I’ve been reading the excellent first issue of Black & Blue. It’s a neat mix of poetry, drama, prose and other writing. Particularly sweet is the openness of the writing that such a broad sweep of genres allows. Particularly brilliant in the first issue is Angela Readman’s ‘The Alaskan Man I Never Married.’ A poignant glimpse of what might have been yet never would. They have copies to buy still at the link above and writers out there should check out the manifesto and get submitting to what is a rather special little journal. Want a taste of this great new periodical, then check out Beckie Stewart’s (Mg) from issue one.

My copy of the Carve Print Edition #1 arrived this morning and it’s a beautiful thing with some fabulous looking stories, the shortlisted entries from the 2012 Carve competition, and features of interest to both readers and writers, including an inspired rejected stories column that features a story previously rejected by Carve that went on to print success elsewhere. You can get a copy here.

And finally, today sees the release of The Best of Friday Flash Volume 2. Longtime readers of this blog will know that I was an active member of the #fridayflash community back in its early days and as such I was excited to be asked to provide the foreward for the second Best of Friday Flash in which I say (amongst other things):

‘This collection brims with ideas and images, characters and situations that will excite and surprise you, but more than that it is itself a snapshot. It is a glimpse of what is great about #fridayflash today. Like the flash fiction contained within, this collection is all about the moment. You owe it to yourself, whether a reader or a writer, to take a moment and enjoy it.’

You can order the collection direct from the eMergent Publishing webstore or via Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

I’m off to read some of the great short fiction in these publications in preparation for Short Story Week next month. What short fiction are you reading right now?