With the help of graphic designer Elaine Odlin, I’ve created an ebook with a selection of my previously published short stories, illustrated with my photographs. For a limited time, I’ll be giving it away for free if you sign up to my website newsletter. If you are already signed up but don’t have a copy, please email me and I’ll send it to you!
I’ve set up a short story podcast, Story Radio! It will feature short stories read by new and emerging writers in the English language. The first story I’ve featured is one of mine as I wanted to get comfortable with the technology and set-up before I unleashed it on other writers. Crow Girl was a Finalist in the MIROnline Folk Tale competition and I’m very proud of it, I hope you enjoy my reading of this dark tale with folk horror overtones.
But now I’m inviting more writers to submit. I am looking for short stories (up to about 2000 words) read by you and recorded as MP3s. I will add music, FX, intros and outros, and edit. Your entry will be unpaid until I have enough Patreons to fund payment for all writers whose work I podcast (see my Patreon page here) which is my goal for the podcast. All writers will retain copyright, we ask only to retain audio rights for one year. Submissions will always be free.Email Story Radio
Exit Earth, an anthology published by Storgy Books, is currently free to download. It includes my sci-fi story, The Reckoning. The story is set in a California of the future, where the Golden Gate Bridge has disappeared beneath the sea and all the Silicon Valley billionaires have moved into a floating island above the earth.
From Trumpocalypse to Brexit Britain, brick by brick the walls are closing in. But don’t despair. Bulldoze the borders. Conquer freedom not fear. EXIT EARTH explores all life – past, present, or future – on, or off – this beautiful, yet fragile, world of ours. Final embraces beneath a sky of flames. Tears of joy aboard a sinking ship. Laughter in a lonely land. Dystopian or utopian, realist or fantasy, horror or sci-fi, EXIT EARTH is yours to conquer.
EXIT EARTH includes the short fiction of all fourteen finalists from the STORGY EXIT EARTH Short Story Competition, as judged by critically acclaimed author Diane Cook (Man vs. Nature). EXIT EARTH EXTRA contains additional stories by award winning authors M R Cary (The Girl With All The Gifts), Toby Litt (Corpsing), James Miller (Lost Boys), Courttia Newland (A Book of Blues), and David James Poissant (The Heaven of Animals), in addition to stories by Tomek Dzido, Ross Jeffery, Alice Kouzmenko, Tabitha Potts, and Anthony Self. With exclusive artwork by Amie Dearlove, HarlotVonCharlotte, CrapPanther, and cover design by Rob Pearce.
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.
I recently submitted a short story to the MIROnline Folk Tale Festival competition and to my delight, I was one of the five finalists whose short stories were published and illustrated. I also read it to the audience at MIRLive – a wonderful evening was had by all, enjoying the folk music of Bity Booker and the various dark and thrilling stories that were read to us. We writers discussed the common threads we found in our folk tales: women and magic, violence, the way the world of superstition can suddenly intersect with the everyday.
Recently I recorded one of my short stories and sent it in to The Dark Outside. I was delighted when they told me they will be using it. It’s a very intriguing art project which broadcasts music, unusual sounds, stories and poetry in forests. This year, as part of the Peoples’ Forest project, it will be broadcasting from the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge on 87.7FM during the Summer Solstice – that’s 20th June from 12 noon until 12 noon on the 21st.
My story will be broadcast just before 11pm, so you if you go down to the woods tomorrow night you might meet me carrying a small transistor radio… Otherwise, if you live near Epping Forest you might be able to hear it from home. Apparently everything is deleted afterwards, so it’s a bit of a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
I’ve recently become involved with MIROnline as the Manager of their MIRLive event. It’s a spoken-word event, showcasing the best in creative writing. Performances involve new UK based writers alongside established authors. The event takes place twice termly at The Harrison, 28 Harrison Street, King’s Cross, WC1H 8JF.
Our next event is on Monday 8th July at 7.30pm and you can read all about it here. It’s going to be a Folk Tale themed event with a reading by author Catherine Menon and live folk music by Bity Booker. Other readings will be from short stories submitted to the MIROnline Summer Folk Tale Festival.
It’s going to be a wonderful night, and it’s free! Please come along and support our amazing writers.
My short story, The Edge, has recently been published on the Short Editions website where it is part of a competition (including public votes). Winners will be published internationally in Short Editions’ ‘short story dispensers’, which I think are a wonderful idea.
It’s a story set in a caravan park in Dorset, which I originally wrote for a beach-themed competition, and explores heatwaves and teenage mood swings.Read it here and don’t forget to vote!
I’ve just joined the editorial team at Roman Road London as a book reviewer – it’s a great local website focusing on news, culture and events in the Roman Road area of East London.
My most recent book review is for Paintings by Doreen Fletcher, an artist who is a favourite of mine. I’m looking forward to reviewing more books about the history and culture of the area, so if you have a book you think I should review, let me know!
A new short story of mine, Hagstone, has been published in literary magazine Elixir. Elixir is an exciting new online magazine created and managed by passionate readers and writers and I’m delighted to be part of it.
The story was inspired by my habit of picking up pebbles with holes in them on Norfolk beaches. Later on I visited an exhibition about witchcraft in East London where I discovered the folklore around these pebbles and so a new short story was born.