Saturday 24 June 2017

A Tortuous Route to Publication

Anyone who uses Facebook will be familiar with its random ‘memories’ – posts from years ago that pop up at the press of the login button. I’ve seen many a tight-lipped rant from someone who has been inappropriately shown a memento of a long-gone relationship or something else that didn’t warrant an unexpected reminder. The ‘memories’ it presents to me tend to be strangely random. Maybe random is how I am on Facebook. But this morning for once I was shown something substantive. A link to a guest blog on the Writers’ Workshop from five years ago, detailing my tortuous route to publication – many lessons learnt along the way and a story of which I’m always happy to be reminded.

Friday 16 June 2017

Beverley Folk Festival

It’s the Beverley Folk Festival this weekend. Saturday and Sunday. Beverley racecourse. A veritable cornucopia of delights in the creative arts, and I’m including food in the creative arts on this occasion because the food is exquisite.

As well as the concerts and big name bands, they have a children’s marquee, an arts and crafts centre and on Sunday a literature strand: Words on the Westwood where you will find at least one Hornsea Writer and many more local authors and publishers talking about their work.

This year, the organisers have created a Festival taster ticket for just £3 which allows entry to everything except the headline concerts. If you’re in the area, it’s well worth a visit.

Saturday 10 June 2017

So many little time!

I began 2017 with the determination to publish four books by Christmas, plus a seasonal short for my soprano detective, Georgia Pattison. To make life more difficult, I also decided I wanted to take the summer months off. In order to do this, I knew I had to get three of them out before the much anticipated holiday in Rhodes. And I did. Just.

If I say it has been an experience I do not want to repeat, that may be too dogmatic. Perhaps that should be amended to I need to plan more effectively if I do this again. Why did I think it wouldn't be such a horror? Because I knew the second full-length Georgia Laid In Earth was already written and just (just!!) needed editing, ditto the revamped Sherlock Holmes & The Oakwood Grange Affair. 

I also had 55,000 words of a standalone crime thriller already in the bag - raw, yes, but there. The objective looked achievable. Until I came to actually work on The Angel Killer. And that is where the trouble really began.
To read more go to:

During the process of turning The Angel Killer into something that could be published, I seriously thought about having a cardboard cutout of me put in the sitting room downstairs so that my husband would remember what I looked like. It didn't matter what the weather was, I was in the office gazing at the screen, concentrating to an insane degree and exercising my fingers on the keyboard.

So now I am enjoying my summer break. I intend to begin work again in September and between then and Christmas write the Georgia short The Bleak Midwinter and the first of the Gethin Wilde Chronicles, working title Caught Between Loyalties. I shall spend the next couple of months enjoying the house and garden, playing with the dog, going out for days and generally doing what normal people do!!

You can read more about April Taylor here:

Saturday 3 June 2017

Why Not Have A Go At Writing Competitions?

Do you enter writing contests? No? Why is that? Not confident enough? Think there are too many scams? Not worth the effort?
Or, perhaps you like to enter but find it hard work discovering the details of competitions.
One of the Hornsea Writers gang can save you a lot of time and effort in that search. Stuart Aken keeps a running table of links to sites that offer prizes for your creative writing efforts. Some are free to enter and offer large cash prizes. But, apart from the money, there’s a great deal of kudos to be gained within the writing community, and amongst readers, by being a competition winner. So, perhaps you should try it.
Hornsea Writers members have won a number of prizes over the years and continue to do so.
There’s always an element of luck involved, of course. But, rather like the lottery, you have to be in it to win it.
And, for the doubters and sceptics, there are actually only a few scams around and Stuart does his best to avoid those in his table. He also includes only those that provide a top prize worth at least 20 times the entry fee, unless, of course, they’re free to enter.
No confidence in your writing? Well, the best way to tackle a lack of confidence is to go for it. And, especially if you enter the smaller prize competitions first, you might be surprised by your chances of success. So, why not give it a try?
But, please, always read and abide by the rules. Contest organisers are generally busy people working voluntarily. They don’t look kindly on the novel entered in a poetry contest, the limerick trying to slide into the haiku competition, or the 6,000 word short story entered in a contest with a limit of 2,500.
You’ll find Stuart’s table here. He updates it frequently and gives reminders on his website each month, here. If you follow the instructions in his post, you can even receive an email of that regular reminder.

So, all the work of searching is done for you. No excuses. Go on, have a go! And good luck!