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.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Self-published novelists - could you be our next winner?

It's been and continues to be a hectic time at CreativeWritingMatters HQ. But being busy is fun when you're doing something you love, and being part of the great team that is CreativeWritingMatters is certainly something I love.

These days, CreativeWritingMatters founder Cathie Hartigan, together with her loyal team consisting of Sophie Duffy and me, run lots of competitions for writers. We are happy to see the Exeter Novel Prize growing in popularity and international appeal, and to be supported by our wonderful local MP, Ben Bradshaw.

Last year, the prize attracted entries from every continent in the world except for South America. So this year - the third in the competition - we're hoping for some entries from Brazil, Peru, Argentina or even the Falkland Islands, although I know these still belong to the UK and aren't, strictly speaking, part of South America.

We've changes the rules slightly this year, so please have a look at our website for updates, even if you've entered the competition before. All self-published novelists, provided they are unagented and do not already have a commercial publishing deal that ties them to a specific commercial publisher, are eligible.

At the moment, the three of us are reading entries for the Exeter Story Prize, a new competition.  This is for an unpublished story up to 10,000 words long and there are lots of cash prizes and trophies to be won, including a special prize and trophy sponsored by Sunday Times bestselling novelist Trisha Ashley for the best humorous story.

It's a huge privilege to be among the first to see a novel or a story that could end up becoming a classic.  I'm having a great time reading my selection from this year's entries. Later this year, we'll be having an event in Exeter to celebrate the first Exeter Story Prize.  More details to come!