I was contacted today by someone who entered the original Lady in the Loft competitions many years ago. It led me to realise that we haven’t shared the Lady in the Loft history with you all yet and we probably should. So this is what we are talking about today.
Here you will see who the lady in the loft is, how this all started, why it stopped and where it’s going.
Who Is The Lady?
Without beating around the bush I am the official Lady in the Loft. Kelly. Me. I created and own the branding for Lady in the Loft writing competitions back in 2012 ish. But, I only refer to myself as such when writing officially. Most of the time you will see me as Kelly. Admin. As that is what I do on a day to day basis. I work on the admin side of the site.
It was me who started the original site as a non profit, out of pocket, bit of fun that took off into something crazy. It’s me who reads every single entry into a competition. It is me who trails through pages of artists trying to find the right art to complement work, contacts authors for opinions and writes countless blog posts.
As you can imagine it’s a lot of work, but I don’t work alone. I do have a small team around me that is helping me to get this place running again. Yes by small it is literally friends and family voulantarilly workiing until we start making funds to make it official. In time I may have a bigger team.
Why Lady in the Loft?
This was a nickname. I was, at the time, working in a hotel doing admin in an upstairs room. It was a fun little job which worked around advertising, writing newsletters and blogs and sorting payroll. The staff rarely saw me and referred to me as the Lady in the Loft. I quite liked it. I kept it.
Now it stands for a writing community, writing competitions, books, stories. It is appropriate so I kept the name as I continued the story of The Lady in the Loft.
It was a bit of fun to fill some time. I already wrote and published my own work. I began the competition to help others get published, especially others with dyslexia and other writing problems. This is why spelling and grammar was never considered important, so long as you had a story inside of you that you wanted to share, you were welcome.
WH Smith vouchers were the prizes I gave back then. All the prizes were out of pocket. This became difficult when the hotel I was working for fell into financial trouble and left us without work. Still I continued on. Couldn’t let the fans down.
I made posters, flyers, bookmarks, certificates, stickers. Published two amazing anthologies and then. Everything stopped.
Why It Stopped
Life stopped it. I found a human who I wanted to marry, I got a new job that centred around night work, I went on to live my life with every intention of taking the site back up again in 2016. This never happened. Life got in the way.
I started working in a hotel after the night job. I rose in ranks in the hotel until I was the assistant manager so you can understand how busy my life was. I simply did not have time to continue the work.
I had left the site in someone’s capable hands but those hands saw it more as a hobby then an amazing community. The site fell by the wayside, competitions ended. It was sad.
Why Did It Start Again?
I always intended to get the lady in the loft competitions up and running again. COVID has proved to be good for something. I had the time. Although this time I am not making a hobby out of it, I am making a business out of it.
I love reading the works and talking to a writing community. I enjoy making friends with writers from around the world who share this common love of writing. I am delighted to start the site up again. If I had access to my old site (which I managed to lock myself out of) I would have used it as a starting point.
A fresh start was probably for the best though. Now you get a new look, a new logo, a bright new site with a bright new future.
The Lady In The Loft Aim
Just because it is a business and not a hobby doesn’t mean it won’t be as much fun. On the contrary, this means that much more effort will be put in. You will see regular updates, more competitions, merchandise, opportunities to get involved and more. It does mean some of the competitions now have a charge to enter the original tri-monthly competitions that I used to hold on the first website are still running.
We want to make a community that loves reading and writing, that delights in writing prompts and entering competitions, that shares thoughts on how to write in the best way possible, how to approach agents and get published and how to publish yourself.
We aim to bring together a people who can help each other, encourage each other, and learn as they go. We aim to encourage people to follow their writing dreams, to publish in anthologies those people who are trying to get off the ground, to advertise peoples work and start a mailing list where we can showcase peoples work. We ant to do authors interviews and videos.
In short, we aim to give every writer the best chance possible of getting noticed by readers.
Goals & Thoughts
We are looking at a collection of long and short term goals. These are going ahead one way or another as this site matures. On the left hand side are goals that we are aiming to hit before 2023. On the right hand side are more long term ideas and thoughts. We would love to know what you think of them.
- Consistent competitions run throughout the year.
- A new range of Anthologies.
- Range of Notepads that aid a writer.
- Book Reviewing service.
- Book advertising service through emails, newsletter, websites.
- Book reviews through YouTube videos. (Or TikTok)
- Book Advertisements through Quality PinIt pins and Facebook posts. Let’s try to make a new author go viral!
- Book Writing courses through the website.
- A collection of aides to help one get published in their genre.
- Links to other writers, links to competitions.
- Hold our own writers’ conference/expo. One where you can come dressed as your favourite book character or host your own table with your own books for sale. The aim is to have publishers and agents on hand here to answer questions and get a potential sign up/ book contract.
- Be recognised as a leading authority on quality new authors.
- Be the anthology people and publishers look at to discover more writers.
- Show step by step how to get your book making decent sales.
- Invite best selling authors to inline interviews.
- Expand the book reviewing staff and maybe hire assistant bloggers. Drop me a line if you’re interested.
These are just some of the ideas and hopes of our board. Personally, I am very keen on holding a conference/expo just for writers. In the meantime, if I hear of any I will post them here and may even get a table of my own at one to promote the anthologies and the writers within.
What Would You Like To See?
Of course, if there are specific things you would like to see, things you would like us to do, we can’t follow through unless you tell us. Let us know either in the comments below or use the contact us page if there is something you would like us to work into this all-new Lady in the Loft. Here’s a few things that may cross your mind:
- More big reward competitions
- More competitions in general
- Guest writers
- Video programs on how to write
- Reviews on book advertisers
- Tutorials on how to make your own book website
- Merch that offers the cover of an authors book as an advertisement
- Competitions where the winner gets their book cover plastered on our hoodies while we travel around a city.
Alternatively, comment on our Facebook page and one of the team will respond to you. (Or they’ll let me know and I’ll respond which seems to be the preferred option at the moment.)