A taste of paradise

Published July 4, 2014 by helenlaycock

I’ve never won a raffle, a bingo prize – that smarmy fox in the purple suit puts me right off – or the lottery. Heck, if I had, I would be sitting under a palm tree right now, supping coconut milk. I did once win a bottle of still water on a tombola. Happy days…

I have been quite lucky, though, in writing competitions – though I think it’s fair to say that I’ve notched up more shortlistings than wins. Once or twice I have had a little windfall… the last being very little at £10, but one of the perks of winning is that sometimes a writer’s work gets published elsewhere. Like buses, things can be very quiet for a long time, then wham, bang, slam, it all happens at once.

I already have some work published in the One Word Anthology, a collection of flash fiction and poetry written by my writing buddies in my online writing group, Writers’ Talkback.


As one of the runners up in the Words with Jam Bigger Short Story Competition, my entry is included in Volume II of An Earthless Melting Pot (Quinn Pub.), newly-available. It’s a great cover! I should get a free copy soon. Yay!


This week, I got word that another anthology was out – The Aspiring Writers 2013 Winners Anthology. This one has four short stories of mine and one poem, all written to the brief given by Ronnie, the competition organiser. Only placed entries got published. This one, I’ll have to buy myself.:(


There is one more anthology in the pipeline, by Thynks Publications. This will be a book of poetry. I’m not yet sure of the title.

I shall keep going with my competition entries. It’s a great way to hone writing skill and I’d thoroughly recommend it to all writers as a useful exercise. As they say, you’ve got to be in it to win it! One day I shall be supping that coconut milk. Or maybe I should just settle for a Bounty.


10 comments on “A taste of paradise

  • Congratulations on all the wins, shortlistings and anthology inclusions.

    I agree that competitions can bring rewards other than the main prize. Even if we never reach the long list, having completed something and sent it in is an achievement.

  • It’s the best feeling ever to find one of your babies is now settled into a home of its own. Though my main aim is to see my name across a cover of a book, I love finding homes for my stories between the covers of a book with other writing friends’ stories. It feels lovely to know you are sharing your joy with others. 🙂

    • Hi Paula,
      Yes, it does bring a great sense of satisfaction that it’s out there rather than buried in the bowels of the computer! I was lucky enough this week to get notification that some of my flash fiction will be included in an anthology – ‘The Best of CafeLit 2013’. Do you write flash? It’s a great discipline as it really makes you think about what’s important. I do have a tendency to waffle on…

      • Helen I’m going to be in the Best of CafeLit 2013 too! No, I don’t write flash fiction only short stories. I shall stand shoulder to shoulder within the covers of the anthology 🙂

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