A writers group to inspire & encourage all writers
Watford Writers

Interesting Links


Elton John's Glasses Heritage Project

Watford Writers, in conjunction with Watford Museum, are delighted to be working with Watford Palace Theatre on a project regarding memories of Watford 1980 -2000 over a 5 week period during July and August.


Creative Practitioner Delyth Jones will be attending the sessions, working with the group to explore any memories or stories participants have of Watford during those years. Delyth has worked all over the country and is an experienced director. She often works with text and writerly works, and has previously worked with the Palace and the University of Hertfordshire. You do not need to be from Watford originally to participate- just have a memory of Watford from 1980-2000. And no story is unimportant! You could also use these sessions if you have memories that you wish to write about that are not about Watford, however they would not be used in the final project.


The objects of the projects are:

 ·         Create something to present at WPT Public Event in September eg.recited poem, a story typed and curated for display in the theatre above objects loaned from the museum. There is no pressure to perform- the Creative Practitioner can curate work inspired by ideas during sessions.

 ·         Work on a Walking Tour with the Museum based on places featured in the stories. We would also like to arrange a special tour of the Museum for Watford Writers led by Sarah Priestly, curator of the Museum and author of ‘Cassiobury’.

 ·         Record Oral History Testimonies in relation to Watford experiences with a Podcast Producer and the University of Hertfordshire. You would be welcome to give your story, or train to learn how to interview participants to give oral histories (provided for free by the University). These will then be acquisitioned by the University of Hertfordshire Heritage Hub and will be available on our website!

We hope that this project would be the start of a longer collaboration between Watford Palace Theatre and Watford Writers.


 At The Oddfellows Hall, 22a, The Avenue, Watford.


 Monday 17th July, 7:30pm-9:30pm

 Monday 24th July, 7:30pm-9:30pm

 Monday 31st July, 7:30pm-9:30pm

 Monday 7th August, 7:30pm-9:30pm

 Monday 14th August, 7:30pm-9:30pm


The cost is £3.50 which includes tea, coffee and biscuits. You can attend any or all of the sessions, but please arrive promptly.


At Watford Palace Theatre:

 Creative Showing and Open Day Event- Sunday 10th September, 12pm-5pm


Linda Spurr's Critiquing Workshop Handout

 Some useful sites to assist with editing.





  • www.flash500.com website with competitions eg novel writing competition that offers a critique on synopsis and first three chapters – at a price. This site also runs quarterly flash fiction competitions.



You can subscribe to their monthly newsletter. Each issue, Cornerstones Literary Consultancy explore and critique a reader's opening page. If you would like to participate in their Opening Page Mini Masterclass, send your opening page (400 approx words) as a Word Document attachment to submissions@wordswithjam.co.uk with the subject ‘Cornerstones Masterclass’. Pieces for critique are chosen at random from those submitted to Words with JAM.


Mine was chosen for the June newsletter and I submitted the required 400 words. I got a critique of over 1000 words which I found extremely interesting, useful and incredibly in-depth.


I would definitely suggest anyone who has an opening page sending it in. It’s free.


·                                                       http://cornerstones.co.uk/ Cornerstones Literary Consultancy which offers paid critques

·       Cracking the Short Story Market by Iain Pattison on Amazon : used for 1 penny plus £2.80 p&p, even cheaper if you order other items


Example of a checklist


This one is for fiction and it can be used at any stage eg planning, while writing, for editing


  • What is at stake ie what does your protagonist want, what have they got to lose?
  • What makes that (the answer to number 1) important to the reader?
  • What is driving the story ie the setbacks?
  • How will the sequence of events allow the main character to change?
  • What relationship does the story have with time? Your protagonist has had a life before the story starts; the duration of the novel is the “illuminated” part of the protagonist’s life; life will continue after the story ends. How many years will the “illuminated” bit cover?
  • Where is the story set and what impact does the setting have?





Other Writing Groups

Harrow Writers Circle

Verulam Writers Circle 



Short Story Markets (Popular, General and Online Submissions)


Bonmarché Magazine (quarterly)

Magazine in Bonmarché shops. Short story of around 600 words. Pays £ 100.

Readers Fiction, BM, Victory House, 14 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BZ. *You need to enclose the voucher from the magazine.


Ellery Queen Mvstery Magazine (US)

Mystery/crime short stories.

Website: www.themysteryplace.com


Chapman (quarterly)

Scottish literary magazine. Short fiction, poetry, essays. High standard.

Joy Hendry, Editor, Chapman, 4 Broughton Place, Edinburgh EHI 3RX

Website: www.chapman-pub.co.uk



New Scottish print magazine. Fiction and Poetry.

Email submissions to: info@guttermag.co.uk

Website: vvww.guttermag.co.uk No payment yet, but might change. An agent is onboard.


Ireland's Own

Traditional short stories of around 2000 words, with an Irish orientation if possible.

Sean Nolan, Editor, Channing House, Rowe Street, Wexford, Republic of Ireland

Email: irelands.own@peoplenews.ie



Scottish magazine accepting fiction, articles and poetry. Up to about 3000 words.

44 The High Street, Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfiies & Galloway DG7 2HP

Website: www.markings.org.uk


Mslexia (quarterly)

Women writers only. Regular New Writing competitions. Short stories and poetry with a particular theme; see magazine for closing dates and subjects. Also regular Flash Fiction (theme).

Mslexia, PO Box 656, Freepost NEA5566, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE99 lBR

Website: www.mslexia.co.uk


New Love Stories (US)

Short stories about male/female love and romance, contemporary, historical, etc. Length 3000 to 5000 words, submitted by emaiI, including a story synopsis.

Editor: Ron Victor. Email: submit@newlovestories.com

Website: www.newlovestories.com


New Writing Scotland

Annual publication of literary short stories, poetry and prose. Submit by September.

ASLS Department of Scottish Literature, 7 University Gardens, University of Glasgow Glasgow G12 8QH, UK

Website: www.arts.gla.ac.uk/scotlit/asls/NewWriting.html



Short stories with an undercurrent, by established and emerging writers. Up to 5000 words. Regular competitions.

Website: www.riptidejournal.co.uk


Shortbread Stories

Website for short stories set up by Robin Pilcher

Submit to: www.shortbreadstories.com


Solander (Historical Novel Society Publication)

Twice-yearly magazine, using one short story an issue. Must be historical fiction of around 4-5000 words (will consider 2000-7000 words). Good storytelling.

Website: www.historicalnovelsociety.org


Take a Break (weekly)

One page twist-in-tail; strong plot; about I 000-1200 words.

Norah McGrath, Fiction Editor, Take a Break, 24-28 Oval Road, London NWI 7DT


Take a Break Fiction Feast

Short Fiction to suit women's magazine market; length 800 to 2,000 words. Twist in tail, mystery, ghost or general interest story.

Margaret Nicholls, Editor, Fiction Feast, 24-28 Oval Road, London NWI IDT.


That's Life (Australia)

Contemporary, positive, humorous stories, good dialogue, around 700 words. Will take reprints of published stories and pay slightly less for them.

Email: fastfiction@pacificmags.com.au


The Weekly News

DC Thomson Newspaper - Strong stories including ghost and crime 800 to 2000 words.

Jill Finlay, Fiction Ed, The Weekly News, DC Thomson, 2 Albert Square, Dundee DDI 9QJ

Email: jfinlay@dcthomson.co.uk

While Jill is on maternity leave, email Billy Higgins on whiggins@dcthomson.co.uk


The Yellow Room

Women's short stories up to 5000 words. Must be well-written; check website for layout etc. Also regular competitions.

All submissions must be sent by post to: Jo Derrick, Editor, The Yellow Room 1 Blake Close, Bilton, Rugby CV22 7LJ

Website: www.theyellowroom-magazine.co.uk


Woman's Day (Australia)

Short stories of around 1500 words: romance, humour, mysteries, with good dialogue. Occasional stories of around 850 words, with a twist. Take reprints of published stories (except W . Weekly)

Email stories to: womansday@acp.com.au


Woman's Weekly. (weekly)

Short stories: 1000 words (1 page) or 2000 words (2-page). Stories should reflect real life but have a quality of warmth, and humour is always popular.

Gaynor Davies, Fiction Editor, Woman's Weekly, IPC Media, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 OSU.

See also Woman's Weekly Fiction Specials (1000 to 5000 words)


Writers' Forum (monthly competitions)

Between 1000 and 3000 words. Free online submission just now for subscribers; £3 for others. Optional critique. Pay well for 1st,2nd and 3rd. Entry form in magazine.

Writers' Forum Story Contest, PO Box 6337, Boumemouth BHl 9EH

Website: www.writers-forum.com (you can also enter online)


Writing MagazinelWriters' News (monthly competitions)

Writers' News on subscription (comps for subscribers only); Writing Magazine can be bought in WH Smith. Good variety of fiction competitions every month.

Hilary Bowman, Editor, Sth Floor, 31-32 Park Row, Leeds, W. Yorkshire LS 1 SID

Website: www.writersnews.co.uk


Yours (monthly)

Study their published short stories - should be suitable for age group but not stereotypes.

Marion Clarke, Short Stories, Yours, Media House, Peterborough Business Park, Peterborough PE2 6EA.

Email: yours@.emap.com (subject line: Short Story Submission).

See also Yours Fiction Special

Requesting stories 1 000-lS00 words, with a 100-150 word synopsis.



Good US website. Short Story submissions and fiction competitions throughout the year. Can check your submission progress online.



UK site for darker fiction and horror. Monthly competitions and publications.




Best of British (monthly)

Wide variety of subjects including nostalgia, war, collections. Welcomes contributions, especially with illustrations. Yesterday Remembered section.

Linne Matthews, Editor, The Clock Tower, 6 Market Gate, Market Deeping, Lines. PE6 8DL

Website: www.bestofbritishmag.co.uk - has great links to information sites.


Real Travel

Recent travel articles of up to 2500 words and photos.

Hannah James, Editor, Create Publishing Ltd, 2nd Floor, 15-16 Lower Park Row, Bristol BSI SBN.

Website: www.realtravelmag.com


Scottish Home & Country Magazine (monthly by subscription) Articles on a wide range of subjects of interest to women - up to 1000 words.

Sample copy from SWRI. Note that members of the SWRI are not paid for contributions.

Liz Ferguson, Editor, SH&C, 42 Heriot Row, Edinburgh EH3 6ES

Website: www.swri.org.uk


The Highlander (US bi-monthly)

Historical articles on Scotland: people and places. Prefer photographs with article.

Neill Kennedy Ray, Editor, 87 Highland Avenue, Hull, MA 02045

Website: www.highlandermagazine.com


The Oldie (monthly)

Irreverent 'older' magazine; witty or interesting pieces. Articles of 600 to 1,300 words.

Send to: Jeremy Lewis, Features Editor, 65 Newman Street, London WIT 3EG

Website: www.theoldie.co.uk


The Scots Magazine (Monthly)

Articles on Scottish themes. Illustrations/photos welcomed. Length 1000-2000 words.

The Scots Magazine, 2 Albert Square, Dundee DDI 9QJ

Website: www.scotsmagazine.com


Woman Alive (monthly)

Articles with a Christian perspective for women. Contact for guidelines.

Jackie Stead, Editor, Garcia Estate, Canterbury Road, Worthing, W. Sussex BN13 lBW

Website: www.womanalive.co.uk


Writers' Forum (Monthly)

Accepts articles of interest to other writers, including interviews. Length 1000 for 1 page; 1700 words for spread. Letters; First Draft. Fun details on website.

Writers' Forum, Select Publisher Services Ltd, PO Box 6337, Bournemouth BH1 9EH

Website: www.writers-forum.com

Email: features@writers-forum.com




Freelance Market News

This is an excellent monthly newsletter/magazine with regular details on markets in the UK and overseas. In addition, subscribers may enter the monthly competition which varies between short stories, articles, poetry and limericks. The winner receives £50.


There is also the opportunity to obtain a free professional critique of one piece of work during each year's membership. All members receive a membership card to the Association of Freelance Writers.


Freelance Market News takes articles of interest to writers. One-page is 700 words; 2-page is 1500 words. Payment on acceptance - £50 per 1000 words. FMN is owned by Writers Bureau, which offers one of the most respected, long-running Writers' Courses. www.freelancemarketnews.com


Telegraph Travel Competition

A weekly competition for a travel article of no more than 500 words. Winner receives £200 in the currency of their choice. Advisable to read previous winning entries for the style and tone used. www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travel-writing-competition


Mobile Phone Text Competition

www.txtlit.co.uk enter this monthly competition by texting a story to fit the theme in no more than 160 characters.


Leaf Books and Magazine

Publisher of most types of fiction, prose and poetry. Regular competitions. New magazine out in April




Online writing magazine & community of writers. Become a contributing writer and produce at least 10 articles every 3 months on your chosen subjects.



My Reading and Writing Blog

Regular information for writers about markets, competitions and books



Rosemary Gemmell 2010