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, 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.