Introducing the The Rosemary Goodacre Memorial Short Story Competition

It’s been over a year now since we lost our dear friend Rosemary Goodacre, author of the Derwent Chronicles. In her honour, a group of us have organised an exciting new short story competition

It’s been over a year now since we lost our dear friend, Rosemary Goodacre, author of the Derwent Chronicles, just as her third novel, Until We Can Forgive, was about to be published. In her honour, a group of us have organised a short story competition.

All proceeds of this will go to Rosemary’s favourite charity, Spadework, a charity based in Kent that supports adults with learning and other difficulties.

Rosemary gathered many friends throughout her life, so a short story competition based on the theme ‘Friendship’ is the perfect way to pay tribute to her. Entries should be no longer than 1500 words and the competition closes at midnight on 31st March 2022.

Rosemary was a talented and widely published short story writer. An accomplished poet, she won various competitions and was an enthusiastic member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Write Place, where she honed her craft and made many friends along the way. The high spot of her writing career was the publication of ‘The Derwent Chronicles’, her wonderful WW1 novels, published by Hera Books.

The main judge for this competition will be Vivien Brown, another friend of Rosemary’s. She has enjoyed an accomplished career spanning short stories, articles and six women’s contemporary novels. Vivien is a fellow of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists and the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

About The Competition:

Full entry details can be found here: Rosemary Goodacre Competition

The competition is organised by ‘The Friends of Rosemary Goodacre’ consisting of Elaine Everest, Catherine Burrows, Natalie Kleinman, Francesca Capaldi, Elaine Roberts, Ann West.

Hay Days

Francesca Capaldi Burgess has just spent a couple of days at the Hay Festival.

x6385 smI was going to call this post ‘Make Hay while the sun shines’, but unfortunately the sun was mixed with a good deal of wind and rain. Nevertheless, I spent an enjoyable Wednesday and Friday at Hay Festival.

On Wednesday, I went with my good friend Catherine Burrows, who like me has had short stories published and is now writing novels. We sat in on an interview with Victoria Hislop, author of The Island, talking about the whys and wherefores of her latest novel, The Sunrise, set in the deserted town of Famagusta in Cyprus. We then did a tour of the festival itself, mostly under huge marquees, before taking the shuttle bus (£1 return) into the town, which is full of new and second hand book shops – well worth a visit. We enjoyed our day but decided that next time (yes, we want to go again!) we’d book more talks, of which there were many on offer.

x Catherine Book 2015-05-27 17.29.06

Catherine was thrilled to find her book in Richard Booth’s famous bookshop!


The Make and Take Tent

The Make and Take Tent

Onto Friday, and a very different day with my daughter-in-law and the three children. Apart from a full programme of entertainment, Hay has much to offer children in the shape of a ‘Mess’ Tent and a Make and Take Tent, where children can partake in various activities. Eleven-year-old Ben enjoyed attending a talk with Michael Morpurgo and a story telling session with Daniel Morden and Oliver Wilson-Dickson, while two-year-old Phynn was thrilled with the Peter Rabbit puppet show.

In the morning I attended a recording of the Radio 4 programme Front Row. The debate was ‘Do we publish too many books?’and covered, among other things, ebooks, diversity and how to engage young readers. You can listen to it here: Radio 4 Front Row debate at the Hay Festival

Samira Ahmed talks to Philip Jones editor of the trade journal The Bookseller, Crystal Mahey-Morgan Digital Sales and Marketing Director at Zed Books, Alexandra Pringle, the group editor in chief of Bloomsbury and Ali Sparks author of 41 books for children.

Samira Ahmed talks to Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller, Crystal Mahey-Morgan, Digital Sales and Marketing Director at Zed Books, Alexandra Pringle, group editor in chief of Bloomsbury and Ali Sparks, children’s author

Meg Rosoff on the Starlight Stage

Meg Rosoff on the Starlight Stage

In the afternoon I attended a talk by YA author Meg Rosoff, a favourite of mine. She talked about how she gets ideas and her own writing process. She reckoned a writer could either pull a story along, like dragging a tyre on a beach to the destination they wanted, or follow it to see where it went, which she felt was the ideal method. She likes to write in thin layers, so that draft after draft she adds a new layer. She never thinks about an audience when she’s writing (which writers are usually advised to do) but asks herself a question and attempts to answer it. Meg was highly entertaining as well as informative and I’d certainly like to hear her talk again if I got the opportunity.

My daughter-in-law’s father went to see Marc Morris, an historian who’s new book looks at King John and whether he was the king we think he was. I’d love to have attended that too but it clashed with Meg Rosoff. Typical!

Along with some awesome and diverse eating places, there was, of course, the huge book tent. Signings were held in here (I couldn’t hang around long enough for Meg  sadly), along with books already signed by attending authors.

The book tent, or marquee, more like.

The book tent, or marquee, more like.

All in all we enjoyed our trips out to Hay and agreed we’d definitely attend again next year.


Hay Montage


You can still see the huge programme on offer at Hay HERE

Hay Festival general website HERE. There are ‘Hay’ Festivals all over the world at different times of the year.



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