Monday, 28 April 2014

Flash 500 News

Long Lists 
The long lists are now up for the first quarter of 2014. You can find the titles of the flash fiction long list here and the titles of the humour verse long list here.
Novel Opening Chapter and Synopsis Category 2014   
This competition was so successful last year, we have decided to run it again this year. Entries open on 1st May and close on 31st October 2014.  Once again, the judges for this competition will be the senior editors at Crooked Cat Publishing.

Prizes: £500 first prize, plus a runner’s up prize of £200
More details can be found here.
Four of last year's entrants were invited to submit full manuscripts and, as related in a previous newsletter, one of them was offered and accepted a publishing contract. There is no guarantee the same thing would happen this year, but if your ms lands on the editors' desk and they like it, who knows, it could lead to the start of a career as a novelist.
Dreams Do Come True
Many years ago (nine to be exact) I wrote a children's novel. It was the first book on which I proudly typed 'The End'. After more ups and downs than would be credible if they featured in a plot, Vlad the Inhaler was published this month in e-book, paperback and hardback formats by a specialist children's publisher in the USA. I was offered, and have accepted, a contract for book two of the trilogy, which will come out in 2015.
As you know, I have three crime novels under my belt as Frances di Plino, with the fourth in the series coming out later this year, but this is the first novel to appear under my own name. It's also the one that started my dream to be a novelist.
The reason for telling you is simply this - never, ever give up on your dreams. They do come true. You just might have to wait a while for it to happen.
Resources Page
Our page of useful sites for writers has proved to be a hit. It attracts hundreds of visitors each month. There are many links listed which could be of benefit, regardless of whether you write prose or poetry. Don't forget to share this page with your writing friends: Writers' Resources

For all of you who have made the first quarter 2014 long lists, congratulations and good luck with the next stage of judging.
If you missed out this time, both categories are now open for entries and you only need to wait a few more days to enter the novel competition. For more information on all three categories, visit the Flash 500 Homepage.
Kind regards,

Critique Service for Writers

Flash 500 Home Page: Flash Fiction, Humour Verse
and Novel Opening Chapter and Synopsis Competitions

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Vlad chats about his past


I’ve been allowed on here to tell you about my life before my parents disappeared. Well, I think I was a pretty regular kid. My dad was a vampire, but when he went to bite my mum, she didn’t want to be a vampire and because of all that lovey-dovey stuff, so Dad said he would try to give up the blood-sucking stuff for her.

Anyway, they got married and had me, so I’m half human and half vampire – a hupyre. I’ve read how we’re pretty rare and special, but I was always special to Mum and Dad, so didn’t really take any notice of all that stuff in books.

Mum made sure I could go out in daylight by putting my pram out on the castle drawbridge. Oh, did I forget to tell you about the castle? Yeah, my dad’s family have owned Castle Malign for like centuries.

What else, oh yeah, Mum didn’t want me turning into a vampire, so I’ve never eaten meat or drunk blood. Yeeeuk! Who would want to? Well, my rotten cousins Boris and Gretchen, but I’m not going to talk about them now because this is all about when my mum and dad were still around.

I’ve never had to go to school because my mum was a teacher, so I got all my lessons at home. That was great, but I did get a bit lonely at times and wonder what it would be like to be with other kids my age. Then the cousins arrived and I found out it was much better being on my own. I know I said I didn’t want to talk about them, but they were the ones who called me Vlad the Inhaler, because of my asthma.

Yeah, I have asthma, and it’s a pain, but I’ve learned to live with it. As long as I’ve got my inhalers close by, I don’t need to worry.

And that’s about it, really. I lived in a, like, massive castle with my mum and dad, Mary my old nurse and her husband Joe. He works in the gardens and grows the most amazing peaches in the whole of Magdorovia – that’s the country where I live.

Bye for now,


Critique Service for Writers

Flash 500 Home Page: Flash Fiction, Humour Verse
and Novel Opening Chapter and Synopsis Competitions