Sunday, January 18, 2015

Making choices - Bare Fiction & Smokelong

I'm thrilled that the winners of the Bare Fiction short story competition - which I co-judged with Rachel Tresize - have now been announced, congrats to:

1st Prize (£500):
David McGrath, Ger Sheen and the Satanists (UK)
2nd Prize (£200):
Allie Rogers, Trout Quintet (UK)
3rd Prize (£100):
Anne Corlett, The Clay Baby (UK)
Highly Commended x 2 (£25):
Roy Marshall, Late (UK) chosen by Tania Hershman
Jenni Lawson, The Present (UK) chosen by Rachel Trezise
Shortlisted (in no particular order):
Paul Nicholas, The Clock (UK)
Annalisa Crawford, 133 Steps (UK)
Frances Gapper, Broken Thing (UK)
Tamara Jones, Dead Daffodils (UK)
Joanna Walsh, Enzo Ponza (UK)
Hannah Gildea, And Still the Sea is Salt (Portland, OR)
Jack Cooke, Still Life (UK)
Penny Simpson, Winter Solstice (UK)
Melanie Whipman, Dissolving (UK)
Paddy Doherty, The Lonely Gene (Spain)
Rachel Cather, Life of a Wasp (Belgium)

If you're interested in how the process worked, you can read our judges' reports here >> 

Also, I've now picked the flash story that will be published in Smokelong Quarterly under my guest editorship and the author of the story has been informed - there were over 100 submissions, thank you to all those of you who sent your work! I'll let you know when the story is published, I hope you'll like it as much as I do!

Friday, January 02, 2015

And the winner is...

Picked randomly out of the hat, the winner of a copy of Writing Short Stories: A Writers & Artists Companion is Tracey Upchurch! Congratulations, Tracey... and commiserations everyone else, but thank you so much for sharing about what and who gives you permission, and the book is available for purchase at the usual outlets, such as Foyles, Waterstones and the Book Depository. Happy New Year of Writing! 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Writing Short Stories... A Xmas giveaway!

It's here!

I'm delighted to unveil Writing Short Stories: A Writers & Artists Companion, co-written and co-edited by Courttia Newland and me, and with 20 VERY FINE guest writers in the centre. It's all about writing and all about short stories, from so many angles and perspectives, and with no "shoulds" and no "rules", and perhaps a little ranting (by me) about the "shoulds" and the "rules" that tried to deny me permission in the past. Permission. Something to be given. Yup.

Anyway, to celebrate, I'm going to give away a copy and all you have to do is comment here (by Jan 1st) and tell us who or what gave YOU permission, in some way, in your life. Am happy to post anywhere in the world. Dang, I'm feeling generous!

The book is published by Bloomsbury, and on Feb 25th in London, I'll be interviewing three AMAZING Bloomsbury short story writers - Jon McGregor, Lucy Wood and Eliza Roberston - about that very subject, permission and risk, in their own writings, so do come along, share your stories with us. More information here.

I'm reading at Loose Muse on Wed Jan 14th, at the Poetry Cafe in London, would be lovely to see you there, too!

Don't forget to comment to be in with a chance of winning a book...

Friday, December 12, 2014

This Time It's You

So, enough of the stuff about me - this time it's about you and your stories. I am delighted to have been asked to be Guest Editor at the excellent flash fiction publication, Smokelong Quarterly, for the week of Jan 5th- 9th, and so I will be wanting to read YOUR fantastic flash fictions. No, don't ask me what I like - I have no genre preferences, no length preferences (Smokelong only publishes work up to 1000 words), no style preferences. Grab me, surprise me, delight me.
Submissions guidelines are here - but do wait until Jan 5th if you want it to be me who is reading 'em!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Yes It's All Me Me Me... new poem & new short story

Sorry for the trumpet-blowing, but here it
is - first, I have a new poem in Issue 6, published today, of the delightful Poems in Which, entitled Poem in Which I Learn That Some People Are Better At This Than I Am. It is entirely autobiographical! Check out the whole issue, it's wonderful. 

I also have a new SoundCloud page where you can listen to me reading some of my stories & poems. Any requests?

Talking of listening, this Friday, Dec 5th, I am thrilled to have a brand new short story on BBC Radio 4, About Time - which may or may not be a time-travel-themed romp, but will be read deliciously straight into your ear by the wonderful Stephen Hogan! I went to hear him record it, and he utterly captured the voice I had heard in my head as I wrote it. This is the joy of radio - your characters, who've been rattling around only in your own brain, are suddenly alive and out there, because you can hear them! I hope you like it. Do check out the other two stories on the theme of Slow Rides in Fast Machines, by the amazing Adam Marek and Toby Litt, very different takes! In a thrilling development, all the stories are now available for 30 days after broadcast, thank you BBC.

I will be available to answer technical questions on time travel after the broadcast, should you have any. My pleasure. (Or before the broadcast, of course, if you've already got the hang of it.)