The Good Life in Galicia Competition 2022

Short  Story and Poetry Competition and Anthology from Cyberworld Publishing

In 2016 Cyberworld Publishing produced The Good Life in Galicia 2016 after running a competition for short prose pieces in the categories of fiction and non fiction.

In 2017 we added a poetry category, and in 2021 we are again seeking prose pieces in the categories of fiction and non fiction, and poetry.


Prose: Fiction and non fiction 1,200 to 4,500 words in ENGLISH

Poetry: max 60 lines in ENGLISH

Prizes: 15 Euros first place and 5 Euros second place in each section, prose fiction, prose non fiction and poetry (paid via Paypal).

All entries must be available to be published in the anthology “The Good Life in Galicia 2022” in e-book and paperback. Entries to be published will be selected by the volume editors and not all entries may be included (No payments will be made for publication.).


  • Closing date is 1 August 2022
  • All works must be about Galicia in a significant way.
  • No requirement for the author/s to have ever been to Galicia
  • All entries are to be sent by e-mail to thegoodlifeingalicia2017 ATT outlook dot com
  • Entries to be pasted into the e-mail, not sent as attachments.
  • All Entries to be in English.
  • Files to be in .rtf or .doc 2003 format NO .docx. Font: 12 point Arial. Style: Normal. No Headings style please.
  • Direct all enquiries to thegoodlifeingalicia2017 ATT outlook dot com
  • You can find more information and updates for the competition here on our blog or on Cyberworld Publishing https: //

DEADLINE: First of August2021

Get the Good Life competition updates directly to your inbox


The Magic of a Book at Christmastime

Author Heath Savage

Available in Paperback and e-book

For Christmas 1967 I received three books: one was about the birds and animals of Australia, one was about the changing of the seasons, and the third was “The Children’s Bible in Colour.” I still love to read about the natural world, and three months ago I began to study The Bible in earnest, online with an accompanying podcast. I am sixty years old and neither I nor my interests have changed much since I was six.

Back in November when I wrote a blog about “Living the Dream I referred to a manuscript that I had carried around with me for about a decade. Well, this year I finished it. The completed novel emerged through many, many drafts; the characters’ names changed, plot lines altered, and the setting, Edinburgh, moved along with the times, just as real life does. I finished it. I actually wrote a novel! Seventy-four thousand words. Two-hundred and sixty-four pages. And I have been told by my fiercest critic and best friend of almost thirty years that it does not suck!

I re-read it four times, just taking it in: “It’s finished! I did it!” Perhaps I should have run around the garden a few times whooping, or let off some fireworks? But that’s not my style. I sat quietly at my desk beaming into my coffee, but I do confess, I did perform a little “chair dance.”

Now my book “Festival of Death: an Edinburgh Murder Mystery” is uploaded on Amazon, I am referring to myself an as “the author” and I expect people to buy it. I, the kid who slouched at the back of the class until it was time for art or games, when I could come alive. I, the one who couldn’t sit still or concentrate; the kid who distracted herself, and everyone else, from the mysterious tedium of formal education, by being a noisy pain in the ass. I stopped arsing about once, long enough to write a short story; homework for my English O- Level class. I was rather pleased with it at the time. My English teacher read it, raised her eyebrows, and sent me to the Headmistress to “confess” that I had cheated and copied it, or had someone adult at home write it for me. Fat chance: my grandmother could not read or write, and my parents both worked in factories. They left school at 14.

Yes, I have written a book. All by myself. I didn’t copy it. Nobody wrote it for me. I found the self-discipline to sit still, to create a story, characters and events; with a structured beginning, middle and end.  So, two-up to the form mistress who wrote the terse summary on my Third Form Christmas term report in 1974: “Has ability. But fritters it away.” And the same to the voice in my head that mocked me for many years: “Don’t get above yourself, it’s shite, you’re not a writer.”

The book (my book, the book that I wrote, so, get stuffed, Mrs McLaughlin!) is now on Amazon, in paperback: “Festival of Death: an Edinburgh Murder Mystery” by Heath Savage. It’s a bit rude, it’s a bit sweary, it’s a bit like me – not everyone’s cup of Darljeeling. I am quite glad that my dear departed mum and dad won’t be reading it! My best friend, who is a fierce critic and discerning reader, reviewed it and announced proudly: “It isn’t shite!

I am not done; in the new year I will be looking for an agent, a mainstream publisher, and I will be writing the sequel. The working title of this is “Dancing with Death: Another Edinburgh Murder Mystery.” It is a lot darker and grittier than the first, and I have introduced some new characters. Since the 29th December I have outlined the structure and planned out the plot, and I have written almost thirty thousand words.

This book excites me, because it challenges my ability to work within the parameters of the structure and form that I created in the first book: the language, and tone have to be the same, and the characters have to remain consistent with their original personalities and foibles. So, when I place them in new, much darker, situations, their actions and reactions must be consistent. Their personal stories have to evolve in a believable way too. I think this sequel will be the better of the two books, because I am now more confident and my writing has a spare quality that I explored in the first, but did not quite accomplish.

Here’s to 2022, and to success for all who dare to write!

Olivia Stowe – Romance and Murder with a twist

Enjoy this Exclusive Pre-Release Offer

Share this offer with a friend

Curvy-figured Romance novelist Meghan Mason slips into the center of a twisted plot of misunderstanding, deception, and danger when, on a coincidence-driven impulse, she buys and renovates a derelict house, Bugler’s Retreat, on the Beaufort River overlooking the picturesque town of Beaufort in South Carolina.

Here she gradually falls under the spell of her handsome contractor, Bill Hamilton, who is beset by his own secrets and personal interest in Bugler’s Retreat.

Meghan’s uncertainties about Hamilton’s intentions and a shocking revelation ultimately propel her into a precipitous marriage to an older man, the dapper and sophisticated literary agent Donald Drake. When Drake’s grown son, Ted, appears on the doorstep of Bugler’s Retreat, the Drake household sinks into a gripping tension filled state coming to a squall point in a decrepit sailboat, dragging Meghan into the grip of the latest in a series of tragic Drake family coincidences that may not be all that coincidental.

As this unfolds, Meghan discovers an attraction to the attentions of other women, which challenges her understanding of her sexuality.

Official Release Date June 14 but you can buy and read it now at an exclusive discount

This Discount pre release offer expires on 14 June

Guest Blog – Abigail Thorne, author – an introduction to our local mystery writer and a free book

A Gift for you From Abigail

Hi there, everyone,

Let me introduce myself.

My name is Dawn Hawkins and I live in Galicia in Northern Spain. My husband and I moved here about twelve years ago. These days I write under the pen name of Abigail Thorne. I haven’t always been a writer though.

It started with a blog because so many friends were interested in our move. You see, we bought a wreck of a house in an area of Spain they had never heard of and it came with almost five acres of land and to top it off we had nowhere to live in the meantime, while we did it up. (They saw the lack of a roof and a bathroom as problems.)

The reason for the interest is that we weren’t the type of people to up-sticks and go on an adventure. We were, and still are, Mr and Mrs Boring. We lived on a modern housing estate with two children and a dog. Steve worked for a firm of accountants and I was a low grade civil servant. We didn’t do DIY or even gardening, if you don’t count a tomato plant on the patio.

I enjoyed writing a blog but didn’t think that I would continue once we were really settled because the chances are that we would go back to being boring again and our friends and family would lose interest.

We did settle down and when I found myself blogging about the life stories of chickens, and describing our neighbours tractor I started thinking that I would end it gracefully.

At about that time my friend, who now writes as J P Vincent, told me about her friend who was running a writing competition called The Good life in Galicia. I laughed, she sent me the rules.

The next week, as it happened, I was house sitting for another friend. I was without transport in the middle of nowhere and the excitement for the day was taking the sheep to a neighbours field and then bringing them back again.

After twenty-four hours I was so bored that I was contemplating leaving the gates open just so that I could go and round the sheep up again. So I sat down and wrote the outline for two stories and a poem. You see, I had misread the information. There were three categories to choose from. I thought it was like an exam, answer one question from each category.

To make it worse I also misunderstood the whole word count thing. I thought that the maximum word count was the exact number of words you must use. It took me ages to get the number of words exact. Far longer than writing the story. I have learned a lot since then!

The point I’m making is that anyone can enter, you really don’t need any experience nor do do you need to be especially clever. Although I am sure that Jackie’s friend SB at Cyberworld Publishing would be very happy if you are both experienced and clever it’s not a requirement. (I would have remembered that section of the rules)

Why not give it a go?

It’s open to anyone, anywhere, as long as you write about Galicia.

The books are available to buy and the stories give you a good insight into the area.

The reason I’m telling all this is because it triggered something inside of me. I couldn’t stop writing. Short stories at first then novella’s and now full length books. I wish I had started a long time ago.

This Month I have a special offer. If you join my mailing list Here or on my Facebook page

I will send you a Free Novella.

Rings Bells and Murder.

It’s also available to pre-order from Amazon and other major retailers.

Also Check out my website

Abigail Thorne Author – Storyteller, writer of words weaver of worlds (

In the mean time, get that pen out, writing is so much fun even for the bemused and bewildered like me.

If you would like to, but you’re a bit scared or don’t think you’re good enough, email me. I will be happy to chat.

Book Title no no’s

No commas, apostrophes or hyphens please. The most important job of your title and sub-title is to help readers find you through search results.

Yes, you want that title to grab the browsing reader you are hoping will buy your book, BUT for them to see that title they need to have your book come up in front of them.

In a book shop these potential buyers browse books on shelves and books on the middle shelves, closer to eye height, will get the most views and a catchy title will grab their eye, and their desire to find out more about your book. But if your book is on the bottom shelf your catchy title won’t do much for you, Few of those bookshop browsers will ever see it.

Discoverability is everything!

Coming up well in online searches is the same. You must get your book cover with your appealing title in front of that reader browsing the digital bookshelves on Amazon, Smashwords or wherever. That is your goal.

Great reviews etc are the cream, early promo selling your book to fans and friends will help place you higher on searches that find your book, but if your title is not easy to find because buyers don’t type in the title correctly, becasue they leave out the apostrophe or comma in the title, you still wont come up near the top of their search results.

Guest Blog from: Jacqueline Vincent Children’s Author

Preview The LongingJacqueline Vincent Author

Jacqueline reads the first chapter of her soon to be released near future sci-fi, LGBTQ novel The Longing. A moral dilemma which will tear at Stephen’s and Paul’s love for each other, will it destroy them. And time is running out!

Listen to Jacqueline’s read The Longing here and hear her other Podcasts:

  1. Preview The Longing
  2. Jacqueline Vincent Children’s Author
  3. Podcasts March 2021 Blog
  4. Thank you
  5. Yay, Nay and Lockdown
Horse Tales

Thank you to S Bush for the invitation to write for the Cyberworld Publishing and The Good Life in Galicia blog, about my children’s stories.

A combination of my passion for horses, a love of Enid Blyton’s adventure stories, and a fascination for history inspired me to write my first book for children.

Amalie, A Perilous Journey, The Bronze Age chronicles book one, published on Amazon late last year, is a girl with horse adventure story written for children between the ages of 8 and 13, (in US terms Middle Grade). The first three chapters are in The Good Life in Galicia 2019.

A brief summary.

When Amalie and Roble, her pony, return from camping in the mountains, she learns of her family’s death caused by a sick traveller. At their gravesides, she makes a promise to journey to the market in Os Pericos on the Galician coast, sell her family’s produce and meet her mate. This journey will take her through perilous country, test her skills and courage, and expose her to wolves, raging rivers and thieves.

A work in progress cover

And another children’s, girl with horse novel, almost ready to publish is Gelvira, the Goth. The first in the Barbarian series, set along the northern coast of Spain during the 4th and 5th C. A time when the Romans were driving the local tribes, known as the Barbarian hordes, out of Germany as they retreated to Rome. Gelvira, is a spoilt only child who rides her chestnut stallion, Hawk, a present from her papa and avoids completing her chores. After the sacking of their village, the few remaining inhabitants, including Gelvira and her mama, travel with ox waggons and their few possessions to find a new home. The elders decide to give her and her friends the task of finding a new home for the tribe, and also to keep her and her friends out of mischief.

I have also written and self-published two non-horsey shorts available on Amazon.

Here Be Dragons is a treasure hunt with an unusual prize set in Galicia, the shorter version was first published in The Good Life in Galicia, and ‘X’ Marks the Spot, another treasure hunt with an historical bent.

Podcast Show: Horse Tales

Children’s story podcast

I have my first podcast show up and running – Jacqueline Vincent Author, for my adult content. My second podcast show especially for children will, as the title suggests, be about stories with horses. Aimed at 8 to 13 (Middle Grade) year olds who are my target audience and who love horses. The content will include complete short stories, and a series for chapters of longer novel length stories. The podcasts will also include my contact details and ratings to allow parents to choose whether my content is suitable listening for their children. This show is a work in progress and has yet to go live.

Thank you

From day one after my decision to press the Amazon self-publish button, life has been a gigantic roller-coaster ride with some exhilarating highs and crashing lows. I’ve learnt from other authors, editors and courses about the self-publishing industry and its complexities. I have so much more to learn but a day at a time I improve, fill my knowledge bank and develop into the writer I want to be.

Photo by Polina Zimmerman

The Good Life in Galicia Competition: The Good News

The Good Life in Galicia competition is open to stories and poems from anyone, anywhere in the world. The only requirement is that the work is about Galicia in a major way. And entries must be written in English.

There has been some confusion that the entrants must live, or have lived, in Galicia. This is not true. We want as many people from as many places as possible to enter. The whole reason the competition was started was to increase awareness of Galicia among non Spanish people.

Spain is not just the southern summer holiday coast and bullfighting. Spain is also the steep vineyards the heroic vineyards of the Riberira Sacra region in Galicia. The beaches on the rias along the coast. Galicia has more miles/kilometers of coastline than Spain has on the Mediterranean. The Spaniards already know it’s a great place. A lot of them holiday here.

When I first discovered Galicia, while surfing the internet looking for houses for sale in Spain, I had never heard to it. But I soon fell in love with the place–before I even arrived here. And I love it more now that I am lucky enough to live here.

The Good Life competition has had an international flavour from the beginning, and after five competitions, 2016–2020, there have now been entries from people who live in India, New Zealand, Australia, America and the UK. It is wonderful to see such a variety of places represented in our entries. To know that people in these places are becoming aware of Galicia, many of them only through the competition.

Robin Hillard from Australia has been an entrant in several competitions. She has never been here, yet she has written excellent factual pieces about Galica, all researched on the internet. I particularly enjoyed her latest one (which appears in the 2020 Anthology) about the Eiros caves and their Neanderthal inhabitants.

It’s also very satisfying to see entries come from Galicians, and Spaniards from other regions. Galicians are deeply connected to the land through family, as in Vanessa De La Puentas lovely story about her Grandfather in The Man of the Vines. (The Good Life in Galicia )

They also know its legends, learned as children, and are able to pass them on to the rest of us. Noelia Roca Jones loves the old legends and her stories telling them have contributed an historic traditional aspect to the competition anthologies. Stores of mermaids living in the rivers of Galicia and the ghosts haunting the old caminos.

More advice and info about the Good Life in Galicia Competition is coming soon!


Guest Blog from Jacqueline P Vincent Author and Good Life in Galicia competition winner

Many thanks Jackie! A regular Good Life in Galicia contributor and a hard working author of adult and children’s books.

I want to say a big thank you to Stephen of Cyberwrold Publishing for asking me to contribute to the Good life in Galicia blog, it is an honour. I so enjoy writing for the annual anthology and seeing my and other author’s work in print. They gives us a great opportunity to get short pieces out into the public realm, without us having to do the hard work of self-publishing, and boy is it hard work.

A Bit About Me.

Hi, my name is Jacqueline and I’m an author. I write under the name of JP Vincent for my adult books and Jacqueline Vincent for my children’s books.

I live in the glorious region of Galicia, Spain, which has as many beautiful beaches as the Spanish Mediterranean coast but far fewer visitors. John and I arrived here by invitation from the Autocaravanistas de Galicia, which is a very long story already published in The Good Life in Galicia 2016. (Click on the link for a free copy of the e-book.)

I have two horses, Okupa, who had a very sad beginning to his life and Golosina who is my ballet dancer. She spends most of her time flitting from one place to another on her toes, and he spends most of his time stressing. I am working, successfully, with both, using a method of natural horsemanship. We also have a cat, Freddie, who we found with his brother and mum under the eaves of our rented house in Arribada. Mum has since died of old age and his brother stayed in Arribada. We could never catch him, and our neighbour feeds him and the small colony of village wild cats, so we knew he wouldn’t starve.

Ancient past; I have four children who’ve flown the nest and are on their own happy trajectories in life, two live in New Zealand and the other two in the UK.

I originate from the beautiful county of Dorset in the south of England, where my family have lived for several hundred years and in the main were farm workers. One of my ancestors, on the Boyt side of the family, was one of the first signatories to the first union signed in Tolpuddle, Dorset. I come from a long line of pitchfork rattlers and my outlook has changed little; To this day, I write and phone those in power if I believe they are perpetuating social injustices, including a letter to the Pope and a phonecall with the President of the EU.


JP Vincent logo

I have one adult novel published, Mrs Brown, available on Amazon in e-book, KU and paperback. An uplit, historical family saga which follows the life of Angelina Brown from Armenia, growing up in Milan, meeting Robert, who she marries, in London. Together they battle death duties and debt to keep the family estate afloat, despite the spending habits of the Dowager Lady Brown.

I have also published The Red Kimono a novella, which if you sign up to my newsletter you will receive an electronic copy, free! The story revolves around a china statue, which sat on the mantelpiece of Jenny’s family home since her childhood, until vandals break in, now it lays smashed on the floor. The shards reveal a secret. A moral dilemma tale.

I have The Longing, an LGBTQ near future, science fiction novel, set in Dorset, almost ready to publish. The Longing follows Stephen and Paul in their pioneering quest to have a family. Coming soon!


My podcasting studio!

Since publishing my books, I have looked at different ways to market them and one I like is creating a series of podcasts. I have noticed that audio sales of books have increased, so it seems the way to go. A podcast show is one way for me to reach a new audience, one that prefers to listen to stories. My podcast show Jacqueline Vincent Author is currently being broadcast on Spotify, Google podcasts,, and

It is very early days yet, but this blog for my lovely friend and editor of The Good Life in Galicia series, Stephen, plus my monthly blogs will be available to listen to via one of the above broadcasts. The Jacqueline Vincent Author show will also have stories, with transcripts for those who prefer a text version.

Find me also on FB and Instagram: Jacqueline P Vincent Author



Photo by on

The Dangers to Beware of in Choosing Titles and Author Names or Pseudonyms

Discoverability Online is Everything: The Right Titles and Author Names are Super Important.

Beware when choosing titles for your books, and using your own name or pseudonyms for your author name.

ALWAYS do a search in Books on Amazon before you settle on a title or author name. See how often its been used, what a search turns up.

Wherever possible use places or events or whatever people may search for in your titles. So for example a book set in Bulgaria about a theft – don’t call it A Stolen Diamond, the title is generic, there are a few books with similar titles on Amazon. Go search.

If you call it Bulgarian Diamond Heist nothing comes up on Amazon. It will stand out more and come up more easily in searches. Also people searching on Bulgaria and Bulgarian, or Bulgarian crimes will possibly see it in searches, and may buy.

Same with titles like Died for Love, To Die For, Her Killer, etc, they are generic and often used as titles or in part of titles, and your book probably won’t appear in searches till way down the page or on the next page.

Be careful with author names you use also. Never use Mary, David or even Ferdinand  Cross, or anything else Cross. A friend got caught out over this. James Patterson has a series of books out-huge selling books with a principal character called Cross, and those books come up dozens of times before anything written by someone called something Cross appears on the page. Remember Amazon is about selling stuff, not making Mary Cross easy to find, and they know lots of people will buy a James Paterson book if it appears in front of them.

If you are really called Mary Cross it’s a good idea to use a pseudonym, Say Mary Cruzar, cruzar is Spanish for cross and the name does not come up in Amazon searches in books, and this will help you sell books, unless of course you are famous in a particular area of non–fiction and have a following. Then you can possibly get away with being Mary Cross. Discoverability is everything. Never forget that. Being generic is death.

Join 18 other followers