more info, click here. You have until 24th July to submit.

    

If you’re interested in submitting, you can also get an online edition (including a free preview) but I have to say, the print magazine is so gorgeous (and reasonably priced – £6 for an individual issue, £10 for a year’s subscription) that I still think a real, tangible copy is the best!

 

Success Beyond the Comfort Zone!

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Back in the day after leaving University, I remember a horrible few months of fruitless job searching, laboriously completing complicated multi-page application forms for various graduate training schemes for which I didn’t really have a hope of being chosen, and failing even to get a job on the check-outs at our local supermarket (an all time career low, it has to be said). Then late one evening, I discovered a form I’d forgotten about, lost in the detritus of my cluttered desk. It was for a lowly role in a large, prestigious organisation. If I was going to apply for the job, the application would have to go in the post the following day to have any chance of making the deadline. I almost didn’t bother, but in the end I just completed the form as quickly as possible, without any of the pen-chewing consideration I’d given to any of the other applications. Not only did I end up getting the job but, subsequently, it led to several promotions and me working for the umbrella organisation through a number of re-shuffles and mergers for the best part of 14 years. How glad am I that I didn’t simply chuck the form in the bin!

So what has this got to do with writing? Well, umpteen years later and here I am entering as many story competitions as I can in the hope of furthering my writing career. As a subscriber to Writing magazine last year, I was eligible for their new subscribers’ competitions – there was no doubt I’d enter the short story comp (indeed, I spent some time reviewing and selecting a suitable entry), but there’s also an annual poetry competition. Now, those of you who know me well will be familiar with the sort of poetry I write – it’s the kind which is appropriate to scribble in a birthday card to raise a smile.  A poet, I’m not.  Still, I’d written a poem as an exercise for one of my local writing groups. Feedback from the group had been positive so I decided to send it off.

Months went by and, unsurprisingly, I heard nothing. On my submission tracker, I marked the story submission as unplaced but I hadn’t even entered the poem on the tracker.  And then I had a call from Jonathan Telfor, editor of Writing magazine, telling me my poem had won the competition! Me? Win a poetry
competition? Surely there’s been some mistake?

I’ve waited until it’s appeared in print, just to be sure – but honestly, the October Issue of Writing, which is out now, includes the 2016 competition special along with Jackie Tritt’s winning short story, and my winning poem ‘The Midnight Demons’.   I couldn’t be more chuffed – particularly as Jonathan has written lots of lovely things about it in the judging comments.

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It seems as though all those years of attempting to pare back my prose and remove redundant words has paid off – albeit in a different genre. Thank you Writing magazine for encouraging me to widen my horizons!