Erin Morgenstern review

My (belated) review of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus is live at Bookmunch.

Enough is available to buy online!

Well, I have SO MUCH NEWS for you, internet people!

First up, my chapbook, Enough, is now available to buy online, hurray! There'll be a Kindle version soon, too; I'll keep you all updated on that front. [Edit to add: here it is in the UK Kindle store!] Second, we're having a great big stonking launch party! Well, technically, we're having a great big stonking launch party for Jawbreakers, Enough, and Calum Kerr's Braking Distance - it's going to be at 18:30 on Friday June 8th at Blackwell's bookshop on Oxford Road, Manchester. You'll get to see readings from me and Calum, and Jawbreakers' contributors David Gaffney, Sarah-Clare Conlon, Benjamin Judge, Rupan Malakin and more, and you'll have a chance to buy the three books, AND you'll probably get to have some booze and we all you know love booze, RIGHT? I'm getting a little carried away, I know.

So, also, thirdly, I've got a handful of other readings and stuff coming up. Next Wednesday, May 23rd, I'll be appearing at the Flashtag event for the Chorlton Arts Festival in, um, Chorlton, at 20:00 at the Beech Inn; on the following Wednesday, May 30th, I'll be reading at Bad Language in the Castle Hotel. Between the two, on Saturday May 26th, me and Vivmondo will be manning a stall at the new Levenshulme Market, selling our bookish wares (I'll be selling Enough and Jawbreakers) between 9 and 4. Then, on Friday June 8th, I'll be reading at the Manchester Independent Book Market, a couple of hours before the book launch itself. Are you tired yet? I am.

And before all that kicks off, I'll be on the radio in Bristol tomorrow (via my phone, hi-tech telecoms, this) talking about the Bristol Prize! Whoop!

All right, time for tea now.

chapbook draw results!

Well, I say 'results'; obviously I mean 'result', as there can only be one winner! (Insert other competitive clich├ęs of your choice here.) So, thanks to everybody who commented, and I hope you're all suitably anxious and edgy, because it's time to do the draw! I've let Seren do the honours, and as she can't yet read, there can be no accusations of cheating or whatnot. Drumroll....

Congratulations, Angel! Email me your address, and I'll get a copy of Enough out to you asap!

vlog, take 2!

Remember I was doing a vlogging project thingy that Billygean made me do? Well, here's Episode Two!


... National Flash-Fiction Day, dudes - but I'm just a teeny bit more excited about the launch of my chapbook, Enough, which is also today! I'm celebrating by, eh, feeding the baby porridge and paying my National Insurance bill. Oh, hell, yeah. Well, I'll be at Bad Language later, making Seren pay for her porridge by selling Enough and Jawbreakers. What? In the meantime, scroll down or click here to win a copy of Enough, and click here to read my tweet-length NFFD story on the Thresholds site, and click here to read about My Life In Short Fiction over at Dan Powell's blog. Phew!

books and flashes and a GIVEAWAY!

This has been one hell of a few days. We spent last Friday down in Birmingham in a bone-achey awful DIY session, finishing redecorating my flat so that I can find new tenants (any takers?) and when we came back (01:30 Saturday morning with a takeaway in the back of the car to eat in bed when we got home because we're CLASSY) there was a red card from Royal Mail waiting for us. So the next day off we went to pick up two packets of books. But not just any books - MY books!

That's emulsion paint on my hands, not some godawful skin disease. It's gone now, because I remembered that paint-hands are just so 2008. Anyway. We also collected Jawbreakers, modelled here by the blushing cover designer:

Ace, right? Obviously I want everyone to buy both these books, so I'll talk them up to high heavens, but really, they look and feel great and I'm just delighted with them. Then, yesterday, I ran my NFFD flash-fiction workshop at Manchester City Library, which was an absolute pleasure: the participants were brilliant, the library staff were amazing, we had the best space in which to write - and even the passing parade for Manchester City's Premier League win didn't quite manage to drown us out and, really, it was very cool of Mancini to rustle up such an enthusiastic crowd of flash-fiction cheerleaders for us.

What's also very cool is that Danny at Manchester Library is going to compile a special e-book of the flash fictions that we produced on the workshop, which will then be available to download for library members. Just got to edit my, uh, output, and send it over to him...

So the next thing coming up - tomorrow, in fact, is the one, the only, National Flash Fiction Day! Which has been looming for months, of course, but has yet managed to sneak up on me. The official blog has lots of details of what's on around the country, so you better look up your own region, but here in Manchester we've got the peripatetic stylings of the Flashtag crew and then the latest instalment of Bad Language - this time in the Three Minute Theatre in Affleck's Palace in the Northern Quarter, kicking off at 19:30. I'll be there, browbeating you all into buying Enough and Jawbreakers. Speaking of Jawbreakers, the Kindle version has just been released and tomorrow, for one day only, you'll be able to download it (and a bunch of other excellent e-books) for free! (Though I recommend the paperback - did I mention it's general ace-ness?) Tomorrow, also, I'll have a teeny twitter-length story appearing on the Thresholds site alongside lots of other celebratory flash-fictions, and, AND, if you're still reading, I'm going to do a special launch-day giveaway because, woo-hoo, despite having sold several copies of Enough last night at my workshop (thank you!), it's actually officially released tomorrow, and in honour of that, I'll give away a copy to one lucky (?) blog reader! Leave a comment, starting NOW, and tomorrow night when I get back from Bad Language, I'll pick a name at random. Go!

Five Minute Friday

Late post: last week I was the Five Minute Friday interview on For Books' Sake! Head over to read about my literary pet peeves, favourite authors, and my thoughts and plans about National Flash Fiction Day. Nice!

Claire Massey and Kevin Barry reviews

Review round-up! Because I have been too busy anthologising, etc, to keep on top of my shit, yo. So, my review of Claire Massey's Nightjar Press short stories, Marionettes and Into The Penny Arcade, and my review of Kevin Barry's Dark Lies The Island, are both live at Bookmunch!


So, hot on the heels of the Spilling Ink shindig, I'm massively delighted to announce that Gumbo Press will be publishing my first chapbook, Enough, just in time for this year's National Flash-Fiction Day! Hurrah! I've been sitting on this news for a few weeks now, but we're at the proofing stage now, so it seemed a good time to go public. It'll feature ten of my short-short stories, some of which you might have seen elsewhere, but now they'll be all bundled up together. Andy's done the cover (you saw the one he did for Jawbreakers, right? Which is available on pre-order right now, hint, hint.) and Calum, over at Gumbo, is doing a sterling job of getting it ready for print. Enough will cost five English pounds and will be out on May 16th and will look ever so ace and I hope you all buy it and love it forever, amen.

Spilling Ink Flash Fiction Prize 2012

Yeah, so: I won this! And the judge was Louise Welsh. Fancy! My story is about a man who has a nosebleed. Fancy? Well, apparently! I found out I'd won a couple of days ago, while I was treating Seren to her first viewing of Mean Streets, but I ruined the experience for her by shrieking and going, fucking hell, quite a lot. Big congrats to all the other winners and shortlistees and honourable mentions! And thank you Louise, Amy, and everybody else behind the scenes at Spilling Ink and Unbound Press. Whoop!