Win a One Day Writing Workshop

What does the word SHINE mean to you?

I’ve been having a little brainstorming session because I fancy entering this FREE competition. It’s organised by the Reading Agency and the winning ten entries will be invited to London for a workshop with Joanna Rees. Twenty shortlisted entries will win a copy of The Key to It All by Joanna.

The brief is to write 1500 words of original fiction on the theme SHINE.

So what ideas did I come up with?

  • Sunshine
  • Shining & polishing the furniture (an OCD cleaner perhaps?)
  • Shining as in ‘being the best’ (for example shining at school)
  • Moonshine (possible fairy/fantasy story?)
  • A shiny piece of jewellery or metal

But none of the above immediately forms the basis of a story for me.

What about you? Any better ideas?

We need to be quick, the closing date is 31st July 2014. Entries should be submitted by email to


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  1. #1 by Keith Havers on July 13, 2014 - 9:40 am

    I could take a shine to entering that competition.

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on July 13, 2014 - 6:37 pm

      Very clever, Keith. Wish I was that quick off the mark!

  2. #3 by susanjanejoness on July 13, 2014 - 9:48 am

    Hi Sally, it’s free, so I’ll be having a go. You know me, I like a bargain. Shine on, or shine a light being said instead of swear words come to mind. I say that if I accidentally tip my mop bucket over. Or shoe shine boy, makes me think of a lad on a Spanish Island cleaning shoes to help his mum feed the family. Now I’m off to think of some more. Thanks for the link.

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on July 13, 2014 - 6:38 pm

      Shoe shine boy – brilliant idea, Susan. Good luck with it!

  3. #5 by scribblingscribes on July 13, 2014 - 12:05 pm

    Sounds like a good idea. I’ll get brainstorming.

    • #6 by Sally Jenkins on July 13, 2014 - 6:40 pm

      Me too, Scribbling scribes. Do you use one of those spider diagrams with the theme in the middle and all your ideas radiating out?

  4. #7 by shirley stow on July 13, 2014 - 2:13 pm

    What about a shoe-shine boy? Or ‘moonshine’ illegal distillery? Rise and shine.


    • #8 by Sally Jenkins on July 13, 2014 - 6:41 pm

      Hi Shirley – another shoe shine boy suggestion. And I like the illegal distillery.

  5. #9 by Debbie W on July 14, 2014 - 9:46 am

    Thank you for this, Sally. I’ve looked at the website and can’t find any more rules I need to be aware of when sending in my entry.

    Is that all the rules are do you think? The theme, the close date, the wordcount and to send the entry by email?


    • #10 by Sally Jenkins on July 14, 2014 - 6:43 pm

      That’s all I could find, Debbie. It seems a very straightforward competition to enter. Good Luck with it!

      • #11 by Debbie W on July 20, 2014 - 10:04 am

        Thank you!

  6. #12 by hilarycustancegreen on July 14, 2014 - 9:11 pm

    I’m thinking of beetle’s wings, grains of quartz in the sand, things that glint in unexpected places.

    • #13 by Sally Jenkins on July 15, 2014 - 3:39 pm

      Lovely, Hilary. Sounds like a poem in the making!

  7. #14 by P. Douglas Hammond on July 15, 2014 - 7:57 am

    ‘Shine’ is the nickname of a follicly challenged young man. He doesn’t mind the nickname, and indeed is enamoured of his naked head.
    His mates call him Shine because they think its a bit of a laugh, but they don’t know the story behind Shines baldness.

    • #15 by Sally Jenkins on July 15, 2014 - 3:40 pm

      I like it, Douglas! I can see Shine in my mind already. I hope you’re going to enter the competition with this!

  8. #16 by Patsy on July 16, 2014 - 10:53 am

    That’s odd, my writing group were talking about this comp last night and although we could think of several meanings for shine, none suggested a story for me. You’d have thought it would be a good prompt though as it can be used in lots of different ways.

    • #17 by Sally Jenkins on July 16, 2014 - 6:15 pm

      Yes, Patsy, it can be used in a lot of ways so it should be easier to come up with a ‘unique’ idea …

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