Posts Tagged Friends of Morley Literature Festival

ReadKirklees Writing Competition

Many thanks to my (non-writing) friend, Alison, for sending the details of this competition to me.

ReadKirklees are looking for poetry or prose (up to 500 words) with the theme ‘On Your Bike‘.

There are three age groups, 11 and under, 12 – 17 years and Adult. The first prize in each age group is £50 in book vouchers, second prize is £30 in book vouchers and third prize is £20 in book vouchers.

The closing date is Friday 11th July and entry is FREE – so no reason at all not to have a go!

Full details are here.

As you may know, Kirklees is in Yorkshire (where I come from) and there’s another Yorkshire writing competition with a July closing date.

The Friends’ of Morley Literature Festival Short Story Competition closes on 1st July 2014.

This competition has an open theme and up to 3,000 words are allowed (average word length of previous entries has been 1600, so it’s quality not quantity they are after).

Entry to this competition is FREE too!

And, having previously won this competition and met the organiser,  I can personally vouch for its integrity. All the entries are assigned a number to keep them anonymous and then read by a panel who each independently score them for a range of criteria. The top-scoring handful are passed to Gervase Phinn who selects the first, second and third prize winners.

First prize is £50, second prize £30 and third prize £20. There’s usually a nice prize presentation event too.

See here for how to get your entry form.

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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 fmlitfest@yahoo.com 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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Amazon Tax Form, a Good Review, Win a Toothbrush plus a Success

I’ve a few ‘writerly’ things to impart this week:

Amazon shipment

Amazon shipment (Photo credit: enno)

Amazon Tax Form

Those of you with e-books for sale on Amazon will have received a request to complete an on-line tax ‘interview’ or risk having your books removed from the website. I was a bit concerned when I saw this, in case I had to go through the palaver of getting a US tax exemption certificate. But the ‘interview’ was very easy and quick to complete and no certificates were needed. The benefit of the tax exemption certificate  is that it stops Amazon withholding 30% of the royalties on US sales but the downside is it necessitates a trip to London to get ID validated – not worth it financially for me because the vast majority of my sales are in the UK.

If you want more information on this, have a look at Nick Daws’ blog.

By the way, I wonder if the UK government withholds money from US citizens? I doubt it somehow.

A Good Review

Talking of e-books. Brian David, from the CheerReader website, has sung the praises of ‘A Writer on Writing – Advice to Make You a Success!’ on his site’s homepage (scroll down this page to see the review). He describes it as:
‘a superb little tome that gives you all the hints and advice you need to make your writing as good as you want it to be’.

Win a Toothbrush

Last Monday I picked up the Metro newspaper (free on some public transport) on a train to Milton Keynes and spotted the Rush-hour Crush competition. Just write a few words about that dishy man/woman you’ve spotted on the bus/train/tube and you could win a Sonicare HealthyWhite electric toothbrush. There’s a prize each day but you’ll have to be quick, the competition ends on 13th September 2013. Entry is by an electronic form here.

A Success!

Finally, I had a phone call this week to tell me that I’ve won the Friends of Morley Literature Festival Short Story competition, judged by Gervase Phinn. The story was originally written for last year’s Jeremy Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing competition and it came nowhere. But now it’s won me £50 so I’m chuffed to bits! (By the way, I also won this competition in 2011 so maybe I shouldn’t enter next year …)

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Poetry, Pictures and Andrew McMillan

On Saturday I went to Morley in Yorkshire to collect my certificate for the Friends of Morley Literature Festival ShortSally Jenkins - Morley Literature Festival Story Competition. It was a lovely evening which featured Andrew McMillan (not sure if he’s any relation to Ian) reading poetry that had been written for a special project undertaken in conjunction with the Literature Festival.

Four families in the area chose paintings from Leeds Art Gallery to hang in their homes for 3 months. Andrew went out to visit these families and talk to them about how they felt about the art works. He then used these conversations as triggers for poems. Three local schools also chose pictures to hang in their classrooms for a similar project but this time the children wrote the poems with Andrew acting as their mentor.

Andrew has a wonderful way of performing poetry and he brought the children’s colourful language & unusual ideas to life with his gestures, timing and strong regional accent. Similarly, hearing him read his own poems made them so much more vivid (for a non-poet like me) than simply reading words on a page.

So, to be a successful poet do you have to be able to perform with panache  and carry the audience with your words? Or can you succeed as a shrinking violet? I imagine that few people buy books of poetry these days and therefore a confident performance is essential to build a following.

The evening continued with a gig by the comedian Arthur Smith (of Grumpy Old Men). He was brilliant but surprised me by including poems (which he knew off by heart) in his act. My favourite was The Mower by Philip Larkin, which is a rather sad tale about a hedgehog.

Also – until midnight on Friday (14th October 2011) I am donating £1 to the RNIB for each new subscriber to this blog. Simply enter your email address in the box on the right – it’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time. More information is here.

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A Successful Week!

After a dearth of acceptances over the summer months I’ve had four bits of good news in three days:

  • Writers’ Forum have accepted an article that I first pitched to them back in July.
  • I have a short story in this week’s Weekly News (dated 24th September). Thanks to Julia for letting me know it had been published and to Helen Yendall, my writing buddy, for giving the story the once-over before I sent it.
  • I have won the Friends of Morley Literature Festival short story competition. This was a free to enter competition (which we like!) with a £50 first prize. There is also a prize-giving in Morley, near Leeds – I’m still working on the logistics of attending that. The 2012 short story competition is now open and entry forms are available via email from the organisers. Details are here.
  • I have been asked to write for the Work Your Way magazine website. I mentioned this magazine on my blog a couple of weeks ago. It’s a new publication aimed at entrepreneurial/self-employed mums.

So at the moment my head’s buzzing and I feel great! But now I need to get some more work out there in the hope of getting this ‘high’ feeling again in the future. So I’m trying to learn from these acceptances.

Writers’ Forum taught me not to be afraid to chase an editor if he doesn’t reply to a pitch within a reasonable time – the summer holidays meant time was short and things were overlooked.

The Weekly News story was written from a male point of view and involved sport. This may have increased its chances of success in a publication read by both sexes.

My competition win shows that there’s nothing to lose and everything to be gained by sending off an entry to a free competition. For more free competitions check out Patsy Collins’ blog.

The offer from Work Your Way came about because once I’d had one article accepted by the magazine, I went back to the editor with another idea before she had time to forget who I was! Now I have to get my thinking cap on and come up with several more ideas – it feels quite scary to be put on the spot!

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