Brexit Poetry

Here’s a free to enter poetry competition from the writer Sally Jenkins’ blog- inspired by Brexit? Feel angry, happy – tell the Holland Park Press about it in a poem.

Sally Jenkins

The word Brexit can elicit strong reactions from the calmest, most even-tempered of people but it rarely inspires poetry. Now is your chance to convert your own feelings on the UK leaving the EU into verse.

Holland Park Press is running a Brexit poetry competition. It doesn’t matter on which side of the fence you stand or even if you’re still sitting on that fence. You can write about what being a European means to you, you can be angry or you can play devil’s advocate. The important thing is to touch, inspire or even frustrate the judges with your poem.

First prize is £200 and the winner and runners-up will be published online.

Poems can be up to 50 lines long. Entry is free and the closing date 31st December 2018 – so there’s bags of time to perfect your masterpiece! Don’t forget to read the full terms and…

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Three FREE writing comps to enter:-

1) Twitter entry:- closing date 18 October

Competition Rules: – Open to anyone over the age of 14 in the UK – Submit as many entries as you like – All entries must be exactly 18 words (excluding title, twitter handle and hashtag) – All entries must relate to the ‘monster’ theme – Open from 9am 1st Sept – 15 Oct 6pm

You can either tweet us or email
2) By email-

Closing date:
December 31st 2018 – Theme “Murder”

or email your entry to:

if the link above doesn’t work in your browser.

All entries should be sent via email only
and should be a maximum length of 2,000 words.


Rules & How To Submit

Rules are simple the:

  • 100 words max
  • please include a title for your story (not included in the word count)
  • end each sentence with a preposition. Why? Because, according to some nit-pickers, you’re not supposed to
  • entry fee is either £1,000,000, or £0, but nothing in between – in other words, FREE unless you’re a millionaire
  • anyone can submit – it’s not a competition, everyone who enters is a winner
  • 1 entry per mammal
  • no profanity please – all the writing challenges are shared with children
  • your preposition-packed prose will be published on this page
  • every time we receive 100 stories, we’ll publish all of them in a book
  • profits made through anthology sales will be donated to charity
  • by submitting, you accept the terms and conditions
  • when anthologies are published, you will be involved in the book launch process
  • submit your story by filling in the comments form below or email me
  • include a short biography (40 words max) for use in the published book – if you don’t supply a bio, we will be unable to publish your story
  • include 1 link (optional) to your website, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc.


Cover reveal of DeadCades from indie horror press The Infernal Clock…

by the talented illustrator Tim Youster- I have a story in this one set in 1920’s ‘Mr Dandy’-

if you peer closely you will see in faint gothic font the authors’ names by the decade they have written a story for.

Here’s some info off A.J Walker’s blog-

Walker writes “Now the cover is out it makes the book seem that bit more real and it’s expected that we should be able to get our hands on a Kindle version of it by early October. Together with the fabulous cover Steph and David have managed to snag a fantastic author to write the introduction for the anthology too; Christina Dalcher, the author of this summer’s super hot noval’VOX‘. DeadCades is going to be boss. Just a week or two to wait. Watch this space…”

For Twitterers you can follow Tim @TimYouster and Christina @CVDalcher

Here is the full print back and front covers-

Wordsmag – free ezine- with comps – raises funds for the Lifeboats- I have a story in their latest mag…other news- poetry anthology out with Mark Connors/drabbles and classes.

Issue 97 contains my story, Ride of a Lifetime.

Wordsmag issue 97 cover pic.png

“The magazine will continue to be available in both online pdf and Kindle
formats from our website at and, as always, the
pdf version is fully printable should you want.” says editor Shaun Peare.
You can email to ask the editor Shaun Peare for a free pdf of the mag or if you wanted to support the charity through the Words mag, you can subscribe at the cheap rate of £6 a year.

Words mag and Shaun also run twice yearly FREE to enter short story competitions-  the next free to enter comp has the theme of Murder.

You get a dozen stories to read and enjoy and my one is an extended version of a short flash piece set in Bridlington in winter at the fairground.

You can buy past story magazines for £2.00/£3.00 here

Here’s the opening paragraphs-

“Come on Harry! You too old to have a laugh?” Jim’s words stung.
His spectacles glinted in the weak wintry sunlight. Harry saw himself
reflected in the double lenses. He was not pleased with what he saw. A thin,
balding bloke with a worn, creased face.
Old before my time, he thought. He knew who to blame. Kirsty. She was
draining him dry with her demands. He couldn’t earn enough to pay her debts.
He couldn’t sleep for lying awake worrying. He’d be losing the house soon he
guessed and the company car.
When the text from Jim beeped its way onto his mobile, bringing his
former schoolmate from Beckfoot Sixth form College back into his humdrum
life, Harry’s heart had leapt. He remembered long boozy nights in the High
Street, pub crawling, games of pool, fags and flutters on the horses. Good
times. God knows he missed that….


Other news:-

My classes at Saltaire Crafthouse continue to get more support and the monthly drop ins is now full at 10 people, we can’t fit in any more bodies in the basement.

I am delighted about this.

I am planning an ebook with this group’s fiction hopefully in spring 2019.


I’ve had a couple more pieces accepted by Horror Tree including a trio of linked drabbles- under the new heading of the Unholy Trinity!


Poet and author

has co edited 100 Poets for Change anthology- cover below- which I have a poem in honouring the memory of the fallen of WW1 – The Poppy Parade-

I am so proud to be published in this anthology alongside the likes of :-

Jimmy Andrex

Oz Hardwick

Gaia Holmes…

Gill Lambert

Maria Stephenson…

Mark connors 100 Poets for change book cover.jpg

This collection © Word Club and Transforming with Poetry 2017

Design by Antonio Martínez Arboleda.

Front cover image: ‘Rebellion’ by Zerozip (Openclippart)

Back cover image: ‘Pensamiento’ by Laura Escriche

Word Club Logo: Word Club

Published by Transforming with Poetry and Word Club. Leeds 2017

Creative writing competition:- poetry and flash fiction, run in conjunction with the Saltaire Craft House….closing date Fri 7 December 2018

I am running a creative writing competition in conjunction with the Saltaire based Craft House, with myself judging the Flash Fiction and local poet Mike Farren, judging the poetry side.

It is FREE to enter and there are prizes. So why not have a go?

The Craft House Creative Writing Competition:-

Flash Fiction and Poetry


Judge Flash Fiction: Alyson Faye  

Judge Poetry: Mike Farren


1st in Flash Fiction and Poetry:- £50 Craft House vouchers (to spend in the shop or on a course);

2nd in Flash and Poetry:- a Saltaire mug and a two glass coaster set .

In Brief:-

Entries can be on any subject;

Flash Fiction stories up to a maximum of 500 words;

Poetry up to a maximum of 40 lines;

Closing date for receipt of entries:- Friday 7, December 2018

The 2 Prize winners in each category will be notified by:- Friday 21, December 2018


Entries must either be posted to:- The Craft House, 101 Saltaire Road, Saltaire, Shipley, BD18 3HD or handed in person at the Craft House (normal opening hours are Wednesday-Saturday, inclusive, 10am-5pm.

Or can be sent to the email

We will confirm safe receipt of all entries – if you don’t hear from us to confirm receipt of your entry, please get in touch with The Craft House (01274 584400)


Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must never have been published, self-published, published on any website or in print, or online form, broadcast nor won or been placed in any other competition. Entrants must be aged 18 years or over.

Entries by email:- must be sent by 5pm on Friday 7 December, 2018. The entries must be copied and pasted into the body of the email NOT attached as docs. You must include your name, address, phone number in the email too.

Entries by post or handed in:- These must be accompanied by a separate form giving the name, address, email address and telephone number of the entrant stapled or clipped to the page with the entry on. This information must NOT appear anywhere on the entry piece.

Entries must be in English, typed, single sided. Each entry should be on a new sheet. A maximum of 2 entries per category per person is allowed.

Flash Fiction must be double spaced with the word count noted at the end.

Poems must be single spaced with a line count at the end.

Entries must have a title.

Titles are excluded from the 500 word count for Flash fiction and the 40 line count for the poetry.

Entries will NOT be returned, so please keep a copy.

NO corrections or alterations can be made after receipt of your entry.


Prize winners will be notified by Friday 21 December, 2018 and invited to come into the Craft House to receive their prize in January. There will be a 1st and 2nd prize awarded in each category; i.e. 2 in Flash and 2 in Poetry.

Winning entries will be displayed in the Craft House and posted on Alyson Faye’s blog and on social media i.e. Facebook and Twitter.

There will be a prize giving event combined with the judges’ report and a q&a session on writing and getting published, on Tuesday, 8 January 2019, 2-4pm, where Mike Farren and Alyson Faye will discuss the competition entries, answer audience questions and read from their own work.

There may be further publicity of the winners’ work if this is arranged by the judges.


Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but by entering the competition the entrant agrees that Alyson Faye and the Craft House will have the unrestricted right to publish the winning poems and flash pieces, (including those of the runners up), on blogs/local press or at other venues e.g. libraries.


The judges’ decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into.

Judges are unable to comment on individual entries. Judging will be fair and unbiased and each entry will be read blind.

Review of horror thriller ‘Contrition’ by Deborah Sheldon…

Available to buy on amazon

Published 3 September, 2018

Contrition by [Sheldon, Deborah]

This is the latest horror/thriller from Australian writer Deborah Sheldon, just published on 3 September, 2018 from IFWG Publishing and is available on amazon to purchase. Sheldon has created a seemingly ordinary Mr Average, John Penrose, as her protagonist, however it becomes clear very quickly (and at 240 pages there is no extra fat on the bone in this tale) he lives a not so ordinary life. He might have a boring dead end job, rent in the suburbs, no friends and no social life and drink too much beer, but he has an extraordinary secret lodging with him. Both literally sharing his rental home and sharing his back story, set 30 years previously, which still casts long toxic shadows into the present day.

The unravelling of the past when the young, shy college lad, John Penrose, meets and becomes entwined in the lives of the twins Lyle and Meredith Berg-Olsen, both of whom he loves in different ways but with deadly consequences, is slotted in beside the current day narrative describing John’s tedious existence – moving from rental house to rental house, whenever issues arise with Meredith and her behaviour.

John still loves his Merry, he still sees her with the eyes of his first teenage love, but to us the reader, it is apparent Meredith is not the girl she once was and John is blinded by devotion. Sheldon cleverly gives us clues and hints, but avoids the full reveal about what ails Meredith, until the climax, which is exciting and well constructed and takes an unexpected turn in the last few pages.

A neighbour, a single mother, Donna with a daughter in tow, takes a shine to John, and they begin a sweet, gentle courtship but in the neighbourhood animals keep going missing, Meredith never goes out of the house in daylight hours, a ‘witch’ is seen outside Donna’ s windows and John learns new facts about his past from an old school mate now working for a circus performing in town. The mundanities of life are being undermined.

John has a truly unnerving night time encounter with Meredith’s homeless friend, Sebastian, which has John racing for his life through the suburb’s back gardens. Meanwhile at home the tension mounts. Long before John asks the killer questions, we the reader are suspicious – of Meredith and her hobby boxes and of what did happen that summer day with Lyle down by the river, for which John has carried a lifetime of ‘Contrition’ and provides the motivations for all that he does thereafter.

This is a pacy, exciting read with strong horror content and some gruesome scenes which are well written but not for the faint-hearted reader. If you don’t like shocks and scares this is not for you. There are noir currents at play here too, John Penrose is very much a man trapped by his femme fatale and one fateful act carried out one long ago summer’s day, which changed his life and from which he cannot get out from under. The guy just never catches a break. You’re hoping he will turn things around, but just like for Elisha Cook, Jnr in all those noir B movies of the 1940’s, you know deep down, it’s not going to happen.

The Dance Turns the Wheel

The talented and prolific horror writer Stephanie Ellis- has a number of books out and more to come- here she shares one of her creepy stories- a lesson in how to write folk horror for those wanting to go that way- enjoy!

Stephanie Ellis

In the next few weeks, a new story of mine, The Way of the Mother, will appear in Nosetouch Press’ Fiends in the Furrows, an anthology of folk horror. (This story is the one that will allow me to apply for HWA membership, finally!). It is also a story which evolved from a world I started to create back in 2014 when I wrote The Dance, (first published in Horror in Bloom, and which I rediscovered when we needed an extra tale to go into The Infernal Clock’s CalenDark: The Infernal Almanac last year).

The original tale revolved around 3 characters Tommy, Betty and Fiddler, a travelling troupe which entertains rural communities with their music and dance. If you look up the history of rapper dancing, you will find there are actually characters which take these parts. Tommy is usually the MC, Betty is a man…

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