Competitions

The Bridport Prize

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Every year without fail since 2007, I’ve sent in an entry or two to the Bridport short story prize, essentially regarding the fee as a charitable donation. Given the number of entries involved, I’ve always thought of the odds of making any kind of impression as being absolutely minimal – a sort of literary, slightly […]

Acceptances

Murky Depths

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Gosh. When I submitted a piece to Murky Depths last year, the auto-reply warned that their response times were anything between a week and nine months, and when nine months duly went past, I assumed that they had lost interest in it. I duly queried them and was surprised, not to say delighted to receive […]

Mrs Darcy

Mrs Darcy, Episode Eighty

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With this episode, the story enters its final dramatic 20%. Sorry it’s late, but stuff intervened. It’s quite an important episode, though, with some backstory about Lydia that goes all the way back (obviously) to the prologue. It’s almost as if I know where it’s all heading, isn’t it? I’ve got a couple more important […]

Acceptances

50 Stories for Pakistan

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One of the things that I’ve always felt really bad about is that I never submitted anything for Greg McQueen’s 100 Stories for Haiti project. The rather specious reason for this is that I didn’t have anything available that would fit the guidelines (it had to be upbeat and under 500 words, and most of […]

Mrs Darcy

Mrs Darcy, Episode Seventy-Nine

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Just when you were getting all excited about Lord Byron’s return to the fray, I suddenly remembered there was someone we hadn’t seen for a while. So here she is. Lord B next time. Or perhaps the time after that. I’m just trying to keep you on your toes, you know. However, all of this […]

Competitions

In Praise of Shortlists

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Yesterday the winners of the Seàn Ò Faolàin prize were announced, along with the previously-announced shortlist and the full longlist. First of all, huge congratulations to Nikita Nelin and Bernie McGill for taking the top two slots – I’m really looking forward to reading their stories, along with those of the other four runners-up. I already […]

Events

Firestation Book Swap

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When I first went on Twitter, one of the first “publishing industry” types I followed was @meandmybigmouth, aka Scott Pack, publisher of the Friday Project, mainly because I’d actually heard of him (because he’d given my mate Toby Frost a good review on his excellent blog). He turned out to be a good choice to […]

Mrs Darcy

Mrs Darcy, Episode Seventy-Seven

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Ah. I’ve been a bit worried about this one. When I was originally planning Mrs Darcy, I started to work through the various characters in the original book, trying to decide what was going to happen to them. It struck me that Mary could usefully end up being radicalised and that her musical aspirations might […]

Mrs Darcy

Mrs Darcy, Episode Seventy-Six

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I’m a bit late posting about this, having just got back from a very pleasant and largely internet-free long weekend in Cornwall. So you’ve got just under a day to read this episode before tomorrow’s arrives, if and when I get around to writing it. This one opens with a rather startling image and continues […]