Category: The Writing Life

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Here Be Brittle

It arrived! Well, it arrived a little while ago, in the countryside, while I was in Oz. My story in Brittle Star Magazine. We had a party on the weekend, and at one drunken point I was wobbling around the lounge room saying “you must see this! I must show...

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Last Line, First Line, Last Line

Over on her blog, Natalie Bowers has an interesting project going. She invites readers to write a story based on the last line of another story. The first week, writers had to use the last line of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. He was soon borne away by the waves and lost...

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Brittle Star Magazine

I’m very pleased to say that my short story “Pharaoh’s Daughter” has been published in Issue 35 of Brittle Star Magazine. I’ve been kicking this story around for ages, finessing and reworking it dozens of times. It’s nice that I can now finally consider it done and it has a...

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How not to sell your book

I’m a member of a Facebook group called “Women Writers, Women’s Books“. It’s an online community of women writers and readers who share their stories and successes, interesting articles, and questions about plot or about publishing. We recently had a discussion about why the group works better than other similar...

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Short and sharp

Well that was quick. After sending off 4 stories just a few days ago, I’ve already got my first rejection! Based on the speed and curtness of the response, I’d say that my story is really not what they were after. It was my first foray into writing horror and...

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Fish Flash Fiction 2015

Fish Publishing are running their short story competitions again, and I’ll definitely be entering. Last year I made the longlist for flash fiction, which I was pretty happy with. Next year, the shortlist (at least)! They’ve got 4 competitions, with some excellent prizes, including 1000 Euro for flash fiction. –...

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Stop Start Writing

You have days, you know. Weeks even, where your output is approximately zero. You blame it on: no time, no internet, too much sun, not enough air-con, Christmas parties, moving house (again!), catching up with old friends, drinking too much beer, have you ever noticed that this chair is just...

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The Long View

I send off a couple of stories each month to various journals and competitions. Sometimes I get published, sometimes I get mercilessly rejected and my heart trampled into the still fiery coals of a summer bonfire. Bastards. I recently entered the Fish Publishing Flash Fiction prize and, although I didn’t...

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Letter Writing

Many years ago, I stayed with a friend in Kendal. He was a locum in the hospital and was living in nurses’ quarters. The room was nothing much, a tiny space with a single bed, a wardrobe, a desk and a window through which we watched with genuine joy as...

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New – Flash Fiction!

Hello gentle readers! I know that you’re all really keen to be picking up more of what I’m putting down. So I’m very pleased to announce the launch of my new project ‘Friday Flash Fiction’. Every Friday I’ll be publishing a new short fiction piece – under 500 words, or...