The importance of taking a break

We all need to recharge our batteries from time to time. To take a holiday. But you don’t necessarily need to go away from home to do this; you just need to change your routine.

For a writer, taking a break is important. Take your brain elsewhere for a bit.

I’m taking a break from writing fiction during August. My draft novel is out with beta readers, so it’s a perfect time for me to do something else. Okay, I have one flash fiction story to edit and one review to write. But otherwise I shall be reading, walking and attempting to teach myself to play the mandolin.

Happy August, everyone!

I’m Author of the Month!

Remiss of me not to post this sooner, as July is rushing to its end. But better late than never.

I’m Author of the Month for July with Welsh Libraries.

Read their interview with me here.

It’s lovely to get more coverage for my book In the Sweep of the Bay, and also to do my little bit to encourage more young people to read. Our public library service is a treasure for children and adults alike. Use it or lose it!

Meanwhile, you can still buy In the Sweep of the Bay direct from the publisher, Louise Walters Books, or from any good bookshop.

My first book, The Plankton Collector, is also still available, and Waterstones currently have it on offer in their sale at just £2!

Happy summer reading, everyone!

Disclaimer: Not a book by me!

Book Aid for Ukraine

Literary agent Hayley Steed has gathered offers from people across the literary world to raise money to support people in Ukraine

My small contribution is a signed bundle of my books The Plankton Collector and In the Sweep of the Bay.

Go and look through the lots at Book Aid for Ukraine and please bid if you can.

Flash Fiction Competition – Shortlist

Thanks for all the entries – I enjoyed reading your stories.

In no particular order, the titles of shortlisted stories are:

Cycle

The Beauty of Memory

A Stranger Finds Her Voice

Lost

Congratulations to the authors of the shortlisted stories.

The winner and runner-up will be announced next Sunday, 27th February, and their stories published here in the following days,

Photo copyright Cath Barton

Flash fiction competition!

We’re through the dark days of January – hurrah!

Louise Walters is promoting my novella In the Sweep of the Bay as her Book of the Month in February – both paperback and ebook are available from her website at reduced prices and the ebook is 99p/99c everywhere for the whole of the month – paperbacks will be signed and each comes with a free flash fiction story, one of my Untold Stories of Ted and Rene.

To coincide with this I’m running a flash fiction competition. The winner will have their story published here on my website AND (courtesy of Louise Walters) will receive a copy of my book, or, if they already have it, can nominate a friend to receive a copy..

Here are the rules:

  • Write a flash fiction of no more than 500 words, not including the title (no minimum).
  • Include the words bay, gull, pot and bicycle in the story.
  • End the story with a sentence that is 4 words long.
  • Follow the usual rules about content – nothing defamatory please.
  • One story per entrant.
  • Send your story to me at cath.barton@talktalk.net by midnight (UK time) on Sunday 13th February.
  • Attach the story as a .doc or .docx document. No pdfs or other formats, please.
  • In the subject line of your email type the words Submission: Bay competition. Nothing else.
  • Do not put the title of your story anywhere in the email – all stories will be anonymised before judging.
  • Entries are welcome from writers anywhere in the world.
  • I will choose and publish an anonymous shortlist by Sunday 20th February, and a winner and one or two runners-up by Sunday 27th February.
  • I will contact shortlisted writers before publication of the shortlist, and the winner and runner(s)-up before I announce them.
  • The winner will be offered online publication of their story, plus a copy of In the Sweep of the Bay – paperback or ebook in the UK, but ebook only elsewhere.
  • I will acknowledge receipt of all entries.
  • Any entry that does not follow these rules will be disqualified.
  • Sorry, I cannot offer feedback on unsuccessful entries or enter into correspondence about them.
  • Sorry this all sounds so formal – the rules are to ensure fairness.

Photograph copyright Cath Barton

I encourage you to use the prompt words imaginatively – have fun with the challenge and I look forward to reading your stories.