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Helvetica for the 21st century

As a bit of a typeface geek, the release of a new Helvetica for today’s devices is something I had to note here. From the press release: ‘Every letter, number, punctuation mark and symbol in the family—nearly 40,000 in all—has been redrawn, analyzed and tested for improved legibility and performance. The result is a better…

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Black hole, son!*

This week saw the first image of a black hole being shared with the world. Image: BBC NEWS Tickles me that, as this image was powering across the the news and social media, I was busy listening to William Basinski’s On Time Out of Time, ‘50 minutes of drone atmospherics that uses exclusive source recordings…

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When It’s Human Instead of When It’s Dog

Amy Hempel’s work holds a special place in my personal canon of short story authors. I first discovered her stories when beginning to write my own. This was back in 2009 and I was grabbing up every recommendation of quality short stories that I could. I forget how I first heard of Amy Hempel, but…

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Mist

This has been fuelling my writing sessions lately. Haunting and transporting. Just one of many from Thom Brennan; much of his discog is worth a look if ambient for reading/writing is your thing.

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Your mother

Last month was Women’s History month and I was thrilled to see that a poem from last year’s First Story anthology by the excellent Judgemeadow Community College was shared across social media. ‘Your mother’ is a great example of the creativity and soul of the students who produced ‘I right Inglish more goodlyer then u.’…

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Trouble Come Down

The sad news of the passing of Shawn Smith found me today. This track from his Satchel days has lived with me since my Uni days (the first time). ‘Who’s gonna show the fortitude?’ And this, from a little later, has always stirred me. ‘You never know until you stop…just carry on.’ Much will be…

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The more things change

Currently reading all round the topic of the short story to fill in the gaps of knowledge lingering in my noggin. Aspects including but not limited to: defining the short story, aspects of craft, historic development of the form, and structural theory. Bliss Perry devotes a chapter to the short story in A Study of…

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The End of the Beginning

The end of my first year as a full-time PhD student in Creative Writing passed in a blur. It was a landmark in my studies that seemed double-weighted given the focus of my research-led creative project: the endings of short stories. Depending on when you are reading this, I am fast approaching or have battered…

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2018 in Books

A little later than usual, here’s my reading of 2018. Might appear a little thin on the ground but in part that is due to the chunk of reading undertaken for my PhD and the fact that, due to my slackness in adding to this post through the year, I have been working from memory…

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Writing goodlyer Inglish

For much of the last year, I have been working as a First Story writer-in-residence at Judgemeadow Community College in Leicester. This has involved delivering 16 workshops over the last eight months or so, along with a visit to the First Story Young writers’ Festival in Oxford. The staff and students have been an absolute…

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My Granddad knows

I am thrilled to be able to share that a poem by one of the brilliant young writers from my First Story residency group at Judgemeadow Community College is featured on this week’s Friday Story here.   Raasmiya’s poem was written during one of my workshops earlier this year, in response to Malika Booker’s poem…

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Hive Young Writers Festival

This coming Saturday, April 14, I will be delivering a short story writing workshop and takin part in a discussion panel as part of Hive Young Writers Festival in Rotherham. From the website: ‘The festival is a chance to network, hear from professional writers, meet like-minded young writers, perform & of course, write! Everyone is…

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The London Magazine Prize-giving Ceremony

Last Tuesday saw me heading down to London for The London Magazine Short Story Prize-giving Ceremony. I had this to say as my train left Grantham station: Suited, booted and on train to big smoke for the @TheLondonMag short story prize giving. First time in ages that I’ve worn a suit. — Dan Powell (@danpowfiction)…

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Shortlisted for 2017 Pageturner Prize

My as-yet-unpublished novel, The Everlasting Knock, has been shortlisted for this year’s Pageturner Prize. Coming so soon after my London Magazine news, this is a double thrill. I am really liking 2017 so far.  The winner was announced earlier this week, along with details of the shortlist: ‘Tibor Jones are thrilled to announce the winner of…

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Two Pair of Nightjars

Spent some of my Christmas break catching up on my reading. I made time to read the wonderfully chilling and complex His Bloody Project (should have won the Booker IMHO), I spent New Year’s Day and the day or two after finally giving Chris Ware’s beautiful Building Stories the time and attention it deserves, and…

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