Good news! My story The Bean-Nighe has been accepted for publication in the Ancients anthology, by Black Hare Press.
Ancients is #10 in the Dark Drabbles series of anthologies, and is going to be full of 100-word dark tales inspired by ancient civilizations. Mine is inspired by one of the beliefs of the ancient Gaelic civilization.
Bean-Nighe is pronounced something like Ben Nee-yeh or Ben Nee-yuh. Nobody wanted to meet her!
UPDATE: A second drabble, called Rebellion on Ynys Mon will also appear in this anthology. This story was inspired by the Roman invasion of what is now called Anglesey. Tacitus described the incident, which involved the druids. I imagined a story around that.
I had news of an acceptance yesterday. My story Wrong Room has just been published on the 50-Word Stories site. I've been enjoying the little stories on there for some time, so I'm really pleased to have my own tiny tale on there. This is one of those stories where I knew the last line I wanted to use, and then had to work out what led up to it.
Check out the stories, and have a go writing your own!
UPDATE: Good news! I've just heard that Wrong Room has been chosen as 'Story of the Week.' My thanks to the editor, Tim, for selecting my story.
I have a few stories 'out there' in submission-land at the moment so it's fingers crossed, and I'm anxiously checking emails, hoping for an acceptance. I'm really enjoying writing drabbles and microfiction, as they are so easy to fit in with whatever else I'm doing. Because of bus times I sometimes have a 20-minute wait once I get to my destination, so I use the time to jot down ideas for my next drabble and then type it up when I get home.
This month I read The Family by Louise Jensen. This is a psychological thriller and is a real page-turner about a mother and daughter who are offered a home with a local community. But once they are there, will they be allowed to leave? The story is full of misunderstandings, motives and secrets and makes you wonder if you can ever fully trust anybody. Or fully know anybody, even those closest to you. I'll definitely check out more of Louise Jensen's novels.
Christopher Fielden has recently updated his very useful list of writing competitions. He has listed comps in various categories, which makes it easier to find what you're looking for. So you'll find lists of prestigious comps with big prizes, annual comps, one-off comps, and more.
You can also see, at a glance, the closing date, entry fee (if any), word count, and prize. This is handy, as it saves clicking through to the comp site only to find your story doesn't fit the word count or that you've missed the deadline!
If you enjoy entering writing competitions check out his page here.
I’ve just finished reading one of my Christmas presents, which was Jonathan Pinnock’s Dip Flash. An entertaining collection of quirky, witty and surreal short stories.
My absolute favourite was Ventriloquism for Dummies. I’ve read several ventriloquist-dummy stories over the years, and Pinnock’s version is the best, in my opinion. It was deliciously different, and I loved the ending.
Other stories I liked were Adagio Assai and Around The Block.
I also recently finished reading Stephen King’s The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, which is another collection of short stories. My favourite story was Obits, which was about a writer who can actually kill people off just by writing their obituary. It stayed with me long after I’d finished reading. Just think what it would be like to have that sort of power. I think the world would be a very different place. And what obituaries would I write if I had that power? And would I really use that power? Hmm…
I found Black Hare Press via another writer's website, and was inspired by the submission opportunities there. The anthology Oceans will be full of 100-word drabbles set in or on the ocean. It will be #9 in their Dark Drabbles series.
I was pleased to hear that they will be including my dark story The Artist. It's a great start to the New Year, and I'll definitely be trying to write more drabbles.
I believe publication is due sometime in April this year.
A little story has appeared over at 101 Words today. Language Fun was a fun piece to write. To read, just click here. Hope you like it.
If you want to send in a piece of flash fiction (300-1000 words), the submission guidelines for Flash Fiction Magazine are here.
And here are the guidelines for 101 Words.
If you'd like to read what they've already published, here is a link to a free book. Enjoy!
I just found out that my story To DIY For has made the longlist in the Crowvus Christmas Ghost Story Competition 2019. I'm very pleased to have made the top 20, especially as I've only recently started entering competitions again. My congratulations to the winners!
I had fun writing the story, which was inspired by an idea from the fabulous ideas4writers site.
At the beginning of autumn I had a day trip to Agatha Christie’s former holiday home in Devon. Greenway House is in a stunning location by the River Dart, so it’s a lovely place to visit anyway, but for me it felt almost like a pilgrimage. Let me explain.
I read my first Agatha Christie novel at the age of twelve or thirteen. I was browsing in the school library and found Murder on The Orient Express.
I didn’t dare take it home.
As I was a lay preacher’s daughter, I thought I’d get into big trouble. I'd already read the family's entire collection of Enid Blyton and other children's books, and MOTOE was very different! So the book stayed in my school locker in between reading sessions. We didn’t have any books like that at home (and no TV), so murder mysteries were like a new world to me. I didn’t realise there were such stories out there. I became even more addicted to fiction than I already was.
I’ve read many books over the years, but I always remember Murder on The Orient Express as being the one which started it all for me, firing up my imagination. I was able to escape into books, which provided relief at a difficult time in my life. I'd love to have been able to tell Agatha Christie how much I enjoyed her writing.
Greenway is set within beautiful gardens and grounds. We arrived by ferry from Dartmouth (and saw seals!), but you can reach the place overland as well. Some people travel by steam train from Paignton.
Of course, I had to buy a book from the shop. I chose Miss Marple’s Final Cases, which is a selection of short stories. The lady at the till kindly stamped it with the Greenway stamp, so that made it even more special.
It is looked after by The National Trust, so if you want more info you can check out their site.
I have a story over at CafeLit today, if you'd like a quick read. Irresistible is a flash fiction piece that originally appeared on MicroHorror some years ago. That site seems to have disappeared (sort of - there's just a cryptic message on there), so I wanted to get the story reprinted, as I had fun writing it.
I've always enjoyed reading the stories on CafeLit (and they were kind enough to publish another flash fiction of mine, called Mixing, in 2014), so I was hoping Irresistible would find a home there. And it has! Thank you, CafeLit.
By the way, I have rediscovered just how hard it is to type the word Irresistible at speed. Why did I use that word? Why, oh why? Well, read the story and see.