Monday, 30 January 2017


Everything to hand - The Royal Foundation
of St Katharine, Limehouse
My recent retreat in London had me penning a short story, a poem and other notes. I used my time well - a walk in the morning and either lunch out or back in my room. The afternoon was usually spent either reading or writing and often both. The evenings I spent online catching up with emails and watching BBC iplayer or ITV Hub. I should point out that there was no TV in the bedroom, in fact I never saw one in the whole building! This was, after all a Christian retreat/conference centre, though no one bothered you. I chose it because I hoped it would be quiet (it was) and it offered nice B&B services, and for a single bedroom it was much bigger than I've had in hotels and came with a desk and chair.

The wi-fi was really good except on my last night when I was trying to get on to the Mslexia website for Mslexia Max, a three hour live session with Q&A from writers, agents, prize draws and on the spot writing competitions. (You had to have an account with them to participate which I had). When I tried to get on it wouldn't accept my password so in the end I re-set it, bit the slowness of the internet was driving me crazy. I watched the little blue thingy going round agonising slowly. By the time I got on (I was already 20 minutes late) it was half an hour or so into the first hour. Then it took me a while to find my way round the different bits. I commented on the general forum and then found the flash fiction competition. A 300 word piece prompted by a photo. The competition was up for one hour but as I was so late getting there I was only at around 80 words when I had to accept I wouldn't make it. (I've saved what I've written and may go back to it).

I joined in with the Q&A with Val McDermid but my question got there too late for her to reply. Are you getting a pattern here? I entered one prize draw for Val's latest book but didn't win. BUT I did enter the poetry competition. Again I entered that area late because there was so much going on in different sections. The criteria for this was a four line verse (which didn't have to rhyme - mine did) on the theme of either balloon or night. I chose night. I couldn't believe it when just after the live session finished I found I'd won the night category. My prize is a years free subscription to the magazine, a free year for the online members section, and a copy of the Mslexia Indie Presses Guide 2016/2017.

Now, as I already have a copy of the Indie Presses Guide (and very useful it has been to me so far too) I am giving away my newly acquired copy in a prize draw!!

To win this most excellent book all you have to do is comment on my blog (maybe why you'd like a copy of the book) and leave your name. The winner will be picked at random (a computer generated random picker so it's all fair) next Monday 6th February. The winner will be announced that day and I will give an email address for that person to use so I know where to send the prize. You have a week!


  1. Congratulations on the win, Heather. Up against a slow internet is a real handicap, plus the competition from Mslexia readers would be tough. Well done.
    I have a copy of the Indie Presses guide too, otherwise I would ask you to put my name into the draw.

    1. Thank you. Yes, it was frustrating (the internet), so to get a win made it all worth it. I was over the moon.

  2. Aaargh! Slow internet is in some ways worse than none at all – if we know we can't get online we do something else, but if we think we might be able to then we keep trying get more and more annoyed (or is that just me?)

    The prize isn't something I have a use for at the moment, so please leave my name out and increase the chances of those who'd benefit from a copy.

    1. Yes, Patsy, I was aware how time was ticking away and my opportunity to participate was slipping. It was certainly a 'writing on your toes' sort of event. Normally my mind goes blank. I was amazed I pulled something good out! Thanks for dropping by and commenting.