Posts Tagged West Country Writers’ Association

Reflected Glory

Sometime ago on this blog I mentioned a competition run by the West Country Writers’ Association to win a weekend away at their Annual Congress in 2012 (see here). This is a competition they run every year (and I was the lucky 2011 winner).

Well, I’m pleased to announce that the 2012 winner is Tracy Fells – who found the competition on this blog (hence my reflected glory!) and left a comment to let me know of her win. Congratulations, Tracy!

Tracy also heard about 2 other successes on the same day as this win – visit her blog to read about them.

If anyone else has any successes from anything I mention on this blog, please let me know so that we can all share it. I find it spurs me on to know that ‘ordinary’ people are winning things and getting published – if they can do it then so can the rest of us!


West Country Writers’ Association Competitions 2011

The Georgian terrace of Royal Crescent (Bath, ...
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If you fancy a visit to Bath next April, have a go at one (or both) of these annual competitions run by the West Country Writers’ Association:

  • Short story competition – the winner will receive £50 in cash and will also be invited to spend one day at the 2012 West Country Writers’ Annual Congress in Bath (20th to 22nd April). Entries must not exceed 1200 words and can be on any theme but must include the words JANE AUSTEN. Entry fee is £5 and the competition is only open to writers who have had no more than 2 short stories professionally published or read on the radio. Closing date 12th December 2011.
  • West Country Writers’ Bursary – all aspiring authors are invited to apply for this annual award. The bursary pays for an individual to attend the annual congress, including accommodation for two nights, all meals, which include the annual luncheon, and entry to the AGM and all talks by well-known writers, or others associated with publishing.  To apply write a letter outlining your literary achievements so far, your hopes for future success, and a brief explanation of why you would like to attend the congress. No closing date on the website for this so I’d get your entries in early. It is a fantastic prize and all you have to do is write a letter!

Those of you that read this blog regularly will know that I was awarded the West Country Writers’ Association bursary last year and enjoyed a wonderful weekend in a lovely hotel near Plymouth in April. It was a great chance to chat with other writers and learn from their experiences. There is more about my experience here.

Full details of this year’s competitions, including where to send your entries, is here




West Country Writers’ Association 60th Congress

West Country Writers' Association 60th Anniversary CakeThe weekend before last I attended the West Country Writers’ Association 60th Congress in Plymouth as the winner of their 2011 bursary.

It was a great luxury to be away from all the domestic disturbances for the weekend and to be able to completely immerse myself in chat about writing, publishing and related topics. It helped that the Congress was held at the lovely Elfordleigh Hotel which has a pool, sauna and steam room!

The weekend started on a high with the presentation of my certificate by Angela Rippon. She also gave an extremely interesting and enthusiastic talk about her career to date and revealed that, amongst other things, she is the author of a series of children’s books featuring the character Victoria Plum.

During the weekend I talked to writers of romantic fiction who were able to give me some advice about the world of My Weekly Pocket Novels:

  • Include some adventure
  • Try an exotic setting
  • Have a foreign love interest

 I was also told not to forget the possibilities of publication as a large print book too. The two main players are Chivers and Ulverscroft – the first of these pays royalties and the second pays a fee. And apparently there’s always the US market as well…

I also managed a few words with agent Dorothy Lumleyand asked her about writing the dreaded synopsis. She told me that writers always stress about this unnecessarily. She said that she always reads the first 3 chapters before the synopsis and it was imperative to grab the reader within the first page or two of these chapters. The best way of doing this is to open with a character that the reader immediately cares about. The reader must want to turn the page to find out what happens to this character. Dorothy added that the synopsis should always include the ending of the novel otherwise it is little more than an extended blurb – which will make you look unprofessional. 

And one final titbit to put you off writing forever. I spoke to one novelist with a string of published titles to her name and she told me that she once calculated that she was writing for 40p an hour!



West Country Writers’ Association Annual Congress

I heard today that I’ve been awarded a bursary to attend the West Country Writers’ Association 2011 Annual Congress in Plymouth next April! Two nights and three days away from home to indulge in all things literary – I can’t wait. Speakers include Jean Saunders, Rachel Billington and Rebecca Tope.

Applicants for the bursary had to write a letter outlining their literary achievements so far, their hopes for the future and why they would like to attend the Congress. 

If you fancy joining me, the Association is also running a short story competition with a first prize of £50 and 24 hours at the Congress. Stories can be on any theme but must include the word ‘Dartmoor’ and be less than 1200 words. The closing date is 12th December and entry is only open to those with no more than two short stories professionally published. Full details are here.

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