Sam and Elly at Galley Beggars publish brilliant books – I haven’t been disappointed once. And they also respond personally to their customers. Next year they’re doing even more to support writers with their new School offering mentoring, classes and more – read all about it on their website.
Choosing where to submit stories is a tricky business. On the whole I now avoid US-based publications and websites, because I’ve found that most Americans (or at least editors!) don’t seem to ‘get’ my writing. It’s good to see more and UK-based websites (as well as others around the world) publishing short stories and flash fiction and one of my favourites is Fictive Dream.
The Editor, Laura Black, is one of the best I have come across, professional, generous and supportive.
I’m also delighted that Laura has accepted a story from me for Fictive Dream’s Flash Fiction February 2018, which will feature a new piece of flash fiction every day of that month. You can submit until the end of December – see the link above.
Jonathan Gibbs, author of the novel Randall, a wonderful re-imagining of the world of the Young British Artists in the 1990s, has set up a weekly newsletter which generously offers an opportunity to any of us to draw up a personal anthology of 12 short stories. I jumped straight in and my personal anthology was sent out by Jonathan last week.
I relished the chance to revisit stories which have stuck in my mind since I first read them, some many years ago, others more recently. My chosen stories are:
At Sea, Guy de Maupassant
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Rudyard Kipling
The Luncheon, W. Somerset Maugham
A Child”s Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
Curl up and Dye, Fran Landsman
Ernesto, Juana Adcock
Wires, Jon McGregor
The Semplica Girl Diaries, George Saunders
Tiger Palace, Kirsty Logan
Sound Waves, Lane Ashfeldt
The Cruellne, James Clammer
Two, Joanna Walsh
Read more about my choices here – I also give links to where you can read and/or buy them.
I’ve just got back from a week at Tŷ Newydd, the National Writing Centre of Wales. It’s close to the village of Criccieth in Gwynedd, North Wales, and overlooks Cardigan Bay. Dolphins swim in that bay, maybe mermaids too, for there’s more than a sprinkling of magic in the area. It’s been inspiring writers for many years.
I was one of a group of ten writers there this week. Under the guidance of tutors Francesca Rhydderch and Mavis Cheek,who complemented one another beautifully in their teaching, we ten all found that the words flowed freely in this beautiful setting. Helped not a little by the leaven of laughter – writing may be hard work, but it certainly doesn’t have to be solemn.
I came home with the drafts of two new short stories. As well as the makings of a new writing support network. And we’ve all promised to invite one another to our book launches, in the fullness of time!