2008 was the year I finally decided, after years of not writing and half-writing, to get my act together and really do the thing I have most wanted to do since I was a teenager – write. To that end I signed up for an OU course starting in May of that year. The idea was simple. Sign up on the course and use it to get some feedback on my work. See if pursuing this writing lark was really worth my time. If I did well on the course then chances are I had something worth nurturing. I did well enough on the first course to sign up for more over the next two years. The feedback from my tutors gave me the confidence to start subbing my work. Fast forward to now and I am knee deep in an MA, up to my neck in a novel-in-progress, and have a whole load of published short stories.
And this week, about five years to the day since I started that original OU course, I heard that Salt Publishing will publish my Scott Prize short-listed collection, Looking Out of Broken Windows, in 2014. Longtime readers will know what a fan I am of Salt’s short fiction list. Having my debut collection published by Salt has been a goal of mine since discovering their books back in the early days of this blog. Next year can’t arrive fast enough.
For anyone interested to hear more, you can read all about the writing of my collection in my Scott Prize shortlist post over on the Salt blog.
And this year’s winner of the Threshold’s Feature competition is the brilliant and lovely Nuala Ní Chonchúir. Her essay A Trio of Short Stories is a heartfelt examination of three stories that, though read as a child, have had a lasting impact upon her. Those of you who have read the My Life In Short Fiction posts on this blog will know I am always interested in discovering the stories that helped shape a writer’s unique perspective. If after reading Nuala’s excellent essay you are eager to find out more about the stories she cherishes, you can read her Life in Short Fiction post here.
I am delighted to be able to say that my little essay on Stig Dagerman‘s excellent collection, The Games of Night, was the runner-up and will appear on the Thresholds website on Monday (29th April).
A big congratulations to Nuala and the other short-listed and long-listed essayists. I am looking forward to reading each of them as they appear on Thresholds.
Now go read Nuala’s essay already.
So, as you can see from the Vine below, the latest edition of Carve is out and I am a bit pleased about it.
Carve Spring Edition 2013 includes my short story Storm in a Teacup alongside the other two Esoteric Award winning stories as well as interviews with all the authors. My interview with Kristin S. Vannamen (Managing Editor of Carve) was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I was particularly taken by Kristin’s enthusiasm with not just my story but also the short form in general. She even invited my wife to give her perspective on living with a writer, the results of which make up the tail end of the interview. While the Esoteric Award winning stories are available to read on the Carve website, the interviews and other articles are only available in the printed edition.
As a regular subscriber to Carve the arrival of a new issue is always a pretty groovy event for me. The fact that my Esoteric Award winning story is published in the Carve Spring Edition 2013 takes that feeling and turns it up to eleven. Even more exciting is the fact that as a subscriber and a contributor I received an extra copy of the print edition in the post this morning.
Rather than keep the extra copy, I thought it would be sweet to give it away so here’s the deal. My story aside for a moment, I think Carve publishes exciting, challenging and downright special short stories, so to get your name in the proverbial hat, I’d like you to post a comment below telling me what you think makes the short story special as a form. I’ll do the draw a week on Friday so plenty of time to dig deep and really express what it is that makes the short story so sexy.
Once you’ve done that you can always head over to the Carve website and avail yourself of the free to read archive that dates back to 2007. Should be plenty there to keep you busy until I stuff the names in a beanie and get one of the kids to draw the winner. You could even subscribe while you’re there.
So what you waiting for? Tell me what you think makes the short story form so special.
The Carve spring 2013 issue is here, featuring the winners of the 2013 natural disaster-themed Esoteric Awards. You can read all the prize winning stories online now, including my Esoteric Award winning tale, ‘Storm in a Teacup’.
And you can preview the Premium print edition here.
What’s in the spring 2013 Premium Edition?
- The Carve Esoteric Award winning stories
- In-depth interviews with each author
- Reader’s Voice essay about Man Martin’s “Literature Appreciation“
- Reject! story “Make Do” by Molly Laich with comments from Corium editor Lauren Becker
- Honorable mentions: Victoria Large, “Before the Earth Shook” & Jeff Moscaritolo, “A Chance to Get Involved”
- Editor comments on each story, including the honorable mentions
You can order a copy of the Spring 2013 issue or subscribe to receive four issues every twelve months over on the Carve website.
I’ve blogged at length about how much I love Carve. Having a story appear in their pages is a real milestone in my writing life. My story featuring in the current issue aside, those of you with a love of quality short fiction really should be reading Carve. With an archive of free to read fiction stretching back to 2007, there really is no excuse not to.
In other news, the lovely folk at Carve were super nice recently and posted this congratulatory blog post on my Scott Prize shortlisting. Storm in a Teacup is one of the stories included in my shortlisted collection, Looking Out of Broken Windows.
The last week or so has been a bit wonderful. While I was still reeling from receiving an Esoteric Award from the brilliant Carve Magazine, I found my debut collection on the Scott Prize shortlist. Was that really only seven days ago?
I’ve discovered that Storm in a Teacup earned itself a runners-up spot in the first ever Salt Short Story Prize. This means it will appear later this year in Salt’s first New Writing anthology alongside the winners and runners-up for not only the Short Story Prize but the Flash Fiction and Poetry Prize also. Looking forward to reading the other stories, flash fictions and poems.
My essay on Chekhov’s The Exclamation Mark is live over on the short story forum, Thresholds.
And yesterday I found out that my family and I be returning to live in the U.K. in the summer. So all in all very exciting times.
As for today, I’m over on the Salt blog talking about how my collection Looking out of Broken Windows came into being and my future plans. You can also read an excerpt of one of the stories in the collection and find links for a few more that can be read online. To listen to me bang on about myself, my writing and the people who inspire me, head over to the Salt blog now.