Monthly Archives: November 2010

Two Mad Days in London

I spent yesterday and the day before in London. Like this:

  • National Short Story Week: I’m on the steering committee and we had a busy meeting discussing the forthcoming year and what we could do to raise awareness of the short story. The website is a brilliant resource for both writers and readers.
  • Then I went to Fulham to have a new author photo taken. The photographer, Joe, was lovely, but failed to take 20 years and 20 lbs off!
  • Romantic Novelists’ Association committee lunch
  • RNA committee meeting
  • RNA party.

So, pooped, I managed to get on a Tube going in the wrong direction and ended up in Wembley Park just as the first spectators left the England match. Happily, we were ahead of the flood and I got home about 11.45 .
… I think I haven’t had enough sleep!

But part of the joy of the day was seeing Want to Know a Secret? at number 10 in all the railway stations – whoop! 



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Get Writing conference 2011

Bookings are now being taken for the next ‘Get Writing’ Conference – 19th February 2011 – at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, and it’s already filling up rapidly. See Sarah Duncan, Rosy Thornton, Jean Fullerton, Pia Fenton (Christina Courtenay), Jane Holland and Lesley Eames, as well as Hilary Johnson, Lyn Vernham of Choc Lit, and Georgina Hawtrey-Woore, senior editor with Cornerstone, Random House.

And me!

There are a total of 10 editors and agents to pitch ideas to if you’d like. Sue Cook of ‘Crimewatch’ fame heads a cast list glittering with publishing industry leaders, and because the Conference is run entirely by volunteers, ‘by writers for writers’, the organisers are able to keep the cost really low. The whole day, including lunch with wine, optional talks and workshops, and the opportunity to pitch is only £55.

Please do come along. There’s a blog about the event here:

All the details for booking can be found here:

No, this pic is nothing really to do with the conference. It’s more to do with me watching the final Formula 1 race of the season and feeling a sudden thirst for champagne (the real stuff, not the pretend stuff that Abu Dhabi’s alcohol laws put on the podium).  Watch out for my column at

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Big day for Want to Know a Secret?

Want to Know a Secret? has charted  in the airports at number 10!

I have been doing little dances and skips of joy all day. I love the airport shops.

Today was also a BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Chat Room day. So I’ve been sitting in a radio studio with presenter Sue Dougan and actor Susan Paynter, wearing a pair of Pudsey Bear ears, discussing What Men Don’t Need to Know.

We decided men don’t need to know:

  • Credit card balances
  • How much shoes/haircuts/posh frocks cost
  • How women combine double-sided tape and low cut dresses
  • Why it’s necessary to read in the bath
  • What a moon cup is
  • Why women go to the loo in twos
  • How to go to the loo in dresses that zip right up the back

And what they DO need to know is how to undo a bra, first time, with one hand. (And we did have a listener email in to offer to prove he could do it!)

During this sometimes ribald discussion – more ribald off air than on it – the lights were flicking off as maintenance was carried out but we kept talking in true ‘the show must go on’ style.

I love doing radio. With the wind speeds today and what it did to my hair, even before the Pudsey Bear ears, I was quite glad it wasn’t television …


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The Stylist – competition!

See The Stylist magazine for news of a great microfiction competition, sponsored by the London School of Journalism. It’s a great opportunity as there will be a daily winner and then an overall winner – I’ll be judging the latter.

Even if you don’t have much writing time at the moment, here’s a competition, success in which would look great on your CV.


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Competition – Short Story Radio Romance Award 2011

Now in its second year, this writing competition offers romantic fiction writers the chance to have their work recorded and broadcast, as well as to receive a cash prize.  Short Story Radio is looking for an engaging and entertaining romance story, told in no more than 4,000 words, similar to the type of romance story you will find in a women’s magazine.

The winning story will be recorded and broadcast on the Short Story Radio website and podcast. The winner will also receive a cash prize of £50 (approx. $78 USD or 57 EURO) and the title of winner of the Short Story Radio Romance Award 2011.  The short-list judge is Pat Richardson, former Fiction Editor at Best magazine (UK) and the founder of Perfectly Worded Writing and Editing Consultancy.

We are now accepting entries for this competition. The deadline is November 15th 2010 and the winning story will be broadcast from February 14th 2011. Enter now at

Hear last year’s winning story All Good Things by Linda Mitchelmore at:

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