Once a month I get a dream of a gift from my neighbour. Full of good reads, rants, book reviews and wonderful cartoons, The Oldie arrives like clockwork. I only have to see the pristine, unread, securely sellophaned new copy sitting in the pile of post in our joint entrance hall and I know that, within the next 24 hours, the previous month's copy will be placed at the foot of the stairs waiting for me. So here I am sitting with the February 2012 edition early enough in the month to enter, by e mail the competition of the month. A poem called 'New Shoes' with a maximum of 16 lines, deadline tomorrow 10th February. So I had better get my skates on, or rather, my new shoes.
There are opportunities for writers on the Oldie and my neighbour initially passed on the magazine after seeing an article of mine which had won first prize at the Winchester Writers Conferencehttp://www.writersconference.co.uk/conference.htm. Needless to say a reduced word count to match the magazine's requirements was acknowledged with 'not quite for us' - a very kind way of rejecting your article. I have tried since without success but they do have a page 'Out and About' and you can send your travel tips or stories to them and, if selected for publication, they will pay £50. This month's Oldie includes reference to tipping on cruises which is notoriously high, with service charges either added to your bill or an envelope provided with a suggested number of £££ per day. Reader Helen Graham states that cruisers are entitled to state they do not want tipping charges on their final bill and, furthermore, they do not have to give a reason. With a maximum of 300 words you can e mail a travel tip to firstname.lastname@example.org. I am racking my brains for an idea to contribute. I am sure I can come up with something eventually.
This month Webster's Webwatch concerns his conversion to a Kindle and Richard Ingrams, the editor, rants about the constant barrage of loudspeaker announcements on train stations and on the trains themselves, quite rightly asking how we coped in years gone by. I remember travelling by train with my mother and my sister and we never found ourselves on the wrong train or arriving too late. We expected delays - trains were never on time in the fifties. My mother was an old hand at travelling by train having taken many trips during the war when all the station names were blacked out. Luckily, she knew all the landmarks and could count, two skills that today's commuters might find challenging. After all they are all too busy listening to their ipods and reading e mails on their iphones.
Oldie contributors need to write with a certain humour which is only apparent if writers read several copies of the magazine. Try the Oldie website www.theoldie.co.uk to read the submission guidelines.
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