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Patsy Collins With A Giveaway - And Talking About Writing Competitions

ANNOUNCEMENT:  The winner of Patsy's giveaway is Tash.  Congrats Tash, will be in touch with you directly.....

Today we welcome British author Patsy Collins to Romance Reader. Patsy is here to tell us a bit about her latest release, a romance novel called A YEAR AND A DAY.  She's also going to share how writing competitions have helped shape her as a writer.



Patsy, in a recent interview, you mentioned that you had some success in writing competitons.  Would you like to share a little about that?


Gosh where do I start? The beginning is traditional so I'll try that. My first ever writing success was around ten years ago. We were asked to write a forty word story (which is even harder than it sounds) I did OK and won a £25 book token and tea with the mayor.

Oddly I didn't go in for many more competitions after that. The few successes I did have earned me a selection of writing books, a crabbit bag, a book in Greek (I don't speak Greek) and some stationary.

I began a blog and every week (at least) I post details of writing competitions. Realising it was silly to encourage others to enter and not do so myself I made a determined effort in the last quarter of 2011. Prizes from that burst of enthusiasm included £1,000, dinner in the House of Commons and publication of my novel. 'Escape to the Country' was released in 2012.

I've slowed up again since, but last week I learned I'd won a kobo in another writing competition.

Some people claim that writing competitions are a waste of time.  You wouldn't agree with that, would you?

Er, no. (You guessed I'd say that, didn't you?)

Even if you don't win anything it's good practice to write to strict guidelines and a deadline. Competitions often have themes too which can help spark ideas. If someone told me to write 'anything at all' and get back to them 'whenever' they might never hear from me again. Tell me to write 500 words about a cat and a tin of treacle and have it done a week yesterday and I'll be thinking up ideas before they've finished speaking.
You share competition information on your blog, as does Sally Quilford.  Which are your favourite competitions which you promote?

I only blog about free to enter ones. Every one of my prizes was won in a contest which had no entry fee.

How have writing competitions helped you as a writer?

They've encouraged me to write stuff. Writing stuff is an important thing for a writer to do!

They've boosted my confidence. Winning is fantastic of course but also not winning isn't so deflating as getting a rejection. For all we know our non winning entry was only slightly behind the prize winner.


What's the most valuable lesson you've learnt from competitions?

To give it a go. The more time and effort I've put in the better my results have been.

Thanks for sharing Patsy, I find all this very good and useful information.


GIVEAWAY:  Anyone who visits this post is welcome to download a copy of Patsy's short story book NOT A DROP TO DRINK, available on SMASHWORDS in a range of formats. Go here to download the book.  There's also a PDF copy of A YEAR AND A DAY, Patsy's new release, for one lucky commenter. So be sure to leave a comment before leaving.

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A YEAR AND A DAY


Despite Stella's misgivings her best friend Daphne persuades her to visit a fortune teller. Rosie-Lee promises both girls will live long and happy lives. For orphaned Stella, the fortune teller's claims include a tall, dark handsome man and the family she longs for. Stella doesn't believe a word, so Rosie-Lee produces a letter, to be read in a year's time, which will prove her predictions are true.

Stella remains sceptical but Daphne is totally convinced. She attempts to manipulate Stella's life, starting by introducing Stella to her new boss Luigi, who fits the romantic hero image perfectly. In complete contrast is Daphne's infuriating policeman brother John. Despite his childhood romance with Stella ending badly he still acts as though he has a right to be involved in her life.

Soon John is the least of her worries. Daphne's keeping a secret, Luigi can't be trusted, romantically or professionally and both girls' jobs are at risk. Worse still, John's concerns for their safety are proved to be justified.

John, and Rosie-Lee's letter, are all Stella has to help put things right.

Buy Links:  Amazon    Amazon UK

PATSY ON THE WEB:

48 comments:

  1. Very interesting! I've never entered a writing competition, and while I'm not a writer, I think it would be a fun challenge. Because of what you shared, I think I will google some this weekend. I look forward to reading Not a Drop to Drink~

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    1. Thanks, Shelley. If you take a look at my blog you'll find links to lots of writing competitions.

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    2. Hi Shelly, thanks for coming by and leaving a comment.

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  2. Thanks so much for inviting me onto your blog!

    btw, I've just discovered Not a Drop to Drink is free on Amazon.com as well now.
    http://www.amazon.com/Not-Drop-Drink-ebook/dp/B009RX5MGS/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

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  3. The best thing I've learned about competition is that losing gracefully is a trait that not all people share, that competition is important for the human spirit, and that the way in which a person "wins" anything can often determine what kind of person they are inside (and whether or not they are an asshole).

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    1. Some very wise words here. Not every one can lose gracefully and everyone certainly wins differently...

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    2. I do try to be graceful in defeat, Michael. I should be good at it now as I'm quite used to not winning.

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  4. The book sounds awesome! :)

    Writing contests are scary and exciting at the same time!

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    1. I'd have to agree with you there, Jemi.

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    2. Thanks, Jemi. Glad you like the sound of the book.

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  5. Hi Patsy. I high-five you for being brave enough to enter a competition. As a fellow reader I've read some really good stories from authors who have won competitions and ended up getting published. If they werent brave enough to have taken that step I would never have experienced a great story. I love the sound of "A Year and A Day".

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    1. Yes, right you are Tash. Thanks for dropping in.......

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    2. I don't consider it brave to enter, Tash (I'm not a brave person) What I do is not tell anyone I'm entering so they don't know I haven't won. I tell myself I have no chance and am just having a go for fun, then try to convince myself I'm not disappointed when my name isn't on the shortlist.

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  6. The book certainly was brilliant and very secretive till the end which I liked!

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  7. Great interview and excerpt. Will have to look for your books. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hope you enjoy anything of mine that you read, jbcweiss.

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    2. Hi Joanne, Good to see you here. Thank you for stopping by....

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  8. You proved contests can be won. That you find so many with no entry fees is amazing. Good stuff, Patsy.

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    1. There's always a winner, Alex!

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    2. Yes, there's and if there's always a winner it might as well be you, right? Good thinking, Patsy. Thanks for stopping by Alex.

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  9. You know, I've never entered a writing contest. That's where my writing insecurity rears its ugly head.

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    1. You haven't, Linda? I'm surprised that you find the idea of entering a competition more nerve wracking than submitting a novel. Just shows that we're all different.

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    2. I find entering contests just for practise is a good thing to do. I've entered a few myself and while it's disappointing not to win, I find it's not as devatating as a rejection.

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  10. I agree that competitions do build confidence, which is a good thing, especially for those getting their feet wet.

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    1. Anything that encourages us to try is a good thing I reckon.

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    2. Hi Joy. I have to agree with that too...

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  11. My first published short story was the result of a contest win. Plus I won a tee in the contest. And my story went on to win an award.

    I don't enter contests much anymore, but I like them.

    Happy Weekend!

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    1. I'm jealous, Carol I've never won a tee in a writing competition (although I was awarded one for giving helpful feedback in an online group run by the BBC)

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    2. Hi Carol, as you've shown is, it is a good place to start out in the writing business..

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  12. Great interview and I loved Escape to the Country!

    Lucy Oliver

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  13. Hi Patsy!

    Welcome to Romance Reader with such a great post. I loved reading about competitions. But yes, I can understand where you are coming from when you say you don't tell anyone you've entered...and keep the disappointment to yourself if you don't win.

    I haven't yet read A Year And A Day but it sounds intriguing. Congrats on the release and all the best!

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    1. Thanks, Nas.

      I try to remember that not winning isn't really a failure, it just means that there was one entry which the judge considered better than mine. OK, maybe 2 or 3 were better but it doesn't mean mine was rubbish.

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    2. I'm with you on that one, Patsy. Hi Nas....

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  14. Great interview, Pasty and I agree competitions are a great way to exercise the writing muscles. In fact, it was a win in the first short story competition I entered that encouraged me to return to creative writing as, until that point, my writing experience had consisted of technical articles for the trade press. I didn't have tea with the mayor, but he did present me with the prize-winners cheque for £250 which was very kind of him! :)

    marion

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    1. Given the choice between the cheque and the cup of tea, I'd take the cheque any day. Thank for coming over and commenting, Marion.

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  15. What a nice mayor, Seaview!

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  16. Good interview, competitions are a great way to sharpen the mind. I really should try doing some! I'm amazed at some of the prizes you've won, but even if you don't win you've got some good experience.

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    1. That's how I look at it, Nick - good luck if you try some.

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    2. Yes Nick, I agree. Thanks for coming over.

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  17. Thanks for the fun interview, and nice to meet Patsy! Yes, writing a story in 40 words is definitely difficult. Competitions are good to enter--it gets you seriously thinking about the quality of your writing! :)

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  18. Great interview. Oh for more time in the day! I'd love to enter competitions because I do agree that they are highly beneficial. I guess I need to MAKE the time.

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    1. Yes, Linda making time is the only way.

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    2. I feel like that too, Lynda...

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