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Archive for the tag “Writing Competition”

ShortbreadStories Personified: Grandma

/by Rachel Marsh/

Re-blogged from: Shortbread Stories’s Blog › ShortbreadStories Personified: Grandma | Shortbread

Suzanne Mays’ character sketch, ‘Grandma‘, is the winner of ShortbreadStories Personified competition. For this contest we asked members to create a 100-500 word character sketch, and the winner was not chosen by public vote, but – instead – by our new(ish) Trustees.

We also asked you lovely Shortbreaders to send illustrations of your personifications, and the one attached is by the lovely Kate Smart.

‘Grandma’ by Suzanne Mays

There’s a little old lady. She lives way back in the woods but she’s got the light on. It’s cold and rainy but she welcomes you in. She smiles. There’s a warm fire and all around the fire people are reading. They’re lounging everywhere. And there’re bins and boxes of stories – scary stories, funny stories, all kinds and sizes. Somebody comes in from Australia and reads a story. Somebody comes from South Africa and leaves a story. You can, too. You’ve got a story tucked under your coat and you give it to her. She claps her hands in delight. Now it has a home and somebody can read it in the middle of the night. She’s always open. There’s a warm fire and homemade cookies.

Head on over to ShortbreadStories where you can leave a comment for the author, share it with friends and read more fantastic stories just like this one.


(C) Kate Smart



Formula 500: Father’s Day

With Father’s Day just around the corner, this Formula 500 Competition, is dedicated to Fathers from all around the world.

The Queen: Competition

Short story competition themed ‘The Queen’. Read more…

Formula 500: 26 May

Enter the flash fiction competition ‘Formula 500: 26 May’.

Enter the Formula 500: Myths and Myths and Legends Competition.

Formula 500: April Showers

We started with the short story, and now we’re moving onto the micro-story. The Shortbread Formula 500 is a competition where anything up to 500 words is your limit, so you have to ‘make every frame a Rembrandt’, as was the saying of film cameramen of old when describing the shooting of television adverts. This is a style of writing you can do anywhere, anytime – during your lunch break, in a bus or a train, or even stuck in one of those endless traffic jams. Choose your subject, choose your title, choose your plot – a beginning, middle, and end.

Shortbread wants to encourage everyone to have a go – writers and readers of all ages  – so now is the time to tune up your creative engine, psyche yourself up and hit that blank page at speed…

In Scotland, this weekend, we had a combination of sunshine, rain, wind, frost, and even hail-stones, so it seems only fitting that this Formula 500 is dedicated to the unpredictible April Showers. ShortbreadStories HQ wants to read your tales of weather induced madness whether it be stories of snow storms, or the ensuing droughts coming this Summer, all in less than 500 words. The winning story will be sent around our 6,000 plus Friday Story mailing list.

As this competiton will judged by the community be sure to vote for your favourite before the 3rd of May.

Click here to for more information on submitting to this competition.

‘Self-Publish or Perish’: ShortbreadStories’ Self-Publishing Competition

Self-publishing through ebooks has become quite the rage, but there is more to it than just slapping a word document on to Amazon. To stand out from the myriad of other titles on Amazon, you’ll need a good editor, a fabulous layout artist, a professional illustrator for your cover, and a web presence that will bring in the readers. Oh, and your book needs to be well written, interesting, and quite the page turner.

Still thinking about self-publishing?

If so, then you’ll want to enter our ‘Self-Publish or Perish Competition’.

The winner receives a self-publishing package worth over £3,000, which includes:

  • A professional copyedit of the manuscript
  • Layout and design of the book
  • Bespoke cover art
  • A custom designed webpage
  • A professionally shot book trailer
  • Practical advice on how to sell your book online

The winner will also have their book featured on ShortbreadStories.

Submission Guidelines

What can be Submitted:

  • Entries can take the form of a novel, a short story collection, or a novella and accompanying stories. (Sorry no poetry collections accepted.)
  • All entries must be completely unpublished. Exceptions include work published on ShortbreadStories and/or work published on your own blog or private website.

To Enter:

  • Send your COMPLETED manuscript



  • A cover page including your name, email address and title of the manuscript.


Submissions accepted from 9 April to 17 June 2012

How to Submit:

  • We will accept email submissions only (please DO NOT submit through your ShortbreadStories Writing Desk)
  • Your manuscript and synopsis must be in a Word Document (save your manuscript as a .doc NOT as a .docx)
  • To enter you must be a member of ShortbreadStories, which is free to join.


  • The public will vote on a sample from each manuscript.
  • The manuscript sample will consist of the first 3500 words of each submission (to the end of the nearest sentence) and the synopsis or table of contents. The sample will be uploaded to the ShortbreadStories website by the ShortbreadStories team.
  • Public voting starts on 18 June and will close on 20 July 2012.
  • The final winner will be chosen from those with the top five public votes.
  • The judging panel for the top winner will consist of those donating to the ‘Self-Publish or Perish’ Competition prize. (Birdwing Editing, Red Lava Design, digitalmyway, Kirby Ink, August Pictures Film Co)
  • The winner will be announced on 1 October.

Responsibility of the Winner:

  • ISBN, URL, and registration on Amazon will not be part of the package, and must be arranged and paid for by the winner. However, ShortbreadStories will be on hand to guide you through that process.
  • The winner of the ‘Self-Publish or Perish’ Competition will retain all rights to their own work.

Self-Publish or Perish is sponsored by the following organisations, who will be donating to the prize:

August Pictures Film Co offers affordable, versatile and innovative promotional videos for a wide variety of organisations – from green energy companies…to theatres…to publishing authors like you wanting to promote a new book.

Birdwing Editing: Words can make your ideas fly. Birdwing creates words that speak clarity and confidence. Delivering your message in direct and powerful statements, we know that language has the ability to soar, to take you anywhere. We create messaging, writing and brand expression that communicates with difference and strength.

Digital My Way is a Glasgow based web consultancy. Using our experience in design and development we aim to create or improve our clients’ websites so that they can attain their goals more easily.

Kirby Ink is a place where stories are told with art. You will find custom illustration that is meant to capture life’s memories and fill the nooks and crannies in your home and heart.

RedLava Book Design exists to make your publishing experience as pain-free as possible. Are you an aspiring author with a desire to produce your first/next work of fact or fiction? Or are you a small publishing house searching for a new design approach, or looking to convert your existing titles to e-publications? Whichever is the case, we can help with every step of the production process. After over twenty years in the publishing world, it’s what we’re good at.

A Burns Night Inspiration

Tonight is Burns Night, and I was given a monumental task, ‘Choose a piece of writing from For A’ That: A Celebration of Burns as the introduction to the ShortbreadStories competition “A Burns Night Inspiration”.’

For A’ That is an intriguing anthology of fictional and non-fictional writing inspired by Robert Burns. Published by the University of Dundee, this compilation includes poems, fiction and essays which either discuss Burns’ influence upon the world or are works of fiction influenced by Burns. Dundee University Press graciously gave ShortbreadStories permission to reproduce a few pages of this book in order to promote our ‘A Burns Night Inspiration’ competition. But which portion of the book should I choose?

Professor Whately’s intriguing essay on Burns’ influence upon Dundee? Professor Kirsty Gunn’s soft yet poignant short story about a marriage that came together – and then fell apart – under a statue of Burns? DBC Pierre’s academic discussion of Scotland’s undervaluation of Burns? Jim Stewart’s homage to Burns through poetry? Or Gavin Wallace’s essay on Burns’ influence upon us all? Eleven academics, authors and students contributed to this publication, each providing his/her own representations of the Burns influence.

Despite being a figure ingrained in Scottish identity, ‘Rabbie’ Burns is a significant aspect of a global psyche – not least because the Scottish Diaspora runs far and wide, but because Burns as an author speaks to the basics of our humanity: our appreciation of friends, food and laughter, and his recognition of home and landscape are fundamental elements of our lives.

Each of the authors participating in For A’ That have different backgrounds and approached Burns in a manner which they found most interesting. They approached Burns as part of the global psyche.

Which makes me think about the first time I attended a Burns supper. I had moved to Scotland from America four months before, and I was living in St Andrews. A friend volunteered her house, and other friend sorted out the haggis. One person brought neeps and another tatties. Someone else brought the whisky, and another person also brought whisky. Actually, I think everyone brought whisky. The Odes were rushed, and we made up the our Lads and Lassies responses. We laughed and ate and drank and sang, we would have made Burns proud.

Crammed in that little terraced house in St Andrews were Englishmen and Scots, Americans and Italians, Germans and Icelandics, Chinese and the Irish, Canadians and even a Welshman. We all found something different in Burns’ writing, but we weren’t really there for Burns. We were there for each other, we were celebrating friendship. And that, in itself, is Burns night.

Just as each For A’ That contributor found a different inspiration in Burns, we are asking Shortbreaders to follow suit.

How has Burns inspired you? Write a poem, story or an essay* and submit it to the ‘A Burns Night Inspiration’ Competition, and the winner shall receive a free copy of For A’ That: A Celebration of Burns, and their story will appear as a Friday Story.

Go to to enter.

*You know the drill. Usual competition rules apply.

Inspirational Moment Competition: Artist BW Nicol

This competition is now closed.

This month’s Inspirational Moment is brought to you by the artist BW Nicol. Inspirational Moment is a ShortbreadStories feature/competition which finds writing inspiration in companies who have spread the word of their products in different ways.

The painting to the left is called Afterlife, by BW Nicol, and is shown here by permission of the artist.  Barry Nicol is a Scottish, Perthshire-based artist who trained at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art,  Dundee.  He has also done the artwork for Kate Smart’s blog and forthcoming Kindle publication.

Have a look at the image and read Kate Smart’s blog post. Feeling inspired? Good! Now write us a story of under 2,500 words based on the photo. The winner will not only get his or her story audio-ed, but it will go up both on ShortbreadStories and on BW Nicol’s website as well. Don’t forget, you must be a member of ShortbreadStories in order to submit. Click here to become a member.

Click here for more information or to read stories submitted to the competition.

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