Issue #85

Free Writers' Newsletter

March 27, 2010  



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Short story contest – deadline delayed

The deadline for's Sixth International Short Story Contest has been delayed by one month to May 1, 2010 to allow for last minute entries. Writing Contests - Click Here

The competition is seeking short stories up to 3,000 words, and is open to stories on any subject and in any style: literary fiction; genre; romance; horror; science fiction; experimental – all are acceptable and will be treated equally – the only criteria on which they will be judged is the quality of the story and of the writing.

The winner of the competition will receive a cash prize of £200, or the equivalent in your currency (that's around $400). Not only that, but there will also be ten special commendations awarded. All eleven winners will be published in firstwriter.magazine and receive vouchers worth $30 / £20 / EUR30. These vouchers are enough to cover the cost of creating an annual subscription to, allowing access to our daily updated databases of over 150 writing competitions, over 850 literary agencies, over 1,200 book publishers, and over 1,200 magazines – as well as the option to receive daily alerts by email of new and updated listings which match your interests.

Another advantage of the competition is that submissions are made online – saving you the hassle of printing and posting. To enter your story online in seconds go to 


New novella publisher

Short Sharp Shock is a new digest dedicated to publishing novellas, and is seeking fast-paced, seamless, popular fiction.

For more details, click here

For over 1,200 other publishers, click here. For over 1,200 magazines, click here.

International Copyright Registration 
Register your copyright online for instant copyright protection in more than 160 different countries worldwide. Click here for more information.

Competition news

Competitions seeking submissions
The BookRix free fiction contest invites your best works of fiction, of any type, at least 20 pages long. Prizes include $1,000 for first place, $500 for second, and $300 for third.
To enter, join the site (for free) and submit your entry before May 10, 2010. For details click here.

The 4th Annual Ted Walters International Short Story, Poetry and Playwriting Competition 2010 is now accepting submissions. Full details and online entry are available at

There's also just a few days left to submit scripts for the 2010 BlueCat Screenplay Competition, which offers a $10,000 top prize and closes on April 1, 2010. Entries are accepted online for an entry fee of $60 via 

Competition results
Winners have been announced for the International Aeon Award 2009. Annette Reader wins €1,000 for first place with her story “Frogs on My Doorstep” and the full results can be found on the website at The 2010 competition is now underway. For details go to

Winners have also been announced for the Fish Short Story Prize which received more than 1,800 entries. Jane Camens takes first prize with her story "A Matter of Luck", which will be published along with the other winning entries in the 2010 Fish Anthology. Full results can be found at 

For over 150 other contests, click here

New website for children's writers

A London-based couple have just launched, a free website for kids to watch little films of new stories being read by other kids.

It is also a place for unpublished children's story writers to get their work published free online, whilst retaining all rights. The stories will be text only (not illustrated), which will remove a common obstacle to
publication for many aspiring writers.

In order to attract great stories, there is a £1,000 prize for the best one submitted each month. From the submissions, 50 stories will be shortlisted each month, get narrated by kids and filmed, and the film
attracting the most traffic on the site will win the prize.

For more details go to

Click here for great value writing classes!

Blog for redrafting of novel

Author Stewart Ferris has launched a new blog site to track his progress as he redrafts his 166,000 word novel, The Sphinx Scrolls. Ferris is co-owner of the award-winning book publisher Summersdale, and although his novel was begun 14 years ago and a first draft was complete as long ago as 2003, the demands of his fast-growing business meant that the book had to be set aside since then. However, he is now taking a 90 day sabbatical in order to complete the redrafting process, with the goal of producing a publishable text by May 31, 2010.

"I set up this blog so that writers can follow my progress as I redraft this novel time and again," said Ferris. "Each sweep through the book will focus on different aspects of its structure, language, dialogue, characterisation, historical accuracy, readability, pace, and plot twists. I won't give away the whole story, but I'll let out enough hints about the plot so that anyone can follow the project in a meaningful way."

Ferris has written books on the subject of being a writer and getting published, and is known for repeatedly making the point that a common difference between published and unpublished writers is the number of drafts produced. He believes that too many unpublished writers finish a first draft and think it's publishable. "Published writers know that a first draft is like the bare bricks of a house," he explains. "You wouldn't expect someone to enjoy living in it until the plumbing and electrics are in, the walls are plastered and painted, and the carpets and curtains are fitted."

Ferris says that he is happy to answer questions from fellow writers about his writing processes (and about getting published), and is even considering posting a few pages from the novel on the blog for people to comment upon. You can visit his blog here: 

Literary agents event in Connecticut

Connecticut Press Club is holding an event featuring several literary agents on April 1, 2010.

Guest speakers:
Michelle Brower of Folio Literary Management (New York City)
Alexandra Machinist of Linda Chester Literary Agency (New York City)
Bob DiForio of D4EO Literary Agency (Connecticut)

Thursday, April 1, 2010
6:00 - 6:30 - Registration, networking, cash bar
6:30 - 7:15 - Three course dinner
7:15 - 8:15 - Program, Q&A

The Norwalk Inn, 99 East Avenue, Norwalk (I-95, Exit 16)

Admission: $40 for non-members and walk-ins. The program includes a three-course dinner. Reservations recommended, but walk-ins always welcome. Call +1 (203) 968-8600 or e-mail


Resources for writers at

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About fwn

fwn is a free newsletter from, providing articles, news, interviews and opportunities of interest to writers.

Spelling conventions
uses English spelling conventions. Spellings such as "realise" "colour", "theatre", "cancelled", etc. differ from other spelling conventions but are nonetheless correct. 


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