Saturday, 28 April 2012

News Round-Up - April

Just a few items you might want to follow-up... :-)

Novelicious Undiscovered - The Top 20

The twenty names and the titles of their entries are now posted on the Novelicious website, and starting on the 1st May, one story will feature every day, allowing readers to comment, but not vote-yet. That begins on the 5th of June.

It's reassuring to see that it's not going to be done by popularity vote, in a way that would enable multiple votes from those who have a lot of friends...You can only vote once and there will be a form to fill in.

Sympathies if you entered and didn't get into the shortlist- but with over 200 entries, choosing 20 must have been a tough task.

Grazia and Orange’s ‘First Chapter’ Competition

Seems the terms and conditions that were posted originally have since been expanded on.

They have also added the words "Entries in the incorrect format will not be considered." But there doesn't seem to be anything defining what their correct format is...

This addition is sure to mean inexperienced entrants being excluded. Adding details like this when a competition is underway is not right.

Flash Fiction Competitions

Details of more competitions have been added to the competition page of the National Flash Fiction Day website.
Just scroll down the page to read the latest competitions with closing dates in May or beyond.

And finally


The Writing Romantic Fiction Workshop with Kate Walker at Nottingham Writers' Club on Saturday 19th May 10am to 4pm.

There are a handful of places left, so if you're interested click on the Workshop link above. The price for the day is a great deal less than many one day workshops charge, so take a look.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The History and Future of my Short Story ...

This month I've been revising one of my short stories.

It was originally written as a 1,000 word story for a (new) annual competition at the writers' club back in late 2007. It didn't get anywhere, but I'd had to cut it to get it to the required length, and honestly it lost something.

So I decided to rewrite it and the total went up to about 1,500 words.

It got put aside and didn't reappear for a couple of years, until I decided to enter it in a sort of competition that Writers Forum was running with a few of the weekly women's magazines. I knew it wasn't good enough to be selected for publication- entry was free, but for a few pound you could get a critique from the judge.

The one page crit was really worthwhile and showed me how much I had right and what the niggles were- that I hadn't been able to pin down myself because I was too close to it, and inexperienced.

More time passed and after doing a workshop on short story writing for women's magazines, the tutor agreed to read and critique a story up to 2,000 words. She herself had sold lots of short stories to the women's magazine markets, and I'd read a couple of hers not long before the event and enjoyed them.

It was reassuring that the comments I received were more good news than bad. My story was almost up to a publishable standard, it just had a few minor areas that needed work.

In solving the first lot of weak points I'd created other small issues, but I was quite capable of solving them.

Since then it's gone through a couple of versions, but with time away from it and developing my writing and editing skills, I decided now was the time to make a final push at getting it finished and sent off, hopefully to be bought and published...

There were elements that I needed from three different versions of the story, so began the slow task of cutting and pasting the appropriate sections from each version. The plot was still the one I started with, but my characters had developed, and I'd discovered facts about them which I hadn't known all those years ago.

Yesterday (Wednesday) I finally completed the combining/rewriting as I went along stage. My story has now reached a length of 2, 040.

Now if I can just lose those forty words somehow, I'll be happy. So a final edit beckons.

The womag short story market has changed so much over the time I've been rewriting. The magazine it would have worked best for, no longer accepts submissions from new writers, and it's 50/50 for the second target market.

The other potential home may be the Alfie Dog Ltd short story download website. It's open for submissions and I know the editor won't accept substandard stories.

The writer earns money from their stories being purchased by readers- read the outline of how it works here, and royalty details here. The submission process is all online, so no postal costs are involved.

Whatever eventually happens to my short story, good news or bad, I'll let you know...