Submit tiny flashes to Paragraph Planet

Hot Water by Judy DarleyI’m growing increasingly addicted to Paragraph Planet. This fabulous website publishes a single 75-word flash fiction every day (word count includes title). The stories selected are brilliantly diverse and powerful. Visiting each day feels akin to pond dipping – you never quite know what wonders will appear.

They’re also a great place to submit to. Their online submission form is easy, and free, to use, and while there isn’t payment for writers, there is notoriety up for grabs. Each story is shared via Twitter to more than 3,600 followers.

The picture above is the one I created for my story Leavings, which is available to read in the Paragraph Planet archive section – just scroll to December 30th.

Isn’t there something satisfying about crafting a piece that exactly hits 75 words, including title, and ensuring it’s still meaningful? If you write, I urge you to give it a try, and if you read, swing by to read today’s tiny yet powerful offering.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley(@)ICloud(dot)com.

Call for puppet show scripts with eco-oceanic themes

Marionette shop, Prague cr Judy DarleyCommonwealth Resounds are seeking an original 45-minute script to engage audiences with the challenges facing the world’s oceans.

The deadline for submissions is 15th February 2020.

This open call comes via Commonwealth Writers and aims to connect a writer from the Commonwealth to work in collaboration with the Young People’s Puppet Theatre, the Commonwealth Resounds, the Purcell School for Young Musicians, and the Commonwealth Blue Charter.

The chosen script will be interleaved with original music by exceptional high-school-age musicians, and performed with string marionettes in London and Hertfordshire in September 2020. “The selected writer will develop the script with guidance from professionals experienced in scriptwriting for puppetry.”

The ocean theme should include one or more of the issues currently being tackled by the Commonwealth Blue Charter Action Groups:

  • Coral Reef Protection and Restoration
  • Mangrove Ecosystems and Livelihoods
  • Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance (marine plastics)
  • Marine Protected Areas
  • Ocean Acidification
  • Ocean and Climate Change
  • Ocean Observation
  • Sustainable Aquaculture
  • Sustainable Blue Economy
  • Sustainable Coastal Fisheries

In the first instance Commonwealth Resounds invites you to provide a summary of your proposed storyline and a description of the characters in the play, within a maximum of 500 words.

This must be submitted by 15th February 2020, and the preferred storyline will be selected by the end of February. The script will need to be completed by the middle of May 2020.

The selected writer will receive £250 on completion of the script, covering the production in September, and a further £250 royalty each time the script is used in a subsequent production. (For clarity royalties are paid per production, not per performance of a production.)

Find full details and links to useful guidelines on scriptwriting here.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley(@)ICloud(dot)com.

Hidden River Arts invites submissions

Hidden River by Judy DarleyHidden River Arts, an independent literary, visual and performing arts organisation based in Philadelphia, US, is inviting submissions in a range of categories, including anthology, numerous contests, and the possibility of publication in the Hidden River Review.

The organisation is named after the Schuylkill (Dutch for “Hidden River”), which winds its way through the region, and is committed to nurturing the artistic community by providing varied and supportive services to writers and artists of all genres.

They say: “We will search for the writers who are finishing their novels while working as Emergency Room nurses, sculptors working as steam-fitters, song-writing dairy farmers or choreographer cowboys. We want the creative talent that is grown, nurtured, and matured in the kiln of real life experience. It is our belief that many, many talented people go unheard because they labor in obscurity or isolation, working with little or no support for the practice of their art.”

This support includes writing workshops and classes, writing awards, outreach and live arts events, and the Hidden River independent small press.

Find details of all opportunities here, but note that submission fees apply in most cases.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? I’m always happy to receive your news, as well as reviews of books, art, theatre and film.Send me an email at judydarley(at)ICloud(dot)com.

Submit to Novel Nights

Novel-Nights-Literary-Events-Bristol4-photo credit Sophie Carefull

Novel Nights © Sophie Carefull

Having an audience for your prose, whether it’s a short story or a novel extract, is a great way to build up a loyal following as well as get a sense of the story you’re telling.

The session of Novel Nights on 25th October is part of Bristol Festival of Literature 2017, making it a really prestigious event on Bristol’s lit scene. There are three slots of five-minutes for writers, and I’m helping to select the stories, so why not submit?

Closing date for submissions is 1st October 2017.

Grace Palmer, the organiser, says: “We want to hear prose which delights, tells a story with skill, hooks a room of people and won’t make them fidget. If you are chosen to read you get free entry to Novel Nights, your name on the programme and publicised on Twitter, Facebook and on this Novel Nights website.”

The audience are a group of friendly writers and readers, so you’re bound to come away with a buzz.

Submission guidelines  

Please submit the following:

  • An 800-word extract of your writing; no more than 5-minutes reading time
  • Choose a scene from your novel or a short story that will work as a piece to listen to – not too much dialogue but something self-contained that shows off the story and your writing style. Don’t choose a scene with lots of characters in it
  • A photos of yourself  – please label with your name 
  • A cover photo of your book or books, if you are published
  • Your name (or writing pseudonym), and twitter handle
  • Writer Bio – a 30 word version for our programme, a longer version for our information about you, your writing etc

How to send 
Send your work and bio in the body of an email to  
Photos can be sent as an attachment

How we choose

We look for strong, well-crafted writing that will delight and excite an audience.

We choose extracts that fit in with the theme of the night or that fit with each other. If you are not chosen it doesn’t mean we think you are not good enough! These things are subjective.

Good luck!

Find out more at

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at Judy(at)socket creative(dot)com.

Write for

Bloom and Curll bookshop, Bristol

Bloom and Curll bookshop, Bristol

If you’ve made a resolution to have your writing read more widely this year, you might be interested to know that welcomes input from other writers. I’m always happy to receive suggestions for reviews and features, as well as creative pieces produced in response to the midweek writing prompts.

Every piece published includes an author pic and bio, with links so that people can find out more about you.

Book, film, art or magazine reviews

Get in touch and let me know what you would like to review, and why. In the case of art reviews, images are a must, but in the other cases a few stills or the book cover will do. I can contact publishers on your behalf to request review copies to be sent to your home. The word-count should be between 300 and 600 words.

Writing genres or writing tools

This is a great opportunity to share your skills, and talk up recent projects such as novels. Contact me to let me know what you would like to write about, and why. The word-count should be between 600 and 1000 words. Previous examples have included author-in-progress Maithreyi Nandakumar exploring the question ‘When is your novel finished?’ and Nina Milton sharing her tips on thriller writing.

Creative writing

I’m always happy to receive short pieces of prose or poetry inspired by the midweek writing prompts. These are posted each Wednesday and provide story ideas, hints and potential plot lines. No need to send a query first – just email me your creative work as soon as you feel it is ready to be seen by the world!

I also accept ideas for this slot, so please get in touch if you’re happy to share your own prompts for firing up a new creative work. What inspires your writing?

Feel free to spread the word about these opportunities.

To get in touch about any of these slots or just get in touch, you can find me on Twitter @JudyDarley, or send me an email at judy(at)

Opportunities for writers to help young people

Millennium Bridge, NewcastleDo you live in the north east of England? Would you like to use your writing skills to benefit young people?

New Writing North is developing a number of writing projects involving young people. “We will be working with a range of groups including those who are already interested in writing, young people who have never been involved in creative projects before, and ‘harder to reach’ young people, or specific communities of interest.”

It’s a great opportunity to get out from behind your laptop and encourage new generations to play with words!

If you’re interested, send an email to and let her know you’re keen to work on projects with young people. If you have a specific area of interest, or have limited availability, make that clear too.

You’ll need to include your CV, detailing your writing history, publication or production history, and any other relevant work.

Ideally, for practicalities sake, your should be based within easy travelling distance of the North East  – ie Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Teeside and Durham.

Good luck! If you pursue this venture please let them know you found out about it on Thank you!

Lit entrepreneur brings indie authors to market

Daisy_White_Pop-Up_Indie_Bookshop_Ashford,_KentIn the run up to Christmas, any marketing opportunity for independent presses and authors should be embraced. One of the most enticing I’ve encountered comes courtesy of literary entrepreneur Daisy White, who runs literary pop-up Booktique.

Daisy White booktique The moveable bookshop ‘pops up’ in empty shops and community spaces, with shelves occupied by the work of ‘indie’ authors, as well as a gallery section for book-related artwork and products.

Daisy White“I count myself as extremely lucky to be able to combine my love of books, with my own home grown business!” says the brains behind the booktique, Daisy White (pictured left outside the pop-up’s Ashford venue). “My initial aim, and this still holds true, was to find an affordable platform for independent authors and publishers to reach readers at a High Street level, to bring books back to a more personal level. By connecting with the ‘pop-up shops’ trend this has proven very possible, and very successful.”

Authors and artists can interact with their readers/customers, hold book signings and launches, and generally enjoy a host of creative chat and advice. “The internet provides a vast opportunity for ‘indie’ authors, but the Bookshop takes their creativity down to a human level, and provides the kind of exposure needed to stand out from the crowd,” comments Daisy. “Today’s readers are knowledgeable and discerning, and this venture enables them to chat to authors before they buy, discovering the personality behind the book.”

booktique logoDaisy’s current diary for Booktique pop-ups is as follows
From now until Jan 12th – Guildford, Surrey.
Jan 25th – Massive Indie author signing in Camberley, Surrey (free to join in!)
Feb 1st – 28th Cranleigh Arts Centre, Sussex.
March (tbc) Gatwick Airport.

A Booktique website is currently under construction, and will allow authors to access the schedule of pop-up diary, and book signings online. “As well as signings, a most popular new addition is ‘Book of the Week’. This is especially helpful to our overseas members, as they can access High Street promotion in the UK, and join our unique brand of creative fusion.”

Authors wishing to be involved, or just to have their books on the shelves, should send an email to

Submit short fiction to The View From Here

View from the sea cr Judy DarleyThe View From Here literary magazine invites submissions of short stories up to 5,000 words in length.

They seek weird, unusual, thought-provoking and above all, original stories.

It’s worth reading a scattering of the tales posted at The Front View before you submit to get an idea of the type of work they publish.

They say: “We seek to foster a culture of a co-operative environment so that our creativity isn’t just channelled into promoting our own work but also helping others realise their creative potential.”

As I mentioned in a review I wrote of the mag some time back: “A distinct sense of energy exudes from the pages of The View from Here magazine. This is a magazine to leaf through for diversion and inspiration.”

Wouldn’t that be a nice thing to be part of?

It’s free to submit via the link on the website (they’re no longer accepting email submissions).

Find out more here.