Writers are fond of saying our stories are like children: that each is equally loved, and when we send them out into the world, we hope each finds a happy home. But some stories will always feel more precious. I was thrilled recently when one of my favourites found a particularly appropriate home, in The Mechanics’ Institute Review. You can read more about the story, and why it means so much to me, on my blog.
Finding an audience for a short piece is a welcome boost in the long process of writing my novel, which still takes up much of my working life. I’m deep in editing and re-drafting, and when it all feels overwhelming I take comfort from the encouraging comments of novelist Elizabeth Buchan, when she awarded the opening chapters the 2014 Yeovil Literary Prize. It was also wonderful to be shortlisted for the inaugural Bridport Prize First Novel Award.
You can be intrigued by my work here.
The discipline of deadlines is enormously important to my writing motivation, and it’s interesting to be on the other side of the fence, as a reader for The Brighton Prize for short stories and flash fiction. This year’s prize attracted a great response, and a real diversity of subjects and voices. Reading is well underway and the results should be out in October. Good luck to all the entrants!
Reading for the prize is a humbling reminder of the amount of work for all involved in running a competition. As a result, I’ve vowed to atone for past sins by in future pressing ‘Send’ before 11.59 pm…