Top Tip Of The Week


Shhh, don’t ask about the money…

When you send an article or short story off, don’t ask how much they’re going to pay you in your covering e-mail/letter. This will put an editor off you and your work straight away. Wait until your work has been accepted and then you can politely ask about their current rates of pay.


Have a great weekend. Here’s my Friday Funny:



My Weekly Writing Challenge


Thank you to everyone who showed me their limericks from yesterday’s ‘market of the week’. I really enjoyed them and wish you all good luck in the contest. If you’re not amongst the winners, try another one for them. After all, it’s free to enter so you have nothing to lose.

Anyway, onto this week’s challenge: 60-word stories please. I loved your 50-word stories from last week. Can you top it next week? Here are last week’s stories for you to enjoy:

Keith Channing is immersed in NaNoWriMo at the moment as his 50-word story featuring one of his main characters shows!:

Hannice didn’t know, when he inherited his father’s fortune, that he had a half-brother, the product of a liaison his father had enjoyed while at university.

Stephen had no legal grounds to contest the old man’s will, but Hannice gave him half a million anyway.

Good egg, that Hannice!

Lyn Bishop‘s character isn’t anywhere near as nice as Hannice!:

“It’s at times like this that sudden death is the only option,” she thought, “but not my own obviously.” She sighed, so much work to be done in such a short space of time, but plans needed to be made to bring Terence into line, and sooner rather than later.

Geoff Le Pard sent in a trio of animal delights:

Pet Logic
1) Buster ran after the ball, stopped and headed for the woman by the gate. Paul called but Buster kept going.

‘Hello Moo.’

Moo? He’s not Moo he’s… Paul remembered. The rehoming lady said his old owners called him that. The woman rubbed Buster’s head, turned and walked off. Buster followed.

2) Johnson the cat slunk through the flap and surveyed his territory. Henry the sparrow stopped feeding and waited. Johnson thought about attacking but turned away. ‘Another time, bird,’ he purred. Henry waited until Johnson was relieving himself and swooped over Johnson’s favourite spot, relieving himself. A small, if pyrrhic victory.

3) Blackie the hamster was dead. Marjorie could imagine what Mrs Broom, 2C’s teacher would say when the form pet returned a stiff.

The pet shop had every colour except black; the art shop said the dye well worked on fur, if soaked for an hour. Marjorie hoped hamsters could swim.

Wendy Pope sent in a story to lift the spirits:

He sits in his summerhouse, notebook and pens to hand. He likes it here; it’s quiet, it inspires him. With the window open slightly he can hear Nature, as well as see Her. For him, a peaceful heart and a clear mind are all he needs to create meaningful prose.

Sacha Black always produces a gripping one:

For a long time conspiracies were territory for the crazies, saved for life’s eccentrics. Until one day, they weren’t. In one instant, one worldwide news broadcast everything we thought we knew about life and society became a lie. The long heads had landed and our freedom was going to be taken.

Charles Norman has written a great twist-in-the-tale:

Rita’s daughter screams from her bedroom, “Try that again and I’ll kill you… keep away from me!”

Running towards the bedroom, she shouts, “June, what’s the matter?”

“Stay out Mum!”

Rita throws open the door and sees June holding a fly-swot which has just killed the wasp that nearly stung her.

Jasdeep Kaur‘s story will paint a vivid picture in your mind:

Ray Of Hope

Fluttering butterflies, blossoming flowers, chirping birds, bounteous water; no, it was not a dream. In the Earth that had become a desert, there was still a green belt.

A grain of sand will fall when you commit a sin, was the command.

I sighed in relief: all was not over.

Jason Moody‘s story will tug at the heart strings:

Her wrinkled hand barely registered upon mine. My heart was pumping, my jaw clenched shut. This was it. I couldn’t face this.

“I love you, Beth,” she whispered.

My eyes stung. Her eyes twinkled for the last time, as she gave me a weathered brown envelope.

Then she was gone.

Markets For Writers


Many of you will know that I have a soft spot for limericks and have featured them a few times on my blog. A US paper, ‘The Saturday Evening Post’, is calling for your best limerick about an image featured in the paper. To see the said image, click on the following link:

Entries are accepted worldwide. $25 dollars goes to the best one. The winning entry is published in the paper as are several runners-up.

Previous winning entries can be viewed if you follow the above link.

You’ll have to get your skates on – the closing date is December 3rd 2014. It looks like they feature a new image and limerick competition every other month, so if you miss this one keep your eyes open for the next one.



Paperback Launch!

Paperback Launch!

It’s Out!

It seems like it’s taken forever, but the paperback edition of my collection of short stories, The Siege and Other Award Winning Stories is now available to buy through Amazon, Waterstones On-line and other on-line stores. It can be ordered through all book stores and selected retailers are stocking the book. After several requests for signed copies (why anyone would want my scrawl across the pages of their book is beyond me) I do have a stock here. The retail price is £6.50 but you can have a copy (signed, or unsigned!) for £5, plus postage. If you’d like to buy one, you can send me a message or e-mail. My e-mail address is:

The book is still available to download as an e-book. The paperback features an extra six stories.

I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the support and encouragement I’ve received. I really couldn’t have done it without you. So a huge thank you!

Writing Process Blog Meme


My final nominee for the Writing Process Blog Meme, Keith Channing, has now published his answers. Please take the time to read them – they’re both highly interesting and very entertaining. Keith is usually the first to take up my weekly writing challenge and I’m sure you’d like to know more about the man who writes such compelling and enjoyable stories:

A big thank you to Keith for taking part :-)

Top Tip Of The Week


Funny Faux-Pas

In the current economic climate there isn’t much to cheer us, so a humorous article or funny story comes as a welcome break. But whether you’re writing an amusing article, filler, letter or short story, don’t over-explain the humour. It’s very easy to feel as if you have to explain exactly why something is funny. You don’t. Keeping it brief and to the point will ensure the humour comes through. Too long and windy and the humour is lost.

Enjoy your weekend. I leave you with a Friday Funny: