I was thinking the other day that I hadn’t had a short story published for some time, when an e-mail from Liars’ League dropped into my Inbox, asking if any of their previously selected authors fancied submitting something to Litro. By today. Apparently a little bird had told them that they were a bit short of stories for their “North London” edition, due out in May. I’m guessing that the little bird in question was Katy Darby, who is not only one of the team who run Liars’ League, but has also just taken over the reins at Litro.
I was in two minds about this, because despite the fact that I am indeed a twice-selected author for Liars’ League, it’s been quite a while since they accepted anything else that I’ve sent them. But then I remembered that I had just the piece – a thing called “Piss and Patchouli” that I wrote during my first-ever Whittaker competition and was subsequently longlisted for one of the late-lamented Cadenza competitions. I had high hopes for this getting even higher in several other comps, but it resolutely failed to make the cut in any of them. So I toned down most of the language (Litro has a no gratuitous swearing policy) and sent it in last night. The acceptance arrived this morning, and I’m dead chuffed. Litro is distributed free throughout London, and has a print run of 100000. I’ll say that number again. 100000.
The only problem I have now is that they’d like another title if possible, which is a damn shame because I really like that one. I tweeted about this earlier on today and received a lot of helpful advice, the most unexpected coming from Jane Smith of How Publishing Really Works, who asked her kids to come up with something. The first suggestion was “Tinkle and Patchouli”, which was nice, although it unfortunately lost the alliteration. So they thought about the problem a bit more and came up with “Having a Tinkle from my Winkle”. They will go far.