Morley Literature Festival Prize Giving and Public Speaking

I mentioned a few weeks back that I won first prize in the Friends’ of Morley Literature Festival Short Story Competition 2013.Morley Short Story Competition Last Sunday was the prize giving and I travelled up to Morley in West Yorkshire to receive my certificate and a cheque for £50. The certificate came nicely framed and it’s gone straight on my mantelpiece.

Gervase Phinn is the patron of the festival and he rounded off this year’s festival with an entertaining talk before making the presentation. As well as telling us about his experiences as a country school inspector (think James Herriot in a school inspector’s clothing) he was full of funny examples of mistakes we make with the English language, from his new book Mangled English – A Humorous Anthology of the Misuses of the English Language. I wish I’d written them all down now but if the book is half as enjoyable as the talk it will be a good read – and might make a good Christmas present for someone interested in words.

If you’d like to enter the Morley 2014 short story competition contact the organiser, Stuart Pereira, by emailing for full details and an entry form. Entry is free and it’s an open theme – so what have you got to lose?

Gervase Phinn is an accomplished public speaker who knows how to hold an audience and keep them interested. I think it’s a skill that today’s writers need to master – whether it’s for promoting their work or teaching and running workshops. It’s also something that I’m useless at – so I’ve joined my local Speakers’ Club, whose strapline is ‘Speaking with Greater Confidence’.
If you’d like to find out how my first meeting went have a look at my guest post on the Sutton Coldfield Speakers’ Club Blog.

Many thanks to those of you who’ve taken the time to review Karen’s Story – The Museum of Fractured Lives. I do appreciate your honesty and I’ve learned a lot from the comments. There’s still time to enter the draw to win a Book Journal by leaving an Amazon review. Full details are here.

Finally, if you’d like some tips on plotting your novel, Nick Daw’s Three Great Techniques for Plotting Your Novel or Screenplay is going to be free on Amazon over the next few days. If you want some ‘straight to the point’ advice it’s worth a read (and, as with any free book, please consider leaving a review if you enjoy it).

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  1. #1 by Wendy Clarke on October 20, 2013 - 11:47 am

    It sounds like you had a great day in Morley, Sally – where are you going to hang it? Well done for your win.

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on October 20, 2013 - 7:43 pm

      The certificate is sitting on my mantelpiece, Wendy.

  2. #3 by Debbie W on October 20, 2013 - 1:06 pm

    Congratulations on your win, Sally. Thanks also for the links to the competition and the book. Much appreciated.

    Debbie W

  3. #4 by susanjanejones on October 20, 2013 - 3:08 pm

    Keep trying to comment but it won’t let me Sally. Well done on the comp. and thanks for the links. Well done on the public speaking. Once you’ve done it once, it will be easier.

    • #5 by Sally Jenkins on October 20, 2013 - 7:44 pm

      You’re comment’s been successful this time, Susan. Not sure what might have happened before.

  4. #6 by Lesley Dawson on October 20, 2013 - 9:40 pm

    Thanks for all those links, Sally!

    I read your post on the Speaker’s Club Blog. As I was reading, I was going through all the emotions with you. I’m not particularly shy, but I do dread speaking in front of lots of people. I think you are incredibly brave to give this a go and you’ve inspired me to give it some thought too. I should imagine it would be such a boost to the confidence.

    Congratulations also on your win!

  5. #7 by Lesley Dawson on October 20, 2013 - 9:42 pm

    p.s. I meant to say that I enjoy listening to Stephen King when he gives talks. I’ve never been lucky enough to attend one, but lots of his talks are on YouTube. He’s so relaxed and very funny too. 🙂

    • #8 by Sally Jenkins on October 21, 2013 - 7:04 pm

      Thanks, Lesley – will keep you posted on the Speakers Club. I think being relaxed and funny when giving a talk must only come with lots of practice and being confident in your subject matter – which Stephen King obviously will be.

  6. #9 by hilarycustancegreen on October 20, 2013 - 10:08 pm

    Congratulations, and even more congratulations for braving the speaker’s club. I too have a terror of public speaking. I can and have given a few lectures, but my brain shuts down when I stand in front of a room full of people (though not in a seminar situation). Anxiety is an enemy worth overcoming – best of luck.

    • #10 by Sally Jenkins on October 21, 2013 - 7:05 pm

      Thanks, Hilary – and I will beat that enemy!

  7. #11 by Sutton Coldfield Speakers Club on October 21, 2013 - 7:48 am

    Reblogged this on Sutton Coldfield Speakers.

  8. #12 by Nick Daws (@nickdaws) on October 21, 2013 - 9:26 am

    Congratulations on your latest success, Sally. Thanks also for giving my e-book on plotting techniques a mention. Yes, it’s free to download till Wednesday, and reviews are definitely appreciated! I’m pleased to say that the e-book is currently ranked number 1 in Writing Skills on both Amazon UK and Amazon com, so thank you to any of your readers who have downloaded it and helped me to achieve this position 🙂

  9. #14 by Linda on October 21, 2013 - 12:32 pm

    Congrats on the win, that certificate certainly looks impressive. And I think you deserve another certificate for joining the Speakers Club, you’re a lot braver than me!

    • #15 by Sally Jenkins on October 21, 2013 - 7:07 pm

      I just hope I can keep the bravery going, Linda!

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