Monday 31 March 2014

Readings, short lists, judging submissions and the anthology

After a busy few months April should be the busiest of all. After arranging reading events, (with musical accompaniment !) and making reading to others as natural an experience for me as possible,  I'm back helping judge the submissions for the Bath Short Story Award. A fantastic opportunity to see how other short story writers are faring. Thank you Jude Higgins for inviting me along as reader.

As I write this blog my website is almost ready, the cover design for the BSU Creative Writing Anthology is done, the Anthology itself is being prepared for the printers and my collection 'Austerity and Other Cuts' has been shortlisted for the Janklow and Nesbit prize. What larks! Soon we will have an anthology and we can all start thinking about literary agents. I have just ordered another set of business cards ready to give out at the Anthlogy Launch in May. I thought writing was a quiet, leisurely activity!

Have yet to finish reading Polly Toynbee's critique of Cameron's mid-term 'report' but have begun Nathan Filer's Costa Award winning 'The Shock of the Fall'. So lucky for BSU Creative Writers that 'one of our own' won Costa. I am also planning to read one of the larger works on 'Austerity'  - critical pieces that more or less say austerity measures haven't worked all through history.

I have more plans to develop my novella 'Coming of Age', following up the interviews I've done with women who didn't have a grammar school education but who had some paper qualifications despite the advent of World War II. 1918-1938-1978 are becoming significant years in this piece of writing.

I am putting my story 'Migrants' on hold until I see what interests literary agents. I have written four chapters for my novel 'Outside the Wendy House' (aka 'Where's That Cardboard Dinosaur?'). It's a satire on (mostly) state education as we know it in England - or should that be as I know it ?!

Thursday 20 March 2014

Over the last two weeks I have been busy arranging an evening of readings. On my birthday, March 14th, friends and neighbours celebrated and shared their creativity. Two of us read our short stories, to an appreciative audience. Paul showed us a film he made, which is available on You Tube. Jan and Richard talked about the inspiration for their art work and ceramics and Sue read chapter one of her story for young teens. We were missing a musician, but, next time, we hope Geoff, a guitarist, will enchant us.