They plant a tree with your £5 entry fee. How great is that!
Our short story and poetry competition has an incredible prize fund of £3,000, which will be awarded to each category as follows:
•First Prize – £1,000
•Second Prize – £300
•Third Prize – £100
•Two Highly Commended – £50
In addition, we will be planting a tree in Kenya for each entry, so every entrant is a winner! When the contest closes we will email the GPS co-ordinates of your tree to you.
Please Read the Rules Before Entering!
In brief, they are:-
•Short Stories up to 4,000 words, excluding title
•Poetry up to 50 lines, excluding title and lines between stanzas
•The theme is open
•Online entries preferred but written entries are also accepted (Click here for the address and postal details)
•Open to writers all over the world
•Entrants must be 16 or over at the time of submission
•Entries must be written in English and must be your own previously unpublished work
•Entries must show no name, address or identifying marks other than the title.
•You may submit as many entries as you wish
•£5 per entry
•Closing date midnight 30th November 2014
Click here to read the rules, Ts and Cs in full.
Your submission will also act as your acceptance of the rules.
Click here to enter the competition
I took a walk through Crooked Brook Forest. In spring it is alive with the call of birds and their chicks. The grey green foliage becomes the background for spring flowers. Their colours contrast sharply and draw the eye from the path. Strange and unusual petals grace delicate stems. Tiny trigger orchids nestle beneath larger plants. Their miniature petals hidden, waiting to be found. Over head Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos screeched loudly, but they were too fast for the camera.
A journey somewhere
Red and Green Kangaroo Paw
Purple Enamel Orchid
Spring time – when the bush is filled with beautiful wildflowers and snakes come to visit. My dad walked out his back door last weekend and found a very happy dog. She was lying beside the snake she’d just killed and wasn’t keen on giving it up. Dugites grow up to 2 metres in length and this one was 1100mm. Dad was quite shocked to find one in his garden, even though I had one in my front garden at the beginning of the year and we live in the next street.
I know kangaroos are around all year, but they are so much cuter than snakes. These two were just chilling when I spotted them. They’d already seen me and watched me as I took photos of wildflowers. I think they might have been the same pair who scared the life out of me a few hours earlier. I didn’t see them when I was walking up the hill until they bounded into the bush beside me. My heart stopped for a few seconds. They blend in too well.
Spring is here and wildflowers dot the bush. Little splashes of colour stand out against the grey-green grass. The bush has an abundance of wildflowers and I always feel like I’ve found treasure when I find them. My favourite bush treasures are the orchids. Some of them are common, widespread under the trees. I’ve been told about some very rare ones in a local park, but they can only be found if you have the co-ordinates. Below are some photos of the orchids I’ve found. I don’t know what the bottom flower is, but I love the colour.
Pink Fairy Orchid
The cotton palm in our neighbour’s garden has been chopped down. I watched it weave and sway in the wind. I watched the sun slowly sink behind it. Now there is an emptiness, a void in the sky. On stormy days we’d watch the palm viciously bend in the wind. Whipping back and forth we knew how wild the wind was and how sheltered we were. Sometimes a palm frond would land in our garden, another time part of someone’s roof.
The tree lopping guy spent three days there, cutting down all the trees in the garden. The chainsaw cranked early in the morning and droned all day. I watched him climb into the swaying branches of a tree on our fenceline and wondered if he was crazy. He worked fast and efficiently and branches quickly fell to the ground. Soon only the trunk was left and it too disappeared. A mulcher in the front garden spewed the remains into a truck and then they were gone.
An empty space in the skyline and my wind gauge is gone.
Yesterday was the last day of winter and it was magnificent. We wandered down the beach and watched a pod of Dolphins swim by. Didn’t see any whales, but I always live in hope of spying them from the beach. We did see a ferret too, on a leash. Definitely wasn’t expecting to see one of them down the beach. He was very cute and the kids all want one. They have no chance.
When I handed my thesis in, I thought I’d have loads of time to dally. And I did. For the first two weeks I was a bit lost, no studying to do, no looming deadline. What was I going to do with myself? I went to the movies and caught up with friends and read lots. I baked lots of cakes and muffins and made chilli sauce. But I stopped writing, maybe I needed a break. Now I find I have no time. I caught a glimpse of a liposuction procedure on tv and that’s what has happened to all the free hours I had. They’ve been sucked up and distributed elsewhere. My hours have been liposucked! Today I had great plans, I ended up juicing and freezing a gazillion oranges. I had a look at my very neglected blog and I thought yet again about Artie and Alicia my two characters from my Honours. Their story isn’t finished, although they’ve been quiet lately. Time to visit old friends I think.
PS Got my thesis back with High Distinction :)
These photos were taken a few years ago when I was an undergraduate. It was fun learning how to use my camera. My children Niamh and Setanta were the models. I think they were glad when the assignment was finished. We borrowed Slim Jim the skeleton from their school for the day. He was a great model, never complained and always did what I wanted.
Little Red Riding Hood
Big Bad Wolf
The last shot is my favourite, I had fun learning how to layer and add colour.
There is something magical about watching the sunrise. The sky looks like it is on fire as the sun slowly climbs higher. An early morning wander unearths such treasures.
This little fella was very sluggish and not keen on moving. At first I thought he was dead, but soon realised it was just too cold for him. I went back later and he was gone, probably to find a warm spot.
Let sleeping lizards lie
Spring is on its way and flowers are starting to wake and spread their colourful joy. Hardenbergia or native wisteria rambles through trees adding colour to a drab winter landscape. Soon tiny orchids will appear and then the bush will be awash with spring flowers.
The road to anywhere.
The winding road
Winter brings lots of interesting and sometimes strange fungi to life. They pop up in unusual places, in odd shapes, colours and sizes. I find them fascinating. They have their own ethereal beauty, so delicate and yet so vigorous. A nearby town is well-known for its magic mushrooms. I haven’t tried them so I can’t comment on the effects, but every year the mushies are on the news.
Fairy High Rise
A host of brown fungi