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.

Writing plans for 2022

During the last three months of 2021 I focussed on writing my circus novel, and thanks to enormous help and support in Nancy Stohlman’s Flash Novel Mastermind course, I completed a full first draft before Christmas. Its working title is Thistles in the Cirrus, which is clown-speak for Things in the Circus.

My number one priority for 2022 is to do a comprehensive edit of the circus novel and move it forward from there.

At the same time I have started submitting shorter work to journals and competitions. I will be writing new work, and I also have a fair number of flashes and short stories sitting in my ‘unpublished’ file which I will be sending out.

Once the circus novel is at the next stage and I have sent it to first readers, I will be turning to another work in progress. More about that when the time comes.

In the meantime I will be posting news and thoughts about things writerly here at least once a month, and in February I will run another competition, so look out for that.

Happy writing and reading, and do share your writing plans for the year ahead.

Deri dewpond – photo copyright Cath Barton

Celebrating a book birthday

My novella In the Sweep of the Bay is a year old today. It’s alive and kicking and still available to buy from Louise Walters Books in paperback or ebook. It’s an ideal Christmas present, alone or in a bundle with other LWB books. Do your shopping here – https://www.louisewaltersbooks.co.uk/shop-1

I’m working on my long-promised circus novel: its working title is Thistles in the Cirrus. Intrigued?

I’m off for a mini writing retreat in a caravan.

More news soon…