Friday, 27 November 2015

Novel Competition Shortlist #amwriting #results

Novel Shortlisted Titles on Site
The Novel Opening and Synopsis shortlist for 2015 has now been posted. You can find the titles here. These have now gone into the final judging stage.
 
Flash Fiction
This quarter closes at midnight on the last day of 2015, so you still have plenty of time to enter. Flash fiction details can be found here.
 
Short Story Category
Do you have a short story between 1,000 and 3,000 words? Maybe more than one? Our short story category has a first prize of £500, with second and third prizes of £200 and £100.

For more information on our competition categories, visit the Flash 500 Homepage.
 
Kind regards,
 
Lorraine





Critique Service for Writers
Flash 500 Home Page: Flash Fiction, Humour Verse
and Novel Opening Chapter and Synopsis Competitions

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Guest post by @shani_struthers



Thank you for hosting me on your blog today! My new book, Eve: A Christmas Ghost Story launches on the 24th November on Amazon and is the prequel to the popular Psychic Surveys series. Featuring two of the Psychic Surveys team – Theo Lawson and Vanessa Patterson – it’s set between 1899 and 1999 and is loosely inspired by a true event.

In my fictional re-telling, Theo and Ness are asked to investigate a town weighed down by the sorrow of what happened 100 years before…

Blurb
What do you do when a whole town is haunted?

In 1899, in the North Yorkshire market town of Thorpe Morton, a tragedy occurred; 59 people died at the market hall whilst celebrating Christmas Eve, many of them children. One hundred years on and the spirits of the deceased are restless still, ‘haunting’ the community, refusing to let them forget.

In 1999, psychic investigators Theo Lawson and Ness Patterson are called in to help, sensing immediately on arrival how weighed down the town is. Quickly they discover there’s no safe haven. The past taints everything.

Hurtling towards the anniversary as well as a new millennium, their aim is to move the spirits on, to cleanse the atmosphere so everyone – the living and the dead – can start again. But the spirits prove resistant and soon Theo and Ness are caught up in battle, fighting against something that knows their deepest fears and can twist them in the most dangerous of ways.

They’ll need all their courage to succeed and the help of a little girl too – a spirit who didn’t die at the hall, who shouldn’t even be there…

Excerpt
As Theo turned round to face the double doors, she had a feeling that someone - something - was rushing at her, as fleetingly as whatever had been in Adelaide's house. Refusing to let fear get a stranglehold, she turned back, her aim to confront it. A black wisp of a shape, like wood smoke, sideswiped her, before fading into nothing. Staring after it, wondering what it was, something else caught her attention. At the far end of the second room was something more substantial: a little girl, staring at her.

Theo's eyes widened. "Oh darling, darling," she whispered. She took a step forwards, tried to remember the names of the children on the list from earlier: Alice, Helen, Bessie, Adelaide's ancestor, Ellen Corsby perhaps. Which one was she?

She inched closer still. "Darling, your name, tell me what it is."

The little girl's arms moved upwards, she stretched them out, her manner beseeching although she remained mute. Theo tried again, told the child her own name.

"It's short for Theodora. I bet you're called something pretty."

The girl had a dress on; long, brownish, a course material - linen perhaps? Nothing special but if it was her party dress then maybe it was special to her. Her boots were brown too - lace ups, sturdy looking. She was around eight or nine but it was hard to tell. She could have been older just small for her age. Her hair was brown and tangled; she had a mane of it. Everything about her seemed to be brown or sepia, maybe sepia was the right word, as though she'd stepped out of an old photograph.

"I'm here now, sweetheart, I've come to help. You've been here for such a long time. Too long. You need to go to the light, go home, rest awhile."

Up closer, Theo could read her eyes. The longing in them stirred her pity.

"Let me help you," Theo persisted, her voice catching in her throat. As glorious as the other side might be, she still felt it unfair to be felled at such a young age. Often this was a good existence too and it deserved to be experienced fully.

She was close now, so close and still her arms were outstretched.

Harriet - the name presented itself whole in her mind.

"Your name's Harriet. Is that correct? It's lovely, it suits you."

Was that a smile on the child's lips, the beginnings of trust? Soon she'd be able to reach out and touch her. What would she feel like? Cold? Ethereal?

"Darling, I'm here," she repeated, no more than a foot between them. "I'm here."

Joy surged - one spirit had come forward - it was an encouraging start.

Just before their hands touched everything changed. Hope and joy were replaced with confusion as something sour - fetid almost - rose up, making her feel nauseous.

"Don't be afraid," Theo implored. Yet there was nothing but fear in her eyes now. No, not fear, that was too tame a word - terror.

"I'm not here to harm you," she continued. "I'm here to help."

As the words left her mouth, other hands appeared behind the child, a whole sea of them - disembodied hands that clawed at her, forcing her backwards.

"No!" Theo shouted. "Stop it. Leave her alone!"

But it was no use. Her words faded as the girl did. She'd been torn away, recaptured; the one who'd dared to step forward. Theo could feel sweat break out on her forehead, her hands were clammy. She clutched at her chest, her breathing difficult suddenly, laboured. Her heart had been problematic of late, a result of the pounds she'd piled on. She must go to the doctor to get some medication. Struggling to gain control, it took a few moments, perhaps a full minute, before her heart stopped hammering. And when it did, she remembered something else. The girl's eyes - her sweet, brown, trusting eyes - when the expression changed in them they hadn't been looking at her, they'd been looking beyond her. Was it at the thing that sideswiped her? Theo couldn't be certain. She wasn't certain either if that 'thing' was a spirit or much less than that - something with no soul, but with an appetite, an extreme appetite: a craving. Something, she feared, was insatiable.


Author Bio
Brighton-based author of paranormal fiction, including UK Amazon Bestseller, Psychic Surveys Book One: The Haunting of Highdown Hall. Psychic Surveys Book Two: Rise to Me, is also available and due out in November 2015 is Eve: A Christmas Ghost Story - the prequel to the Psychic Surveys series. She is also the author of Jessamine, an atmospheric psychological romance set in the Highlands of Scotland and described as a 'Wuthering Heights for the 21st century.'

Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street is in progress.

All events in her books are inspired by true life and events.

Catch up with Shani via her website www.shanistruthers.com or on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Facebook Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/p9yggq9






Critique Service for Writers
Flash 500 Home Page: Flash Fiction, Humour Verse
and Novel Opening Chapter and Synopsis Competitions

Friday, 20 November 2015

Novel long list is up #amwriting #novels



Novel Long List Titles on Site
The Novel Opening and Synopsis long list for 2015 has now been posted. You can read the titles here. Good luck for the next stage of judging to all those listed. Our readers stated how difficult it was to reduce the numbers to those on site, as the standard of entries was very high and the list could easily have been twice as long.

Flash Fiction
Entries are coming in nice and early for this category - it seems lots of you want to avoid the Christmas and New Year festive period. This quarter closes at midnight on the last day of 2015, so you still have plenty of time to enter. Flash fiction details can be found here 

Short Story Category
Do you have a short story between 1,000 and 3,000 words? Maybe more than one? Our short story category has a first prize of £500, with second and third prizes of £200 and £100.

For more information on our competition categories, visit the Flash 500 Homepage.

Kind regards,

Lorraine






Critique Service for Writers
Flash 500 Home Page: Flash Fiction, Humour Verse
and Novel Opening Chapter and Synopsis Competitions

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Latest Flash 500 News #amwriting



Winning Entries on Site
The flash fiction winning stories and the judge's report are now up for the third quarter 2015. You can read the stories here.

Fourth Quarter Judge
I'm delighted to report that prolific author and short story writer Nik Morton has agreed to judge the final quarter of 2015, which is already attracting entries. You can find out more about Nik on his judge's page: Nik Morton
 
Novel Opening and Synopsis
We had a record number of entries for the novel category this year. Entries are currently being read - long list coming soon: Novel Category

Short Story Category
Do you have a short story between 1,000 and 3,000 words? Maybe more than one? Details of our short story category are shown below.

Prizes: £500, £200 and £100.
Entry fees: £7 for one, £12 for two, £16 for three, £20 for four

For more information on our competition categories, visit the Flash 500 Homepage.






Critique Service for Writers
Flash 500 Home Page: Flash Fiction, Humour Verse
and Novel Opening Chapter and Synopsis Competitions