Sometimes, when my characters won’t let me slip inside their skin, or when my dialogue is as flat and lifeless, or when my writing has the bounce and energy of a lead-lined wardrobe, I take five minutes (okay, 15 minutes) to find something interesting about writing or short stories on the internet.
Until now I haven’t really organised or shared the fruits of these digital excursions, but I thought maybe once a week or so (or maybe less frequently if it becomes a chore), I could put them all in one place. After all, sharing is nice and it means that the growing number of people who read this blog (I didn’t say ‘vast number’, I just said ‘growing number’) can get some short fiction, books and writing craft information all in one easy eyeful.
But if you side-tracked by this and don’t do the writing you’re supposed to, and then feel all bad about it, just don’t come running to me with your gripes. Okay?
So, in a sensationally random order, here’s some stuff that’s caught my eye this week.
- A piece in Prospect Magazine about the great German writer Gunter Grass, who died recently
- The Eeriness of the English Countryside – how a sense of disquiet and ‘otherness’ below the surface of England’s landscape is having a bit of a revival in film, music and writing.
- Deadlines, deadlines. The Bridport Prize short story and flash fiction closing dates are, well, closing in on us. Midnight on Sunday 31st May to be exact. So get writing and subbing.
- A Guardian newspaper report about Yiyun Li winning the world richest short story prize. Also contains a link to the New Yorker where you can read the story.
- Talking of good stories in the New Yorker, here’s one that hit me right between the eyes (right choice of words in the context of this story) It’s called ‘Breatharians’ by Callan Wink. Not recommended for cat lovers of a nervous disposition.
- The Regional Winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize were announced recently, including a first time writer from Fiji. You can find out more and read the stories via the website.
And finally, this tickled me. My Litro interview sitting quietly (and perhaps a little shyly) between author Q&As with Hari Kunzru and Chuck Palanhiuk. How nice.
And finally finally. My story The Rules of Caketin James, one among many good stories in the Gem Street Anthology from Labello Press, will soon be available. Watch this space for updates.