Thursday, July 10, 2014

That Dark Remembered Day

I am delighted to welcome Tom Vowler back to the blog today, to talk about his brand new novel - his third book - That Dark Remembered Day. Tom was here last year talking about his first novel, What Lies Within, and two years before that to chat about his short story collection, The Method. He's not been sitting still much! Below, we play Word Association, with Tom answering in the voice of his main character. But first...

 Alison Moore, author of The Lighthouse, called That Dark Remembered Day "a compelling story about damage done, a touching exploration of the possibility of forgiveness and recovery" and Anthony McGowan, author of Mortal Coil, said: "Almost every page has the sort of perfect sentence or paragraph that makes you want to elbow the stranger next to you on the train, point with a stubby finger, and say: ‘Read that. Just read it.'"

Here's a quick synopsis: 

A son returns to where he grew up, where his mother still lives and where a terrible event in his childhood changed the lives of every person living there. As the story unfolds through the eyes of the son, the mother and finally the father, the reader experiences the taut build up to one day's tragic unravelling, and the shock waves that echoed through a once happy family and close-knit community. Will they ever be able to exorcise the damage of that day or do some wounds run too deep?

Tom is giving away a copy to one lucky blog reader - just leave a comment below! Here's a little bit about Tom: " Tom Vowler is a novelist and short story writer living in south west England. His debut collection, The Method, won the Scott Prize in 2010, and his novel What Lies Within received critical acclaim. He is co-editor of the literary journal Short Fiction and an associate lecturer in creative writing at Plymouth University, where he’s completing a PhD looking at the role of the editor in fiction. That Dark Remembered Day is his second novel. More at"

To whet your appetite further, here are me and Tom playing Word Association, with Tom answering as Stephen from That Dark Remembered Day:


Sanctuary by the sea.


Betrayed in childhood. Forgiveness sought.


Work, the sea, escape.


Eccentric, avoided.




Father remained there.


Broken forever. New one found.


Buried. Unwelcome.


Cover. Truth hidden.




Daughter. Wife. Hope.

Intrigued? You should be! To find about more about Tom's amazing novel, visit his website. Don't forget - to be in with a chance of winning a copy, leave a comment below. Thanks for playing, Tom!


Friday, July 04, 2014

New story and some poetry news

I'm really thrilled to have a brand new story, "War Games" in the Summer Fiction issue of the Wales Arts Review, published today. It's a story I started in Nov 2012 and finished a few months ago, and I'm so happy it's found such a great home, alongside an amazing line-up: Anna Metcalfe, Jon Gower, Gee Williams, Orflaith Foyle, Lauren Oyler, Joel Smith, Noah Cicero, Mark Blayney, Ric Bower, Craig Austin, John Lavin and Gary Raymond. Check out the magazine here.

I was also recently longlisted for the Short Fiction journal competition for another new story, congrats to the 4 shortlisted writers: Elizabeth Baines, Catherine McNamara, Geoffrey Miller and Graham Mort!

And the past month has been a great boost for a fledgling poet - I had two poems longlisted and one shortlisted for the Wirral Festival of Firsts poetry competition, and my pamphlet longlisted for the Flarestack poetry pamphlet prize. Have been grapping with the poetry "no simultaneous submissions" rules for many comps - someone needs to come up with an algorithm for this! - and sending the poems back out, and out again. For, as I said recently on Twitter, this much I know: if you don't send anything out, magic can't happen. Go on, give the magic a chance!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

National Flash Fiction Day 2014

Great excitement here in Bristol over National Flash Fiction Day 2014, this Saturday, June 21st! Here's what's happening, organised by Bristol Flash, do join if you can:

And the official NFFD anthology, Eat My Words, in which I am honoured to have a very short piece, is now out, the print version is available here, and get your copy of the ebook here. 

Happy National Flash Fiction Day!

Saturday, June 14, 2014


I am thrilled to be on the longlist for the 2014 Short Fiction Journal story comp - my story, God Glows, is one that I started in June 2011, finished two years later, and it is 3300 words long. For me, that's LONG, a bit out of my comfort zone so, as I've said here before, this longlisting, whatever happens next (shortlist announced beginning July) this is a real boost - at the very least, I know that someone liked it and thinks it is actually a short story!

Congrats to the whole longlist! Here it is:

‘Lucy’ – Dallin Kapp
‘The Glover’ – Graham Mort
‘The Line’ – Dan Moreau’
‘Finish with the Rose’ – Perry Glasser
‘The Haughty Corpse’ – James Lark
‘The Butterfly Collector’s Wife’ – Holly Dawson
‘The Empty House’ – Jill Widner
‘The River Troll’ – Alison Fisher
‘The Seven Pathways to Resettlement’ – Andrew Neilson
‘God Glows’ – Tania Hershman
‘Critical State’ – Osama Ammar
‘Feathers’ – Ben Cribbin
‘Adieu, Mon Doux Rivage’ – Catherine McNamara
‘Looking for the Castle’ – Elizabeth Baines
‘Dragonflies’ – Geoffrey Miller
‘Borders’ – Angela Sherlock
‘Flipsy’ – Sean McArdell
‘Obsolescence’ – Joseph Mackertich
‘Au Naturel’ – Sara Mae Tuson
‘Thirteen Lies’ – Anne Corlett

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I'm really honoured to be featured on my fabulous friend and poet Julie Maclean's blog, with two (or perhaps three - you'll see what I mean) of my poems - yup, one has line breaks. I know. Daring, eh? I've been doing quite a lot of that recently, really enjoying myself! It's wonderful to attempt something new, scary too but it keeps me on my toes.

I've been reading loads of poetry too - here are a few recent favourites:
Dreamwood by Adrienne Rich
The Colonel by Carolyn Forche
Stars and Planets by Norman MacCaig