I’ve won something!

I repeat, I’ve won something!

Let me put this into context. I hardly ever win anything. Maybe the odd £10 win on the lottery, but when it comes to an actual physical prize, the general rule seems to be that I won’t win.

One of the blogging writers I follow is Emma Woodcock and she recently celebrated her first anniversary of blogging and gave away a signed copy of her debut novel Darklands. I entered the competition and, surprisingly, won!

I am now a proud owner of said book. Proof below.

Cover of Darklands

My Prize. A copy of Emma’s debut novel Darklands.

So, I said I hardly ever win anything. What is the only other prize I’ve won?

When I was young, I entered a competition in a magazine to win a TWO Week holiday in California. I think it was in Look-in magazine. Now, there’s a blast from the past. There were other prizes including televisions, Atari consoles (this is a while ago remember), radios and a host of other cool prizes. Cool for the 70s at least.

You had to find hidden smurfs in a picture and count them up. This went on for about 4 editions. Emotional blackmail to force you to buy the next week’s magazine.

Suitably blackmailed, I used my pocket-money to buy the magazine and count the smurfs. As you do. After the 4 weeks, I knew I’d counted all them cheeky smurfs and submitted my entry.

Cue waiting for what felt like decades to find out if I’d been successful.

I won!

No, not the holiday.

No, not the television.

No, not the Atari.

I won FOUR plastic smurfs.


smurfs_25apr2009_9921 (Photo credit: patrick h. lauke)

I think I still have them somewhere. Packed away in the loft for when I get bored. Even though that was over thirty years ago, I still remember it fondly.

The moral of this story, is that people feel good when they win something. I know I do.

When the postman (sorry to mention the postman, Robin) delivered my parcel, on my birthday no less, I felt great.

Book giveaways are good business. Signed book giveaways even better.

Thanks for reading. My thanks to Papa smurf for the memories and, thanks again Emma for the prize.

About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
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25 Responses to I’ve won something!

  1. Back in the 70’s I was in town with my friends when we passed a small fete, I had a go at ‘guess the weight of the cake’ and won which was good but I then had to walk the 2 miles home carrying this huge fruit cake.

    Then Back in 2001 I won first prize in a raffle to give away a bicycle at the school fete. I really wanted to win this bike for my 10 yr old son to thank him for all his help and support when I was going through treatment for cancer. Unfortunately the bike was too big to go in my car, so had to be walked home. It couldn’t be ridden as the pedals needed to be fitted and we didn’t have the right tools with us.

    Other than these I guess my best prize ever was ……my life, I know that if I hadn’t had the treatment I had when I had it I would have died in 2001.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Wow, I think the early treatment wins the prize.

      Re the other wins. I think it’s sod’s law that you win things and then have to lug them around. A bike and a big cake are both good wins though. 🙂

  2. robincoyle says:

    Why would you want to win a holiday to California when you could win four Smurfs!?

    I forgive you for the postal comment. Sorta.

  3. EllaDee says:

    Double fiddlesmurfs! Congratulations 🙂 I can’t think of anything better to win than a book. Ok maybe the lottery so I could buy lots of books and a long holiday somewhere warm where I’d have time to read them.

    • Pete Denton says:

      I agree. Win the lottery and then BUY a publishing company to make sure they publish books you want to read. And, the island so you have some peace and quiet to read them. That sounds like a good plan 🙂

  4. Congrats on your win Pete. La La La La La Look-in – definitely a blast from the past. Good luck stopping the Bale train today.

  5. jmmcdowell says:

    I’m not familiar with Look-in, but I remember the Smurfs. 🙂 Congrats on winning the signed book! I was lucky enough to win one last year, too. And I think it had been a while since I had won anything, either….

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks. I think the Look-in magazine was a UK television based magazine aimed at kids. I suppose if it were aimed at adults and you won smurfs there might have been rioting 🙂

  6. Nanny_cool says:

    I used to get Look-In delivered every week, used to love it. Lol

  7. Kourtney Heintz says:

    Congrats! Winning stuff feels awesome. 🙂 Too bad you got those four smurfs and not the trip of your dreams. But a win is a win.

    • Pete Denton says:

      A win is a win indeed 🙂

      I did eventually get my 2 weeks on the West Coast, but I had to pay for it!

      • Kourtney Heintz says:

        LOL. Who knows maybe the free trip would have landed you in a horrible hotel and been a bad experience? And I bet your trip was way better when you got to plan it. 🙂

  8. susannah says:

    Those Smurfs should be worth something now……..

  9. 4amWriter says:

    I don’t win much either, so something like that would make me happy. Congrats!

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks. It’s something so simple and generates a bit more interest in your work and yet I see many authors who don’t do this. Should be high up the list when we publish our books 😉

  10. elwoodcock says:

    I didn’t know it was your birthday! That was good timing then 😀
    I never win anything either, and I used to enter loads of stuff. I don’t any more. I realised I was wasting a small fortune on stamps :-/
    I hope you enjoy Darklands 🙂

  11. Subtlekate says:

    That is so true, Pete. Winning something is a great feeling, particularly when it comes as a surprise.
    How was the book?

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