Storyglossia 44

My story, The Runt, is in this month's Storyglossia. Thanks so much to Steven McDermott for taking it. The issue's also got work from Thomas Kearnes, Benjamin Buchholz, Donna D. Vitucci, Eric Beeny, Michelle Reale, Matthew Salesses, Ashley Cowger and Mather Schneider - brilliant words from excellent folk. Storyglossia rocks.


Well, not really fame, but still: I'm quoted in an article in the London Evening Standard today about flash fiction and the #fridayflash project that's become something of a twitter phenomenon in recent months. How fancy is that? Of course I've had to get somebody else to nab me a copy of the paper, as I don't live in that London, so big up to Max Wallis for stepping in and sorting me out. (PS: Max, who's a part-time student on my old MA course, has a book out now - look!)

all sorts of events

So the longlist for this year's Bristol Prize came out yesterday, and it's dead international. They had over two thousand entries this year (even more than last year!) including a couple of familiar names - Nastasya Parker, who was shortlisted last year, and Ethel Rohan, whose blog you should all read, if you don't already. Buckets of good luck to everybody - getting my mitts on the Bristol Prize was such a boon to my writing career last year, you wouldn't believe.

What else? Well, I went to the launch of Jenn Ashworth's second novel, Cold Light, last Friday. It was a combo event, launching not only Jenn's book, but also Tom Fletcher's new novel, The Thing on the Shore, which I've yet to buy (sorry, Tom - I'm on it, though, I swear), and there were additional readings from members of their writing group - we had Emma Jane Unsworth and Andrew Hurley and Zoe Lambert, and Sally Cook compered. Top stuff from all of them - I'm especially looking forward to Emma's debut novel, Hungry The Stars and Everything, coming out this summer. The place was jammed, and we did our bit to swell the audience by hauling the baby out to her first book launch. She was very well behaved, even considering her mother was pretty wasted on her first glass of wine in practically a year. Good times!

On Saturday I'm dragging the poor kid out again; this time we're off to Piccadilly Station for Station Stories, an interactive storytelling extravaganza featuring  - do you see a theme here? - Jenn Ashworth, Tom Fletcher, Peter Wild, David Gaffney, Tom Jenks and Nicholas Royle (click here for details about the writers). I'm excited.

In the meantime, though, I fancy a nap.

Joanna Kavenna review & interview

My review of Joanna Kavenna's The Birth of Love is live at Bookmunch, and so's my interview with the author -  her answers are detailed and fascinating, so go read.

everybody's winning things

Everybody, clap your hands! It's only Tuesday and already it's been a hell of a good week for my writing pals. Yesterday, Andrea Ashworth and Jon Pinnock were selected, along with Cassandra Parkin, as the joint winners of this year's Scott Prize for short fiction. They'll have their debut short story collections published by Salt in November. And today, last year's Scott Prize winner, Tom Vowler, found out he's been shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize for his collection, The Method. Tom's a former member of my writing group, Andrea's a current member, and Jon's a fellow Bristol Prize shortlistee. Plus Jon's got a comic zombie novel coming out later this year. Seriously, these guys are putting us all to shame. I'd start competitively writing right now if I didn't have the cast iron excuse of newborn sleep-deprivation. It's a brilliant get-out clause. But, really: my novel's percolating in the background, I'm getting some reading done (clearing a stupidly large backlog), and I've even made some edit notes between nappy changes.* Novelling shall recommence in a few weeks. In the meantime I'm getting Seren started on her literacy skills. Shame about her motor skills, though:

*Okay, that's a giant lie - nappy changes are Andy's job. I'm the milk machine. 

Yoko Ogawa review (2)

My review of Yoko Ogawa's Hotel Iris is live at Bookmunch.

Tiffany Murphy review

My review of Tiffany Murphy's Diamond Star Halo is live at Bookmunch.