Update, writing tips, writing contests

11:45. Not feeling that great at the moment, perhaps partly due to all the work I’ve had to catch up on (which is due to my own procrastination and negligence in bureaucratic and other areas, the past while). Also, certain aspects of quarantine begin to wear thick. (Recent knocking on wood appears to have backfired. ;))

However, physically we are well enough, the kids are doing all right with their school work and other projects, and today the weather is lovely, so no complaints. Hope you are all ok, out there, too.

While dealing with many long-neglected email inboxes this morning, I’ve found some uplifting writing tidbits from random newsletters I was subscribed to, and thought I would share a couple of them here with you.  (As you’ve probably noticed by now, I’m usually hesitant to dole out concrete advice myself, but happy enough to pass others’ along. ;))

I heartily agree with the following:

“How to stay upbeat during lockdown: It’s a shock to hear you can’t do the things you take for granted, like meeting family and friends, going to the cinema, leaving the house when you want. But there’s still a lot you can do. Writing really is therapeutic, a way to express hopes, dreams and fears. A way to put a smile on your face. A memoir of a certain time. A friend.” ~ The Bridport Prize newsletter, 25 March, 2020


“You must allow yourself to write for writing’s sake. To be messy with it, to spill over and make mistakes and to be angry and to be sad and to be irreverent, to create imperfectly. And, you must allow yourself not to write. To rest, observe, dream, and focus on what keeps you grounded. On your purpose. Because to understand who you are, and what makes you feel happy, as well as what motivates you, puts you in a better position from which to write authentically.” ~ The Bridport Prize newsletter, 1 April, 2020

Side note #1: The Bridport Prize for poetry, short stories, flash fictions and novels is open yearly, to international contestants, until May 31.

A total of about £20K offered in prizes, and the entry fee is low (between £9 and £20, depending on which category). Why not try? Worst you can do is fail… then, of course… dust yourself off, and try, try again. :))

Link: https://www.bridportprize.org.uk/

Side note #2: The yearly Canadian creative writing contest: The CBC Poetry Prize just opened again. Submit until May 31, 2020, same as the Bridport Prize. You have to be a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident of Canada, for this one; and the fee is on the high side, at C$25, though, like the Bridport, the prizes are also high.

Whether or not you qualify to enter, you can sign up for their writing tips newsletter which starts mailing again tomorrow, Sunday, April 5.  “Three times a week, every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday until the prize closes, CBC Books will send you writing tips and inspiration from successful writers, and answer your burning questions about the CBC Literary Prizes.” (Click here, then navigate to the bottom of the page, to sign up for the CBC Books newsletter, if you like.)

Sending writerly love, and virtual hugs,

xoxo Nadine

p.s. I hope to try to catch up on blog-reading soon! But for once I am not prioritizing it 😉 … so please bear with me, during this time of blogausterity. :))


Nadine inhales & exhales words & images from current vantage point in Auvergne, France. Thank you for reading. ❤︎

31 thoughts on “Update, writing tips, writing contests

  1. “Blogausterity”! I love that, Nadine!! And that advice…to write and not to…most welcome! Take care, dear.
    Lockdown is going to have long-term effects…we will see them by and by. Chin up and stay safe. 🤗😘❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw, you are the best – thanks for catching that one, Punam. ;)) I agree about the long-term effects… wisely stated. Thanks again, and likewise, take care. 😚🙏😊❤️xoxoxo

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Great post Nadine. Really appreciate the good advice. I always thought that writing for writing sake was the right approach and I always do that, then many times I’ve something to come back to and work…because, after all, one of the best advise I’ve ever received is that good writing is rewriting. Take good care, our PM extended the confinement (quarantine is a better term) period now to 26 APR 20, so we’ve 24 more days to go! 😊 I don’t mind, as long as we get rid of this virus! All the best to you, love, health and happiness to you I send from Mediterranean Spain 🇪🇸

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, it seems to be working well for you, Francesc, based on your lovely poetry… :))) Glad you are holding up well, and with such a beautiful attitude. You’re an inspiration!🌤✨Sending love back, from the centre of sunny France.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ditto the above comment ‘Blogausterity’ ~ what a wonderful word ! Lots of great tips here! I have written poetry for the Bridport prize a few times over the years. I was even long listed in 2006 or thereabouts, though short listed would have been better lol. You stay well too! Sending you much love my friend!
    🙂 xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No freaking WAY!!!!! Ms. Liola Lee, wow, you’ve just massively inspired me. What an achievement!!! I’ve submitted at least once, maybe I did last year as well, can’t remember now. But you give hope! I might do it again this year. I’ve bought one of their anthologies, the lit in there is beyond beyond. They definitely know what they’re doing in the judging department. So yeah, basically, you’re a lit queen in my books! 🧝🏻‍♀️👏🎉🙌

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow!! I better sit down after such a fabulous comment!!! Lol. Read the anthologies and check out who the judges are!! I entered it last year too but my poem was ruled out because I stupidly included the word count on same line as the title. They are pretty strict with all that sort of thing! It is definitely worth entering because you never know!! Your poem/flash fiction/novel may be just what they are looking for!!! There is an entry fee but that’s okay as they have to pay their people and if you win or get runner up or short listed, that has got to be a good or great thing! Go for it Nadine! I will try again this year!! 😊💕👍🏻xoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, very cool that they let you know why it was ruled out – but bummer for the mistake – and good for us all to keep in mind, sometimes it’s the details that make the difference eh. And yes, I totally agree about entry fees – this level of contest couldn’t easily exist without them, and we’re supporting the arts when we pay them, so win-win. 🎉 Thank you Liola, I might give it a shot. 😊✍️💃🏼🙌🙏xoxoxox

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I particularly like the second quote you’ve included here. The joy of being able to experiment with something that might or might not work has taught me a great deal. As always in life, I find that it is the unmitigated disasters that teach me the most. Messing about with form or perspective is rarely a wasted exercise in my opinion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How much can I love this comment?! 🔆💛I pay you deepest homage, lamply goddess. With very, very sincere thanks. 🕯🙏✨🏃‍♀️ ~ nimble-remaining Jane


  5. Thank you for posting these, such useful reminders about writing, very timely for me. I loved this one

    @You must allow yourself to write for writing’s sake. To be messy with it, to spill over and make mistakes and to be angry and to be sad and to be irreverent, to create imperfectly”

    Hope you are well dear friend xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you lovely, am feeling better, the sun helps a lot, as does the warmer weather. Hope you are okay too. Yes it’s such a good bit of advice. We have to let ourselves “just write.” xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Hey Charlie, can’t see it in this country, but no worries. Thanks anyway xoxo (Error: “Video unavailable – This video contains content from AltraModaMusic, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.”)

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Very nice: “create imperfectly”. Yes, I like what you said about writing. It’s really just try and try again and then succeed a bit to try and try again. It’s all try and dust and brushing off, like you said. Feel better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

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