Friday, 23 September 2011

New Writers' Scheme and short stories

My report from one of the readers on the New Writers' Scheme of the Romantic Novelists' Association duly arrived a few weeks ago. (I've been very remiss about posting a new blog but it's been something of a busy Summer.)  The reader seemed to sense that it was very much a first draft and worded him/her highly enough. The report was thorough, fair, constructive and immensely helpful. (As there are quite a few male members of the RNA, I have to be non-discriminatory and say 'he/she'.)  Most encouragingly, he/she said that my 'manuscript is on the right track and is well worth perservering with.' He/she also advised leaving the MS alone for a few months and coming back to it afresh. That is good advice. Sometimes one can be up too close to see the wood for the trees (cliche! naughty!).

Talking of good advice, some time ago one of my Birmingham RNA colleagues, Sally Jenkins, advised  that The Weekly News was a good outlet for short stories. Accordingly, I sent for the guidelines and, after some delay, received them by email this week. Today, I bought a copy of the newspaper so that I could see what kind of story is accepted. To my delight, it was to find that one of the stories was by my friend, Sally Jenkins! If you are interested in writing, you might like to check out her blog (updated more often than mine is!) Sally Jenkins - she is brilliant at spreading the news about competitions, etc. Today, I emailed the fiction editor with one of my own short stories.

Earlier this year, I entered a short story competition organised by a theatre renovation group. This week I received a card to say that although I had not won any of the prizes, I had been shortlisted and my story ENTERTAINING ANGELS would be featured in the anthology. I am as pleased about that as if I'd won because it means that once again my name is 'out there!' Self promotion doesn't come easily to me but it's something that has to be done these days. The card didn't say if I would receive a complimentary copy but I've ordered one anyway. Will post on here when it arrives.