Thursday, 28 March 2013

Our ebooks

A reminder that we have published five e-book titles. All can be obtained by keying their titles into the search field of the Kindle shop at Australian readers will have to purchase via Amazon US at

The books include:

Global Shorts - an anthology of short stories taken from the early years of the Global Short Competition. Price £2.23

Vegemite Whiskers - a selection of some of the finest writing from Australian authors who have entered the Global Short Story Competition. Price £1.48.

White Gold by Roger Barnes A thriller by first-time author Roger Barnes taking the reader into a world of intrigue and danger set amid the poachers of Africa. £2.23

Haghir the Dragon Finder by John Dean, a comic fantasy for older children. Haghir and his hopeless comrades are dragon slayers seeking a new challenge. £1.48.

Cyber Rules by Myra King. The novel by Australian writer Myra tells the story of a farmer’s wife in isolated rural Australia. Caught up on the addictive side of the Internet, she holds a secret which may prove to be deadly. Myra’s royalties will go to Médecins Sans Frontières Doctors Without Borders, an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. Price £2.05.

* If you don’t have a Kindle, there is a free Kindle reading app for your PC at

Find out in the e-novel Cyber Rules Find out more at

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Still time to enter

The March Global Short Story Competition closes on Sunday night (Mar 31) so plenty of time to enter here at Some good entries already but still a fairly low turnout so could be a good time to go for that £100 first prize

Friday, 22 March 2013

On top Down Under

Quite a few Australian entries coming in for the Global Short Story Competition, which gives me another chance to praise that country.

Australia has had plenty of success in the competition since we started five years ago and I reckon one of the reasons why so many fine writers have emerged from that country is the way writing is supported there.

When we started promoting the competition, we quickly discovered that all across Australia can be found writing centres in which authors gather to meet, swap opinions and encourage each other. Quite a lot of our successful entries have come out of that system and it is much to be lauded.

In the beginning

Overnight, we received an entry to the Global Short Story Competition story that reminded me of the variety of ways to start a short story. However you start your story, the beginning should have The Question, something that hooks your reader. You need to grab them from those first lines.

You can do it with out and out intrigue, of course - ‘the last thing he expected to see was his wife holding the gun’ - but another way is to draw us in with the sheer quality of the writing.

Why do I remark on this? Well, the story we received started with a man and by the end of the first paragraph, he had been so beautifully depicted that the reader needs to know more about him. Nothing happened in those early lines, no one was murdered, no one did anything terrible, it was simply about a man but by drawing us into the character‘s life, it‘s job done for the writer in question.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

In praise of India

We received an entry from an Indian writer recently. Indian writers have enjoyed quite a bit of success in the Global Short Story Competition over the years and their stories so often provide a beguiling mix of fine writing and powerful emotion. That we receive stories from India is not surprising. Researching this blog, I came across an article published in the Guardian in 2009 and written by writer Anita Desai, in which she said: “By the number of manuscripts that arrive daily and hourly from India on the desks of British and American agents and publishers, I would guess no country has more aspiring writers than ours.” Here’s to hearing from more of them.

Honours go to France and New Zealand in writing competition

Judge Fiona Cooper has selected her winners for the January Global Short Story Competition and writers from New Zealand and France have taken the honours.

The £100 first place prize goes to a writer from Paris, France. Fiona says of

Morning Tide by Alan Goudie: “A well crafted story with lavish and confident use of language and imagery. The writer has used subtle phrasing and an energetic pace which involves the reader from the outset. With the wholly unpredicted twist (in his sobriety!), the story moves to a different level and becomes both empathetic and memorable. This sort of skill could sustain a much longer piece of writing very well.”

The £25 highly commended prize goes to Hayley Solomon, of Wanganui, New Zealand. Fiona says of
To steal a diamond from a duke: “What a lovely story!! I am knee deep in 'Mr Selfridge' at the moment and I could picture Lady May as the elegant jewel thief! Very accomplished and involving subtle layers of action and description that make a thoroughly convincing and engaging narrative.”

The writers on the shortlist are:

Alexandra Habashi, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

Virginie Tozzo, Abbeville, France

Magdalena Herman, Warsaw, Poland

Faith Mann, Salford, England

Lucy Baker, Ipswich, England

Jasmine Fisher, London. England

Lennie Halil, Earlwood, NWS, Australia

Daniel Fortner, Thomasville, GA, United States

Stories can be entered into the competition at

Well done to our successful writers.


Friday, 15 March 2013

Still quiet

Looking like a real quiet March Global Short Story Competition - just over a week to pitch for the £100 first prize at

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Poetry winner named

The judging panel has selected our winner for our recent free Winter Poetry Competition. The winner was an untitled poem (first line I wish it wasn’t Winter) by Simon Humphreys, who wins £50

Annual winner named

The judging panel has named our annual Global Short Story Competition winner for 2012 and sifting through the winning stories from the year reminded us of the high quality of stories we receive.

In the end, we went for Ceri Lowe-Petraske for Counting by Numbers, which won in September. We chose it for its spare yet powerful writing and the way it wrings out the emotion in the reader. Ceri wins £250. You can read last year’s winners, and enter the competition, at

Monday, 11 March 2013

Details in fiction

I have always believed that what differentiates good writing from less effective writing is detail so here are some notes from a class I delivered recently, which may interest.

It started with a passage from D Robert Hamm: “The first thing one needs to understand is that all fiction consists of the judicious selection and revelation of “significant detail”. Learning the craft of writing does not dictate which details are counted as significant in any given work, nor how to present those details. Rather, it (hopefully) provides one with the skills to judge those things in light of the desired end result and choose from a variety of options. Just as a serious painter learns what combinations of materials, brushes, strokes, and pigments he or she can use to achieve different effects and guide the viewers’ eyes through the painting, a serious writer must learn how various writing techniques can achieve the desired effects and guide the reader through the story. What constitutes significant detail varies from story to story, from desired effect to desired effect, and from character to character. Is the feel of that glass in your character's hand significant? Maybe. Are you using it to show us something? Is it there to provide a pause, for pacing? Does it serve a purpose, even if only to break up the monotony of a dialogue-heavy scene or serve as a sensation-memory prompt? That's not to say you must know the purpose of everything you put into a story, because you can't. You won't. None of us do. Some things simply feel right in the moment, and it's only later, looking back, that you'll understand why“

I then looked at using details for Fiction, taking three basic areas:

* Create details about character. Ask questions about your character. What does your character look like? How does he walk or talk? Does she part her hair? What kind of clothes does he wear? What nasty habits etc? And which facts are relevant? What matters, what does not? Keep what matters, kick out what does not.

* Create details about your settings. What does your character's living room look like? Is it messy or is it tidy? Are there paintings on the wall etc etc? Create details that bring the settings to life. A story comes alive when the reader can see, smell, taste, hear, and touch the world you’ve created. But if it does not matter that a certain painting is on the wall, don’t mention it. If it‘s there for a reason , to reveal something about the character, plot etc, then keep it hanging there

In short, use only what is necessary.

Friday, 8 March 2013

New home for free comps

Since we lost, our social networking site, we've been working on a new home for our free comps. We'll keep you informed and apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.

A quiet one

It's a quiet March Global Short Story Competition so far, worth a pop at that £100 first prize. You can enter here at

Winners to be announced

A busy couple of weeks coming up, We’ll announce our annual winner and the winner of our free poetry competition some time in the week beginning March 12 and our January Global Short Story Competition winner the week after.  You can enter the March comp at

Thursday, 7 March 2013

New competition

The March Global Short Story Comp is under way at

Update on social networking site

As part of the transfer of the Global Short Story Competition site to, we have lost our social networking site We will update folks here for the foreseeable future