Monday, 30 October 2017

The Butcheress

Here's one for Halloween;

Through the darkened woods she stole,
Butchers knife in hand,
Following a single groan,
That was the only sound,

All night long she sought her prey,
With calm and steady steps,
Waiting for the hour to come,
Upon which she could act,

The hunted knew his time was near,
Could feel it on the wind,
The ragged breaths that followed him,
The stench that filled the air,

She caught him once before that night,
With silver flashing blade,
Now ruby drops fall from his side,
As he fights to stumble on,

Between the moonlit trees at last,
She saw her chance had come,
And letting out a fearsome screech,
She leapt upon her prey,

The hunted felt his life force flee,
As the blade cut through his skin,
And the last thing that his eyes did see,
Was her frightful manic grin,

The trees that night bore steady witness,
To the crime between their trunks,
And as ruby drops sprayed through the air,
A life that night was lost.

R.A Hill

Thursday, 12 October 2017

4 Spooky Writing Competitions You Can Enter This October

With Autumn now in full swing and Halloween just around the corner it's the perfect time of year to start, or finish, writing some spooky stories. Will it be gruesome? Or ghastly? Perhaps yours is a ghost story? Or is it full of grisly zombies? As we draw nearer to Halloween let your mind wander into the darkness to find wicked witches and evil ogres, creepy vampires and hair raising werewolves, dreadful demons and grimy goblins. The sky is the limit, or perhaps it's the bottomless pit in the back garden of that abandoned house at the end of the street...

I've had a look around and found four terribly spooky writing competitions that you can enter this October!


Horror Scribes are looking for very short stories, only 300 words, around the theme of Deja Vu.
Your entry must be in English, the deadline is the 22nd of October, and the winner will receive a £10 prize paid through paypal.
If you want to enter have a look at their website. Horror Scribes

Image result for halloween

Dark Tales are looking for horror and speculative fiction short stories for their monthly competition.
The deadline is the 31st of October, the entry fee is £4, the story must be no longer than 5000 words, and the winner will receive £100 plus publication in their next anthology.
If you want to enter have a look at their website. Dark Tales


The Furious Gazelle Halloween Contest is looking for excellent writing in any style following the Halloween theme. You can submit up to five pieces and there is no entry fee, there is a prize of $50 and a book of their choosing for the winner, the top contenders will all be published online, and the deadline for submissions is the 26th of October.
For more information have a look at their website. The Furious Gazelle

Image result for halloween

Fanstory are running a Halloween Poetry Contest and are looking for poems that capture the fun, horror, and excitement of this time of the year. All types of poem are accepted, the entry is free, the deadline is the 31st of October, and the winner takes away $100 for a cash prize.
For more information and how to enter take a look at their website. Fanstory

Happy Spooky Writing All! 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Word Play

I love the English language, it's so full of strange sounds and broken rules, and more often than not, several words that describe the same thing. Sometimes just picking which one you want to use can be a challenge in itself!
Of course most of us are happy sticking to the words that we use commonly, the ones that we all understand and are familiar with, especially when it comes to conversation. But I must admit to a bit of a weakness for the one's out there that don't get used quite as often as they could, and the one's whose existence have been almost forgotten, and there are so many of them! 
Strangely beautiful, complex, lilting words that seem to slip around your tongue and fall out of your mouth. They're oddly complex, and in our modern world with our easy to understand every day words, there really isn't a need for such a complexity, such an intricacy in design. But perhaps it is for precisely that reason that we need to hold on to these words, because they are no longer needed, and because, like some half-remembered message from the past, they speak to us of the origin of our wonderful language. 

I've spent some time recently looking for some unusual words, some words that have slipped out of common use and can only seem to be found following a foray of the internet, or a dip into the mysterious depths of the dictionary, and I'd like to share with you some of the one's that I've found recently.  

Absquatulate - To leave somewhere abruptly.

Enervated - Drained of energy.

Anfractuous - Winding, Circuitous.

Noisome - Having an offensive smell.

Cacoethes - An urge to do something inadvisable. 

Superbious - Proud and overbearing.

Tellurian - Of the Earth, inhabiting, or an inhabitant of, the Earth.

Umbriferous - Shady.

Pulchritude - Beauty.

Cyanic - Blue, Azure.

Eurythmic - In harmonious proportion.

Pusillanimous - Lacking in courage.

Erubescent - Reddening or blushing.

Ensorcell - To enchant or fascinate someone.

Hodiernal - Of today.

I hope this collection of strange and unusual words has served to entertain, and possibly even to inspire, you. 

As a writer I enjoy the challenge of trying to put these unusual words into pieces of writing, weaving them into text, and making them a part of my stories. When it works, which it often does, I find the almost musical sounds of some of them can seem to add another kind of depth to my work. 

Either way, it's always interesting to experiment.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

3 Great Writing Competitions You Can Enter For Free This Summer!

Hi Scribblers,

I've been having a nose around this morning and I've found three great writing competitions that you can enter this summer, that are absolutely free! So I thought I'd share them with you.

1. Costa Short Story Awards

This is a great competition to enter. The winner is chosen from five shortlisted stories that are posted on their website and voted on by members of the public, there's a cash prize of £3000, a word limit of 4000, and it's totally free to enter. So what are you waiting for?
The closing date is the 4th of August 2017.

2. Seat 14C Contest

This is a really interesting competition with a bit of difference. The challenge here is to write a short story from the perspective of the passenger sitting in seat 14C on a flight that accidentally winds up going 20 years into the future.
With great scope for an exciting sci-fi adventure, a prize package that includes a trip to Japan, and totally free entry, how could you resist this competition?
The closing date is the 25th of August 2017.

3. 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Commonwealth Writers

This competition doesn't open until the 1st of September 2017, so if you're thinking of entering then you've got a bit of time to prepare. You've got between 2,000 and 5,000 words to write the best piece of unpublished fiction you can, in English. Winners in each region win £2500, and an overall winner receives £5000. And it's completely free to enter!
The closing date is the 1st of November 2017, and with so much time to prepare your story you've got no excuse not to enter!

Happy Writing!