Posts Tagged Daily Telegraph

Bits & Pieces

I’ve got a few bits and pieces that might be of interest:

  • Lois Maddox has dropped me a line about two weekend creative writing courses that she is organising. They are both aimed at all levels of writing ability and take place at Swanwick in Derbyshire. The first is ‘From Memories to Memoirs’ . It is led by Alison Chisholm, who will deal with creating a scheme for a life file and selecting a theme or time period to write about. The second is ‘Write Crime’. It is led by retired policeman Nick Oldham and as well as dealing with plot and characters, it will look at setting the scene with up-to-date procedures. Further details are available at


  • My Weekly Pocket Novels have upped their required wordage from 30,000 to 50,000. Payment has also gone up from £200 to £300. As some of you may know, I’m having a go at writing one of these as a stepping stone to a ‘proper’ novel. I did have my ten 3,000 word chapters mapped out. So now it’s back to the drawing board to find a subplot or something else to extend (without padding!) the story. Further details here. 


  • is a new website, billing itself as ‘the home of Irish writing, online’. The events and courses listed on the site will mainly be of interest to those living in Ireland but there is also loads of free writing advice to be found on under the Writers’ Toolbox tab.   


  • The Telegraph has launched a short story competition for young writers aged between 16 and 18. It will be judged by John le Carre and the closing date is April 14th 2011. Full details here.  


  • I have to mention two small personal successes that I found out about last week. Firstly I have short piece about the Festival of Britain in the Cornucopia section of the current (Spring) edition of This England magazine. Secondly I have won the Writers’ Forum subscription that is up for grabs each month to the person sending in the best bit of news for the magazine’s NewsFront page. 


  • Finally, look out for an extra post on Wednesday – I am taking part in my first ever blogfest.

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Become a Weekend Writer

An svg newspaper, coloured to be used as an ic...

Image via Wikipedia

If you’d like to get published in the weekend newspapers have a look at my article in the February 2011 edition of Writing Magazine.

It’s extremely difficult to get a feature in one of the weekend nationals unless you have a well-established track record in journalism. However, many of the papers have ‘filler’ slots and actively ask for people to fill them. To list just a few:

There’s also the letters’ pages to consider (the tabloids tend to pay whilst the broadsheets don’t) and have a look at your local regional weekend papers – these are often easier to break into than the nationals, especially if you have a story with local human interest.

As always market research is the key to success with any of these markets – buy and read several issues before you submit. It’s essential to get the tone and content of your piece just right. 

If you’d like to know more about this area of writing then have a look at the full article in Writing Magazine.

Don’t forget the prize draw running on this blog at the moment, click here for more details. If you’ve already entered and haven’t received your confirmation email, please check your spam folder.

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The Daily Telegraph Ghost Story Competition

Ghost Story Competition Illustration

Courtesy of Elvis Santana, U.S.

Finally got round to reading the Review section of Saturday’s Telegraph and came across this competition for a Ghost Story of 2,000 words or fewer

  • Entries to be received by November 20th (not much time then!)
  • Shortlist of 6 will be published on on December 4th
  • Winning story will be published in The Daily Telegraph on December 11th
  • Winner will receive a unique specially bound copy of The Small Hand by Susan Hill, who is also one of the judges.

Full details are available here plus some useful tips on writing ghost stories.

Good Luck!

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