Category Archives: Writers

Where have I been all this time?

After several weeks if not months of prevarication, I am, hopefully, getting it together.

Having attempted to struggle through a 6 week futurelearn course on ‘Reading Macondo’, which examines the work of Gabriel García Márquez’, I finally had to admit defeat this time round. Sadly, at least for those of us with only a smattering of any language other than English, the videos are all in Spanish. Even though the transcripts are bilingual it proved very hard work. Consequently I got too far behind.

I’m now in a more comfortable arena studying another furturelearn course ‘William Wordsworth: Poetry, People & Place’. This is proving no less fascinating than Macondo (which I will eventually return to). I heartily recommend anyone to look at the range of futurelearn courses – not restricted to literature by any means.

Now I’ve broken out of the mould I intend to continue this blog – at least weekly – without interruption!

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Monthly Masterpiece Winner

Delighted to say that my story, entered for the JustWrite Monthly Masterpiece writing competition has won first prize. The theme for this was Crime fiction. To read the story just click on the link above.

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National Poetry Competition launched

The Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition 2014 is now open for entries. One of the most prestigious competitions of its kind, the National Poetry Competition attracts around 13,000 entries each year, from around the UK and beyond. Judged anonymously, it puts established and emerging writers on a level playing field. The judges this year are Roddy Lumsden, Glyn Maxwell and Zoë Skoulding.

Last year’s competition was won by Linda France: “[The National Poetry Competition] has encouraged me to keep the faith: that poetry will find its way to readers and has a proper place in the world.”

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LBF: New Writing Competition

A raft of supporters have lined up behind publisher Scholastic and Italian pen manufacturer Montegrappa to launch the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing announced at the show. The LBF, literary agents LBA Books and The Independent have joined the two main sponsors.

The organisers are looking for new talent for writing fiction for 7-12 years age group  –  open to unpublished authors aged over 18 from the UK and Ireland. The winner gets a publishing deal with Scholastic, plus a weekend for two in Venice to visit the home of Montegrappa and receive a handmade pen worth over £1000. Judges include: children’s author, Cbeebies presenter and Booktrust patron Cerrie Burnell; Samantha Smith, Fiction Publisher at Scholastic, Louise Lamont, children’s agent at LBA; Arifa Akbar, Books Editor of the Independent.

Time is tight for this competition with the first 5,000 words required by 2 June 2014. If you’re shortlisted then they need the rest of the story by August as the shortlist will be announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The winning novel will be revealed at next year’s LBF.

Is this you? Visit Scholastic for entry details.

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Costa Winner announced

Congratulations to Nathan Filer whose debut novel The Shock of the Fall has just won the Costa Book of the Year Award.

Filer wins £30,000 with each of the other finalists: Kate Atkinson, Michael Symmons Roberts, Lucy Hughes-Hallett and Chris Riddell, picking up a cheque for £5,000. He was obviously shocked by his success as he stumbled through a short ‘thank you’ to his wife. He told guest he hadn’t prepared a speech having checked the betting odds earlier.

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