I've set up this blog so that all my friends, relations and colleagues in the world of writing can keep up to speed with what I'm doing - from now on, I'll never have to say sorry for not keeping in touch.

Or anyway, that's the plan.

So do please link up with me on Facebook and Twitter - https://www.facebook.com/margaret.james.5268 and https://twitter.com/majanovelist

You can find my novels as digital downloads on Apple iTunes, Kobo, Kindle and Nook, and most are available as print paperbacks, too.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year - could it be Story Time?

I hope all my friends and followers reading this blog had a great Christmas and also that 2015 will be good to every single one of you.  May magic often happen and may all your wishes be granted!

What are your literary plans for 2015? At CreativeWritingMatters we are very excited about all the new projects we have in the pipeline. Today, the long list for the Exeter Novel Prize is published on our website and next up is the Exeter Story Prize, which closes on 30 April 2015. The first prize is £500 and there are prizes for the runners-up, too.

When we set up the Exeter Story Prize, we wanted to give those of you who find writing round about 3,000 words somewhat restrictive a break. Okay, your story concept wouldn't work as a novel, but it's too complex to explore in a mere 3,000 or so words.  We're offering you up to 10,000 words.

This is not to say the winner will need to have written a 10,000 word story. This is definitely not the case. Your entry should be as long as it needs to be. We'll be looking for a great story that engages us - that makes us care about the characters and about what happens to them.  We'll be hoping to read stories that offer us satisfying resolutions, too. We don't insist on happy endings. Some stories are never going to end happily.  But, if you can offer us a satisfying ending, we can guarantee we'll love your story.

Who are we? The CreativeWritingMatters team of Sophie Duffy, Cathie Hartigan and me.

We're very excited to have the bestselling novelist Trisha Ashley on board, too. Trisha will be awarding a special prize to the best humorous entry to the competition.  So, if you can do funny, here's your chance to shine and sparkle and impress a Sunday Times Top Ten megaselling novelist, too. Trisha will be coming to the awards ceremony in Exeter in October and she's looking forward to meeting entrants, organisers, friends, fans, readers and everyone else involved.

So - maybe get thinking about that story and entering it for what promises to be a great competition?

Happy New Year, happy writing and thank you for reading this. There's lots more information on the CreativeWritingMatters website at www.creativewritingmatters.co.uk .