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The Fine Line Between Offensive and Inoffensive Tweeting

By on Dec 28, 2015

It was only a matter of time before one of my Twitter posts offended somebody (despite my best efforts with Donald Trump). 140 characters, stripped of all qualifiers and caveats is a very direct, if blunt, instrument of opinion. Earlier today I posted the following on Twitter, which also automatically bounced onto Facebook: I weep at they excess of toys given by well meaning relatives each year, oblivious of the damage to the planet the kids will inherit. I meant every word and attempted to write it without ambiguity. What I couldn’t avoid was any ambiguity of intent. To that effect, I’d like to apologise to any of my own relatives who felt I was taking a potshot at them personally. Had I been trying to do that I would have written “my well meaning relatives” and “my kids”. I had enough characters left to put it that way and very specifically avoided it. In hindsight using the word...

Roundup of August Writing Competitions

By on Jul 24, 2015

August seems to be the time for flash fiction and poetry, though there are a few short fiction competitions to be entered before the month is up. 2015 The Exeter Flash Competition From CreativeWritingMatters, a competition that squeezes down the envelope for flash fiction further than most with a 250 word limit. Make every one count. This is an international competition. Word limit: 250 words Prizes: 1st – £100, 2nd –£50 Entry fee: £4 Closing date: 31st August 2015 The winning stories will be published as part of an anthology and on the CreativeWritingMatters website. Winners will be announced by the end of September. http://www.creativewritingmatters.co.uk/2015-exeter-flash-competition.html   Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2015 This works out to be one of the more prestigious writing competitions for exposure, Aesthetica Magazine is well respected in the literary and...

Carried In Waves

By on Jul 17, 2015

From UCC 98.3FM at University College Cork in Ireland. I’m a big fan of hearing short stories read out. Even better if the reader is a trained actor. It demonstrates how words can have a richness and texture in their pronunciation. It also turns all those tiny marks that litter our sentences from a dry and mutable legalese into real guidance for the performance –a map of pauses and emphasis, not so different to a musical score. This competition not only offers the winners the opportunity to have their work broadcast, but also offers cash prizes on top. What is not to like. There are two categories available. The standard short story prize and the George Boole special category for young adults. This is an international competition. Main category Word limit: words 3000 Prizes: 1st –€300, 2nd – €200, 3rd – €100 Entry fee: €10 George Boole special category for young adults Word limit:...

Literature Works First Page Writing Prize

By on Jun 30, 2015

I like this competition. It’s original, exceptionally cheap to enter, the prize money is good and the agent thing is a bonus rather than just the prize alone. On the downside, however, despite being a web-based organisation, entries must be printed on A4 and sent via the post. This also necessitates payment by cheque or bank transfer, which is a bit of a faff these days. The competition is open to UK residents only. Word limit: 350 word first page, plus a 150 word synopsis Prizes: 1st – £1500, 2nd – £400, 3rd – £200  Entry fee: £6 Closing date: 30th September The winning entry will also receive a report from Clare Wallace, an agent with the Darley Anderson Literary Agency. Not only this but, according to Literature Works, the winner should be ready with a manuscript.  “You should have completed at least the first three chapters of your novel at time of submission. If you were to win...

Roundup of July Writing Competitions

By on Jun 24, 2015

Inkitt Mystery/Thriller Writing Contest The Inkitt site is a great place to read and review short stories. It is also great place to publish and get feedback on your own work. As a bonus, Inkitt periodically offer short story contests. The Fated Paradox Mystery/Thriller contest, whilst themed, is free to enter, has no word limit and offers a cash prize. It doesn’t come much better than that. Word limit: None Prizes: 1st – $50 plus five custom printed copies of story, 2nd – $40, 3rd – $30 Entry fee: free Closing date: July 4th “Fated Paradox: Tales of Gripping Suspense.” Keep us on the edge of our seats with your best mystery and thriller stories. Submit accounts of murders and red herrings, or have us biting our nails over stories full of adrenaline and espionage. We want you to leave us breathless with yours tales of unmatched suspense. A shortlist of submitted stories is...

Inkitt Mystery & Thriller Writing Contest

By on Jun 8, 2015

Inkitt Mystery/Thriller Writing Contest The Inkitt site is a great place to read and review short stories. It is also great place to publish and get feedback on your own work. As a bonus, Inkitt periodically offer short story contests. The Fated Paradox Mystery/Thriller contest, whilst themed, is free to enter, has no word limit and offers a cash prize. It doesn’t come much better than that. Word limit: None Prizes: 1st – $50 plus five custom printed copies of story, 2nd – $40, 3rd – $30 Entry fee: free Closing date: July 4th “Fated Paradox: Tales of Gripping Suspense.” Keep us on the edge of our seats with your best mystery and thriller stories. Submit accounts of murders and red herrings, or have us biting our nails over stories full of adrenaline and espionage. We want you to leave us breathless with yours tales of unmatched suspense. A shortlist of submitted stories is...

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