Remember when I said that I’d been assigned “Preferred Author Status” at EDF? It was bound to happen, but it wasn’t long after this that I got my first rejection from them. I can understand why – it was a bit of a borderline piece – but the timing of it did amuse me. Still, a rejection from a market you like is always good in the sense that it tells you that they don’t accept just anything they get chucked at them. And the best thing to do when that happens, of course, is send them something else.

And that something has just been accepted, with a surprisingly glowing critique from the editors. It’s a piece called “Hidden Shallows”, which had a slightly odd genesis. Some time ago, I decided that if I ever succeeded in publishing a collection of stories myself (well, you’ve got to dream, haven’t you?), I’d like to call it “Hidden Shallows and Other Stories” – because deep down, the biggest fear I have about the stuff that I write is that it isn’t quite as clever as it looks, and I thought that I might as well tackle that worry head-on.

So I’ve been casting around for a while for a story that could have that title. As it happened, one of the available prompts for Task 9 of this year’s Eurofiction competition was “Write a story set near water” – which was, in the circumstances, an open goal. People seem to like the resulting piece, but it’s light and fluffy and different from almost everything else I’ve written, so I’ll be intrigued to see what EDF’s readership make of it.