12 September 1997

Tell us "how it is" and you might win £200

"THATS how it is with farming…"

Youve heard that said so many times – and no doubt said it as many times yourself, or words to that effect.

But what has caused – or causes – you to say this? Heres your chance to tell us, especially if you are one of the many farmers wives who enjoys writing, just as the late Veronica Frater did.

Veronica, you may recall, was the diarist* who shared with Farmlife readers the ups and downs of farm and family life for more than six years until her death from cancer in spring 1993.

Since then we have run writing contests in her memory each autumn and as a result shared the lives of other farm families. This year we are asking competitors to take "Thats how it is with farming…" as their theme as they write about their own farm lives.

The prizes offered are a cheque for £200 for the winner plus a six month contract to write a monthly diary column for Farmlife, and cheques for £50 for each of the runners up.

The theme offers plenty of scope, we feel. For example, your entry might be a reflective piece, a forceful airing of something that aggravates you or an account of something that happened. It may be humourous, serious, sad, militant – whatever you will. But what we seek is real life this time, not fiction as we requested last year. And no verse either, please.

That said the only restrictions are that the entry should not exceed 500 words and must have a Veronica Frater memorial contest token attached to it.

Entries should be typed or clearly written and addressed to Veronica Frater Memorial Contest, FARMERS WEEKLY, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS. The closing date for entries is Fri, Oct 31, 1997. No entries will be returned.

Ann Rogers

*They all ran after the farmers wife and Summer holidaze are the two autobiographical books by Veronica Frater roughly covering the period of her Farmlife diaries. Written in the same entertaining style as the diaries, they describe the ups and downs of life on a mixed farm on the Northumbrian coast, with a family of seven children, plus bed-and-breakfast guests and a holiday cottage enterprise.

The books are published by Farming Press and available from farmers weekly Offers, PO Box 261, Slough, Berks SL2 3RU at £4.95 each plus £1.50 post and packing.

Veronica Frater enjoyed writing and was open about her farm family life.

Rules

The contest is open to residents of Great Britain and Ireland except employees of Reed Business Information, the printers of farmers weekly and their families.

The prizes must be taken as offered. If a winner is unable to accept the prize it will be forfeited to the next best entry.

No responsibility can be accepted for any entry lost, delayed or damaged in the post.

Proof of posting will not be accepted as proof of receipt.

The judges decisions and those of the Editor will be legally binding on all matters affecting the contest. No correspondence will be entered into.

The winners will be notified and the results published in farmers weekly.