Thursday, 31 October 2013

Spooky Tales writing competition deadline 31 December 2013

Happy Halloween to all my followers.

Think you can write a scary story, then this competition could be for you:

Closing Date: Midnight on the 31st December 2013

Closing Date:

Spooky Tales Writing Competition
in association with: Miracle e-zine & What the Dickens? Magazine
Poetry ~ Flash Fiction ~ Short Stories ~ Cover Artwork
Entry Fee: £2.50
Closing Date: 31st December 2013
Judges: Holly Hopkins & Sophie Playle
Entries to be e-mailed to:
I am the Ghost of Christmas present" said the spirit. "Look upon me!"
-Charles Dickens, Christmas Carol
This Christmas, Miracle Magazine and What The Dickens! Magazine brings a very spooky contest for you to plug the strings of your creativity. This competition is all about the sound of the creaking door, the clattering of the crockery, the demoniac laugh and the ghost of past. It is about dragging your spookiness into some wobbly ghostly literary pieces!
The winners of this contest will be published in an anthology by the two magazines to be launched in  February 2014. Also, the top winner in each of the category will be awarded with a cash prize. So, what are you waiting for? Wear you 'headless earl' or 'suicide's skeleton' attire and cave in!
Submission Guidelines:
1. Participants can send their entries in poetry,  flash fiction, short stories and for the cover artwork of the anthology. 
Word limit:
Poetry: 40 lines
Short Fiction: 2500 words
Flash Fiction: 1000 words
2. All the entries are to be emailed at after paying a small fee of £2.50 from What The Dickens! Magazine's shop.
3. All the entries should be in English and must be the original work of the author.
4. Entrants must mention their Name and Age with the entry.
5. The closing date for entries is 31st December 2013.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Screen Yorkshire Rushes October 2013 & open door submission

Just received the latest newsletter from Screen Yorkshire:

Screen Yorkshire
Screen Yorkshire Rushes - October 2013
Based on the bestselling novel by Susanna Clarke and adapted by Peter Harness (Wallander, Is Anybody There?), Eddie Marsan (Best of Men, Ray Donovan, Filth) and Olivier award-winning Bertie Carvel (Restless, Hidden, Matilda) take on the magical roles of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. The seven part drama series for BBC1, based on the best selling novel of Susanna Clarke, is set during the Napoleonic wars where magic once existed and is about to return....Filming on Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell begins next week and Screen Yorkshire's investment will ensure that a large part of the production shoots in Yorkshire, with additional filming taking place in Canada and Croatia.
Filming has started in Halifax on CBBC’s brand-new comedy drama series, Hank Zipzer, featuring multi-award winning actor Henry ‘The Fonz’ Winkler. Screen Yorkshire has invested in Hank Zipzer through the Yorkshire Content Fund, securing the series for the region. Hank Zipzer stars Henry Winkler as music teacher Mr Rock, (Henry’s real life music teacher), alongside newcomer Nicholas James who plays the role of Hank Zipzer. Inspired by the 18 'Hank Zipzer: The World’s Greatest Underachiever' novels, written by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver and published by Walker Books, the 13x30-minute children’s show will air on CBBC early in 2014.
Compelling gangster drama Peaky Blinders, starring Cillian Murphy, concluded with a rabble rousing finale last week as the last episode aired on BBC2.  The highly cinematic drama has been lauded for its captivating performances, authentic costume & set design, atmospheric soundtrack and beautifully shot scenes, set against a backdrop of stunning period Yorkshire locations. Peaky Blinders was backed by Screen Yorkshire through the Yorkshire Content Fund, bringing major economic benefits to the region. The production not only employed crew and facilities, but also the services of a range of local enterprises who supplied an eclectic range of goods and services to ensure the authenticity of sets representing the period just after the First World War. 
Screen Yorkshire has announced investment from its Yorkshire Content Fund into a new screen adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s hit gothic novel Jamaica Inn. The 3 x 60 minute part TV drama will be made for BBC One by Origin Pictures, with funding from Screen Yorkshire ensuring that a major part of the production will film on location in the region, filming will also take place in Cornwall with some additional scenes shot in Cumbria. Production offices for Jamaica Inn will be based at North Light Studios in Huddersfield. The Inn itself will be shot at Crow Edge, Penistone and the Moors scenes will be shot around Marsden. Other Yorkshire locations include, Farnley Tyas, Tong and Keighley.
'For Those In Peril': In UK Cinemas Now
BAFTA-winning director, Paul Wright's debut feature For Those In Peril is now screening at cinemas across the UK. A fishing tragedy set in the beautiful, but isolated Scottish Highlands, For Those In Peril is the latest feature film to emerge from Sheffield studio Warp X, supported by Screen Yorkshire through its Production Fund.
Yorkshire Content Fund
Call For Applications
Launched just 18 months ago, Screen Yorkshire will soon be signing off on its 20th investment through its £7.5m Yorkshire Content Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund. The fund is bringing major economic benefits to the region and has had such a significant impact on the
          film and TV industry in Yorkshire that it has been dubbed by one
          leading film and TV producer the “Hollywood of England''.
 We are still seeking high calibre Feature Film, TV, Digital & Games projects to invest in. Find out more about what we are looking for....
Clothes On Film
If you are feeling bereft now that Peaky Blinders is over (at least for now...), then console yourself with this brilliant blog. 'Clothes On Film' has closely studied our favourite gangsters 20's threads with the purpose of instructing you on how to dress like a Peaky Blinder. *Endorsed by the hugely talented Peaky Blinders costume designer Stephanie Collie.
6 - 21 November 2013
Organisers have unveilled the programme for the 27th Leeds International Film Festival which launches with an Opening Gala Special Preview screening of sci-fi drama Gravity in 3D at Everyman Leeds on 06 November. The full  festival programme is at where you can explore the fantastic selection, celebrating the best in world cinema, feature documentaries, music film and cult cinema
Bradford Animation Festival
12 - 16 November
The 20th anniversary edition of the Bradford Animation Festival opens at the National Media Museum in Bradford on 13 November with a special birthday gala screening of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. BAF brings the very best in animation talent and films from across the globe for a jam packed festival filled with workshops, talks and screenings. BAF Game, which brings together fans and icons of the gaming world, takes place as part of the festival from 12 - 13 November.


Also, thanks to my fellow CWG member Neil for the following information:

There is and open door submission session at Angry Robot publishing until the end of the year.  If you are unpublished and have a finished novel of the science fiction, fantasy and horror genre then get it sent in:
Studio 22, 46 The Calls, Leeds LS2 7EY T: +44 (0) 113 294 4410 F: +44 (0) 113 294 4989 E:

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Cleckheaton Writers Group meeting 28/10/13

Another good meeting of the CWG last night where P, D, N and I were in attendance, C, L & J having given their apologies.

P showed the group that this issue of Writers Forum (#145) has a pull-out poster to help with sticking to the daily word counts of NaNoWriMo - I will be purchasing my copy today.

D informed us about a Workshop being run in February by Alison Taft with the theme of 'Love.'  D and I had wanted to attend Alison's Workshop scheduled for April, but it had been oversubscribed so I was pleased to hear that another one had been put in place (and earlier too).  Households of incomes under £15k can apply for a discount and it is being held near Barnsley.  It will be a small group, so you should get close feedback and there is also the chance to get your work published in an anthology.

D wondered whether it was the right time of year for the Leeds Writing Festival workshop day that she, P and myself attended and when we looked it up, we were surprised to learn that it will be in March 2014. 

We then discussed what we each had been working on:

P has various ideas for novels, two of which she read out.  One was a very creepy tale about a body in the ground, the hand grasping outwards (gulp, I thought Halloween was a few days away yet) and the other is written as a perfect synopsis.  D and I were very impressed as a synopsis is a hard thing to get right and we suggested she used this as a starting point for her next writing project or the NaNoWriMo challenge if she wishes to do that this year. 

D informed the group that she has yet to hear back from the second agent who asked to see her full manuscript (sadly the first agent passed) and that it has been five weeks now (fingers crossed).  She has started working on her sequel to her children's novel TSC with a working title of TBS and this is what she intends to work on for the NaNoWriMo challenge.

N has been working on his fan fiction writing challenge and TWE, the novel he intends to enter into the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and also the manuscript he will be working on for his NaNoWriMo challenge.

I revealed that I had now finished my final edit of Thorde and that I had also sent in my entry to the Richard and Judy search for Bestseller 2014 competition, with my crime novel TPB.  Like L, D and N, I will also be joining the NaNoWriMo challenge this year, with a mainstream comedy entitled SC, and I shared the prologue and opening chapters that I have started early and it was well received (the laughs came in all the right places, phew).

N had to leave the meeting early due to Arriva changing the bus timetable and it has been agreed that a rota system will be put in place for lifts home for N, so that he can attend the meetings without worrying about the time.

The next meeting will take place on Monday 11 November 6-8pm at Cleckheaton Library.  New members always welcome.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Preparing for NaNoWriMo


Having had a productive weekend finalising my fourth draft of my children's fantasy novel Thorde, I am beginning work on honing my synopsis and covering letter in readiness for sending out to agents.

I have just entered the first 10,000 words of my crime novel The Pall Bearer, a synopsis and a short author biography into the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition.

This leaves my planning for this round of NaNoWriMo.  For those of you that don't know, NaNoWriMo is a challenge set every November to write a 50k novel.  This equates to an average of 1,666 words per day during the month and requires the self-discipline of keeping writing when your self-editor wants to constantly go back and alter what you have written.

I have taken part in NaNoWriMo before, the first year my computer died at just over 20k words (nightmare) and last year I managed just over 35k.  I may not have won the challenge but I have two chunky manuscripts to work on off the back of it.

When you join the challenge NaNoWriMo send you helpful hints, planning information (including local events where you can meet fellow writers and on-line forums where you can speak to your fellow writers) and encouragement to help you towards your goal.

As I took the 'pantser' approach the two years previously, I am trying to be more productive this year by taking the time to plan ahead. This year I am going to write an inspired-by-true-events novel that has definite comedy elements, currently entitled Space Cake.  So far in my planning I have worked out my plot points in 1-3 sentences (including the inciting incident, turning points and darkest moment), a background for my characters (including character arc for the three main protagonists) and plot-planned out the story events in chronological order.

Fingers crossed for third time lucky.

If you wish to 'friend' me on NaNoWriMo by becoming writing buddies or check out my short synopsis and excerpt from Space Cake, I am YorkshireBelle.


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Myslexia call for submissions

Thanks to my fellow blogger Displacement Activity for the following information:

Writing magazine Mslexia is on the lookout for submissions from women writers on the theme of "Troubled Minds": think phobias, depressions, delusions and compulsions  according to the website. Stories up to 2,200 words and poems of up to 40 words may be submitted. The deadline is 2nd December 2013. Published contributors will be paid in line with Mslexia's rates. Full submission details and further information about contributor rates are on the website. The details are here

Universally Challenged and Are We Live? book review:

Universally Challenged: Quiz Contestants Say the Funniest Things
Are We Live?: The Funniest ...
Universally Challenged: Quiz Contestants say the funniest things by Wendy Roby and Are we live? The funniest bloopers from tv and radio by Marion Appleby book reviews


I bought these two as a set from The Book People and they were the perfect antidote to the inclement weather on our recent trip to St Bees.  When the rain was beating down upon our caravan and the kids were getting fed up, reading out the less outrageous of these anecdotes worked a treat.  Some of them were ones I had heard before, but as they say ‘oldies can often be goodies’ and some of the mistakes had me laughing out loud with tears running down my cheeks.


Who would have thought American presidents, Jeremy Paxman and obtuse contestants would come in so handy?


Hilarious                          9/10

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Book Launch 7/8 November 2013


My fellow writer Beth Daley, is launching her debut novel Blood and Water (released by Hic Dragones on 7th November 2013).

There will be launch events in Manchester (7 Nov at the Portico Library, 7-9pm) and Leeds (8 Nov, Maven Bar, The Calls, 6-8pm)  Click here if you want to register:
I’m coming to Manchester or I’m coming to Leeds

Here’s a bit about the book:

Dora lives by the sea. Dora has always lived by the sea. But she won’t go into the water.
The last time Dora swam in the sea was the day of her mother’s funeral, the day she saw the mermaid. Now she’s an adult, a respectable married woman, and her little sister Lucie has come home from university with a horrible secret. Dora’s safe and dry life begins to fray, as she is torn between protecting her baby sister and facing up to a truth she has always known but never admitted. And the sea keeps calling her, reminding her of what she saw beneath the waves all those years ago… of what will be waiting for her if she dives in again.

And some praise by a fellow author:

A talented new author with a feel for details and how to make them count. Daley’s writing is a cumulation of neat touches that grab hold of you, persuade you to care, and drag you deep into a debut novel soaked in menace.
- Toby Stone

Friday, 25 October 2013

Project Wild Thing

Thanks to my connection Ashley Jones for forwarding me the following information about the new film Project Wild Thing:

Dear Wild Friend,
Three muddy years in the making, our latest feature documentary PROJECT WILD THING hits cinemas across the UK from TODAY!
Reviews today are incredible; not least from The Guardian who give the film FOUR STARS and call it:
"Entertaining..engaging and wholly admirable. 
This is a project we should all support".
Here's what others are saying:
"Enlightening and entertaining.  Like David Attenborough and Morgan Spurlock got drunk and had a baby…”
Sheffield Doc Fest
"A gripping story of the desperate struggle to lead our computer-crazed children back to nature."
The Telegraph
"Funny, alarming and uplifting, this film will change your life. No other ninety minutes in a darkened room is more likely to get you – or your children – into the great outdoors. An exciting, inspirational exploration of our estrangement from nature and how we can all put some wildness back into our own lives. Every parent should watch it."
The Guardian
Tickets are selling fast - please book your cinema tickets now and help us make the film's release a huge hit. There are nature-inspired events being planned around most screenings, and all profits from ticket sales go to THE WILD NETWORK to help reconnect children with nature.
If you would like to get involved after the release, and show the film to friends, neighbours or colleagues, we can arrange a screening just for you - email us at

From Sunday the film will be available ON DEMAND and available to PRE-ORDER on DVD - check out for details.
Visit for trailers, deleted scenes, screening information and inspiration.

Please help us spread the word - @wearewildthing

Enjoy the film!

Kind regards,
Ashley, David and Lorraine
Swap screen time for wild time - download the free Wild Time app!
Share your wild adventures!