Posts Tagged Emerald Writing Workshops

Demise of Emerald Writing Workshops

Those of you who’ve been following this blog for a while will know that I have promoted the competitions organised by Eddie Walsh of Emerald Writing Workshops several times. I felt these contests had a cheap entry fee and were run by someone genuinely interested in writing (and not just out to make a quick buck!).

Recently Angela Greenwood contacted me to point out that the Emerald Writing Workshops website no longer existed and she wondered if I knew what had happened.

When I asked him, Eddie gave me the following sad news:

“In early May I tried to change servers which was a big disaster as the new server is too technical and did not help me log in so site is in limbo. As I have lost the momentum I have decided that the NOBODY comp will be the last one for which I have had about 65 entries. I will refund fees for other comps by end June after judging this comp. Updates will be on (type this into Google – for some reason it doesn’t work as a direct link) as well as results in due course. I will email ALL entrants after judging Thanks for your past support.”

So unfortunately there will be no more competitions – but Eddie is doing the honourable thing and refunding everyone.

I would like to thank Eddie for his competitions and his encouragement to new writers over the last couple of years.

Hope everything goes well for you in the future, Eddie!


Flash Fiction Competitions

If you’re struggling with a story, agonising over an article or gnashing your teeth about the novel, why not take a short break to recharge your batteries and have a go at some flash fiction instead? Spending a short time playing around with just a few hundred words (or less) will get the brain cells working again, send you back to the magnum opus refreshed and also give you that lovely satisfied feeling that comes from finishing a piece of work and submitting it.

Flash fiction seems to be growing in popularity and here are just a few of the competitions and markets for it:  

Flash Fiction World runs quarterly FREE to enter competitions – plus the site contains details of other competitions and helpful advice for the writer.

Emerald Writing Workshops runs quarterly 500 word story competitions with cheap entry fees – I’ve extolled the virtues of Eddie Walsh and his competitions before, so I won’t go on and on again.

Real People Magazine pays £25 each week for a 60 word story – most of which tend to have a twist in the tail.

And don’t forget the ‘Win a Book’ competitions which appear each month in Writing Magazine. They usually ask for around 250 words on a particular theme. I find them great for kick starting the grey matter and for trying a genre I might not otherwise consider – I recently won the ‘Paranormal’ competition and have had a go at ‘Pitching a SitCom’. These competitions are a quick and easy way to step outside your comfort zone.

If you know of any other extremely short fiction markets then let me know – I’m always looking for reasons to deviate from my current project!

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New Year’s Resolutions…or maybe not

I don’t like New Year’s resolutions for two reasons – both related to the fact that they have to be made public. Firstly, when you say aloud something that you really want to do, it can sound impossible to achieve or just stupid – and that is a bad way to start. Secondly, once everyone knows that you’re training for a marathon or writing a novel, they will keep asking how you are doing. This is fine when things are going well but it’s awful to have to own up if you’re struggling. So I am going to keep my own aspirations to myself this year and instead I’ll just share a few mini-goals that I’ve put on my ‘Writing To Do List’ fot the first part of 2012:

  • Enter all 4 of Eddie Walsh’s Emerald Writing Workshops 500 word story competitions plus the 4 sentence story. I intend to send them all together in one envelope (saving money on stamps!) before the first closing date of 28th February 2012. I’ve already drafted most of them – I just need an idea for the story set on a train…
  • Enter Della Galton’s competition for a 250 word story about a New Year’s resolution that went wrong. The prize is a copy of her new book ‘Moving On’. Closes 10am Jan 4th.
  • Enter The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2012 competition. Stories on the theme of ‘Identity’ of up to 2,000 words. Closes 14th February 2012. I really fancy the prize – £500 plus an Arvon course.
  • Enter the Swanwick 2012 competition for a story or article on the theme ‘A Sense of Duty’. First prize is a week at the Swanwick summer school. Closes 30th April 2012. I fancy there will be fewer entrants in the article section but at the moment I’m struggling to come up with an idea.

Finally, (following yet another rejection from Take a Break’s Fiction Feast) I am going to stop banging my head against a brick wall on markets that my writing is obviously not suited for.

Happy New Year to you all – and thanks for sticking with me through 2011!


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Emerald Writing Workshops Competitions 2012

Emerald Writing Workshops 2012 Competition Calendar is out now! 

These competitions are entering their third year with an increased prize pot of £100 per competition – First £65, second £20, third £15 plus three runners-up each receive a book of short stories. Entry is only £1.80 (overseas entrants can pay via PayPal) and I think that’s really good value!

All the competitions are for a 500 word piece of flash fiction and the 2012 themes are as follows:

  • Story set on a train – closes 28/02/12
  • Story including the words ‘Nobody will ever know’ – closes 31/5/12
  • Story about anything you like – closes 31/8/12
  • Story on the theme ‘Trapped’ – closes 30/11/12

Plus, if you enter any of the above (or have entered any of the 2010/2011 comps) then you can submit a Four Sentence Story. This is free to enter and 5 winners will each receive £20. 

Entries are by post only but entries from different people or for more than one competition can all go in the same envelope.

Full details of how to enter are here along with winning entries from previous competitions.

Good Luck!



World Book Night Books Have A New Home

The draw has been made and my World Book Night books now have a new home. I will be posting them off to Dorinda Cass in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. Dorinda says about herself:

I am about to start the final year of a BA(Hons) degree in Creative Writing at the University of Hull. For the degree I have done all different types of writing including plays, short stories, poetry. Next year I will be concentrating on one of my favourites – either short stories or novel. I am just starting to write with publication in mind. I have been a member of Scarborough Writers’ Circle for five years and, for my sins, I am now the treasurer of the group! We have a website at: and anyone interested in writing is welcome to come along.

I hope you enjoy the books, Dorinda!

I also want to give a mention to two fellow bloggers:

  • Bev Morley is giving her blog a makeover and is looking for guest book reviewers – so pay her a visit if you’ve read a good book recently.
  • I had intended to award Mel Hammond a Versatile Blogger Award but unfortunately she didn’t get my message about it in time for me to include her in my original post. So this is a belated mention for her!

Finally I have a couple of small successes to report (which go some way towards making up for rejections from The Oldie and The Weekly News):


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Emerald Writing Workshops – Flash Fiction Competitions

It was my birthday on Sunday and the day was made even more special by receiving an email from Eddie Walsh of Emerald Writing Workshops to let me know that I was a runner-up in his Airport themed 500 word short story competition. A book of crime short stories is on its way to me – an unexpected ‘extra’ birthday present!

The winner was Tracy Fells from West Sussex. Her story was set around the baggage reclaim carousel and you can read it here. Congratulations Tracy!

Eddie Walsh is an Irishman living in Nottingham. He mainly writes fillers and letters but has recently become interested in fiction writing. In his competitions he is aiming to encourage the hobby writer and believes even getting on a shortlist stops a writer from giving up.  He provides critiques of entries whenever he can, as writers rarely receive independent feedback.

Eddie runs a 500 word story competition every three months with a £75 prize fund for each one (£50 first prize, £15 second prize, £10 third prize plus books for 3 runners-up). There are 3 competitions currently open to submissions:

  • First 500 words of a novel – closes May 31 2011
  • 500 words on an open theme – closes August 31 2011
  • 500 word ‘Riches to Rags’ story – closes November 30 2011

The entry fee is 5 second class stamps (or a cheque to that value). There are discounts for multiple entries into the same competition. Entries are acknowledged on receipt and periodically the site is updated with the number of stories received for each of the competitions.   

Eddie is also currently running a 4-sentence competition which is free to enter and has a £75 prize fund to be divided equally between the 3 best entries. However, entries will only be accepted from people who have previously entered one of the 500 word competitions.

So if you’re looking for a competition with a friendly feel try Emerald Writing Workshops . And remember that the cost of second class stamps will be going up in April, so buy them now to use for your entry fee or if you intend paying by cheque, get your entries in before the price increase takes effect.

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