Can You Tell A Story In…

It’s time for your weekly five-word challenge! For this week’s challenge, can you tell a story in five words, using the word KINDLE in it somewhere?

Last week, your story needed to contain the word REWARD. You sent in some brilliant stories. Here they are:

Christine Mallaband-Brown:

My reward is your love…

Dead or alive? Reward paid.

The reward was only pence.

Her cat got the reward!

I said reward not rearward!

Reward him for his kindness?

I try hard for reward!


Reward charts don’t always work.

Ruth Scribbles:

Rewards from boxtops were fun.

Her reward was a scam.

She was rewarded a blackeye.

Certificates are the cheapest rewards.

Rewarded with a smile, again.

Hell, his only just reward.

How do I reward you?

Paul Mastaglio:

No effort means no reward.

Reward yourself. You deserve it.

Precious ring is my reward.

Simon Farnell:

I get rewarded as well?

I got a reward – yay!

I’ll give you a reward.


Life is a reward sometimes.

Lord, reward me with patience.

Patience is not my reward.

Charles Norman:

So, I am your reward!

Reward – greater than you wanted?

No reward because I lost?

Sharon Harvey:

A reward is being offered

The reward was absolutely huge! 


Image result for images quotes kindle a fire
Posted in Challenges, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

Markets For Writers

Fancy trying something a bit different? Then why not enter the Weird Christmas Flash Fiction Contest? The closing date is 2nd November 2019.

It should be weird or strange or odd. It can be “Haha!” weird or “Oh, Jesus, no!” weird. It can be genre (sf, fantasy, horror/weird, bizarro, etc.) or it can just be off-kilter. Sentimental is fine, but it better be sentimental in a way that leaves me feeling…uncomfortable. As long as it’s something about the holidays we aren’t expecting, it fits.

It must be related to any winter holiday (Christmas, Hannukha, Kwanza, solstice celebrations, “Yule,” etc.). You can include other holidays like Halloween or Easter, but it has to still have some strong connection to the winter season’s celebrations.’


1st: $50

2nd: $25

Word limit: 350 words

Visit the website for more information. There’s no mention of an entry fee.


Image result for author quotes
Posted in markets for writers | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Funny Of The Week

Form an orderly queue…

Couldn't Chair Less is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 25 Hilarious Classified Ads You'd Respond To
Posted in humor, humour | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Bite Size Writing Tips

Got For It!

Not sure about pitching an idea to an editor? Written a story, but scared to enter it into a competition? Want to send a reader’s letter out but uncertain the magazine will use it?

We all have doubts and we all receive rejections. It’s part and parcel of a writer’s life. But if you don’t send anything out, your work won’t be accepted. Believe in yourself. That piece you’ve sent out could be just what the editor/judge is looking for.


Image result for positive thoughts writing images
Posted in inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

An Interview With Ann Biggins

I met the lovely Ann Biggins at the Indie Literary Festival in Bradford earlier this year. I was very interested to hear about Ann’s debut novel, especially so as it’s set in the 1970s, which was when I was growing up. Here she gives us more of an insight:

Q. Your book is called Losing Jane and is set in the 1970s. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

A. Losing Jane is a story about the friendship between two girls, Jane and Kim, who first meet at the age of ten and follows their journey through adolescence and into adulthood. It is actually a story I have wanted to tell for more than forty years. 

Q. Why did you choose to set your book in the ‘70s?

A. It was always going to be part memoir and when I started writing I wanted to recreate the memories I had of that decade and what it was like growing up in this ‘different time’. 

Q. What did you most enjoy about writing in that era?

A. Probably like lots of people my age I am very nostalgic for a time when I was first discovering who I was. The 1970s was a very colourful decade when for me the world opened up. All the things that are still big things for teenagers today – secondary school, makeup, the opposite sex, the first taste of independence but I found I could relive my own teenage years as I talked about the fashion and music of the decade.

Q. Where do you get your ideas from?

A. It can be from anywhere really, a thought a dream, overhearing conversations. I do like to ask myself, “What if?” a lot.  When I start writing I treat myself to a new A3 note book. It has to be that size so it can fit in my handbag and I take it around everywhere with me. My LJ book is in a A4 plastic wallet now as it burst its spine well before the book was finished. It’s full of notes and memos to myself, the odd newspaper cutting, terrible sketches, old photographs, names taken from walks around graveyards, calendars and datelines…

Q. Can you tell us about your journey to publication?

A. Once I had decided that I wanted to put my story out there and see if anyone thought it was worth reading, I looked into what I needed to do to go down the traditional publishing route. I was just about to turn 60 and knew that having made the decision to ‘show and tell’ I needed to get on with it. However after a year of waiting for agent’s responses and suggestions of changes and rewrites, target audiences and how my story didn’t have a particularly wide appeal, I was losing heart. I had not written this book to make a fortune, I had written it for me and so I decided to publish it myself.

Q. Can we expect more books from you in the future and if so, will they be set in the 70s too?

A. That second difficult novel is well underway and hopefully should be ready in the early part of 2020. It’s a story that came about from when I started to look into my family history – although I have to state that the ‘What if?’ plays a massive part in this story. It spans a much bigger time scale but does include the ’70s.

Q. What’s the hardest thing you find about being a writer?

A. The self doubt. Is it any good? Will anyone be remotely interested? What will my children think? 

Q. Do you get time to read yourself and if you do, what books do you read?

A. I am an avid reader and really love it when I discover a new (to me) writer. I like women’s contemporary fiction, crime and mystery. My favourite authors are Kate Atkinson, Lesley Thomson, Sarah Winman, David Mitchell and John Connolly (I am actually in love with Charlie Parker). 

Q. When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

A. I love walking and we live in the New Forest and have the fabulous Jurassic coast just down the road. My husband is a keen photographer. Our walks tend to take hours as he keeps stopping to capture the images around us, while I am moseying along talking to myself, working out dialogue or making notes. We also do a little bit of modern jive dancing.

Q. Finally, what piece of advice can you give to writers who are struggling to get that first book written and published?

A. Look at all the options and decide what works best for you. The traditional route is very hard but if you have the time and patience keep pushing. There are also a lot of excellent small presses out there – The Writers’ and Artists’ Year Book is a good source of reference for these and of course there is no shortage of advice on the internet. Indie publishing has worked for me and I have met some amazing and inspirational people through my journey and built a wonderful network of friends through it.

Posted in Author Interviews, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Can You Tell A Story In…

Here we go – it’s time for your weekly five-word challenge! For this week’s challenge, can you tell a story in five words, using the word Reward in it somewhere?

Last week, your story needed to contain the word Camera. You sent in some witty and entertaining stories. Here they are:

Christine Mallaband-Brown:

The camera obscura worked well.

That camera is very old.

They held it in camera.

Action shot filmed on camera.

Camera? is beer loving group?

I lost my camera overboard!


Hold it! Where’s my camera?

I miss my proper camera

My mind is my camera.

Camera lens in sight… Paparazzi!

Phone cameras create miracles… Snapchat!

Ruth Scribbles:

If cameras could talk… Snap!

My iPhone is my camera.

I carry my camera everywhere.

Cameras capture important life events.

“Lights! Camera! Action!” she said.

Be aware of camera snapping.


Light through pinhole. Camera born.

Brownies? Cameras not chocolate cake!

Obscure camera inverts reality. Snappy!


Court in camera, no pictures.

Cameras, shoot but don’t kill.

Paul Mastaglio:

Camera’s not working. It’s lying!

Smile. You’re on candid camera!

Lights, camera, action. Movie time!

Simon Farnell:

My camera isn’t working!

I watched my camera sink.

Cameras, cameras, cameras are everywhere!

Val Fish:

The camera never lies – rumbled!

Cameras: Big Brother’s watching you…

Diana was never camera shy.

CCTV; Cameras watching every move…

Chelsea Owens:

Camera chameleons clamber a cacophony.

Charles Norman:

My camera is watching me!

Sharon Harvey:

The camera caught it all.

The camera tells the story.


Image result for reward quotes funny
Posted in Challenges, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Markets For Writers

1000 Word Challenge

This is a themed competition for stories up to 1000 words. The current theme is Strangers. The closing date is 30th November 2019. Here are some more details for you:


1st: £150

2nd: £75

3rd: £50

Entry fee: £5 or £15 for an entry with feedback

Take a look at their competition page for more details.


Posted in markets for writers | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments