Sunday, 28 April 2013

Novel Writers Competition

Annual Novel Opening & Synopsis Competition Opens for Entries

Have you started, or completed, a novel with strong, credible characters and a page turning plot? Have you polished the first chapter? Can you put together a compelling one-page synopsis of the balance of the story? Yes? Then why not enter our Novel Opening Chapter & Synopsis Competition?
The competition opens on Wednesday 1st May and closes at midnight (UK time) on Thursday 31st October, so you have a full six months to hone an existing novel, or even to begin a new one. Remember, the novel doesn't have to be complete, but you do have to know where the story is going as we require a one-page synopsis of the balance of the storyline.
More details can be found here.

Shortlists Coming Soon
We are expecting the shortlisted entries in both competitions to arrive any day now. As soon as we have the titles we'll update the website and I'll send out another newsletter.
Our two quarterly categories are already open for entries. For more information on everything to do with all three competitions, visit the updated website: Flash 500 Home Page.

Kind regards,

Axel Scheffler

Well done Maureen, your perfect instructions have brought me to this page. 20th century, HERE I COME !!
I have done a little research on Axel Scheffler ,as requested.
He was originally from Germany, born Hamburg 1957,and is best known for for cartoon -like pictures in childrens' books. He came to England in 1982, studied at Bath Academy of Art, graduating in 1985. He first worked in advertising and publishing . He then became   known for his distinctive illustrations in Britain , Germany and the Netherlands, working with Jon Blake, Paul Shipton, David Henry Wilson,Uwe Timm, Paul van Loom and Toon Tellegen. He now lives in Blackheath, London.
Scheffler was commissioned by Faber and Faber to provide illustrations for a new edition of " OLD POSSUMS BOOK of PRACTICAL CATS " to commmemorate the 70th anniversary of the book, and the 80th anniversary of the company in 2009.
He designed, God Bless him, Gordon Brown's Christmas cards in 2006, and ALL the Christmas stamps for Royal Mail in 2012 .

Type in - hackneyed what is its origin,--- there is a link to World Wide Words -hackneyed. Click on this for a comprehesive explanation to where it all started. YES it is Hackney circa 13th century.

 Tom F.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Poetic Republic Competition Information

As promised website for those who want to have a look at this competition.  As I said yesterday it is judged by those who enter AND you receive feedback from people who are not familiar with your work, so it is judged by your peers on merit.  Can't be bad.

For the first year last year, they published an e-book called 'Poems to Talk About' and it is available on Amazon only if you have an electronic device.  Complaints from participants last year was that they wanted to buy a hard copy to give as gifts as it came out just before Christmas. It will be interesting to see what happens this year.  I received some very pertinent comments on my work by other poets last year, and some of my comments were included in the e-book.

It is a bit pricey at £7 entry fee per poem.  The first prize is £2,000, but I think lots of entries this year.  The plus of course is that you get a bit of a critique from other poets and your comments may be published, but you also write so well, you might win!  I will include in this blog, the email I received urging me to enter, and the winning poem from last year.  Hope it's useful.

email received: Dear Maggie,

The deadline for this year's poetry prize is approaching.

There is a Single Poem Prize of £2,000 and a Portfolio Prize of £1,000.Over 6,400 people have now registered at Poetic Republic. This is a unique community.

If you haven't already entered, this is simply a quick reminder. Don't miss out on the chance to take part:

Thank you to everyone who has supported this project over the last five years.
Poetic Republic


The Winning Poem of 2012.


They cling,

like diamonds to a glistening brooch.

She creeps and bears her  spider-babes

arching her eight legs in clumsy ballet

to slalom blades of grass,

wtih beaded back.


My two on my back.

“Kill it mummy!” they shriek

and shiver that the tiny beads

might scatter and pour,

lurk in corners or run across floors

secreting silent threads.


But I could no more stamp on this

than stop the birth of stars.


Rather I share her burden

and watch her go;

she on eight legs, me on two

carrying the weight of creation

on our backs

and weaving silken strings

of endless replication.


Shona Albouy

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Here is a link to Heather’s song (music by Ian Smith) performed at the Folk Club, Rendezvous Bar, Villamartin on 16 April.

If the link  doesn’t work, you can search YouTube under the band name Grendels Bane and song Young Johnny Smith.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Party's Over Poem

The Party’s Over

The party’s over, she said with venom,

dressed in denim with a long pullover.

It’s time to call it a day.  You’ve hooked me

bought my silence.  Now I can only mime.

It was the crack, the Devil’s dandruff dealt

by the mad jester who bragged, was sleazy.

began to pester for easy money.

It was the loud bang of that burst balloon

that hangs in the room, limp as a low moon.

Around  that dim light we floated and danced,

it felt right  we’d survive on disco ground.

No chance to fulfil crazy dreams. Wake up, pay

and take off that make up you hide behind.

The party’s over.

You’re not my friend.

©Margaret Rowland