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18 November 2014

Wow! Fantastic Prize for indie or unpublished authors!

The SilverWood Team - lovely ladies producing lovely books
One of the things I like about my UK indie publisher, SilverWood Books is that they work immensely hard at creating exciting opportunities not only for their own authors but for other writers as well. 

At SilverWood's recent Writing & Self-Publishing Open Day, Publishing Director Helen Hart announced that SilverWood had teamed up with Kobo Writing Life to offer a writing competition. The prize…? A digital publishing deal! At the Open Day, she and KWL’s UK Manager, Diego Marano, outlined how the competition would work.

(Diego is such an interesting guy to listen to on the subject of ebooks, if you ever get the chance!). Since then, Helen Hart has let me know that she’s negotiated for Berforts, one of SilverWood’s regular book printers, to sponsor a paperback edition too. So the lucky winner will now receive a digital and print publishing package, while the runner up gets a Kobo Aura H2O (their new waterproof e-reading device…might have to check that out myself for relaxing reading in the bath!).

If you’ve written a novel, or you’re in the process of writing one (and you’re unpublished or self-published) then this competition is a fantastic opportunity. Entrants are asked to submit a one-page synopsis (no longer than 500 words) of the plot of the book they would like to publish along with first chapter (no longer than 5,000 words).

One Winner and one Runner Up will be selected by a dedicated review panel on the basis of the combined strength of the synopsis and the single chapter submitted. 

Find out more about the Open Day Writing Competition on the SilverWood site here and on the Kobo Writing Life site here. 

One of the competition judges is writer and television presenter Dr Sanjida O’Connell. She’s the author of eight books including the historical novels ‘The Naked Name of Love’ and ‘Sugar Island’. Spotting the historical fiction connection, Helen Hart introduced me to Sanjida so we could produce this article for my for Tuesday Talk Slot: 

Sanjida, what are you working on at the moment?
I'm writing a psychological thriller set in Yorkshire. It's part of a two book deal with Corvus; the first one is coming out in spring 2016.

What are you most looking forward to in judging the Open Day Writing Competition?
I'm looking forward to being immersed in someone else's imaginary world, being absorbed by their use of words and transported by their story.

What is best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received? 
Rather than waiting for inspiration to strike - just write! Set aside time, a few times a week if you can, dedicated to writing, researching or editing your manuscript. The rest of the time, carry a notebook with you to jot down any ideas, quirky scenes you observe or conversations you overhear!

Do you have a top tip about promoting books online?
Content is crucial but presentation is also key - so I would make sure you use a good technical editor  and/or copy editor and who will also proof read the final draft.  Also use a graphic artist to create a stunning and eye-catching book jacket, that will work well at thumb nail size as well as full scale. I know many writers say that using these professionals is expensive - but isn't your work worth the best you can afford? 

Thank you, Sanjida!

To enter the writing competition please visit Kobo Writing Life’s 
online entry form

And if you want to get a flavour of what SilverWood’s recent 
Open Day was like, check out their film 
here on You Tube 

I must confess to having a small role myself, and the chance to give my little book ‘Discovering the Diamond’ a wave… and Helen Hart’s just reminded me that ‘DtD’ is a good read for anyone polishing their manuscript before entering a competition! You'll be able to find me quite easily in the video - just look for my 'trademark' hat! 

If you want to find out more about the competition, drop the SilverWood team a line (

visit us on Facebook 

or connect on Twitter @SilverWoodBooks

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