17th February 2018
Very pleasant surprise. I've just discovered that Fairlight Books, a recently established and innovative publisher based in Oxford, chose 'When You Became Me' for their Valentine's Day/pick of the week story. It's rather dark, but is ultimately about love. The story was published in November 2007, so many thanks to everyone at Fairlight for choosing it again. To read it via their Facebook page click here
16th February 2018
Occasionally I write something for my wife at Christmas. This year it was a very short story called 'The Wand Maker' (to go with a handmade wand). It was meant to be a private thing, but she generously encouraged me to submit it and I've just learned that it's been accepted for the inaugural issue of an exciting new Irish online journal called Crossways. It's due to appear in March or April, and I'll put a link on my Stories page when it does.
25th January 2018
I was pleased to be invited to submit some stories to the Tasmanian online journal Communion earlier this month. As a result a story based on a childhood experience, 'Angel Street' has been accepted for Issue 9, to be published in June. I'll put a link up on my Stories pages when this happens. It's great to know my stories are starting to travel round the world.
20th January 2018
Just returned from the awards ceremony at the Bedford International Writing Competition, for which my story 'A Hidden Place' was shortlisted. No further prizes this year, but it was a delight to attend again, hear the readings of poetry and stories, and catch up with Frank, Philip and the other kind and hard working people who make this such a special annual event. 'A Hidden Place' will subsequently be published online and in paperback. When that happens I will put a link on my Stories page.
16th January 2018
To my great delight I've just learned that my rather dark story 'Feeding Ducks' has been accepted to appear in the exquisitely presented online journal Fictive Dream on April 15th. This will be the second time one of my stories will appear there. Anyone reading this who loves reading or writing short stories please look at Fictive dream, it's a delight. for website click here
9th January 2018
A new year gift has just arrived! I heard today that my story 'Touching Air' has been accepted to appear in issue nine of the fantastic online magazine Riggwelter. Issue nine comes out on May 1st, so I'll put a link on the story page once it appears, so it will be available to read for free.
12th December 2017
Wonderful news! An email came in this morning to say my story 'A Hidden Place' has been shortlisted for the 2017 Bedford International Writing Competition. The competition holds a special place in my heart - the organisers are delightful people who give their time freely to promote the short story form and raise money for local charities. This is the fourth story I've had shortlisted in the four years the competition has been running, and the BIWC published the first story I wrote, which gave me confidence to continue, so I feel both honoured and indebted.
29th October 2017
I've just returned the proofs for my story 'What We Are Left With', which will appear in Issue 24 of Prole magazine. The story is based on memories of a very talented Iraqi artist, who was granted asylum from the regime of Saddam Hussein. I met him while I was working in the community and watched as he started to paint again and began to build a new life. It wasn't that long ago, but the whole experience seems to belong to a different era entirely. Would it happen now?
17th October 2017
My (rather dark) story, 'When You Became Me', was published online today by Fairlight Books Oxford. I've been fascinated by the idea of a dialogue between an older self and younger self since reading letters a number of celebrities were asked to write to the person they once were, giving advice. I thought it might be interesting to approach this from a different angle, as an exploration of what can happen to potential as we grow older. I thought it might also be interesting to look at the period in time when the 'younger self' starts to become the 'older self'. 'When You Became Me' is available to read via the link next to the title on my 'Stories' page. To visit the 'Stories' page click here
25th October 2017
Wonderful news! The story mentioned below appeared in Confingo 8 earlier this week, and yesterday Nicholas Royle, editor the Best British Short Stories, contacted me to say he would like to include it in the 2018 edition. Heartfelt thanks to all at Confingo.
16th October 2017
My story ‘The Homing Instinct’ will be coming out in the next few weeks in the beautifully produced Manchester based journal Confingo for website click here. It’s about a couple of homeless people who befriend one another and are befriended in turn by a grey heron, who comes to visit them every day, for no apparent reason.
The spark for the story was seeing exactly this happen, day after day, week after week, as I walked by the river near my home. Two or three people – it varied – had set up home, very neatly and carefully, under some brick arches about fifty feet from the river bank. I came to expect to see the heron, which had exquisite plumage and a regal manner, standing near them on the grass, very still and vigilant, like some sort of omen. To me, this affinity with a normally timid wild animal of solitary habits seemed almost mystical, and I came to wonder what it might mean to them.
One Monday lunchtime, some months after the story was written, I took my normal walk only to find the arches barred with thick ironwork, presumably at the behest of the local authority: no homeless people, no carefully stacked possessions, no heron, no explanation. I was glad I’d finished the story by then, because otherwise I might not have had the heart to write it.