Rants

The Curse of Comfortable Reading

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I’m a big fan of the BBC Radio 2 Book Club. However, there’s one thing that happens almost every time it’s on that exasperates me as a writer (and, in fact, as a reader). But it’s also quite fascinating and revealing, and I’d like to talk about it a bit now. For those of you […]

The Literary World

Submitting Things

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This post was inspired by a comment under yesterday’s post the post from two days ago about an acceptance from the venerable Every Day Fiction, which asked three important questions: How does one submit things? Where does one find out where to submit things? Can anyone submit things or does one have to be known already? […]

Reviews

What I Read in 2015

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Time to take a look at the books I read last year. According to my spreadsheet, I seem to have only read 70, which is considerably down on 2014’s 95 and 2013’s 92. No idea what went wrong, but it doesn’t really matter as  long as I got something out of the ones I did […]

Acceptances

The Caterpillar Again and Other Stuff

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I’m beginning to think there are essentially two publication strategies open to the short story / poetry writer. Strategy 1) is to find somewhere you like and who likes you, and chuck everything you have at them. Strategy 2) is to systematically try to tick off as many different places as possible. Most of the […]

The Literary World

Where’s the Careers Advisor?

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I got into a minor spat on Facebook recently, after someone posted a link to the BBC Opening Lines submission details, remarking that it was a ‘career-changing’ opportunity. I commented that yes, it was an excellent thing to go in for, but not necessarily career-changing, adding a link to my recent post on that very […]

Dot Dash

National Short Story Week

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Is it that time of year already? Apparently it is, and I’m not talking about that festival beginning with C either. No, I’m talking about National Short Story Week, the time when the entire nation comes together to celebrate the short form. As is customary on these occasions, the week has been preceded by a […]

Mrs Darcy

How to Avoid Being the Worst Among Sequels

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[Thought I’d have a bit of rant every now and then to liven things up. I’d be interested to see what you think.] We live in strange times. William Boyd’s Bond novel, “Solo”, is just about to be published, following in the footsteps of – amongst a surprising number of others – Sebastian Faulks and […]

Acceptances

Normal Service Will Resume

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Oh dear. Another blog gap. Let me try to explain… I think I may have learnt something important over the last week or so. For various reasons, not all of which I want to reveal quite yet, I’m in a bit of an odd place with my writing. The thing is, despite having had two […]

Performances

Fun with Google

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Every now and then, I Google my own name. Sometimes I can go as long as an hour before I feel the need to do it again. This is of course, absolutely essential practice for a writer; it is, after all, of vital importance to know what one’s readership is thinking about one. Sometimes, for […]