Posted by: authorjanicebscott | August 14, 2012

Stories and competitions

I’m delighted to announce that my latest foray into the world of writing is now available from Amazon in both Kindle format and paperback –Poisoned By Yew. This is a collection of short stories written over the years, light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek and ideal for that holiday moment or for picking up on the plane or train.

Now that those wonderful Olympics are over for a couple of weeks (until the paralympics arrives in full flow), my thoughts turn to other types of competition, namely writing competitions. I’ve unearthed a few free-to-enter competitions for you, which leaves you with no excuses for failing to put pen to paper. Go on, give it a try. You’ve nothing to lose.

Healthy Living magazine is looking for bedtime stories to encourage sleep – so no monsters under the bed, then. Your story needs to be between 1500 and 3000 words in length, any genre except children’s stories and erotica. Click here for details. Competition closes on 31st October, so you’ve [plenty of time to get thinking and writing.

If you can write a complete, interesting and exciting story in six words, then this competition is for you. Closes on 30th September, and first prize is an astonishing £100 or a stay in the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan.

This next one is for fresh, original stories on any subject, up to 2000 words. Closes on August 25th, but you still have time. Prize is mainly publication and promotion of your work. Click here for details.

And finally, this competition is for stories of no more than 1200 words, and you have to use one of the organisers openign dialogues. You get to choose from three possibilities. This one closes on 30th August. Click here for details.

Needless to say, all your entries must be original. Why not get writing? It could be fun.

Posted by: authorjanicebscott | June 22, 2012

New short story competitions

I’ve come across two new short story competitions which might interest budding writers.

The first costs £4.00 to enter (I know, it goes against the grain to pay for the privilege of entering, but read on) and has many different categories including young writers (no, that’s not me) and Christian short stories (that might well be me.) Since there are few opportunities for Christian writers, this could be worth a punt especially as the first prize is £150.00. Details from Sunpenny Publishing.

The second competition is free to enter (yes I know, it already sounds better) and offers £50.00 for first prize, presumably with the possibility of publication. Details from Morley Literature Festival.

Good luck, and have fun!

Posted by: authorjanicebscott | April 19, 2012

Announcing a new book

After a long silence during which I’ve been occupied with family members who have been ill, I’m delighted to announce that my latest book, Stories for Children Volume Two, has been published.

CSS Publications have produced a delightful cover picture, different from Volume One but sufficiently similar to immediately show that the two books are in the same series.

PhotobucketAs its name suggests, this is another volume of short stories, but what is less clear from the title is that the stories are suitable for adults as well as children since they can be read at more than one level.

The book is based on the gospel of Luke, each story illustrating the theme of a passage from the gospel in modern imagery, and you can read the first few stories online.

You can also buy the book online by clicking here.

The stories are ideal for preachers and pastors, those who are teaching the Christian faith to children, and anyone who simply enjoys a good read. So if you enjoy lively stories which are fun to read, do visit my site for a preview.

Posted by: authorjanicebscott | January 26, 2012

A competition for everyone…

Yes, it’s another short story competition, but so easy and so short that anyone could enter. Run by the Readers’ Digest, this competition is free, but carries a massive £1000 prize.

All you have to do is enter a story of exactly 100 words, and there are plenty of stories on the wbesite to inspire you.

Worth a go? It’s a no-brainer, so click here before January 31st: 100-word story competition

Posted by: authorjanicebscott | January 21, 2012

A short story competition

I occasionally enter short story competitions, provided the entry is free. The flip side of such tightness is that the prize is always peanuts, but the winners are usually published and to my mind, that’s what it’s all about – getting out there and getting noticed.

This is a Valentine’s competition, so there has to be a romantic element to your story, but other than that, the story can be any genre.

If you’ve always wanted to write but can’t come up with a decent plot, this may be the competition for you. In your story you have to include a spilled drink, and a case of mistaken identity. So there you are – the plot is almost written for you. Get all that into a succinct 1500 words or less, and you could be the winner.

OK, you’ll only get £10.00, but you will get some recognition in the form of publication.

Why not give it a go? I have! Click here for further details: Valentine’s competition.

Posted by: authorjanicebscott | January 18, 2012

Fiction Wise

Actually that should read fictionwise, since it’s a website. I joined it years ago and bought many ebooks cheaply. They have a good system whereby when you buy a book, you get a certain discount (the actual amount varies) which is paid back into your account, thus keeping you buying! But there are some really good deals, and from time to time you can pay in a particular sum – say $20 – and it will be doubled to $40.

There is a vast selection of books of all genres, both fiction and non-fiction, plus a “best selling” list and a “best rated” list – you get the opportunity to rate every book you read. You have your own bookshelf and can download the books you have bought, in perpetuity as often as you like.

If it’s so brilliant, I hear you ask, why did you stop using it? A couple of reasons. Our local library started offering ebooks for free, which concentrates the mind. But also, fictionwise was bought out by Barnes And Noble, and I suddenly found all sorts of geographical restrictions on which books I could buy, living in the UK.

Today I returned to the site having been away for years, and discovered that I still have $2.95 in my account. Determined to use it, I scrolled through the mystery and suspense section and was able to download four new books, with no geographical restrictions. My account is now empty, but I was so impressed (again!) by the site, that I may well visit in the future, so I’ve kept my account open.

Take a look, you might find something you like.

Posted by: authorjanicebscott | January 8, 2012

Free ebooks

When I see the word “free”, my eyes gleam. In my head I know all that stuff about you get what you pay for, but I do love a bargain even when my head urges caution. So when my daughter suggested I take a look at Free, I was there like a shot.

When I tried to register, I discovered that I’d already registered on the site, probably over a year ago, but it gradually came back through the mists of failing memory. Even more important, I dioscovered that the site has grown hugely, and now has a vast selection of free ebooks in every category you can think of.

Some of them are the usual out-of-copyright that everyone offers for free, like Sherlock Holmes or Dickens or Jane Austen, but there are also masses of new books written by as yet unknown authors. You can download about five books a month for free, but the format is limited. For unlimited downloads and all formats, you need to buy a VIP membership, which you can do annually or for life, for a small sum.

The advantage of this site for readers is obvious, but it’s also a great site for aspiring writers, for your work will be showcased on the site and you can add links to your own site or your other work. If readers enjoy your work, they will hopefully browse your books on Amazon or on your own site and you’ll have a new fan.

That’s the theory, anyway. Whatever you do – whether you read or write or both – it’s worth taking a look Free Enjoy!

Posted by: authorjanicebscott | January 2, 2012

A new start

As a new start to the New Year of 2012, I have decided to use Dragon dictating software for all my writing purposes. I’m not a sponsor for Dragon software or anything like that, but I am already finding the latest version much more effective than any previous versions I have used. Mind you, it is some years since I used Dragon software, so it is a delight to discover that it’s even better now than it was then.

As a New Year resolution, I hope to write (or dictate!) to this blog at least once a week in the coming year. I may succeed with this for at least two weeks. I will probably succeed more when I begin really getting down to continuing with my latest novel. I also want to discover more about using WordPress blogs. I have another WordPress blog,, but so far have been unable to connect it with Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, all of which I can do from this blog. My problem is that I don’t know which plug-ins to use, and I really need extremely easy plug-ins to be able to make them work. So if you know how to do it in one easy lesson, do get in touch.

None of those are particularly lofty New Year resolutions, which at least means I have more chance of keeping them. When I really get into the writing mode once again, hopefully the creative juices will flow easily and I shall find myself writing more and more.

Today is a gorgeous, spring-like day here in Norfolk, so I think my best bet at the moment is to close the computer and get outside. And who knows? As soon as I do that, I may find myself writing my novel in my head so that all I have to do then is come back and translate it onto paper.

Meanwhile, a happy, healthy and productive New Year to you all.

Posted by: authorjanicebscott | December 23, 2011

Happy Christmas!

This is the moment for me to wish you all a very happy Christmas. Probably, like me, you won’t be writing much over the holiday period – unless it’s the only time you have to write. For me it will be R & R time, an opportunity to relax (after cooking the Christmas dinner, clearing it all up, providing endless cups of tea…) and to take stock of my writing.

At the moment I’m working on two novels, which for me, seems to be quite an effective way of writing. When I get a bit stuck in one, I turn to the other one. This releases the creative juices (or something) and off I go again. It keeps both stories fresh.

I’m expecting the Christmas break to do the same, to enable me to restore my soul and thus make me ready to get stuck into the writing mode once again. Funny how sitting back or taking a walk or doing something entirely different can get me over a dry period. Unless it’s the mulled wine or the gin and tonic which does that.

I am hoping to buy (or be given) voice-to-text software this Christmas. My thoughts run so fast that I can’t get them written down as I would like. I have a feeling it would be so much easier just to speak and have the computer write for me, although on past experience, it will require a huge amount of proof reading and editing. Some amazing and completely erroneous words have a habit of turning up when I least expect them. This software may not appear in my Christmas stocking, but there’s always the post-Christmas sales.

Whatever. I’m looking forward to Christmas (yes, I still love it just like I did when I was five years old) and I hope you are too.

Enjoy the turkey, the mince pies, the Christmas pudding and the cake, and look forward to a great writing year in 2012.

Posted by: authorjanicebscott | December 1, 2011

Hopefully back…

I’ve been away for such a long time. It feels like that, anyway. Actually I haven’t been away at all.

No, I haven’t been swanning round on a yacht in the Caribbean, but merely otherwise occupied here at home, with no spare energy for writing or reading blogs.

What happened? My husband’s aortic aneurysm decided to burst, necessitating a mad dash to hospital and a late-night emergency operation followed by a number of days in intensive care and then in a hopsital ward before I was able to bring him home. He’s been home now for a fortnight, but the early part of that required considerable nursing care on my part, leaving no time for any of my own pursuits. He’s much better now, and went out for his first – very short – walk today, just a few steps down the road and back. But that marks a definite improvement, so that I now feel I can leave him for short periods and begin to get back to normal.

Normal means I can spend an hour at the local church Christmas fair on Saturday, signing books, followed by an interview next morning on local radio, again promoting my books. And all of that inspires me to take up my pen again and continue with novels numbers four and five. Number four is in the same series, but number five is quite separate and is a cheesy romance. Why? Because the market for romances seems to be huge, and they’re written to a formula, so once you’ve sussed the formula, the actual writing should be reasonably straight-forward. That’s the theory, anyway.

And who knows? Maybe I’ll include a couple of chapters on life-threatening illnesses to really raise the spirits, or more realistically, write a medical romance. The possibilities are endless – I merely need to get started!

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