Women in Horror Annual 2 is out to buy….

Women in Horror Annual 2 (WHA) by [Katz, C. Rachel]

Available as an e book on http://www.amazon.co.uk ( it will be available as print on demand later). The annual features 13 short stories and one essay. The editor Rachel Katz describes my story, ‘Mother Love’ as ‘…gothic… moody and atmospheric…’ 🙂 Thank you to Rachel for including my story, making some excellent editorial suggestions and supporting me.

She also has this comment to make about women writing horror- “Having gone two rounds of gathering up horror stories from both sides of the Atlantic, I can say with certainty that not only does ‘mainstream’ horror publishing and by extension, booksellers, under – represent women, but there’s less diversity in terms of subject matter;I’ve yet to receive a vampire story, and I can count on one hand the number of zombie submissions I’ve read (ie written by women).”

Interesting? I thought so. I have written and had published a flash piece starring zombies, but set against the backdrop of Halloween at a paint balling park. My upcoming- still in progress – ghost story collection includes vampiric ghost children, a demon, a haunted hospital, and a resurrected Reverend who dabbled in black magic.

Why do I like writing in this genre so much? I have always enjoyed as a child time slip, ghost stories like ‘The Amazing Mr Blunden’ (book and film) and it’s not too many steps away from there towards adult ghost stories and what I call ‘quiet, implied horror’ not graphic gore or violence.

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Horror news- well it’s nearly Halloween…

A writing mate from Otley group, Martin Fuller has had a short story (horror of course) published at the Horror Tree and deservedly so- it’s a cracker. Here’s the link:-https://horrortree.com/category/trembling-with-fear/

and the title is The Cold Uncertainty of Love or Real Love in a Cold Climate . Martin’s fiction and mine is also in the 1st anthology from Otley writers ‘The Pulse of Everything’ and will be in the next one, ‘The Darkening Season’.

Poet Mark Connors over at Word Club at Chapel FM Community Radio http://www.markconnors.co.uk/news.html is putting together a poetry anthology-

100,000 Poets for Change project Mark will be co-editing a chap book as part of the 100,000 Poets for Change project, with poet, Tony Martin Woods. The chap book will be published in January 2018.

I have a poem in this collection- The Poppy Parade 🙂 Poppies, Sunset, Field, Horizon

South Tyneside Talking Newspaper, for the blind and partially sighted, is recording 2 of my stories- ‘Gone Fishing’ and ‘Never Judge a Book….’

Closed, Gone Fishing, Fishing, Sign

The audio recordings are great and beautifully read by editor Carol Cooke and I am proud to be part of this project.

My next set of 4 creative writing workshops starts next week at the Craft House in Saltaire and I have been talking to Bingley artist and gallery owner Jane Fielder about running a one off workshop at her beautiful gallery in January 2018- more info plus dates to follow.

 

Teaching, women in WW1, singing and horror drabbles….

I finished my 4th and final workshop in Farsley this week- it has gone really well and the group have really settled in and got chatting to each other plus are coming up with some great pieces.  I am adding on 2 extra workshops there on 9 November (Writing short stories) and 16 November (one to one’s on editing and rewriting).

I’ve also met up with some writing friends this week like actress/performer/writer Irene Lofthouse in the Pavillion in City Park Bradford with another good friend Gillian W. Irene’s latest show was ‘Women, Words and World War one’ which she performed successfully at the Ilkley Lit Fest. Irene is a powerhouse of energy and creativity and a joy to spend time with. She will be running some creative writing workshops in January 2018 at Undercliffe Cemetery – a fabulously Gothic venue. I am definitely going and will post more info about this on my blog.

Pic of Irene below in character for a performance.

Irene Lofthouse's profile photo, Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing

https://irenelofthouse.weebly.com/

The current exhibition at Impressions Gallery is called ‘No Man’s Land’ – Women’s Viewpoints on the First World War. This exhibition and accompanying gorgeous book interconnects with Irene’s latest show, as it investigates several key women who took photos (some in very early colour) during the war; they were there in their roles as nurses, ambulance drivers, and peace campaigners. At last in 2017 women’s pioneering and ground breaking roles during this horrific ‘war to end all wars’- as it was dubbed- are being recognised.

http://www.impressions-gallery.com/

Come the end of the week I was singing in Ben Rhydding – African chants to Moon River, all taught in the accessible and harmonising format of Natural Voice. In 2 weeks time I am doing a singing residential at Parcevall Hall. See photo below. Looks fab.

parceval hall

I’ve also managed to squeeze in writing a 600 word short story specifically for the free Suburban magazine which is distributed around the Menston, Guiseley, Horsforth area. Each month a member of Writers on the Wharfe writes a story for the back page. My piece is called ‘Crow Girl’.

http://suburbanleeds.co.uk/

I also sent off a pair of new horror drabbles aka 100 worders to the lovely Horror Tree blog- Scarecrow and Troll Hunting, both have been accepted.  I do enjoy encapsulating a tiny horror tale in a paragraph and Horror Tree have been hugely supportive and encouraging of my writing, offering editorial advice and will soon have published near enough 10 of my pieces.

https://horrortree.com/

Editor Joanna Sterling at The Casket of Fictional Delights has accepted a 300 worder (should I call that a triple drabble?) for publication – ‘Dominoes’ – not a horror tale but a piece about a father and daughter.

http://www.thecasket.co.uk/

From Net Galley– an amazing way to get free books pre publication- if you have a device to download them onto- I’ve just read Gothic horror (spot the pattern here folks!) Alison Littlewood’s The Crow Garden and I’m currently reading YA author Danny Weston’s Scarecrow, his 4th chiller thriller for teens. In exchange for a review the free books keep a coming.

Product DetailsProduct Details

If only I could source a free supply of chocolate!

 

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

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