It’s been a long and in many ways rewarding year for me as a writer. Most importantly, I submitted my Creative Writing MA Dissertation (the first eight chapters from my novel in progress and an introductory Essay) and received a Distinction.
After a couple of sometimes quite tumultuous years as I battled with the side-effects of my successful cancer treatment in 2017 (fatigue and forgetfulness being some of them), it was wonderful to get this mark, which was the best I’ve had so far during my MA.
Physical recovery is a lot like writing. I seem to have put a lot of hours in (in the kickboxing gym, on my laptop) and sometimes it feels like not very much happens as a result (and sometimes things seem to go backwards), but I am improving slowly and growing as a writer.
I’ve learned to look at my progress over time rather than expecting everything to happen at once and I hope I’ve become more objective about my work.
I had quite a few stories published too! My short story Masquerade was Highly Commended by the Booker Prize at Birkbeck competition and eventually published by the brilliant Elixir Magazine. I was on the longlist for the Sunderland Short Story Award 2019 and was a Finalist in the MIROnline Folk Tale Festival with my story Crow Girl (which was beautifully illustrated and published on the MIROnline website).
My story The Edge was published on the Short Editions website (alas, not in the short story dispensers, I am going to try again because I’d dearly love to have a story in one of these). Meanwhile, one of my ghost stories is going to come out in a printed anthology soon – I will let you know when it’s available to purchase.
I’ve been doing a lot of writing for Roman Road London and they recently created an author page for me where you can read all my reviews and articles – it’s a great opportunity for me to explore my interest in East London history.
And I’ve been managing MIRLive which has been a joy – the chance to listen to some wonderful writers, both well-known and emerging, reading their work live in an intimate venue. Our final event of the year will be on the 2nd December featuring Toby Litt reading from his novel Patience as well as some amazing new work from writers from Birkbeck and all over the UK. I hope I’ll see some of you there.