Tuesday 24 December 2013


As I take a break for the Christmas holidays I just want to wish all my friends and blog readers a peaceful and joyous Noel...

And a Happy New Year...

image courtesy of jannoon028/freedigitalphotos.net

Sunday 22 December 2013

Review of my 2013...

I'm still rushing to get everything finished, and blogging has just not got to the top of the list, so sorry for my absence...

I always think it's good to look back and see what has been achieved in the year, and then see what can be done to improve the weak areas in the following year...

The biggest improvement has been in working on the novella. I've almost got to the end of the first draft; it is only the skeleton at the moment, running order, dialogue, high points and notes for where I need to check information.

In 2014 I'll be concentrating on the major revision. I already know where I need to make adjustments in the plot line, so that's going to take work.

Despite a few setbacks in available time, most of the 23,000+ words have been on the novella.

I've also found that I can get more done in the first 6 months of the year than the final 6!

Once again I read a couple of stories at the Fringe event at the Lowdham Book Festival.

The One Word Anthology became available in paperback on Amazon via the createspace service.

A few months ago a piece of my flash fiction was published on the CafeLit site- it was fun to write it and eventually see it up on the screen...

Had a wonderful time earlier in November at the Festival of Romance. It was fun, but also an opportunity to meet other writers, and learn more...

I won two of the quarterly prose competitions at Nottingham Writers' Club earlier in the year- for which I received a gift card at Awards Night this month.

And finally Serena Lake has started to emerge in the writing world. Serena tweets about her interests @Serena_Lake.

So what does 2014 hold beside more work?

January sees the announcement of the Nottingham Writers' Club, Writer of the Year winner (delayed from December).

There are a few exhibitions I want to visit, especially the Georgian costume exhibition at the Fashion Museum in Bath.

And finally I need to organise some sort of timetable to make the most of my time. Having targets does help.

Have you achieved all that you wanted to this year?

Friday 6 December 2013

Awards Night at the Writers' Club...

Another Awards Night has been and gone.

Now this year I was in the running for the Nottingham Writers' Club, Writer of the Year Award. This is for the four winners of the club's quarterly prose competitions (from Autumn last year to Summer this year).

Unfortunately because of unforeseen delays- more than one of them in fact- the judge wasn't able to get the result back in time, so no one yet knows who won.

There are actually only three writers this time, as I won two of the four competitions- still amazed at that.

So it will be January before the winner is announced and the trophy presented. And that will be mid-month, as our regular first meeting in January next year is New Year's Day! So no meeting as the venue is closed due to it being a public holiday.

After the awards are presented, and the food is eaten, the competitive and humorous nature of the writers starts to emerge with the quiz and games.

The social secretary, Pat, puts together a simple, but fiendish quiz of questions about what has been in the news during the year- it is amazing how many things you forget, and how many minor facts get remembered...:-)

All I am going to say is never invite any of us to do Countdown...Not unless you've handed us the rulebook and stood over us while we've read it!

As it was a party I dressed up- I've got to get some use out of my Festival of Romance Ball outfit...

Glammed up...
Despite the delays in the trophy presentation- there were a couple of others who were also away and couldn't receive theirs either- I did receive a gift card for my two first place wins.

Now it's back to reality and the Christmas to do list...

Sunday 1 December 2013

The Great British Write Off Competition...

" Are you the next big women's fiction writer?"

Well if you think so, then have a look at this competition showing on the handbag.com website. They've teamed up with booksandthecity.co.uk and publisher Simon & Schuster UK.

They want to find and publish a debut women's fiction writer. Full details here.

"The plotline can be anything; the only requirement is that it must fall within the women's fiction genre."

Entrants are required to: " submit your short story, which should be a maximum of 2,500 words" (and this is done by copying and pasting into the entry form on the main page).

The closing date is 5.30pm on the 31st January 2014.

The winner will get some fantastic opportunities.

  • Publication of the winning e-book short story in April 2014.
  • An agent advice session with Lizzy Kremer, director of David Higham Associates.
  • An author mentoring session with Sunday Times bestselling author Milly Johnson.
  • And a book jacket and feature on Simon & Schuster's social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
The winner gets a standard e-book contract.

(details from www.handbag.com)

You'll find full details, t&c's, and links you need on the main page- see my link at the top.

Apologies to overseas writers once more, this is only for UK residents aged over 18 years.

If you enter, good luck. 

APOLOGIES for the appearance of white blocks behind quoted text. I haven't been able to get rid of it.