Book Giveaway: ‘Captain Bling’s Christmas Plunder’ By Rebecca Colby.

I’m delighted to announce, that I have a fab giveaway to share with all of you! It’s a brand new hardback copy of ‘Captain Bling’s Christmas Plunder’ by Rebecca Colby, who’s repertoire of books just seems to be growing and growing. 

So if you’re feeling stuck with what to get the kids this Christmas, or want to be in with a chance of winning this amazingly fun-tastic book, then all you have to do is write #CaptainBling either here in the comments box,
or you can tweet me at sabrinawrites1.
I’ll then pop your name into a hat, and the first person I choose will be sent this wonderful book gift in the post.
Read below to find out more about ‘Captain Bling’s Christmas Plunder’ which is wonderfully illustrated by Rob McClurkan, then simply hashtag away and enter!
Captain Bling and his merry crew set off to find treasure, but they get blown off course and end up at the North Pole. When they spy the elves carefully wrapping presents, the pirates think they have found the ultimate booty! They quickly steal the presents and make their way back to the ship. By the time Santa Claus catches up to them, the pirates are well on their way to escaping. But Santa has a surprise for Captain Bling and his crew!
The winner of the giveaway will be announced on: Thursday 30th November 2017
Good luck :-]

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Do you think Santa will catch Captain Bling? 



Get cracking there’s writing Competitions to enter!

Amazon opens a Christmas Carol Competition

Daily express

1,000 words, UK residents applying by the 7th Nov 2017

The 2018 Times/Chicken house Competition

Chicken house books

A £10,000 publishing contract is up for grabs, so make your way to the site and see if this is the competition for you.

New writers Awards

Scottish Book trust

These guys are looking for picture book, middle grade and YA…what are you doing reading this for, get ter scribbling!

Great, so here’s a little food for thought peeps, if you’ve got something that has been Spellchecked, and is Submission ready, has passion, and a splash of something different, but you haven’t done anything with it yet. Why don’t you take you the opportunity to get it out there, here are two links that can’t wait to hear from  you. 

The challenge

Idea store

[I haven’t given you much time to think about this one, but if you’re sitting on something that could be in with a chance, press send]

Enter with your own theme/genre in mind, there are two catogories teen, and teen leading up to adults. If you do well you’ll be invited to read your work at the Writeidea Reading festival ya-ess!

Closing date 30th Oct 2017 [I told you was a challenge lol, and remember only send in something you’re entirely satisfied with]

Ready to go

Baths festival

[This is work that has had a couple of trained eyes looking over it, again and again and again, and finally it’s ready to put out there in the world]

The Baths Childrens novel award

Middle grade and Young adult novels

Fee: £25 per novel

Closing date 19th November 2017


Will upload more soon ;-]

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Let me know how you get on, and if you know of any competitions or events you think the children’s writing community has just got to know about, then please tweet me!

Sabrina writes1




Got tickets to see the preview of Dr Suess’s ‘The Lorax’

I haven’t been to the theatre for yonks folks, so was really excited to be go and see Dr Suess’s ‘The Lorax’, and it didn’t disappoint.  

We arrived at the back end of a bustling crowd and tried to enter the Old Vic, it was a bit of a haphazard mess if I’m honest, but I kind of enjoyed the chaos, let’s just say  at one point the ushers were nowhere to seen. However once we took our seats -that’s my sisters, nephew and I -and the dimmer switch softened to that hot butter lighting, we were whisked away on a journey of topsy turvy rhyme, and a bright electrically charged show!

[That’s my nephew in the corner of the pic below, sporting the old school Adidas look, proud]

‘The Lorax’ which some of the cast referred to as the weird beaver type creature, has the job of looking after the wonderful truffula trees, which are a thing of beauty and great resource to the forest. But when Onceler a poor man, with big dreams and rich ideas takes the ‘tuff’ that grows from these trees, to make a Thneed -essentially a thing with no use -unlike trees, things start to get a little tricky. Especially when a big shot from out of town, takes a liking to these useless ‘Thneeds’, and helps Onceler to push the product for a profit.

The question is how many trees will he cut down, to gain his fortune?

The tale is told through the greedy green Onceler himself, and as we get deeper into the story, the Lorax which is puppeteered seamlessly across the stage by three people one for his feet, the other his arms, and one to control his face and voice –which I’m happy to report laid off the squeaky, cartoonish approach, and gave it a  cool, gruffily human voice -the audience had become as invested in saving the forest, as they were about saving the ‘The Lorax’ from his ultimate fate.

What a great night out! It was filled with song, dance and oodles of charm, this has motivated me to go out and see more stuff, it’s so easy to get cosy on the sofa, only to move to reach for a chocolate biccy once in a while; but after taking this fun, feast of a show, I’ll try not to leave it too long before I discover another gem and hit the theatre again! 

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What have you seen in the theatre lately?

Writing competitions and Fab events from July 2017

The Winchester Poetry prize

Poetry is having a good time of late, with the likes of George the poet, Kate Tempest, and the brilliant Joseph Coehlo.

Get your poetry skills down by Closing date 31st July 2017.


Gawp Alphabet writing prize

Looks like a lot of fun this one, check it out!

Closing date 31st July 2017


Galley beggar press short story prize

So this comp is very inclusive in comparison to most, there are no age restrictions, both published and unpublished authors are welcome, plus you don’t have to be a UK resident to enter, and the prize is pretty cool too.

£10 Entry fee

Closing date 27th August 2017


The Sunday Times EFG Short story award 2018

This competition is open until 6pm [GMT]the 28th September 2017

You can submit up to 6,ooo words only, prize money £30.000, but you must have a previous publication to apply.


The London short story prize

There doesn’t seem to be a set theme with this UK only residents entry, but if you can bring your story to life in 5,000 words, you could be in the running for £1,000 adding a great little accolade to your name.

Closing date 9th October 2017 [midday]

The caterpillar story for children competition

Well, as you know competitions -and the like- for children by adults are a dime a dozen, but I try my utmost to seek out hidden gems when the time permits. So yes, you’ll be charged 12 euros for the pleasure, but you could write or be sitting on a cracking story [1,500 word limit] that could be a worthy winner! 

Closing date 30th September 2017

Faber & Faber

Chibundu Onuzi at the Edinburgh festival

Abdulrazak gurnah and Chibundi Onuzi will be doing readings from their new novels coming out this year.


Margaret Atwood at the Royal festival hall

Don’t miss her talking on the 2nd October 2017.


The literacy agency

Have organised a fabulous writing retreat 16th-22nd Sept 2017, in beautiful Andalucia Spain. If your into Fiction, Non-fiction or memoirs then experts will be there to give you a helping hand, there’ll be daily workshops not to mention well deserved walks in the mountains, click below to find out more.

Please, Please, Please do read the guides lines/small print/submission details for which-ever of the above snaps up your interest, and of course let me know how you get on if you do go for it.

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Have you ever won or come runner up in a writing competition before? I’d love to hear how you felt and what it was for, you’re welcome to share below.

Book events, and Festivals! April-June 2017

Hello Peeps,

How did you get along with those competitions, I so graciously dished out the last time we spoke? I hope you got stuck in and sent something off *taps wrist* of course I’m only bringing it up, because I did actually take my own advice and enter one myself, otherwise I would’ve quite rightly brisked over the matter lol.

Anyhow I really enjoyed it, working to a deadline and eventually pressing SEND, it’s what every writer needs at some point, a good swift kick up the- Well, you get the picture…ONWARDS!



28th April- 7th May

I thought I was a bit tardy for the party on this one but I’m not, yay! The Hexam book fest is chocco block with some awesome author events, just click on the link to see for yourself. I would- if I wasn’t holding a blunt butter knife in my hand, I’d stab myself in the toe to be apart of it all- But I won’t, because I like my toes too much, oh my god stop talking about toes woman!!!

But seriously this book fest looks great, I especially like the look of Keith Stuarts event ‘Boy made of blocks’ 4th May, and Lemn Nissay new collection of poetry ‘Gold from the stone’ 28th April.

The Greenwich book festival


Literary festivals

26th-27th May

The events for this long sumptuous weekend in Greenwich, are still being finalised so you may not find anything on their website right away. Be sure to head back there, not miss out.


Image result for The Hays book festival

25th May – 4th June 

The full Hay programme will be available in the Spring, but if you want to make sure that you have a spot, then early bird tickets can be pecked up- see what I did there- in the link below.

Highlights I imagine will be, Mr Paul Beatty author and winner of the 2016 Man booker prize ‘The sellout’, and the already-soz-sold out talk with Stephen Fry. But not to worry, there’ll be loads more to get your teeth into.


Festivals families will enjoy.

28th April-1st May

This Bookfest is definitely one for you and the kids, Horrible histories illustrator Martin Brown will be there, plus senior model maker Jim Parkyn from aardman, will be getting his hands dirty with a bit of clay modeling.

Lots of interactive fun, and creativity to enjoy.

World book day

Sat 13th – Sun 14th May

The Barnes childrens literature festival is packed full of bookish goodness too, Floella Benjamin, Abie Longstaff, Alan macdonald and Sarah Macintyre, AND Tony Ross to name but a few, will all be there to make you smile, with a few surprises and no doubt a box  full of bookish delights.

O.k before we get stuck into events, I need to roll around on some fluffy carpet…

Ok, I’m ready!

A mixed bag of Events

inspirations wholesale

2nd April 

Meet the authors- ladybird books for grown ups

Authors Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris will be discussing how this traditional, institutional book has been made relevant to today’s readers.


5th April 

The bailey prize book bar: The shortlist readings at lunch time.

Why not go out and do something different…Baileys is the new Pret dont’cha know?




4th May

Karrie Fransman: The power and potential for comics and graphic novels.

Discover why we’re entering the golden age of comics, with graphic novelist Karrie Fransman in Wrexham.


That’s all folks, until next time that is. Come back and rub our faces in all the stuff you enjoyed, I’m sure we’ll all love to know!


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Childrens Writing Competitions for 2017!

The writing competition for 2017 are now open! Now there are heaps of stuff to choose from when you click on to this site poetry, novels, and crime, so I’ve take the liberty to wheedle out all the children related comps to highlight what they are showcasing. 

Writing for children picture book comp, 3-6 yrs, 600 words max and three top prizes to give away. £6 ENTRY FEE

Stripes publishing: Childrens funny fiction competition, 8-12 max 1000 words with an editorial meeting and book prizes up for grabs. £6 ENTRY FEE

Skylark soaring stories competition: Middle grade and YA, 8-12/12, offering prize money, and priceless consultations. £6 ENTRY FEE

Deadline: 5th May 2017

Don’t miss it!


Ok, Illustrators it’s your turn…

The Macmillan prize for childrens book of illustration  are looking for ‘High quality illustrations’ suitable for children, which you will present in a dummy book showing your own style, and layout. Please read all the details thoroughly, and if you are eligible to enter then get scribbling.

The winner will be notified by the 5th May 2017, and award in June. Please note there are various closing dates for the competition depending on how you decide to submit your work.

Now hold your horses I haven’t only got childrens comps, there’s other stuff too look!

The Creative future competition opens in March 2017

They are looking for poems/flash fiction or both, if you would like to try your hand at entering there’s nothing stopping you, click below for more details.

Happy now? Plus….

The Birdport competitions have been open since Nov 2016, and will be closing Wednesday the 31st May 2017. They are looking for novels, poetry, flash fiction and shorts, so its an eclectic mix, click below then head to competition categories to find out which would suit you best!

See you soon peeps, remember to read the guide lines with a fine tooth comb before you enter.

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Good luck 



Illustrators and Children’s book writers got to see this!

This is a graduation exhibition of brilliantly inspiring illustrators from the Cambridge school of art, and you are in LUCK because this event is….




Absolutely FREE And it’ll still be showing until the 11th Feb 2017 from 10-6pm @ The Candid arts trust 3 Torrens street London EC1V N1Q, Look at how many beautiful contact cards I scooped up!


This was just a tiny corner of work on display but there’s bucket loads to see, you’ll be allowed to check out individual sketch books plus proto types of the finish product. So go be inspired, it’s worth it!

Feb-May 2017


There are some brilliant events coming up, maybe I’ll see you at a few ;-]


Pernilla Lindroos Finnish Childrens Writer will be speaking about her fun characters at the Royal festival hall London, on the 11th Feb, Lev 3 [Green side] FEE £6.

‘Chris Riddell and friends’ -that’s famous friends to you and I- Well this wonderful illustrator and author will be there chatting about his work and drawing too! On the 15th Feb FEE £12.

The very popular Francesca Simon, will be taking part in the Imagine festival at the Royal festival hall, on Lev 5 in the Function room [Green side] FEE £8.


Sheila Kohler‘s gripping memoir ‘Once we were sisters’  will be talked about with Lit critic Lucy Scholes, on the 1st Feb at 6:30pm, London gower street £5 includes a glass of wine *Chink!*.

Tracey Chevalier well known for her bestseller ‘Girl with a pearl earring’ will be at Daunts bookshop talking about her NEW book ‘At the edge of the orchard’ On the 2nd March, 6:30pm FEE £5.

Mark Lawson talks about his latest offering ‘The allegations’ at the ‘Theatre by the lake’ 9th March from 11am.


BBC Broadcaster Gemma Cairney speaks about her new book ‘Open toolkit for how magic and very messed up life can be’ 11th April, 6:30-7:30, Tottenham crt rd FREE ENTRY.

Somerset house presents an event to help speak with confidence, shy budding authors who find this difficult should pop along.

Are you in need of some well respected editorial advice? Go check yourself in with a professional book doctor you won’t regret it.




Free Association Books [FAB] Closing date 3rd March 17, Winner announced 7 April 17, Theme-To have an emphasis on mental health or associated fields- up to 2,500 words FREE ENTRY.

Striking 13, Closing date 31st March 17, Theme ‘Journeys’ (Up to own interpretation) FREE ENTRY, Submit on website form. 

Adhoc Fiction run by Bath fiction award a non profit organisation FREE ENTRY, Flash/micro fiction 300 words. Lots of guidelines please read carefully.


Hourglass literary magazine, Closing date 30th April 17, there’s no theme and is seperated into three parts Essay, Poem and Short ENTRY FEE $15.


The Bristol short story competition, Closing date 3rd May 17, Can submit something of choice including Children YAY!!! It’s £8 per story, 4,000 words max-does not included title. 

I hope you found that useful, if you hear of any other events/comps, or you yourself would like to showcase an event/comp just head to my contacts page and drop me an e-mail.

Good Luck 



Jan-March 2017

Ok let’s do this, and I mean that very much in an inclusive way like me, you, cat, dog, we’re all in this together remember. *imput own BAD Scottish accent here* ‘Pencils Red-dy, Calenders Red-dy!’

Childrens events

Jan 27th Mr Micheal Rosen will be in Liverpool, 2:30-3:30pm plus it’s a FREE EVENT can’t ask for more than that.

Jan 28th 17, 3pm the lovely Janetta Harvey will be giving a short talk on her new bookSaving Maya


13th Feb 12-2pm Both David Roberts and Michele Robinson will be there to sign their new book ‘A beginners guide to a bear hunt’ The event will take place in 107 Charing cross, Folyes, where all Bear hunt adventures will take place!


25th February, 2-3pm in Grand central Birmingham ‘Chasing Danger’ author Sara Grant will be hosting an interactive event for 9-12 year olds. FREE EVENT.

Now of course these events are best shared with actual children, and if you have them FAB! There’s nothing worse for said author to have a bunch of adults mooching about at a childrens event. But if you’re a lone writer like me you still could pop along and see if you swipe a quick chat, buy the writers book, and take a peak at just how these kind of events are set up.

Writing events


Jan 27th, Guildford at 7-8:30pm ‘Get started writing and illustrating for Childrens books’ will be led by Lucy Courtenay.

Wednesday 22nd Feb 7-8pm ‘Getting Published Q&A’– Be prepared with note book and pen to get your queries mulled over and hopefully answered.


Sceptre, Love story Competition under Hodder and Stoughton, Closing date: 17 February so better get  move on FREE ENTRY, 5,ooo-10,000 words, Prize 2hour editorial advice, plus you’ll get to work with 2 commissioning editors.

Reflex Fiction, FREE ENTRY You choose your subject, No Childrens or Poems permitted. Closes 28th Feb 17, winner announced in 30th June 17, 1st Prize £175 2nd £50 3rd £25. For more details:

If you’re into writing Crime then this will be right up your alley the CWA Margery Allingham short story comp, closing date March 1st, FEE £12 inclu VAT, 3,500 words, Prize £100. 

And last but not least…

The Oh Zoe! Rising talent award, No Pics Just write, Picture book stories, Closing date 31st March, FREE ENTRY. To find out more just click

I hope you found that useful, if you hear of any other events/comps, or you yourself would like to showcase an event/comp just head to my contacts page and drop me an e-mail.

Good Luck