Monday, 2 June 2014


It's been a week of small disappointments.  I was pleased to be longlisted, then shortlisted, in The Word Hut 13th Short Story Competition. But I wasn't placed. Still, it was nice to make it into the top ten. And my copy of the latest issue of  Mslexia has arrived. It includes the winning entries in their short story competition. My effort isn't amongst them, which is no great surprise. I made the top 50 in this competition last year, and I was hoping for greater things this time. But never mind. At least now I have a story to send elsewhere.

The end of the month is always a busy time in terms of competition deadllines. I entered four this month, and decided against entering a fifth, which shall remain nameless, because the entry fee was, in my opinion, far too high. One of the things I love about competitions is that, until the results are published, you always have hope. You never know what's going to pop up in your inbox.

I haven't done much actual writing, apart from polishing my 250 word Bridport Flash entry, and entering Saturday's WriteInvite competition, where you choose one of three given prompts and write a story in 30 minutes. So far this year I've won 4 times and been a runner-up twice. It's the only thing I seem to have any success with lately. But even when you don't win, you still have the beginnings of a new story, which is probably the most important thing. Many of my successful stories have begun life in this way.

In other news, I have been reading The Stories of Jane Gardam. I have loved Jane Gardam's books since I was a teenager, and I was interested to see that, in her introduction to this wonderful collection, she claims that she has always preferred writing short stories to writing novels. A woman after my own heart, then. She also says that Irish, French, Russian and American short stories are the strongest; which has increased my wishlist of books.

The anthology which includes some of my work, My Baby Shot Me Down, has received some great reviews on Amazon . It really is worth a read. Here is my cat Lily, guarding a stack of pristine copies.

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