Posts Tagged Sunday Times

10-Word Story Competition

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of its Audible Short Story Award, the Sunday Times is running a competition for the best 10-word short story.

Entry is by email to shortstoryaward@sunday-times.co.uk. Alternatively, you can tweet your entry using the hashtag #shortshort.

Closing date is Sunday July 7th 2019.

The winner will be published on Sunday July 21st and awarded twelve free audiobooks from Audible UK.

As always, remember to read the full terms and conditions.

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When you win the Booker …

When you win the Booker, and the champagne has been drunk, the interviews given and the books signed, how will you spend the £50,000 prize money?

There was an interesting piece in last week’s Sunday Times about how some previous winners have spent the money. In 1986 Kingsley Amis said he was looking forward to spending the money on, “booze, of course, and curtains.” Four years later AS Byatt spent her prize on building a swimming pool at her home. The 2018 winner, Anna Burns, is using her winnings on something far less frivolous but, hopefully, life changing. Her prize money will fund back surgery to stop the chronic pain which stops her writing.

If I was in receipt of that £50,000 cheque, I’d use it to ‘buy’ more writing time. This might mean a combination of reducing my hours at the day job and/or paying for help around the house. However, more time doesn’t always equal more writing productivity. It would be up to me and my self-discipline to use that extra time wisely rather than in procrastination or in madly tidying up the house before the cleaner arrived!

What about you? Would the £50,000 buy something pleasurable or sensible or both?

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Royal Wedding Poems Wanted!

The Sunday Times are asking for poems to commemorate the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

There is no prize but the winning poem will be published in The Sunday Times the day after the wedding, on Sunday May 20th.

There’s also no length or style/format stipulation – so you poets can have fun creating whatever you like! But be quick, entries must be received by Tuesday May 15th.

Email poems to royalpoems@sunday-times.co.uk or send by snail mail to Royal Poems Competition, The Sunday Times, 1 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9GF.

I’ll be hoping to open the paper on May 20th and see a poem by a name I recognise. Good Luck!

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January is Hot Month for New Crime and Thriller Releases

If you’re a crime or thriller fan, January is your month. The first month of the year used to be the post-Christmas dead slot in the publishing world but not any more.

An article in today’s Sunday Times reports that January is the hot time to release new titles in these genres. The trend started with the January release of The Girl on the Train in 2015 and that book occupied the UK hardback number one spot for 20 weeks.

Nicholas Clee, joint editor of the book-trade newsletter, BookBrunch, says, “You’re making a statement putting your book out in January — you’re saying it could be the next Girl on the Train.” And there’s no sign of the popularity of this type of book diminishing.  Alice O’Keeffe, books editor at the Bookseller magazine, puts it down to the “blurring of the psychological suspense thriller with the women’s fiction market. It pulls in two readerships.”

So what have fans got to look forward to in January?

Dark Pines by Will Dean is Nordic noir by a British author.

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland is about a CIA analyst who believes her husband could be a Russian sleeper agent.

Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka investigates the death of a teenager in a small Colorado town.

It looks like The Promise by Sally Jenkins, about a vow made in prison 30 years ago, will be in good company when it’s released on January 28th!

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Become a Weekend Writer

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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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