Category Archives: Competitions

New Rose Prize – Our 2011 Winner’s Story

The judging for this year’s NEW ROSE PRIZE is underway and our judges are hard at work. But what is it like to win? I asked the first year’s winner, NAOMI FRISBY, to share her experience of winning New Rose Prize 2011…

My big, pink suitcase was sitting in the hallway, packed in three layers – shoes, summer clothes, books – ready for a week in Spain. I was sitting on the sofa, laptop open, ready to press send.

Earlier in the week, I’d noticed The New Rose Prize listed on an arts e-newsletter I subscribed to. I only had one story short enough to qualify for entry; it’d already gathered a number of rejections from literary magazines but the competition was free and another failure to place wasn’t going to make a lot of difference. I didn’t think I had a hope of getting anywhere – Miranda Dickinson was a romantic fiction writer, why would she be interested in my bleak literary fiction?

A few weeks later, I was standing in our department office, phone in hand, when it vibrated. A new email. ‘Congratulations, you’ve been shortlisted for the New Rose Prize for fiction’. I read the email to the others in the office, rang a friend, emailed the writer who’d been my university tutor, walked the length of the school telling friends in other departments and posted the news on Facebook.

On the day the winner was to be announced, I was also at work. Miranda had scheduled her post for 12pm, at which time 28 Y9s would be sitting in front of me studying a short story themselves. I timed the lesson so they were doing a task at the crucial moment and positioned myself in front of the classroom computer. Refresh. Nothing. Refresh. Nothing. Refresh. Argh! It was me! And right that moment, I couldn’t tell anyone.

As soon as the lesson was over, I ran down the corridor to my then head of department’s classroom and shouted the news at her. I spent my lunch break texting, emailing and updating Facebook. The feedback from friends and family was lovely. But the feedback from people I’d never met was even better.

People who didn’t know me, who were published writers themselves, liked my story. Miranda Dickinson liked my story. Jamie Guiney said he looked forward to reading more of my work in the future. Maybe I really could be a writer.

The main part of the prize was a weekend at one of Ruth Saberton’s writing retreats in gorgeous Polperro, Cornwall. Ruth was enormously generous with both her time and her resources. After writing a number of short stories, I was attempting (and still am!) to write a novel. My plotting wasn’t sharp enough – Ruth talked me through a number of tools she used and gave me copies of them. She also copied a huge folder of documents to help with submitting to agents, including her own letters, synopses and CV. Ruth’s still the only person outside of my university writing workshop to have read my work in progress and her feedback on that was enormously helpful.

What did winning The New Rose Prize mean for me? It meant that other writers believed in me and in turn that meant I believed in myself. I’m still unpublished but it’s given me the confidence to keep going until the day I can remove the ‘un’.

Thanks to Naomi for sharing her story! We will be announcing the winners of this year’s New Rose Prize soon – keep watching for the latest news…

Enter The New Rose Prize 2013 NOW!

The New Rose Prize 2013 is officially OPEN for entries!

I am thrilled to announce that the competition for unpublished writers is now open and looking for entries in the following categories:

The New Rose Crime Prize 2013 – judged by MEL SHERRATT. Stories must be no longer than 2,000 words and you must not have had fiction of any length published before, either self-published or traditionally published. To enter, send your story as a Word document to: mirandawurdy@gmail.com WITH THE SUBJECT HEADING CRIME by midnight (BST) on 31st August 2013.

The New Rose Prize for Literary Fiction 2013 – judged by JAMIE GUINEY. Stories must be no longer than 2,000 words and you must not have had fiction of any length published before, either self-published or traditionally published. To enter, send your story as a Word document to: mirandawurdy@gmail.com WITH THE SUBJECT HEADING LITERARY by midnight (BST) on 31st August 2013.

The New Rose Prize for Romantic Comedy – judged by MIRANDA DICKINSON. Stories must be no longer than 2,000 words and you must not have had fiction of any length published before, either self-published or traditionally published. To enter, send your story as a Word document to: mirandawurdy@gmail.com WITH THE SUBJECT HEADING ROMANTIC COMEDY by midnight (BST) on 31st August 2013.

The New Rose Prize for Young Adult Fiction 2013 – judged by TAMSYN MURRAY. Stories must be no longer than 2,000 words and you must not have had fiction of any length published before, either self-published or traditionally published. To enter, send your story as a Word document to: mirandawurdy@gmail.com WITH THE SUBJECT HEADING YOUNG ADULT by midnight (BST) on 31st August 2013.

The New Rose First Chapter Award 2013 – judged by MIRANDA DICKINSON. Chapters must be no longer than 3,000 words and you must not have had fiction of any length published before, either self-published or traditionally published. To enter, send your story as a Word document to: mirandawurdy@gmail.com WITH THE SUBJECT HEADING FIRST CHAPTER by midnight (BST) on 31st August 2013.

THE PRIZES – each winner will receive a place on my online writers’ course (worth £80), plus a chapter critique from the category judge and free books. I am hoping to add to these prizes soon, so keep watching for details. All winners and two runners-up from each category will see their entries featured on my blog http://www.coffeeandroses.blogspot.com (all rights will be maintained by the authors of the stories).

It is FREE to enter for anyone aged 15 and over, and entry is open worldwide. The New Rose Prize is specifically for unpublished writers. Authors whose works of fiction have been published before, including self-published either singularly or as part of an anthology, given free in any format (including Amazon, GoodReads and iBooks, etc), or traditionally published singularly or as part of an anthology are not eligible to enter. (Please note, if you have had non-fiction or poetry published before you ARE eligible to enter. The no publication rule only applies to works of fiction of any length.) The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.

All entries must be received by MIDNIGHT (BST) on SATURDAY 31ST AUGUST 2013. Please ensure you write the title of the category you wish to enter in the subject line of your email entry.

You can enter as many categories as you like, but please send each as a separate email. Entries with multiple stories attached to one email will not be considered eligible.

GOOD LUCK!

Miranda Writes 9: Enter The New Rose Prize 2013!

All this year I will be documenting the writing, editing and publishing of my fifth novel, giving you a unique, behind-the-scenes look at my life as a writer. This week, I’ll tell you all about my writing competition for unpublished writers, The New Rose Prize 2013 and bring you exciting details of my sparkly online writing course, which is coming soon…

2013 will see the return of The New Rose Prize for unpublished writers! I’m extending the competition this year to include separate prizes for Crime, Literary, Romantic Comedy and YA short stories, plus for the first time I’m adding a First Chapter award for the most impressive first chapter of a novel (open genre). I’m so excited to be bringing this competition back after a cracking opening year in 2011, which was won by Naomi Frisby. There is a stellar line-up of judges and awesome prizes. Submissions will open on WEDNESDAY 8th MAY and close on Saturday 31st August, with the shortlist announced on 6th September and winners announced on 20th September.

My judges are: TAMSYN MURRAY for the YA Prize, MEL SHERRATT for the Crime Prize, JAMIE GUINEY for the Literary Fiction Prize and I’ll be judging both the Romantic Comedy Prize and the First Chapter Award.

The announcement of the official opening for submissions, plus all the entry details for New Rose Prize 2013 will be published HERE at 1PM on WEDNESDAY 8TH MAY – so make sure you check back then!

I’ll tell you more in this week’s vlog below – enjoy!

p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘New Summer Hat’…

Happy World Book Day!

Happy World Book Day!

Books have been a part of my life for all of my life. I was lucky to be born into a family of book-lovers (book devourers is a more accurate term) and their love of reading and great stories fostered a life-long love of reading and writing in me. As soon as I could read books for myself, I discovered the wonders of Kingswinford Library (my local palace of book dreams) and started an amazing reading journey.

In celebration of World Book Day, here are Ten Books That Changed My Life when I was growing up:

1. A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond

2. The Wombles by Elisabeth Beresford

3. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

4. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Parker

5. Swallows & Amazons by Arthur Ransome

6. The Great Ghost Rescue by Eva Ibbotson

7. The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton

8.The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein

9. I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith

10. Emma’s Island by Honor Arundel

What are your favourite books from your childhood and teens? Tell me below and one person will win a £20 Waterstones Gift Card!

Future Stars – The WINNERS!


I am so excited to reveal to you the winners of my Future Stars competition!

It’s been amazing – over 200 entries, tons of awesome talent and one very tough decision for me. In the end, I’ve chosen seven Future Stars because the entries were so good and I just couldn’t choose between the last three. So two of my Magnificent Seven have been offered scholarships and five regular places. I’m not sure if they’ll be as excited to have to put up with me for a year as I am to work with them!

There were also a group of entrants who were so good that I wished I could take them all on. As a way of inspiring them, I will be contacting them in the next few days to offer something I hope will inspire them and encourage them to pursue their writing dream. Read on after the vlog below to see who those people are…

So, without further ado, here are my magnificent seven!


Congratulations to Dominique Hall, Emma Warburton, Ritzi Cortez, Neal Doran, Emily Glenister, Millie McGarrick and Kate Rhead, who I will be mentoring for the next twelve months!

The lovely writers I will be contacting this week are:
Mel Jordan
Gail Parnell
Anna Baker-Barnes
Catherine Meadows
Sherri Nicholds
Kate Farr
Sophie Waterfield
Alan Geoffrey Smith
Katharine D’Souza
Stephen Blower
Hillary Stevens
DJ Paterson
Julia Perry
Sarah Hughes
Helen McAnerney
Zaphinia Woods
Rachael Leo
Lisa Bambrick
Vanessa Savage
Jacqueline Sheppard
Nicole Trilivas
Laura E. James
Bethany Wheeler
Natalie Martin
Kate Scholefield
Jules Griffin
Romilly Hope
Catherine Miller


Massive congratulations to everyone and I’ll be in touch soon!

Could YOU be one of my FUTURE STARS?

Future Stars logo

Are you a writer? How would you like the chance to be personally mentored by me for a whole year?

I am thrilled to launch my search for five talented writers who will embark on a year of challenge, scary adventure, huge opportunities and lots of fun!

FUTURE STARS is a one year mentoring programme where my chosen writers will have me on hand as their personal cheerleader, mentor, challenger and (hopefully) inspiration coach. I will work with each writer on their personal writing goals, offer help and advice with their work in progress, provide help with editing, give advice on promotion and social media, and will introduce them to people within the publishing industry to experience first-hand what agents and publishers are looking for. Each writer will receive a 30min phone call from me each month and there will be an exclusive networking group for all five writers and me to chat to and support one another throughout the year. There will also be opportunities to meet up!

What I’m looking for

I’m looking for writers of any genre who are committed to investing a year in their writing. Not only will talent count but also a demonstrable desire to make this year the year when things happen. Because of this, four of the chosen writers will be asked to pay a course fee of £80 (because this is an investment in your future career) – and I will choose one writer to receive a scholarship place for free. I’m asking all entrants to submit a chapter of their work, plus complete a personal statement outlining their goals for their writing. It all sounds very serious, but this way people who are really determined to be writers will stand out. I can’t promise you a publishing deal (I wish I could!) but I can promise you will learn about yourself as a writer, hone your craft and put yourself in the best possible place to pursue your dream.

So, are you up for a year of awesome writing adventure? 

To enter, download the application form HERE and send it with
ONE chapter of your work to: mirandawurdy@gmail.com.

APPLICATIONS WILL CLOSE AT MIDNIGHT ON THURSDAY 14TH FEBRUARY. WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON SATURDAY 16TH FEB.

GO FOR IT!