Performing at Ilkley Literature Festival Event and other news…..

Along with a dozen or so fellow writers from Writers on the Wharfe I took to the floor at All Saints Church House in Ilkley to perform live and unedited (!) my piece of flash fiction ‘Zombie Hunting’. The audience were very supportive and laughed (in the right places and gave me a warm round of applause). It was a lovely evening and there was an interesting mix of song, poetry and prose read out by the group’s members. A great bunch of talent.

Photos of this event to follow- as taken by hugely embarrassed husband-:)

I’ve had a couple of acceptances for my fiction this week- Horror Tree will be publishing another of my 100 worders ‘Tea Party’, and South Tyneside Talking Newspapers for the blind and partially sighted (a registered charity) have accepted one of my short stories, ‘Gone Fishing’, in their bimonthly short story slot, to audio record in 2018 and I will receive a copy of the recording. I was so pleased to have this acceptance from them. I think this is a wonderful way for fiction to be made available and I am proud that one of my stories will be recorded. It’s not a horror story by the way – but a feel good father/daughter tale.

I have heard from Women in Horror editor Rachel Katz – that the WinH annual is on its way and an e book is due out soon. 🙂 My short story ‘Mother Love’ is included. Below is a sneak peek at the cover. I am excited about this collection and looking forward to reading it.

winh annual cover.png

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More classes in creative writing taught by me in Saltaire running this autumn….

http://www.saltairecrafthouse.com/announcements/creative-writing-course

This is another set of 4 workshops for beginners and intermediates who would like to find their fictional voice whether that’s poetry, or prose. We do exercises, brainstorm, and look at ways of finding and pinning down your story.

The first set of 4 workshops went really fast and were such good fun. Lovely supportive atmosphere.

http://www.saltairecrafthouse.com/announcements/christmas-creative-writing-workshop

There is a stand alone Christmas themed story or poetry writing workshop planned for Wednesday 13 December 10-1pm.

This could make an alternative and quirky gift for your nearest and dearest to receive and read over the Christmas holidays.

The creative writing classes at Farsley in the gorgeous Sunny Bank Mills Gallery are winding up next Thursday ( though there may be a drop in session or 2 to follow on). They have been a joy to tutor. A full table of 8 plus me, against the backdrop of paintings and craft work on display plus let’s not forget the all important home made cakes. Vital writing fuel.

Some members of the class are talking about meeting up after the workshops end, which is a fantastic sign of how well the group have blended and how much they have enjoyed sharing their work. There is such a range of fictional voices developing among these 8- some real talent too.

One of the class, Amanda, is working on illustrating and writing the text for a children’s book. She has led me to Instagram where she shows her gorgeous art work and I have set up my own account, though there’s nothing much on it as yet! Here is the link for Amanda’s portolio:-

https://www.instagram.com/amandajaneillustration

I particularly love her delicately sketched playful mice and her fairytale doorway, discovered during the recent renovation of Leeds Art Gallery.

There are plans to run more classes at the gallery in (possibly) February 2018– which I hope will have the same excellent take up.

Tomorrow I am at Morley Town Hall with my A2 Promo boards for ‘The Runaway Umbrella‘ and ‘Badlands’ plus order forms for the latter as sadly I do not as yet have the books from the publisher. There will be 25 indie authors there and I am delighted to be in their company. Lots to do, workshops, readings and a raffle.

 

Halloween themed creative writing workshop- run by me- in Saltaire….

GHOSTS, GHOULS AND GRIM SPECTRES WAIL
COME ALONG TO TELL THEIR TALE.

SATURDAY 28 OCTOBER 2017 (10am-1pm) at The Craft House Saltaire

Halloween Creative Writing Workshop
With author Alyson Faye
halloween writing Workshop Saltaire Craft House
Join our creative writing tutor Alyson Faye for a spooky Saturday morning, exploring the wonderful art of fiction writing, only this time with a Halloween theme! Alyson will lead this fully interactive and stimulating session, sharing ideas and resources with you and helping you to craft a wonderful piece of creative writing around the theme of ghosts, ghouls and Halloween.
Full details of this wonderful new workshop will be released shortly but we anticipate places will fill up quickly, so please register your interest now to join us for this spooktacular session!
Cost is £35 per person which includes expert tuition, materials and equipment. For an additional £5 fee, Alyson is also happy to review and make editorial suggestions to your work following the session and discuss ways in which it might be submitted for publishing.
Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits provided.

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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:-

https://saltairewritersgroupswg.wordpress.com/2017/09/09/poetry-flash-fiction-competiton/

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.

http://www.saltairecrafthouse.com

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.

http://www.ilkleyliteraturefestival.org.uk/events/192-fringe-every-leaf-tells-a-story

192. FRINGE: Every Leaf Tells A Story

FRINGE EVENT FREE

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:-

http://www.lulu.com/shop/kate-garrett-and-caroline-hardaker/white-noise-ouija-boards-an-anthology-of-ghosts-hauntings/paperback/product-23341363.html

‘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…

View original post 520 more words

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.

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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.