This shall be a quick post because as you can see I’ve had a delivery of @tiredpsych’s new novella-in-flash Three Sister’s of Stone and have a mostly free afternoon to start reading it.

College wise I’ve handed in Tutor Marked Assessment 4 which I struggled with. Not the short story, but the other bits – a synopsis of a shorts tory collection that will probs never get published, and a letter to a publisher introducing it. That will come in handy one day I’m sure, but the writing of it felt like pulling teeth.

But its gone now so that’s that. I haven’t submitted anything else other story-wise as I’ve been mostly trying to keep focussed on the pesky TMA. I did start a couple of sneaky short stories though and have had three goodish ideas for flash fictions. So in this week before I sink myself into my novella-in-progress, for TMA5, I will probably start writing those too.

Also, I’m also going to do more blogging. Following the excellent example of one of my fellow students, I’m going to, in the month of June, blog an A-z of literary mags and e-zines, posting almost every day. I’m doing this because it will be good research. Since I started tweeting a bit more, since the taught part of the MA finished, I’ve found out how little I know about this world and so intend to research it, blog about it and submit to the ones that look up my street. Right off to make myself a brew and settle into my comfy chair to read this absolute beauty.three sisters of stone


Just reread my last blog, which seems like yonkers ago writing wise. I’ve now finished the taught bit of my MA and am moving towards only writing. I’m just finishing the last short story tutor marked assessment (deadline next Thursday). Though the short story is written, there are two other parts to this exercise: a letter to an agent or publishers, and a synopsis of a work in progress. I’m still working on the synopsis which feels a bit like a superfluity as my WIP is a collection of short stories and all the publishers/agents I’ve found who take such submissions, want a letter and three of the said stories. Hey ho – the synopsis skill will come in useful one day I know it, its just a very hard skill indeed.

Short story wise I changed again. The blog-page story became much too long so I wrote a disturbing metafictional sci-fi about a future-world that’s maybe a version of our own, where sisters are set against sisters.

Getting published wise, I had a couple of rejections (very lovely rejections from places I’ll try again) and a flash accepted in this year’s National Flash Fiction Anthology (as yet unnamed). I’m very pleased with this, as it was my first attempt to get into it, and the story I wrote was one I did on the Kathy Fish flash course in January. It is the result of an exercise where we were tasked with writing something down all in one go – just letting it all pour out.

I was also astonished (and very gratified indeed) to have both my entries into the National Flash Day drabble comp, shortlisted. So delighted was I,shortlist I photographed the page with my name on it twice. Here it is which I’m posting for posterity. I didn’t win anything but being listed with this collection of wonderful writers is more than enough for me. I’m particularly pleased to be listed with my feedback buddy Gaynor Jones who is a wonderful writer of flash. I read the winning entries and the skill exhibited is both daunting and inspirational. This was my first attempt at drabble writing and I feel flushed full of enthusiasm to do more. So-much-so that I wrote, submitted and had one accepted at Drabbledark which will be an anthology in October. The link is at the bottom of the page. I’ve also been longlisted for the Retreat West rolling flash comp which will be short-listed next week. Which brings me to my other bit of news. I joined Retreat West as an author member.

Finishing the taught part of my MA felt a bit like the beginning of the end of something, so I though I’d try something new. If you sign up to be an author member of Retreat West, you get entry to comps for free, books and anthologies gratis (in print and electrically) access to a Facebook page full of other aspiring writers, and discounts off courses and retreats. This seemed a very good deal to me at £10 a month, so I’m giving it a go. I think that having (sort of) prepaid to enter comps, gives you an added incentive to make the deadline, and the book I’ve been sent so far, Nothing is as it Was, is brilliant. A wonderful anthology of climate-fiction stories the profits of which go to The Earth Day Network. Because I like weird and dark stuff, I particularly enjoyed Wiebo Grobler’s  disturbing and touching  portrayal of the last day on a burning earth, entitled Sun and FE Clark’s Warrior which you’ll just have to read for yourself. I can’t wait to get the next one which is Mandy Huggins’s Separated from the Sea. I’ve seen the cover and it is truly gorgeous. Better get back to writing that synopsis then. Here’s the link I was on about.