Meeting deadlines ...

IN ANOTHER LIFE, when I was still a headteacher, I was often asked to contribute chapters or whole sections to books for leadership teams in schools. This wasn’t because of my wisdom. ‘You meet deadlines, Jill,’ was the message.


Having missed my self-imposed deadline of posting a blog every Monday, I’m presenting the defence: I have been working flat-out to meet another set of deadlines, of May 31st, for several literary competitions. I’ve entered for years, without success, and I don’t expect to get noticed this time.






First novel award?  You have to read the small print very carefully to be sure your entry isn’t instantly rejected. ‘First novel’ usually means the author hasn’t been paid by a publisher, but it’s not invariable.  Every award asks for something different: no extract should contain your name/ensure your name is clear. Provide a synopsis of 300/400 words, or a full page. Your extract should include the first three chapters or about 5000 words; or 8000 words/ 10,000 words.


Is it worth the agony? Well, yes. Every time I go through my proposed entries I find something to improve. In the meantime, I’m preparing for a talk at Kendal Library about my first novel, Morph, on June 10th, and to take part in the revived Sedbergh Book Festival later in the month.



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