Category Archives: Competitions

Aerogramme Writers’ Studio links

Some writerly information you may find useful 🙂

Magazines and competitions for that last-month-of-the-year rush.

12 Literary Magazines for New & Unpublished Writers

15 Short Story Competitions to Enter Before the End of the Year

Enjoy, let me know if you find it useful or decide to submit 🙂

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Filed under Competitions, Magazines, Resources, Writing

How to challenge your writing: experiment with constraints!

I recently participated in a 48 hours film challenge organized by NUS. We were given a prompt/topic and off we went, I wrote the script, the team commented on it, we sorted out kinks and logistics, I sat with the cameraman and we collaborated on the storyboard (my love of drawing is always there, a touch rusty, but there all the same) and then on with filming, editing, and pizza 🙂

This is the result:   Mar ri (together with)

We didn’t win the competition, but a representative of NHS Scotland asked us to use our film in some of their events, and possibly come and talk about it. Which is a pretty good result, and we were all chuffed.

The challenges in writing this script were:

-limited time: the film had to be finished and submitted in 48 hours, and filming notoriously takes a lot of time. I had a bus traveling time of 30 minutes to think about the prompt and come up with some ideas, we discussed them in the group for an hour or so, and then I wrote the script, another hour and a half or so. Revise, work out the kinks, check with the group and with our limited possibilities. Clock’s ticking, there’s no time to be precious about your special words, waiting for divine inspiration or your specially secluded writing spot – you have to chose your message and communicate it efficiently AND artistically in the time available.

-limited range of subject: we had a prompt, a theme to explore. Which can help in directing the focus of your ideas, but can also be an obstacle if it’s not a theme you’ve considered/come across before, or not under the same terms. Obstacles are made to be surpassed!

-limited means/budget: we had no budget apart from ourselves, therefore, once again, there were limits and boundaries to what we could do, and the script had to reflect and adapt to that. No point in writing in huge explosions, stunts or any other trickery we couldn’t deliver. The imagination had to be limited to what the story could support in term of practical means (locations, cast involved, etc.)

I found it an inspiring exercise, and I invite you to challenge your writing similarly: give yourself some limits (time available/word count/theme/number of characters-locations, etc) and play around with it, see what obstacles appear in your mind, what makes you sweat ink. I firmly believe it’s the best way to learn something new about your writing, and as always, feel free to share your experience in the comments:)

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Filed under Competitions, Creative Non Fiction, Scriptwriting, Short Film, Writing

Tools for writers

First of my weekly posts, something for writers.

1) Duotrope (a web-list of venues for submissions and competitions) apparently moved from being free to asking for paid registration (I haven’t checked it yet myself).

These guys (Diabolical Plots) are offering a substitute website, for free: a place where you can upload your submissions, keep track of acceptances and rejections, browse the available markets, etc etc. The system is still in beta, therefore expect a few glitches, but it’s worth looking into it:

The Submission Grinder

I’m going to register and see how it works 🙂

2) Two competitions here:

Made-up Words competition

The Jeffrey Archer Short Story challenge


My writing advice for the month of January:

Look at your writing projects, and make a priority list. It’s easy to get distracted, because all projects are shiny, but pick one and make it a priority, so that one will get finished. And then on to project number two on the list.

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Life after the Ma, in brief

Other things to tell:

-submitted my Ma final piece of writing, waiting for results

-my laptop the Zar gave up on me, and here I am, Cyborg, lost without it (yes, I can borrow a friend’s, or go to a library, but it’s not the same)

-made plans and projects and they’ll find their way here eventually

-the Edinburgh Book Festival is amazing

But, right now, I’m doing this: NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Competition 2001

Official twitter is here: #nycmidnight

1000 words short story on a given genre/location/object in 48 hours…ready, steady, GO!


Filed under Competitions, Writing