Judge for Saltaire Writers Group Flash Fiction competition:-

I was delighted to be asked to judge Saltaire Writers Group autumn creative writing competition in the Flash Fiction category.

Here is what they say about it on their site:-

“The competition is for a piece of flash fiction of up to 500 words (excluding the title) on any theme or subject. A maximum of 3 pieces may be submitted.
The judge is Alyson Faye, a widely published author of flash fiction and children’s and young adult fiction, whose collection of flash fiction entitled Badlands will shortly be published by Chapel House. Her work is published in the Women in Horror Annual, and she is running a creative writing course in Saltaire in September.
There are 2 prizes of tokens for the Salt’s Mill bookshop, and the Salt’s Diner. Prizewinning entries will be published on our blog and may be accepted for publication in the Saltaire Review magazine. There will also be a special runner’s up prize.”

Here’s the blog link below which gives all the rules of entry:-


I am so looking forward to reading the entries.

I have taught the first set of 4 creative writing workshops during September at The Craft House in Saltaire. They were great fun, a lovely group of writers (all ladies in that class), who wrote some entertaining, original, touching and interesting pieces of fiction and poetry.  I am planning with April, the owner of the Craft House to run another set of 4 during November 2017, building on the foundations of the 1st set and extending the scope.

There will be 2 stand alone workshops also; one just around Halloween about writing ghost stories and the other nearer Christmas, for writing a Christmas themed poem or short story. The dates and more info will be up on the Craft House website next week. Please browse the site because there is a huge range of crafty workshops to partake in.


I’ve just been to a meeting of Menston based Writers on the Wharf to discuss their Ilkley Lit Fest Fringe event – details are below. Members of the group will be up the mic reading short pieces with an autumnal themed visual display projected behind them.

The event is titled – Every Leaf Tells a Story.


192. FRINGE: Every Leaf Tells A Story


Members of Writing on the Wharfe will be turning the leaves of their latest creations, in an interactive evening of stories, poetry, visual arts and music. Take part, or sit back and soak up the experience.

Event Details

    • Date: Saturday 14th October
    • Time: 7:00 pm
  • Venue Church House
  • Price FREE
  • Please come along and support us. It will be great to see you there.


Teaching creative writing classes is inspiring my own fiction:-

I taught my first class in Farsley last week. A lovely group of folk in the mellow surroundings of Sunny Bank Mill gallery. I am really enjoying both the preparation for the workshops, and the teaching of them. I enjoy listening to people’s fiction writing and their stories as to why they want to write. We are our own best material. Another bonus is that my own micro- fiction writing pace has picked up- due to me participating in the exercises and atmosphere of the groups.

In the last week I’ve submitted to :-Postcard Shorts/The Casket of Fictional Delights (that is by invite only now)/ www.101words.org/Feed Your Monster/Palm Sized Prompts/Gallows Hill Horror Magazine. 🙂

I am hoping to return to my longer ghost stories very soon. I am still planning to release my collection in November/December.

On Saturday I attended a Reel Solutions workshop on British film noir in the 1940’s. I love this period and have seen many of the films we talked about. We watched ‘Frieda‘ (1947) starring Mai Zetterling and the underrated and rather forgotten, David Farrar. Its theme has some relevance to today’s immigrant influx and migrations. In 1945 a British former POW returns to his home counties town with his younger German bride. This divides his family and the townspeople. Assimilation is not easy. Anti German feeling runs high.

Here is my ‘Ode to Film Noir‘ (a poem) and a bit of fun, channelling Dick Powell as Marlow, the glorious pouty Gloria Grahame, Elisha Cook Jnr (stoolie supremo),Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre.

Wisecracking dames

in slinky suits

with bee stung pouts,

stalk shadow smeared streets.

Slouching under dripping neon pools,

planning to blackmail or kill.

Hearing staccato gun bursts

echoing in litter strewn alleys,

where lying, dying stool pigeons

gasp their last breaths

on to the chests of rain coated Private Eyes.

Smart talking, smart slapping

war damaged anti-heroes,

living by night, inhaling whiskey sours

and kissing goodbye to their tomorrows.

Dusk drapes their shoulders,

like the fur stoles of

the diamond hard broads

dancing on the marble floored nightclubs,

owned by Peter Lorre.

A white suited octopus,

with a tentacle in every pie.

Girls, dope, gambling.

Night falls on the city.

Fade out.


And to conclude this entry here’s a pic my son created on his computer using paintshop or something like that:-

Profile Picture by Josh.png

New Anthology out from Three Drops press includes a piece of mine:-

ouija photo cover

These poems and stories bring you things that go bump in the night, and things that go bump in the day. They are the ghosts in the attic, ghosts in the kitchen, and the ghosts inside your head. Featuring work by Kitty Coles, Alex Reed, Natalie Crick, Oz Hardwick, Richard Farren Barber, Brian Kirk, Seth Crook, Sarah Peploe, Rick McQuiston, Daniel Roy Connelly, Louisa Campbell, Reggie Chamberlain-King, Maggie Mackay, Shannon Connor Winward, Carole Bromley, Regina Saint Claire, Phil Wood, Mara Colleen Banks, Ingrid Casey, Finola Scott, Valerie Alexander, Nancy Iannucci, H. Victory, J.S. Watts, Sean Clancy, Ali Jones, Rachael Clyne,Oliver Smith, Jane Burn, Alyson Faye, Matt Thompson, Holly Schofield, Kathleen Strafford, Bob Beagrie, Ann Cuthbert, Zoë Sîobhan Howarth-Lowe, Phoebe Reeves-Murray, Hillary Lyon, Mack Moyer, Giles L. Turnbull, Susan Rich, Tricia Owens, Jennifer Martelli, Mary Franklin, Sally Evans, Jennie E. Owen, Emmanuel Lachlan, Jo Burns, and Charley Reay.

It is available from Lulu.com at this link:-


‘Whale/Kidney’ Random Word Competition – Shortlist

I have made the final five in the shortlist for this competition- to write a drabble aka 100 words using 5 randomly generated words. My piece is ‘Mary, Mary Quite Contrary.’

This blog, by writer Helen Yendall, is useful, accessible and friendly. It is one of a few writers’ blogs I follow.

Blog About Writing

Here is the shortlist of 5 stories, in alphabetical order by title and well done to all those who’ve reached this stage – and the longlist stage. It was very hard to whittle the entries down from 10 to 5, believe me!

The judge has had these 5 to choose from over the weekend (without knowing who wrote them) and he/she has chosen his/her winner and runner-up, so feel free to comment below and choose your favourite, if you so wish! (And if you’re late to the party – or you’ve forgotten – the 5 words that had to be used – in a max 100 word piece – were: whale, kidney, race, honey and seven).

Final results will be up in a day or so but in the meantime, if you want more ‘flash fiction’ competitions have a look here on Christopher Fielden’s website. (His very comprehensive list was…

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Writing class, net galley and song writing….

I have taught the second of four of the Saltaire Creative Writing classes yesterday. The group is gelling and the atmosphere created in the Craft House’s basement is warm, supportive and well yes ‘creative.’ I am enjoying leading the group, enjoying hearing the fiction pieces being read out and am impressed and delighted by the standard of those pieces. I am a whizz up at that whiteboard with my sharpie!

It helps that we enjoy talking about the books/poetry we all enjoy reading and sharing that information. Reading is a huge part of your writing journey. I learn something from each book/author I engage with.

This is where I must give Net Galley a mention (as I did in the class). If you have a Kindle or other device to download FREE books onto, you can register on the site, give some info and agree to write a book review in exchange for the freebie. The books are previewed before they are published so you are the first to get to them!

Now I just have to find a source of free chocolate and my life would be complete.

This month I have read the latest Allison Pearson ‘How Hard Can it Be?’ with her heroine Kate Reddy turning 50, and having a huge mid life crisis with a  shed load of stuff to deal with. It is very funny and truthful. There was much I could relate to. 🙂

I’ve also read the latest thriller set in wartime Germany and the modern day by Sarah Rayne, ‘Chord of Evil’. It was gripping and evoked the horrors of being Jewish under the Nazis brilliantly. I have read pretty much all of Sarah Rayne’s books- and still love her.

Product Details

Next up from Net Galley is Sally Gardner’s ‘My Side of the Diamond’.

Product Details

I am trying my hand at songwriting too- a completely new venture for me. Keely Willcox Hodgson who teaches my singing group Acabella, is a musician/composer/natural voice practitioner. She and I are linking up, using my poetry and her music to try and pull out of that mix a song or two. It is both exciting and nervewracking for me.  I doubt Paul McCartney need have any worries though!

Next week I start teaching Creative Writing in Farsley near Leeds too, the day after the Wednesday class in Saltaire.



that is  a 100 word piece of fiction. I really enjoy the challenge of writing these snapshot dense intense slices of story. It is a challenge and a pleasure. I have a new one out today on the Horror Tree blog at https://horrortree.com/trembling-fear-09102017/https://horrortree.com/trembling-fear-09102017/ called ‘Rose Red’– no happy ending in sight though.

I have written another drabble from the notes I made during my Saltaire writing class- ‘Kitty Cat’. Ideas can come from many sources and once the first draft is down, then you’ve got something to chew away at. This drabble came from an exercise in picking opening/ending sentences from a bag and writing what came to mind- so a pretty random but fun way of getting going.

Teaser: a bloke runs over his neighbour’s cat and gets more feline attention than he bargained for.

I have also been able to add 3 titles to my titles on www.amazon.co.uk as several publications including my fiction have become available for sale. Just pop Alyson Faye into the search bar and up they pop!




Taught 1st Saltaire creative writing class today-

There were 6 of us for the class, with our pads and pens and my home made whiteboard (!) holed up in the basement of The Craft House; a lovely venue in Saltaire. We attempted some writing exercises, (“If you were a season which season would you choose to be?”), did a focus on a poem, played the -dip your hand in the bag and pull out the writing prompt game- and generally chatted about writing/reading related matters. It is a really nice group and despite it being the first session I was delighted with how willing people were to share their first drafts and notes with the rest of us. It isn’t easy reading your efforts out loud!

I really enjoyed the morning and am looking forward to sharing more of my writing experiences and exercises in the next three weeks.

I have heard today that the Creative Writing course I am teaching from September 21st at Sunny Bank Mills Gallery in Farsley near Leeds will definitely run. There are 6 booked on already, with 8 being the maximum we can take on the class.

Here’s the link:-


An anthology is up for sale on amazon- which I have a short piece in-  ‘Treasure Hunt.‘ The book is edited by Gill James.

The Best of CaféLit 6 by [Multiple]Each story in this little volume is the right length and quality for enjoying as you sip the assigned drink in your favourite Creative Café. You need never feel alone again in a café. So what’s the mood today? Espresso? Earl Grey tea? Hot chocolate with marshmallows? You’ll find most drinks in our drinks index.




Roll on Autumn- it’s going to be rockin’….

September is here and the summer holidays are officially behind us. I have had a great summer with family, friends and my son. Our last trip was to a gorgeous old rectory outside Bridlington next to the centuries old church. My sort of terrain.

I am delighted to confirm that my series of Creative Writing classes will begin on Wednesday 6 September at The Craft House in Saltaire. I am all prepped and ready to rock and roll. There will be 6/7 of us so there is 1 space left around the table- if you are available on Wednesdays between 10-12noon and would like to tap into your inner writing muse then please do book on and join us.

Here’s the link:-


Writers on the Wharf met up for the first time since the hols, in Menston at the weekend. A lovely supportive group.

I have submitted (by invitation from editor Joanna Sterling) a Flash Fiction piece to her Casket of Fictional Delights and am editing 2 more- ‘Angel’s Wing’ and ‘Gone Fishing’ for Gill James’ site Cafe Lit. I have a short piece in ‘The Best of Cafe Lit 6’ which is due out imminently.


I am enveloping myself in Victorian gothic at the moment to inspire my ghost stories . We watched ‘The Limehouse Golem’ starring Bill Nighy the other day, based on the book ‘Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem’ by Peter Ackroyd. It was a luscious looking film with evocative music hall segments but the dialogue was rather pedestrian. I’m rereading Carol Goodman’s book ‘The Ghost Orchid’ set in both Victorian/modern times with a mirroring storyline. I am loving it. She is a great writer.

This autumn I have so many writing linked events coming up- I am so excited.  There is Morley Indie Fair on 7 October where I will have a stall- https://www.facebook.com/Morleyartsfestival/  and Otley writers group are having a book launch on Friday 13 October of their latest book – ‘The Darkening Season’; on Saturday 14th October I will be part of Writers on the Wharf event at Ilkley Literature Festival fringe.

On Friday 22 September best selling author Wendy Holden will be at Central Library & Archives, Square Road, Halifax, HX1 1QG from 2.30-4.30pm. Tickets are free from Event Brite- I have read most of her novels and loved them.