Just found out that I've been shortlisted this week in the weekly online competition that I try and enter as much as possible. Basically at 5.30pm each saturday, three themes are put on the website and for a £4 entry fee you write a story based around one of those themes. The write invite judges shortlist their top three stories from the weeks entries and then everyone that entered (except for those that are shortlisted!) can vote for their favourite and the winner wins £50.
The website runs a 'literary league table' with points for entering, voting, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. I did quite well in 2009 but pretty awfully in 2010. I like entering this competition for many reasons (and not just because I know the people who run it!!)
1) It is short, sweet and instant
2) It is great at getting you to 'just write' something that a procrastinator like me can struggle with
3) Copyright stays with the author, and although I haven't done this yet, I know many of the regular writers have gone on to sell work that started on this website
Unfortunately the time isn't always convenient, the main reason I didn't enter much last year was that I always seemed to be doing something at 5.30 on a Saturday but I am determined to do better this year as I really do need the practise. Write Invite are currently running a hard copy competition and I am planning to develop one or more of my non shortlisted stories (I have plenty to chose from!!) to enter this. Closing date is 28th February and I'm determined this won't go the way of the Mslexia one!