Posts Tagged Linda Lewis

Two Free Short Story Competitions

Need something to gee you up and encourage the writing muse? Try one (or both!) of these free, themed short story competitions.

Vanda ‘n’ Linda’s Write Space Competition

Vanda Inman and Linda Lewis are looking for 500 word stories inspired by the photo on their website.
First prize is your choice of module from Vanda’s Short Story Success writing course. Second prize is either a critique of a short story of up to 2000 words or a copy of Linda’s book, The Writer’s Treasury Of Ideas (UK only).
Closing date is 31st August.

Words Magazine Short Story Competition

Words Magazine wants up to 2,000 words on the theme of ‘Murder’.
First prize is £50. Second prize is £25.
Closing date is 31st December.

Good Luck!

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Iain Pattison

Whatever type of writing you do, there’s a lot to be learned from reading the output of those ‘further up the ladder’ and findingIain Pattison out about their working methods.

Iain Pattison is a prolific short story writer and has been widely published in magazines and anthologies. Twist endings are one of his specialities. He is also the author of Cracking the Short Story Market which covers all aspects of short story writing.

So it is fair to assume that Iain’s work and advice is worth reading if you are writing short fiction. Iain is currently one of the featured writers at The Word Hut. There’s an interesting interview with him here in which he reveals his background, views on the growing ease of self-publishing plus a bit of sensible advice for budding writers. The site is also showcasing one of his winning stories An Ugly Way To Go – have a read, it will make you smile.

If Iain’s writing and advice inspire you to pick up a pen or put fingers to keyboard, then The Word Hut are running a short story competition for stories up to 1000 words, closing date 13th May 2012.

Or you might like to try writing a piece of flash fiction including the words knit, blunder, perform and tingle. Helen Yendall is running this competition on her blog and full details can be found here. The prize is a copy of Linda Lewis’ brand new book  ‘The Writer’s Treasury of Ideas’  and the closing date is 9th May 2012.

Good Luck and, in the wise words of Iain Pattison, “Keep churning out work. Be a word factory. Soon as you’ve finished one story, start another.”

P.S. Iain is judging the Writers’ Bureau Short Story Competition this year (first prize £500 and closing date 30th June 2012).

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Kindle Talk

I’ve finally got round to buying a cover for the Kindle I received at Christmas. It’s a bright pink neoprene zip-up sleeve.Kindle and Neoprene Sleeve I wanted to use the Kindle for a while before deciding whether to go for the book-like cover or the sleeve – but I couldn’t start on the e-books until I’d finished the ‘proper’ book I was already part way through (Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult – not as good as some of her others, I thought).

Before I started using the Kindle I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t feel like a book and I wouldn’t be able to get engrossed in the story. But it was no problem, the page turning becomes automatic and the fact that it’s an electronic device doesn’t reduce the enjoyment. A colleague at work said he was so involved in what he was reading that he totally forgot it wasn’t a book and reached his hand over to turn the page manually.   

The only thing I find frustrating is the choice of font sizes. I was hoping to find one that would let me read without wearing my glasses but my ideal size seems to fall in the middle of two choices – so I still put the specs on.

So far I’ve worked my way electronically through A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton, How to Make £10 in 10 Minutes by Linda Lewis and I’ve just started Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (am I the only person never to have seen the film or read the book?).

Now, I’m wondering about downloading Write a Great Synopsis by Nicola Morgan. I think I’m going to need it to stand any chance of getting an entry ready for the Good Housekeeping Novel Writing Competition – it’s not going too well at the moment! Is anybody else struggling?

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How to make £10 in Ten Minutes

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

I was one of the many who received a Kindle for Christmas and one of the first books I downloaded was Linda Lewis’ new book How To Make £10 in Ten Minutes. Linda is a prolific Womag writer, competition judge, columnist etc.

Her book is short and to the point. It gives useful advice on how to find the material that the weekly women’s magazines (and to a lesser extent other publications) thrive on. For instance, lots of magazines pay for Tips that either save money or make life easier – but how do you find tips to submit? Linda explains.

I was tempted by the book because you can download the first chapter for free, which I did. After reading it, I decided it was worth paying 89p to read the rest. Now all I need is one successful submission following Linda’s advice and I’ll be quids in! 

By the way, did anyone else see the bit in the news that said around 20% of those who received a Kindle for Christmas haven’t used it? In contrast, only 9% of iPads have remained unused – probably because you don’t buy someone an iPad ‘on spec’. If I was spending all that money I’d want to be sure that it was something the recipient actually wanted!

Can you guess what the most unused present was? Smellies and toiletries.

Read the full story here.

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NAWG Short Story Competition 2011 Critique

A couple of months ago I entered the National Association of Writers’ Groups short story competition and I paid £3 extra for a critique by Linda Lewis. The story I sent had already been in 2 competitions (without success!) but I am fond of it and decided it deserved one more chance.

Again, it came nowhere but this time I found out why. Linda was very gentle but constructive in her comments. She explained that the story didn’t include enough information about the heroine to enable the reader to care what happened to her.  Essentially I was writing about a lonely old lady in hospital but I didn’t explain why she had no visitors or what she’d done with her life (all rather obvious stuff when I look at it now). Linda also said that this kind of story had been written many times before (and I thought my idea was original!).

So now I know where I went wrong. I still like the story so I’m going to add some background information and try to think of a twist to make it a bit more unique. Then I’ll look for somewhere else to send it. 

Linda writes a regular column in Writers’ Forum magazine and is offering a critique service through her website (don’t be scared – she knows how to phrase things kindly!).

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