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…

Catching up

I’m still here.

I’ve been writing, and I’ve completed the draft of a sequel/prequel (what do you call that – a sprequel , maybe?) to In the Sweep of the Bay. It’s currently with beta readers.

Bay has been doing well, I’m pleased to say, and was shortlisted for Best Novella in the Saboteur Awards2021 It’s still available to buy from my lovely publisher, Louise Walters Books or from your local bookshop. Several book groups have chosen to read it and Louise offers a deal on purchases for book groups.

I’m working on another novella-length story – one I started last year and put aside. It’s currently rather baggy and has some significant holes in it. Like an old jumper, but not comfortable like that! I’m hoping to pull it into shape very soon.

Meanwhile I’ve had minor successes – some flashes published, a few longlistings and shortlistings, and one win! I’ll be updating my Stories page with these very shortly.

I’ve also been reviewing for Lunate – reading critically is, I think, an important skill for writers to develop.

So, on this Midsummer’s Day I give you roses from our garden, and wish you sunnier times.

Never too many roses, photo copyright Cath Barton

Do you prefer to listen to books rather than read them?

Maybe you prefer to listen as you find it difficult to read because your eyesight is compromised. Or perhaps you like to knit, or paint, or bake at the same time. Audio books are for you.

The good news is that it’s easy to get access to a wide range of audio books, lockdown notwithstanding.

My novella In the Sweep of the Bay, published by Louise Walters Books and available directly from her as a paperback or e-book, is now also available as an audiobook.

The audiobook is narrated by Nicola F Delgado, and is a 2 hour 43 minute listen.

You’ll find it on Audible or itunes.