Friday, 25 April 2008

"On Safari"

I was hoping that by now I would be able to tell you I had won something, but sadly the postman seems determined not to deliver any LWES, my phone remains stubbornly silent and my email inbox is filling up with little other than adverts for products that will help me to enlarge things I haven't got.

But despite that I have had a very busy comping week, searching for new comps to put in Grape Vine. I donned the pith helmet and made several safaris to nearby towns, calling in at all the major out of town retail parks along the way. I travel many miles each week in the search for comps, aiming to visit at least one branch of every supermarket chain every week, as well as a selection of retail parks and a couple of High Streets, ringing the changes each week so that between one issue of Grape Vine and the next I have covered just about every shop, superstore and garden centre within a 20 mile radius of home.

Some days I come home laden down with entry forms, in-store magazines and promotional packs, others I am empty handed. This week has been pretty successful both for me and for my "Elves" (a team of helpers from all over the country who help me to find comps which are not distributed well in my area), and I hope readers will find plenty that is new to them in the next issue.

And now I must try to find some time to write my own April tiebreakers - I'm finding that the fewer tiebreaker comps there are around, the harder it is to settle down to write them, so the standard of my entries is dropping due to lack of practise. (And if that should have been 'practice' please don't all shout at once!)


Sunday, 20 April 2008

Well, after the excitement of the test post (don't you just love them?) I suppose I really ought to post something REAL.

My name is Jane Willis and I am a comper. Yes, it is an addiction - as you probably already know if you are reading this. I entered (and won) my first comp when I was three years old - I'm not saying exactly when that was, but it was before the days of colour TV. But I didn't become hooked until the mid 1980s.

Now I am so addicted that I publish my own small-press magazine for compers, The Competition Grape Vine. Originally produced by John Lock, I took over from him when he retired. I also write articles for the magazine Prize Draw Winner, and am a member of the London Competitors Club and several online comping groups and forums. So competitions are a HUGE part of my life, although I am also passionate about cooking and papercrafts.

I'm very new to blogging, as you can probably tell by the appearance of the blog so far, but I am keen to learn and hopefully it will soon start to look like a "real" blog! The blog is going to be much more personal than the Grape Vine website, so you will read a bit more about me and my own comping, my struggles to find entry forms, despair when the postman walks past yet again and, hopefully, the prizes I win.

But there will also be general comping chat which I hope will be of interest to all, as well as some messages intended mainly for Grape Vine readers. Of course I won't be posting anything here which subscribers get in their magazines - that wouldn't be fair on subscribers - but you'll find out here when the latest issue of the magazine is in the post, what date the mid-month update is sent out, and whether there are any amendments or last minute hitches, so do keep dropping in.

And please leave me your comments - I look forward to hearing from you.


Just seeing how this thing works!