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Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

Well, another year done and what a year. 2015 kicked of with the arrival of the results of my MA Creative Writing  and I was thrilled, after three years of work, to receive a Distinction. In April, around the anniversary of its publication, my debut collection of short stories, Looking Out of Broken Windows, was…

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My Top Books of 2015

Tomorrow I’ll be posting a full cover gallery of the titles I have read in 2015. In the meantime, thought I’d post a few words about my favourite books from this year’s reading. Assembling the gallery post revealed a trend towards prefering slim books (no more than 200 pages or so) to larger tomes, possibly…

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Bath Short Story Award Anthology 2015.

Twenty stories – the winning, shortlisted and a selection of the longlisted stories from the 2015 Bath Short Story Award – “A hot, tragic summer in 1980s Belfast. The loss of love echoed through the Shipping Forecast. A woman writes ‘love’ letters for illiterate girls in the Far East. The Kilburnie Kings hit the town.…

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Why you should apply for an RSL Brookleaze Grant

Awarded by The Royal Society of Literature’s Council, Brookleaze Grants support writers (novelists, playwrights, poets, short story writers) who need time away from their normal lives – to take sabbaticals from their jobs, for example, or to travel abroad for research – to write. A total of £5,000 is available annually, and this may be awarded either…

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Perfect Halloween Reading

Halloween is almost upon us and the Wales Art Review’s Halloween Special, full of tricks and treats, is the perfect literary accompaniment. From walesartsreview.org: This year we are very proud to publish an exclusive and free collection of short stories from a selection of top writers, including Niall Griffiths, Rebecca F. John, Jo Mazelis and many…

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Beautiful Trees review

Just over a year ago, I began my review of Nik Perring’s Beautiful Words with the imperative ‘Do not read this book,’ and I meant it. I didn’t want readers to simply quickly flick through the pages of the book. Perring’s dictionary come love story, beautifully illustrated by Miranda Sofroniou, deserved better than that. I…

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Characters and Stories @ Wolds Words 2015

This time next week I will be leading a writing workshop on character as part of the brilliant Wolds Words 2015. Wolds Words is an annual celebration of reading, writing and performance with events taking place in Louth and the the Lincolnshire Wolds, with events for adults running over October 21st-25th and the children’s and…

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Charles C May on Half-mown Lawn

Charles C May’s blog, Reading the Short Story, is a must read for anyone interested in the critical study of short fiction. Mr May is an academic who has spent many years reading and writing about short fiction and has published a number of books on the subject, including, most recently, the excellent ‘I Am Your…

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Being Dad Kickstarter final few days

As I type this, there are only 5 days to go before the Being Dad Kickstarter ends. Pledges currently stand at £2778 which means that there is still just over £700 needed before the deadline of Monday 12th October. It all feels tantalisingly close at this stage so if you have been thinking of pledging and haven’t…

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The End is coming

  From The Fifteen Paintings website: The End is a collaborative project that explores the nature of ‘endings’. Fifteen paintings, depicting ‘the end’, by artist Nicolas Ruston will provoke fifteen short fictions by fifteen writers. Ruston wanted to examine and interrogate the notion of ‘the end’ by exploring how a temporal art form can operate through different…

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Being Dad Kickstarter is go!

While I was away last week the Being Dad Kickstarter kicked off. I’ve been unable to blog about it until today though, as I returned home from the First Story Young writers’ Festival to find my broadband (and I say broadband but here in rural Lincolnshire it’s more ‘moderately-wideband’) was on the blink. Normal (slow) service…

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First Story Young Writers’ Festival 2015

This week I was fortunate enough to once again be part of the fabulous First Story Young Writers’ Festival. On Wednesday and Thursday over 800 students gathered in the gorgeous grounds of Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford to take part in workshops and performances led by more than 30 writers from across the UK. I…

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Being Dad

Been a bit quiet here on the blog, what with the kids off school for the summer. My writing and blogging time has been squeezed by the inevitable increase in Dad time. Thursday was the kids first day back at school and yesterday I was able to grab a couple of hours between washing, food shopping and the school run…

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First Story Summer Residential 2015

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am currently a writer-in-residence with the charity First Story. For those of you not familiar with First Story, here’s their intro from the website: First Story changes lives through writing. We believe that writing can transform lives, and that there is dignity and power in every…

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2nd Place in 2015 Bath Short Story Award

I am thrilled to be able to share that my story, ‘Dancing to the Shipping Forecast‘ has been selected as Second Prize winning story in this year’s Bath Short Story Award. The Bath Award is a fantastic prize that since its founding has celebrated some fantastic short fiction.   The judge this year was Carrie…

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Driver and the Beautiful Highway short film adaptation

In 2011 I was asked by eMergent Publishing editor, writer and all round inspiration, Jodi Cleghorn, to write an story for an planned anthology of post-apocalyptic love stories called (Nothing But) Flowers. The anthology was part of eMergent’s Literary Mix-tape lineup and contained 24 alternative takes on love at the end of the world, all of…

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What have I been up to lately? Well…

One: I recently attended the launch of Banovallum School’s First Story Anthology, Writing Outside the Box. It has been my privilege to work with the boys at Banovallum and their teacher Miss Lord since September last year. First Story is a UK charity that places writers in secondary schools to work with students on the…

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