It’s the little things that matter the most. It may not mean much to others, but it puts a smile on my face to know someone has singled out my work.

Anthologies are a great way of getting your name known. It is the first step on a long journey. It’s like dipping your toe in the water and getting the feel for something bigger. I still enjoy writing for anthologies as it allows you the spread your writing wings and decide what kind of writer you want to be. What suits your style? I’ve experimented with crime, romance, Victorian gothic ghost stories, sci-fi and fantasy. I’ve written drabbles to 20k words and everything in between.

Writing competitions give you an insight to working to deadlines, something all writers who are serious about their careers will come up against. If you’re taken on by a big agency or publisher you’ll be expected to work to a deadline. Another skill learnt by writing for competitions and anthologies is the word count.

Yes, I know you think writing a novel gives you the freedom to write to any word count you want, but does it?

By writing short stories for anthologies and competitions teaches you to write more concise as you make each word count. You improve your editing skills too as you find yourself wanting to say so much more than the word limit will let you. As you take your editing knife in hand to cut out the dead wood you realise you can add more than you thought you could. A drop in word count give you the opportunity to add more information, improve a character, while tightening the plot line.

This amazing revelation helps you to become a better writer when tackling a novel. I built up a collection of rejected stories that I often find myself reading through for themes and competition entries at short notice. So nothing goes to waste.

Have a great start to a new year by entering a few anthology shout-out or writing competitions, there’s plenty about. Below is a five star review for an anthology my story is in. I’m proud to have my work published along side other amazing writers. Though it is extra special when your work is singled out by the reader ❤️

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