Does your vote count? Did your favourite couple get voted off Strictly? Did your friends choose the worst film to download? Fear not, there are places where your voice will be heard.
    If you enjoy a book, you can give it five stars on sites like Goodreads or Amazon, and if you really want to make an author's day, you can vote for their story in a magazine or competition readers' poll. Which brings me to the Pen 2 Paper competition. This year's finalists are now online at, so that readers can vote for their favourite, and I'm happy to say that my story, 'The Chasm', is amongst them.
    The competition includes sections for fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and is run by the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, whose aim is to raise awareness of disabilities, to challenge perceptions and prejudices and to give disabled people a forum. All 360-plus entries had to include a disability in some way, but if you think that would make them gloomy, you'd be wrong. Many are uplifting, some are funny and all offer an insight into how mental or physical disability can affect people and those close to them.
  The finalists in each section are available to read for FREE, so make the most of your chance to choose your favourites. Voting ends on 3rd November at 9am CST.