She's The One

Competition Details

Run in support of International Women's Day on March 8th, She's The One is a competition that celebrates the achievements of women throughout history by inviting writers across the UK to share their thoughts and stories.
Whether it's Florence Nightingale or Mrs Smith from down the road, an international icon or an everyday heroine, one woman or all women, we want to hear about the women who inspire you and how they have changed your world.
The deadline for the competition is June 30th. Entries can be poetry, prose or any style you like, though not longer than 350 words. The winning entries from the She's The One Competition will be published in an anthology to be released in September 2012.
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How To Enter

The She's The One competition is open to anyone who lives in the UK. The work that you enter must be unpublished and not under contract to any other publisher. Work that has been self-published or published on the web is not eligible. If you have previous writing experience please include a brief biography of your writing career.
There is no limit to the number of entries that you can submit to the competition. Please include full contact details on each page, including name, email address and telephone number.
Entries may be poetry, prose, letters or in the style of your choice, but should not exceed the 350 word limit.
Work submitted, or arriving after the closing date will not be accepted. Entries must be submitted by post to the following address:
She's The One Competition
My World Publishing
Rainton Bridge Business Park
Chase House
Mandarin Way
Tyne and Wear
Or by email to...

Wigtown Poetry Competition 2012

Wigtown Poetry Competition 2012

The 2012 Wigtown Poetry Competition is NOW OPEN. Entries can be made securely online or by post. To enter by post, please download the entry form here.
Click here to submit entries online.

Poetry Competition Judges 2012

Main Prize Judge:
George Szirtes
George Szirtes has written some 14 books of poetry. He has been awarded the Faber Prize, the Cholmondeley Award and the T S Eliot Prize. His most recent books are New and Collected Poems (2008) and The Burning of the Books (2009). His next, Bad Machine, will be published by Bloodaxe in 2013. George has written widely on other subjects. His background is in painting and fine art and he is also an acclaimed translator of Hungarian literature.
Gaelic Prize Judge:
Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir ~
Martin MacIntyre
Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir – Martin MacIntyre grew up in Lenzie, near Glasgow, and studied medicine at Aberdeen University. He later attained qualifications in broadcasting and Gàidhealtachd studies from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Skye. Martin’s many accolades include winning the William Ross Prize for Gaelic Writing and the Saltire Society First Book of the Year Award, and he was crowned Bàrd at the National Mòd in 2007. He has written three novels and a book of poems, Dannsam Led Fhaileas / Let Me Dance with Your Shadow published by Luath Press in 2006. Martin is working on a second poetry volume and a collection of short stories. He has previously appeared at StAnza poetry festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Toronto’s International Festival of Authors.
Scots Prize Judge:
Sheena Blackhall
Sheena Blackhall is a writer, illustrator, traditional ballad singer and storyteller in north-east Scotland. From 1998-2003 she was Creative Writing Fellow in Scots at Aberdeen University’s Elphinstone Institute. She has published four Scots novellas, 12 short story collections and more than 80 poetry collections. In 2009 she became Makar for Aberdeen and the North East. Sheena was the inaugural Scots Prize winner in the 2011 Wigtown Poetry Competition.

Fee structure

The first poem submitted costs £7.00
Multiple entries: the first three poems cost a total of £19.00. Each subsequent entry after the first three costs £5 or a total of £14 for every additional block of 3, ie:
1 poem £7; 2 poems £14; 3 poems £19; 4 poems £24; 5 poems £29; 6 poems £33; 7 poems £38; 8 poems £43; 9 poems £47; 10 poems £52; 11 poems £57; 12 poems £61 etc.


  • All poems are judged anonymously and the name of the poet must not appear on the manuscript.
  • Each poem must be typed on a separate sheet of paper and clearly state which part(s) of the competition it is entered for (main prize, Gaelic or Scots).
  • The same poem can be entered for more than one part of the competition but it must be typed up separately for each part and counted as a separate entry.
  • For postal entries please include two copies of each poem submitted.
  • Poems must not exceed 40 lines (not including title).
  • All entrants must be 16 years of age or over.
  • Entries may be in English, Scots, Scots/Irish Gaelic.
  • The competition is open to anyone throughout and outside the United Kingdom.
  • Poems must not be previously published, accepted for publication or currently entered into another competition.
  • There is no restriction on the number of poems submitted by each applicant to each category of the competition, provided the appropriate entry fee is included.
  • Competition entries cannot be returned.
  • Alterations cannot be made to poems once they have been submitted.
  • All poems will be read initially by a team at the Scottish Poetry Library prior to the final judging.
  • Winners will be notified by Friday 5th August 2011. Winning poem and runner up entries will appear in the Scotsman or its sister paper Scotland on Sunday and winners will be listed on the Wigtown Book Festival website from Saturday 29th September 2012. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • No employee or board member of Wigtown Festival Company, the Gaelic Books Council or the Scottish Poetry Library may enter the competition.

  • The copyright of each poem remains with the author. The authors of the winning poems grant the Wigtown Festival Company the right to use the poems in publicity material for one year from 23rd September 2011.


Discovering the Diamond

Discovering the Diamond by Helen Hollick & Jo Field

As a published author of historical novels and adventure fantasy, I am often asked for advice by people who are new to writing or who have been writing for years, but not yet succeeded in getting their work published. I found I was giving the same advice so often that it seemed sensible to put it all together into a set of ‘guidelines’. These are intended for novice writers of ‘popular fiction’ and do not discuss non-fiction, for while the principles of good writing may apply equally to both, how they are produced is different.

'This ebook is packed with handy hints, tips & guidelines for new & indie writers.'

£1.54  UK edition link

 $2.44 US edition link


Reviews, Reviews, Reviews...

Reviews of your book can either put the va-va-voom into your day or make you want to close your lap top lid for good, but, they’re essential for informing potential buyers whether or not to purchase.  Indeed, Mark Coker of Smashwords indicates in one of his pie charts that most readers buy based on a recommendation or review.

While you can garner a few reviews from friends or fellow writers, you need opinions from real readers or members of the blogosphere to assist you in getting your book ‘out there’. 

I work with quite a number of bloggers, some with 100 followers and some with 1500 devotees. They range from students to workers, all love reading books and sharing their views on them. However, they do get inundated so expect to wait a few months. They’re often busy people too so don’t hassle them. Most have a fair and honest review policy and give a balanced opinion, which may help your sales or may not. The main thing you’re gaining is publicity by exposing your book to readers.

Some focus on specific genres while some are more broad based. I’ve also found many that accept indies but not all do, so please check. For extra pulling power, you may wish to combine your review with an interview and giveaway.

However, where do we find these bloggers?

I recommend joining bookblogs.ning, which is a community of bloggers with a discussion board and a variety of groups you can join. You can post a review request on a new discussion thread or into a group. By searching posts and members, you can often locate these bloggers quite easily. A member, Kate Evangelista, posted a review request on her blog and I obtained my first few through her. You may also spot some bloggers on Goodreads or even Twitter.

There are also some great sites that support indie authors and reviews are part of the services they offer.

World Literary Café has a vetted read and review team, although you need to book in advance. They are currently scheduling for June onwards. The site offers a range of other services too.

Kindle Book Review is run by thriller author, Jeff Bennington. There is a list of reviewers on his site that you can contact directly. If they don’t like your book, they don’t post the review and if they do, they’ll post to Amazon for you. It’s also well worth subscribing to his newsletter, ‘The Writing Bomb’ and there are a range of promotions available too.

Night Owl Reviews offer a range of promotions as well as reviews. You can request one, although you are not guaranteed one. However, the site receives a lot of monthly traffic.

The Bookbag.co.uk have a great review policy and read indie books without discrimination. There are promotional packages on offer too, and the site receives high traffic.

BookStackReviews also have a fair and honest review policy. I really liked the review they posted for my book but the site doesn’t receive a high volume of traffic.

BookRooster.com will send out your book for a modest fee to reviewers on their database. They guarantee at least 10 reviews but I found they didn’t follow through with this promise. You don’t know who’s on their database, and what genres they favour plus, personal contact with the administrators isn’t too hot either. Personally, I believe you’ll get better service by paying a virtual book tour organiser.

Virtual Book Tour Organisers

Contacting and communicating with bloggers does take time, so you may want someone to organise this for you. Usually, they blog themselves and have an extensive network, providing a good service often at a modest cost. As previously stated, think ahead and book in advance.

Bewitching Book Tours are very reasonably priced, with release day promos to month long tours. They focus mainly on paranormal and fantasy genres.

Le Grande Codex works with a range of genres and is based in India.

Fierce Reading is another modestly priced service.

CLNB is quite broad based in genre and is reasonably priced.

More expensive tour operators include Pump Up Your Book, Orangeberry Book Tours and Novel Publicity.

If you have cash to spare and desire a more professional review, Kirkus Reviews carry a lot of clout. Darcie Chan, author of ‘The River Mill Recluse’ attributes much of her bestseller status to Kirkus. They read indies too.

Midwest Book Review favours small publishers and indies while Foreword Reviews offers a paid service for indie authors.

You can also garner reviews by doing a giveaway on Goodreads, LibraryThing or through a KDP Select free promotion, but results can be random. When your book is free, many people will try something out of their usual genre or just simply because it’s free. It’s quite risky so be prepared for a wide mix of views.

Marie Harbon is the author of ‘Seven Point Eight: The First Chronicle’, the first book in an ambitious science fiction/paranormal series.

'an enthralling read from start to finish… this book has real originality and portrays an intricate journey... an intriguing and mind bending journey...’

'If you like your novels Dan Brown style with lots of geeky science underpinning a thrilling and clever plot, you'll love this. It is highly readable and intriguing, moving swiftly from one scenario to the next, covering a wide range of decades and building a storyline of modern and ultimately human interest’.
Alison Chester-Lambert, author of ‘The Future In The Stars - The Planets' Message for 2012 And Beyond'.

'every page is chock-a-block full of quantum theory, wildly idiosyncratic characters, out-of-body experiences, weird occurrences, and loose ends, all of which are tied together with a fanciful yet plausible conception of the grand unifying theory underlying the world around us. Oh yeah, and there's some sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll thrown in for kicks'.

"Seven Point Eight has to be one of the most fascinating reads I've come by in quite a while... It's always risky to mix several genres and sub-genres but for this book, the execution was flawless... Captivating and intelligently written - definitely could appeal to fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Dan Brown books, fans of the Jodie Foster film 'Contact' and anyone who loves X-Men"
Dream Reads

'a clever and intriguing story that blends science and spirituality and calls us to question what we believe in - what is reality... a thought provoking read that those who enjoy fantasy and science fiction are sure to enjoy. It will be a series to keep looking at and I will certainly look out for the second chronicle'
Paradigm Shift Magazine Issue 55

‘Seven Point Eight: The First Chronicle’ is currently available in the UK Kindle store and will be running its KDP Select free promotion from the 16th – 19th April, inclusive.
Amazon link to Buy Seven Point Eight.


What Women Want

This acclaimed show deals with a problem that has baffled man down the ages – its title gives you an idea of the size of the task Shonaleigh is undertaking.

Shonaleigh is one of the foremost storytellers in the British Isles with a style that can only be described as breathtaking. She is one of the few remaining Drut’sylas, storytellers in the ancient Jewish tradition.

Come along and be dazzled, amused and thrilled by a truly brilliant performer. The show is jointly promoted by the storytellers of Nottingham and Nottingham Playhouse.

Click this link to buy tickets







Rhyme for a reason

To celebrate 40 years of Friends of the Earth, Rutland Friends of the Earth is hosting 'Earth Words', a poetry and illustration competition, with the theme of 'being friends with our Earth'.

With celebrity judges including broadcaster Clive Anderson, award-winning poet Gillian Clarke and comedy writer Jon Canter, it's a great opportunity to get creative and get published.

There are cash prizes reaching £150, and the best entries will feature in a celebratory book of poems, which will also include artwork and photography. The anthology will open with a poem by bestselling poet Brian Patten.

The deadline is 30 June 2012, so there's plenty of time to get your entries in.


Adult section
  • First prize: £150
  • Second prize: £50
  • Third prize: £25
Child section (under 16)
  • First prize: £20
  • Second prize: £10
  • Third prize: £5

How to enter

You may submit as many entries as you like. Poems should not be more than 40 lines in length and must be typewritten or submitted electronically.
Entries cost £3 for adults (or £10 for 4 submissions) and £1 for children (or £3 for 4 submissions). Please make cheques payable to Rutland Friends of the Earth.
Please don't put your name or address on the poems. Instead, include a separate piece of paper with your name, address, telephone number, email address and the title of the poem(s) you are submitting. Poems cannot be returned so please don't send your only copy.

Postal entries

Postal entries should be sent to Friends of the Earth Poetry Competition, 3 The Jetty, Wing, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 8RX. If you want to have your artwork returned to you, include a stamped addressed envelope.

Email entries

To enter by email, just send your entry to grays.morcott@virgin.net, accompanied by a postal payment.

The small print

Copyright of each poem/artwork remains with the author. Rutland Friends of the Earth has the unrestricted right to publish the winning poems in an anthology and on its website, and on related material for public relations or publicity purposes.
For more information email grays.morcott@virgin.net.