Poetry goes on display in Bradford City Library for International Women’s Day (March 8)- includes one of mine:-

One of my poems will be included in the display, which will be on show in the main City Library for tomorrow and on tour for a couple of weeks around the city’s other libraries thereafter. Then there will be a poetry pamphlet published, also available in all the libraries.This initiative has been organised by the Creative writing organiser/Literacy development officer- and the brief was for poetry reflecting women’s life experiences. My sonnet is ‘Very Like Vermeer’ (which originated in my WEA class led by tutor poet James Nash). I am rather chuffed that I am part of this poetry exhibition. I look forward to checking it out when the display arrives in Bingley.

Nest of Bones – out today

http://www.404words.com/nest-of-bones/ has a new piece of flash by moi today on its site. The piece includes bones and birds, so I am in my fictional element. I originally had the seed of this idea at a writing workshop at Leeds Uni led by tutor Ebba Brooks, and called it ‘The Attic’ as a provisonal title. Since then I’ve rewritten it, edited it and shortened it- till it became ‘Nest of Bones’.

I am beavering away on my stories to submit to alfie dog at the moment but I want to mention that last week I went to see Hebden Bridge artist Kate Lycett’s new exhibition at Cliffe Castle, Keighley called ‘The Lost Houses of the Pennines.http://www.katelycett.co.uk/

Her paintings which recreate several demolished manor houses around the Halifax area, are gorgeous works of art in oil and gouache but are also brilliant evocations of these once grand ‘brass castles’ based on her historical researches. A friend of mine has bought one of the originals, High Sunderland, to hang in her cottage near Shibden.

Anthology out on kindle to buy on amazon- with a piece of my flash in it-

Flash Fiction Magazine – Issue 1 Kindle Edition

Flash Fiction Magazine - Issue 1 by [Flash Fiction Magazine]

This collection of 50 short stories is the perfect book to download when travelling. Each story takes mere minutes to read and covers the full range from realism to fantasy – a bit of something for everyone. (amazon reviewer)
My piece is called ‘Crow’ and is exactly 101 words.

Horror Tree – my story is a leaf on its trunk….

Today, my short story, ‘The Adelphi’ is published by Horror Tree blog/website creator Stuart Conover at www.horrortree.com/category/trembling-with-fear/

Stuart was really supportive and sent a nice helpful email back suggesting some minor edits- I notice his own horror tales are appearing in anthologies currently quite a lot.

The spooky tale is partly inspired by the grand old hotel of that name in Liverpool, where my mum used to go dancing in the 1950’s. Thereafter my imagination took over as to what is lurking in the basement!

Above is the photo Stuart chose to go with the story.

I also enjoy horror films- watched low budget B zombie film ‘The Rezort’ starring Dougray Scott (who had about 5 lines of dialogue to mumble and was clearly there for the free holiday in the Canaries) but hey- it was surprisingly creepy and effective. World War Z writ small.

It’s been half term- trips to IKEA/Go Outdoors etc dominated but I’ve also done some editing and rewriting and submitted to :-Bridge and Tunnel books/on the premises comp/For Books’ Sake ghosts anthology call out/ and Three Drops from the Cauldron Beltane anthology call.

I won 2nd place in Morgen Bailey’s  https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/ 100 word comp a little while back and she offered a prize of editing 1500 words of a piece of my work. Feedback is so useful and worth having. So I sent in my new short story, ‘Hospital Blues’, a ghost story set in Bingley (where I live) in both the modern day and back in WW1. The title has double meanings- it refers obviously to how folks feel when they’re in hospital, how the girl in the story feels about her life and it’s also a reference to the uniform injured WW1 soldiers were issued with! Clever huh!

Next up is getting my mini package of stories up to speed to submit to http://alfiedog.com/fiction/

 

 

 

 

 

Creative writing and local libraries…

I have been really pleased with discovering how much the local libraries in the Bradford area and further out into Yorkshire are supporting creative writing. There are groups at Keighley and Shipley libraries and the latest Bradford Libraries Newsletter is chock full of info on workshops, writer events and even a poetry competition.See below:-

Poetry Competition on the theme ‘Being Bold’. Poems are welcome from anyone in the Bradford Metropolitan District area that are based on this theme as long as the focus is on the voices/experiences of women and girls. Poems will be displayed in libraries on or around International Women’s Day and will then be available in pamphlet form. For more details or to submit poems contact dionne.hood@bradford.gov.uk Deadline 1st March

If you’d like to get on their email list contact them at :-Email | public.libraries@bradford.gov.uk 

I have entered my own ‘bold’ themed poem- as I did for Huddersfield Literature Festival poetry comp (deadline has now passed for that one).

I still write the occasional poem- my latest was a riff on Film noir and its P.I.’s and femme fatales.

I’ve been rewriting a magical/fable piece of Flash intended for https://threedropspoetry.co.uk

and rewriting a longer story based around the derelict old hospital in Bingley,which is set in the town and there are hauntings and ghosts …..’Hospital Blues’ is the title.

My copy of the Otley writers book, The Pulse of Everything has arrived- and it looks very impressive. A great looking read.

Real life calls this week (as opposed to my fictional one) with trips to IKEA and decorating and other jobs.

Otley Writers Group book is out –

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pulse-Everything-Collection-Fiction-Memoirs/dp/1540324591/

The Pulse of Everything: A Collection of Poems, Fiction and Memoirs Paperback – 9 Feb 2017



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    • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (9 Feb. 2017)
    • Language: English
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    • ISBN-13: 978-1540324597
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Valentine’s Day Flash piece-

for all you romantics out there. A fun twist in the tale 200 worder- so it will fit on a postcard, remember them? Ah retro moment.

Zombie Hunting is out on http://www.postcardshorts.com/read-2552.html

GOOD NEWS:-

Annie Evett has emailed to say that Twisted Tales 2016 Edition nearly set to go to print- from Raging Aardvark as both a print and e book.

I will have another short piece out in 101 words new anthology in print and e book soon too in  Flash fiction magazine, 50 stories, 50 authors

Fellow Chapeltown Books author Allison Symes From Light to Dark and Back Again is now available on Kindle and the Amazon link is https://www.amazon.co.uk/Light-Dark-Back-Again-ebook/dp/B06VT92429/

I will be reviewing her Flash fiction collection next week- formally- but I’ve already read some of Allison’s work  and she is excellent- snapshot stories to read on the move.

 

Writing events and news…..

Three of the SWG members have a book launch event happening on Friday March 10 at Otley Courthouse 6.30pm for the group’s anthology ‘The Pulse of Everything’- Each member will read a short extract from their work.

http://litfestprogramme.blogspot.co.uk/  has information on  Headingley Literature Festival happening from Fri February 10, with events happening in the following months.

University of Leeds at Trinity in Horsforth as its annual writers’ day on Wednesday March 22 which is filled with workshops and speakers.

http://www.yorkliteraturefestival.co.uk/  is happening from 16-30 March 2017

 

Rejections and perseverance-

I’ve had a bit of a dry quiet spell writing wise not life wise- with a flurry of rejections for my short stories from a few mags (on line). One editor was probably trying to be encouraging when he replied- ‘Thanks for submitting three pieces. Not bad. Not for us at this time, but keep writing. You work shows promise.’ However I had rather hoped that my work had risen above the ‘not bad’ level by now! And that my ‘promise’ was rather more developed. Oh the slings and arrows to our egos.

However Annie Evett of indie Australian Press Raging Aardvark http://ragingaardvark.com got in touch with all us Flash Fiction authors who are going to be in Twisted Tales 2016/7 after a long silence to say – hurrah!- the book is back on and will be out in February- or soonish. This is great news.

My WEA Otley writing group have announced the launch of their book, The Pulse of Everything. Friday March 10th at Otley Courthouse. I have some pieces of Flash in the anthology which several of the members have worked very hard to put together.

Editor Stuart Conover of the Horror Tree blog http://horrortree.com/ has accepted my short story, The Adelphi for publication on his site. This is a longer piece than Flash length and Stuart asked me to do some minor rewrites for it. I am of course nothing but the Queen of Rewrites- so I made some changes and now he is happy to publish it.

I follow the Horror Tree site regularly and use them as a useful resource for entering my fiction to horror mags. Well worth checking out.

I also would like to mention Chapeltown Books, led by writer/editor/publisher Gill James, has launched Allison Symes‘ Flash Fiction collection, From Light to Dark and back Again available at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Light-Dark-Back-Again/dp/1910542067

Allison writes creepy dark pieces (remind you of anyone?) and I had come across her fiction on line where she’s sometimes entered the same comps as me, but she’s usually done considerably better than moi! She is a really talented writer and well worth a read.

https://allisonsymescollectedworks.wordpress.com/blog/

Chapeltown Books have been looking to sign authors with Flash Fiction collections and I have followed in Allison’s steps and signed a contract with Gill James for my own collection to come out in April, both as a print book and an e-book.

This is amazing news and I was/am so delighted. I have written more pieces of Flash in the last 18 months or so than I realised and collating the majority of them all was fantastic and useful.

Once the book is out there will be some PR/marketing/school visits/begging and pleading to buy it from me- so it will keep me occupied.

 

Ghosts and Haunted writings….

Today at The Orange Box in Halifax I attended a FREE ghost story writing workshop led by author/performer/tutor Adam Robinson, the writer of the hit and often sold out theatre play ‘The Book of Darkness and Light’. Find out more at : https://adamzrobinson.wordpress.com/the-book-of-darkness-light

It was a great workshop- full of advice, references to the ghost writing greats of the genre, take a bow M.R.James et al, writing exercises, encouragement and help with story structure. I can honestly say it’s one of the best writing workshops I’ve attended. There was a really warm buzz in the room. Orange Box is a fantastic place for teens to go as well with a bouldering mini wall, pool table, cafe and courts. Very impressed. They even laid on a mini buffet for us!

I’ve got the bare bones (sorry about the pun) of a ghost story started- which is a bonus.