Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Saddle up for success with Derby House

Equine student, Pippa Ireland, has won sponsorship from Derby House Ltd for the short story competition she is running as part of her equine management course. Derby House is the UK’s foremost equestrian retailer, catering for all sections of the horse-riding community.

Pippa, a mature student at Bishop Burton College in East Yorkshire, decided to run a short story competition as part of her investigative project.

‘The aim of the project is to be creative with an equine theme,’ says Pippa. ‘I decided upon a writing competition because of the wealth of writing expertise in this country and with Derby House on board I am hoping for a massive entry.’

As well as sponsoring the prize money, Derby House will present a Derby House Samber saddle worth £500 to the winner of the competition’s Pony Club section. Derby House customers can enter for free on production of a Derby House receipt for £10 or more dated between March 1st and May 14th.

Joining Derby House in backing the competition is a long list of prestigious sponsors, and in addition, Pippa has attracted two international award winning writers to back her. The competition judge is Penny Grubb, crime writer and local show judge. A first edition of her latest book, Like False Money, which is set in East Yorkshire, will be a prize in the competition’s special Yorkshire section. Penny says, ‘I will be looking for well-written prose and a story to capture the imagination.’

Entrants will also be offered the chance of a critique from award winning author and writing coach, Linda Acaster, whose latest novel, Torc of Moonlight, is partly set in Malton close to one of the busiest Derby House stores.

Oliver Townend, 2009 Badminton winner and former Rockwood Harriers member, has donated an autographed numnah along with other goodies. Other sponsors include Dengie, Equest, Beverley Racecourse, Racing for Change, Shearwater Insurance and William Fox-Pitt. The prizes include a weekend pass for the Bramham international horse trials 3rd to 6th June, VIP days at the races, and a fantastic Jeffries English leather bridle. In addition, the winner and runner up will be offered the opportunity to feature their ponies in The Jawbone Gang, the third book in Penny’s crime series. Other prizes in this section include insurance vouchers; saddle cloths; baseball caps; a polo lesson; saddlery vouchers and many more. Pony Club entrants will remain eligible for the main cash prizes of £200, £100 and £50 plus runners up vouchers for equestrian photographer, La Scala Studios.

‘My ideal would be to offer a prize for every Pony Club member who enters,’ says Pippa. ‘and I’m optimistic at this stage that I will be able to.’

Bishop Burton College in East Yorkshire has agreed to provide free entry to the short-listed entrants and the competition sponsors to the Pony European Eventing Championships on Saturday 31st July, where we will hold a wine reception and presentation for the winners. This will take place around 4 pm.

The Pony European Eventing Championships has not been held in Great Britain for 13 years. This should be a fantastic day out with a huge amount to see. Alongside the pony cross-country, there is championship dressage and show jumping as well as an international rugby match.

Schedule, rules and entry form can be downloaded from La Scala Studios or email shortstory@lascalastudios.co.uk


Overall winners
1st prize - £200
2nd prize - £100
3rd prize - £50
Other prizes include: VIP days at the races and La Scala Studios vouchers

Overall competition sponsor is La Scala Studios – http://lascalastudios.photium.com

Prize for the best story with a racing theme: a VIP day out at the races sponsored by Racing for Change – www.britishhorseracing.com/racing-for-change/

Pony Club section
First prize: a Derby House Samber saddle or equivalent up to a retail value of £500 together with an Oliver Townend autographed saddle cloth.
Other prizes include: a Jeffries English leather bridle, a weekend pass to the Bramham International horse trials 3rd – 6th June 2010, insurance vouchers; saddle cloths; baseball caps; specialist lessons; saddlery vouchers and many more.

Sponsors in this section include:
• Derby House Ltd – www.derbyhouse.co.uk
• Bramham international horse trials – www.bramham-horse.co.uk
• E Jeffries of Walsall – www.ejeffries.co.uk
• Dengie Feeds – www.dengie.com
• Equest Wormers - www.wormingyourhorse.info
• Master Saddler, Patrick Wilkinson of Beverley - www.patrickwilkinson.co.uk/
• Oliver Townend, Eventer – www.olivertownend.com/
• Shearwater Insurance - www.shearwater-insurance.co.uk/
• White Rose Polo Club - www.whiterosepolo.co.uk/
• Karina Hawkridge at Interdressage – www.interdressage.com
• William Fox-Pitt – www.foxpitteventing.co.uk

Yorkshire section
First prize – signed hardback first edition of Like False Money by Penny Grubb and a family day out at the Great Yorkshire Show 13 -15 July 2010.
Other prizes include: a day at Beverley races; a Border Collie lover’s gift pack (which includes mousemat, coasters, notecards, glass paperweight, fridge magnet and key ring) from renowned UK artist Susan Alison featuring ‘Good Morning, Morning’ one of her best-selling images; a signed set of three books from best-selling Yorkshire crime writer, Danuta Reah; vouchers from a leading Yorkshire photographer.

Sponsors in this section include:
• Great Yorkshire Show – www.greatyorkshireshow.com
• Susan Alison Art – www.susanalison.com
• Danuta Reah, author – www.danutareah.co.uk
• Beverley Races – www.beverley-racecourse.co.uk/
• Penny Grubb, author – www.pennygrubb.com
• La Scala Studios – http://lascalastudios.photium.com

Further information
The deadline for entry to the competition is 15th May 2010.
Rules and entry forms are available by email from La Scala Studios at shortstory@lascalastudios.co.uk or can be obtained by sending a SAE marked ‘Short Story Competition’ to La Scala Studios, Eastfield Farm, Rise Road, Catwick, East Yorkshire, HU17 5PN.

About Derby House – www.derbyhouse.co.uk
Derby House currently has retail stores in Dundonald, Glasgow, Malton, Matlock, Moreton, Olney and Wrightington, plus a brand new outlet in Mold. A quick reference guide to location and opening hours of all stores is at www.derbyhouse.co.uk/stores.asp
For those who prefer to shop from home or online, Derby House has a mail-order catalogue and secure online store.

About Bishop Burton College – www.bishopburton.ac.uk
About La Scala Studios – http://lascalastudios.photium.com
About author, Penny Grubb – www.pennygrubb.com
About author, Linda Acaster – www.lindaacaster.com

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

International rugby match in July

Invitations to this are part of the prize for everyone on the shortlist - 30 in all - for the short story competition. It's happening at the end of July at Bishop Burton College in East Yorkshire.

Monday, 22 March 2010

First day of spring

Yesterday saw us having our first proper walk on the beach in ages. The cat, old enough to know better, hurtled round the garden, a grey blur bouncing from tree to tree. And now the daffodils struggle to catch up. Last year at this time they’d flowered and were dying off. Today is not quite so sunny, but the breeze has lost its icy edge. It’s as though someone clicked a switch from winter to spring.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Short story competition. Please spread the word

Worth a look. There are some very good prizes. I’m judging it (apart from the racing section which is being judged by John Fairley of Channel Four Racing) but it’s being judged anonymously so I’m more than happy to recommend it to readers of my blog, many of whom will be people I know and I will be delighted to see one of them in amongst the winners. There are 4 sections – Open, Pony Club, Yorkshire resident and Racing.

The competition website is http://lascalastudios.photium.com/page9650.html

The open prizes are not at all bad, but it’s of special interest to anyone with horsey leanings because the prizes in that section are stupendous. The winner of the racing-themed story wins a VIP day out at the races for four to include a champagne lunch. The 30 prize winners will be invited to a prize presentation held at a wine reception during the international European pony championships at the end of July. They will get a free day pass to the final day of the championships to see the cross country event and / or an international rugby match. It’s a competition with a difference and is causing quite a stir in horsey circles.

Particularly gratifying has been the interest from younger writers to the extent that there were so many enquiries from under 15s that the organisers added an optional ‘age’ box to the entry form and will have the entries judged in age categories if the number of entries warrants it – so far it looks as though it will.

Please spread the word.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Rare first editions available

By a very creative stretch of the imagination, I have discovered two sources of rare first editions. First is La Scala Studios in East Yorkshire and the second is Camden Lock Books each of whom have a few copies left of the first edition of Like False Money which is now being reprinted as it sold out in under a fortnight. I’m amazed, gobsmacked and extremely pleased. I haven’t even done all my planned signings yet. It’s not stretching the imagination to say that the first edition is now a rare find, it’s the implication behind it that these are therefore valuable books that I have to come clean about. They might be valuable books one day. I hope so. But it would be stretching the imagination to breaking point to recommend them as good investments. At present I can recommend them simply as a good read. And the second edition is on its way.
I know Camden Lock Books takes telephone orders, (020) 7253 0666. I’m not sure about online selling. La Scala might need an e-mail, but they’re planning to set up online sales for the 2nd edition.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Great scones!

Burton Pidsea village hall hosted my Holderness launch of Like False Money. And a great job they did. The hall was beautifully set out. They’d even put flowers on the table where I sat to do my talk.

Almost 50 people came and enjoyed the hospitality of the village hall committee who served tea, coffee, homemade cakes and wine. Thanks to Caroline for organising that side of it.

The event sponsor, Jenny from JD Ryan, was unable to come along at the last minute so we didn’t get to see her products. However, her leaflets flew off the table, especially to the horsey contingent, but as a fair few had flown at the recent pony club conference, we ran out, so will be asking for more.

At the end of the afternoon, the raffle tickets were picked out of the hat by local best-selling author and ex Burton Pidsea resident, Valerie Wood. My original plan had been for this task to be shared between two best-selling authors, but the second of them, Danuta Reah, had to cancel at the last minute with flu. However, the audience was not short of authors, as the Hornsea Writers had turned out in force.

La Scala Studios supplied the books and gave a huge discount to those at the launch. They also gave out leaflets for the short story competition they are running. Terry Bearpark of the local Gazette took some photos and promised a write-up in next week’s paper.

Thank you to everyone who came along.

Like False Money in the writers’ area at ALCS

I am supposed to blog about my own events, but fellow authors, Jan Jones and Sue Knight have done such a good job between them that there’s not much to add, except to say a huge thank you to everyone who came along.
Great to see Sr Rachel after all this time and Jeannette and Katja from CHIME. There wasn’t time to talk and catch up properly. We’ll repair that sometime soon.
The big question for Julie and Fred – was Roger serious that Fred would be the romantic hero in Gill Sanderson’s next steamy romance? I for one can’t wait.
I’ve now done three readings of this book and I’ve self-censored every one of them. When I get the time, I’m going to blog about how that came to happen.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Superwoman hosts book launch in Hull

Like False Money rose from the runway at a small privately hosted launch party in Cottingham, hosted by Janet Blackman (co-editor of Social History, until lately Chair of the UN Association policy committee, national union consultant for AUT, full time volunteer worker for ... the list goes on and on and ends up with makes own chutney!)

Eighteen people enjoyed Janet’s hospitality and I hope also enjoyed listening to me talk about where the book had come from. I included a few tasters of what might come out if a publisher takes up any of my university books.

As a thank you, I gave Janet an original work by local artist, Gabi Dziok, that I’d bought from the Art Box on Newland Ave in Hull. Great shop. I hope the recession doesn’t get it. Hull needs more shops like that. The world needs more shops like that.

School friends Teresa and Ev made it over from Wakefield and Harrogate which was a wonderful surprise. We heard news on the upcoming singer/songwriter, Vicky Robson-Capps. And Suzanne had already read the book – my first (ever) proper reader! I just loved it that the balcony scene had made her toes tingle. It made mine tingle to write it.

Gabi’s sister, Vava, took the photos, and we sold out of books which is one measure of success at an event like this. Thanks to everyone for making it a great night.

Short story competition launch

In Huntingdon on 25 Feb, not so far from York, La Scala Studios launched its competition – Deadline 15 May. I talked about Like False Money and where the horses came from. Linda Acaster gave us a fascinating talk on the history behind her Torc of Moonlight including an amazing insight into the practice of throwing silver coins into wells and just how long we, as a species, have been at it. It made me realise the Romans were here only yesterday and far older footprints are embedded in the ground we walk on.

Young Nick efficiently dispensed drinks and snacks and a good time was had by all. Well, I hope so. Linda gave a tips and tricks talk for potential entrants that she later put on her blog.