How to WIN Short Story #Competitions

How to win short story competitions - Dave Haslett & Geoff NelderA few years ago I travelled down to Exmouth on the south coast of England. No, I wasn’t there on holiday although I enjoyed strolling the beach in warm sunshine, pretending not to ogle bathing beauties. My main intention was not to visit the home of my dad and Rosemary, who’d lived in the town for a few years although I went along to spot any of his outdoor potted plants and I chatted to their new owner about how my dad had exercised his Romany gene by moving to Berwick-upon-Tweed before he moved again to Ledbury, and again to Peebles. No, I was there to meet up with Dave Haslett, the originator (with his wife, Kate) of Ideas4Writers, a great site full of ideas, writing engines, and a forum. We had both been judges of short story competitions and had entered many ourselves, winning some.  I’d just completed judging the Helen Whittaker Prize – a tough job as there were 9 rounds amounting to judging and writing a critique on hundreds of stories of many genres. Dave and I thought it would help other writers to pool our experiences. He brought a microphone and tape recorder and we set them up in the dining room of the hotel I was staying at in Exmouth. After judicious editing, and the inclusion of a sample story by the gifted Jonathan Pinnock, the booklet is ready to distribute to would-be competition winners.

Hey, when you win competitions or find your writing has leaped in quality after our competitionbook please drop me a line.

A pdf version is available from Ideas4Writers here.

For UK Amazon Kindle 
For US Kindle

You can freely download a program from the Amazon site to run Kindle books on your PC or Apple.

Okay, now for another unexpected angle. The cover art has a story too. The medal is knitted. It was photographed with a page from Jonathan Pinnock’s winning tale as the background.  Only at the point of publication did Dave notice the word tosser could be read. Not wishing to offend it has been sufficiently airbrushed – haha.

Nelder News

New story published recently and it will only cost you 50p (80 cents) or less than the biscotti for your coffee.

One of my wife’s colleagues ran into a container. Clarify Nelder. Okay, he was sailing to the Isle of Man and the container had fallen off a ship. To a writer of spooky stories this is a rich start to a horror story. What’s in the container? Surely not people, yes but what kind of people… It’s called Voyage of the Silents, published by Pennyshorts


To grab a copy of one of my ARIA books here are the links

Kindle – Amazon.com

Paperback Amazon.com

Kindle UK –

Paperback UK

Publisher’s website with more details and formats.

Buy it quick before you run out of memory


Another science fiction book you might like of mine uses a bit of quantum mechanics but in a fun way. EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEE After timequakes cause chaos, a Mars mission is diverted to chase departing mysterious spheres. Will the spheres listen and return before Earth rips apart?

Check out the page with video clips and purchase links


  1. Jackie Parry

    Whoah – even your blog posts are thrilling – from travel to competitions to inappropriate words to hitting a container on a boat >shudderssigh< – one day I will read your book and win them all!

    • Geoff Nelder

      Your writing deserves awards and praise.

  2. Michelle Medhat

    My family home’s in Exmouth, and I still have a holiday retreat there. I love Exmouth and wondered what holiday you shacked up to explore and capture your literary endeavours. Just curious…Well nosy, really 🙂 Love the blog!

    • geoffnelder

      It was a small B&B in the centre of the town. We took over their kitchen to do the interview because my room was too noisy with outside traffic.


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