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Last Call for Competition Entries!

November 27th, 2015

manga-boy-blogI’ve just got back from a holiday in Japan – somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. It was a terrific experience:  wonderful autumn colours in the mountains and forests; imposing Shogun castles and enough temples and shrines to keep you going for a lifetime (and who can argue with people who are so relaxed about their religion that when you find a Buddhist temple it often has a Shinto shrine in the same complex).

But I was also impressed by the bookstores – packed full of books, quick reads, magazines and manga. All looking so vibrant that they really make you want to browse and buy. Most of us tend to think of manga when Japan is mentioned, and one or two people on our tour were keen fans. But the content certainly isn’t restricted to a young audience. Extreme violence and sex are what keep some adults coming back for more!

Now it’s back to reality and the run-up to Christmas. Before I go any further I just want to remind you that our Short Story Competition closes on Monday, so if you still intend to enter, it’s time to get your skates on. The first prize is £300 plus a Writers Bureau course of your choice, there is a 2000-word limit and the entry fee is £5 per story.

I thought that this week I’d provide something of interest to those of you who write longer fiction. The first is the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Awards. If you’ve already had an adventure novel published you can enter and the winning author will receive £10,000. Or, if you’ve not yet had your book published, you can submit it in the alternative category where the winner will be offered the opportunity to complete a creative writing residency at a prestigious university and career guidance from Wilbur’s literary agents at Tibor Jones & Associates.  Full details are available at the website and the closing date is 25th January.

Still on full length fiction, but moving away from adventure to sci-fi and fantasy, Angry Robot have announced an open submission window beginning in December and closing on 31st January. They usually only accept submissions from agents, but this will give ‘unagented’ authors a chance to send in work. Again, visit their website for full details of how you should submit using their online system.

Incidentally, I read an article recently about making a pitch to editors or agents and I came across a lovely quote. According to one agent, your query letter should be like a skirt: long enough to cover everything but short enough to be exciting! That’s certainly keeping it succinct.

Finally, we’re jumping on the bandwagon and having a Black Friday event – but our offers are available from today until midnight on Sunday, so you’ve plenty of time to take advantage of the £100 saving on all our courses. And the best thing about it is that you don’t even have to fight the crowds to bag a bargain!

My guest next week is Sue Wilkes, Writers Bureau tutor and author of numerous non-fiction books, who will be providing tips on organising your research.




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