Posts Tagged Real People
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!
Most of us have ‘favourite’ stories, poems or articles that for some reason have never made it into print. For some
reason we particularly like these pieces but it seems no-one else does! Recently I resurrected a couple of stories which had unsuccessfully done the rounds but which I thought had a strong idea behind them.
The first was a ‘twist in the tail’ about a fortune-teller and was based on an anecdote that a work colleague told me. It was rejected by both Take a Break Fiction Feast and The Weekly News. I managed to distill the essence of the story down into just 60 words and emailed it off to Real People, which publishes a 60 word story each week and pays £25. And finally my fortune-teller tale found a home! It was published a couple of weeks ago and now I feel that I can stop fretting over that ‘favourite’ and move on.
Similarly, another story, set partly in the early 1980s and partly in the present day, had flopped in a couple of competitions and had been rejected by Woman’s Weekly. It then also got turned down by My Weekly – but this time with a few words about why it wasn’t quite right. I took notice of the comments, reworked the story and sent it off yet again – this time to People’s Friend. This week I had an email from one of the People’s Friend fiction team saying that they liked the story, but also listing a number of changes that would be necessary before it could be considered for the magazine. So now I’m editing the story yet again and crossing my fingers that when I re-submit it, People’s Friend will say ‘Yes’ and finally give my story a home.
So if you’ve written something you really love but can’t seem to get it accepted anywhere – keep trying. Persistance can pay!