spelk

Hey! It’s been a while…

I last posted news on this website around 16/17 months ago. That’s a long time, but that time as sped past quickly.

A lot has happened since then, including a new job, a new home, and – of course – new writing. I suppose this is why I’ve been so quiet here, but I’ll be trying my best to get back to keeping this place updated with fresh news!

I’m not going to bore you every detail, but here are few highlights…

 

  • Flash Fiction Festival – there have been not one, but TWO flash fiction festivals since I last updated (WHATTTT) and they were absolutely brilliant! We had flash fiction writers from all over the world delivering workshops and reading stories. I find the three day weekend, usually in June, hugely inspirational. If you’re a flash fiction fan, I cannot recommend it enough, so check out their website for more information. I was honoured to have been asked to run a workshop at each festival, and I love teaching flash fiction so much.

 

AWPT cover

  • National Flash Fiction Day – I have officially taken over the reigns from National Flash Fiction Day’s founder Calum Kerr, but there’s no way I could do it alone. With my fellow mighty Co-Directors Diane Simmons and Ingrid Jendrzejewski, we published a brilliant anthology of flashes on the theme of doors co-edited by Joanna Campbell, as well as hosted a full day of workshops and readings in Coventry, a new city for us! Unfortunately, I was unwell and couldn’t attend the event, but I heard it was a roaring success. More news on National Flash Fiction Day 2020 soon, but keep an eye on the website for the latest news, including submissions to next year’s anthology and micro fiction competition and events on the big day itself.

 

BSF 2019 TRUE Final Front Cover WEB

  • Best Small Fictions 2019 – even though I have signed a contract and the book is being published in two months, I still can’t quite believe that one of my stories has been selected to appear in the Best Small Fictions 2019 anthology. The story that was chosen is called Upon Discovering that Cows Can Swim and it was originally published in The Jellyfish Review. Though the anthology will be published in November, if you can’t wait until then, you can read the story here.

 

  • Curving the Pointy Edges – I found out yesterday that my flash fiction Curving the Pointy Edges will be published by an absolute dream journal of mine: SmokeLong Quarterly. I can’t believe I just typed that! I love this journal so much and it’s such an honour to finally be a part of it in this way. I’d really like to thank SmokeLong’s editor, Christopher Allen, and the rest of his team, whose feedback really helped this story blossom. I can’t wait to share this one with you all!

 

  • Writing – I’ve had other pieces published in various places since I last posted an update, including in FlashBack Fiction, SpelkMoonPark Review100 Word Story, Ellipsis Zine, Flash Boulevard, and Ghost Parachute. I’d like to thank all of these editors and all the other editors who have accepted my work for their support. If you’d like to read any of them, as well as find out about more forthcoming work, check out the publications page. I’ve spent a lot of time reading and writing new material, some of which I hope to be able to share soon. I’m also entertaining working on something longer, but shhhhh!

 

  • Something Secret I’m Very Excited About But Cannot Tell You About Yet…

 

  • ANOTHER Secret Thing I’m Very Excited About But Cannot Tell You About Yet…

 

Thanks for reading! That’s all for now…more soon!

Fresh Flashes!

Hello everyone!

A few flashes of mine have been published recently! Many people have read and shared their love for these stories over the last few weeks, and I appreciate it so much, so thank you! In case you’ve missed them, here are the details below!

“Colour Tasting” was published by Ellipsis Zine and is about a stray collie dog called Moxie. Ellipsis Zine are a very new magazine, but they’re absolutely killing it with the fiction they’ve published so far! Read my story here.

“These Are the Rules of Our Canopy Shyness and Life” was published by The Airgonaut and is about talking trees and forbidden love. I thought this one would never find a home because it is so unusual, but people have loved it! You can read it here.

“Marrakech” was published in Issue 7 of (b)OINK and is about a couple visiting the medina in the bustling city. This is possibly one of my favourite flashes I’ve written so far. Very happy it is out there in the world! You can read the story here.

“Moderation” was published by Spelk Fiction. You’ll never look at little old ladies feeding ducks at a pond in the same way again! It was inspired the pond and ducks you see in this image, which I often walk past. You can read this story here.

Thank you to all the editors and teams behind the scenes who read and loved these stories enough to give them a home with their magazine! I hope you all enjoy reading them if you haven’t already!

 

Some More Updates!

Hello, everyone!

I’ve been so terrible for posting news as and when it comes, as I used to do, but I have been busy focussing on finishing my MA. The dissertation has been completed, bound, and is staring at me from my desk, tempting me to tweak just…one…more…thing…!!! I have high hopes for it, but what will be will be.

Firstly, some exciting news that I’m sure many of you may already know. I’m the new Senior Editor of New Flash Fiction ReviewI’m beyond thrilled to be a part of this flash magazine who have published stunning flash fiction writers (including the likes of Lydia Davis!) and to be working with Meg Pokrass and Pamela Painter. Here we are pictured below at the end of the Flash Fiction Festival. Submissions are currently open until September 12th. Check New Flash Fiction Review out and send us something incredible.

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(L-R): Me, Pamela Painter, and Meg Pokrass. We’re having a well deserved sit down after the busy Flash Festival.

I’m also now an Associate Editor for Vestal Review, who I have been a First Reader with for almost a year. Our current reading period is from now until the end of November, so send us something we can’t refuse.

Last time I posted an update, the new National Flash Fiction Day Anthology, which I was co-editing with Meg Pokrass, was about to be published. Well, it’s now available in to purchase in paperback and on Kindle. It’s called Sleep is a Beautiful Colour and features incredible authors, including: Calum Kerr, Robert Shapard, Pamela Painter, Bobbie Ann Mason, Claudia Smith, Robert Scotellaro, Stuart Dybek, Etgar Keret, Meg Pokrass, Angela Readman, Danielle McLaughlin, Robert Lopez, and so many more! Based on the theme of Life As Your Know It, every flash in this anthology offers something striking, unusual, unique, and powerful. You will not be disappointed!

SiaBC Cover

I’ve also had a few more publications and acceptances:

I have four flashes forthcoming in flash fiction magazines that I’m really excited about and haven’t blogged about! Each of these magazines, some old and some new, have been absolutely killing it with the flash they publish. Thank you to all of the editorial staff of these magazines who keep publishing such awesome work. I’m so happy to be a part of them:

‘Colour Tasting’ will be published in Ellipsis Zine very soon (Friday 25th August).

‘Marrakech’ will be published by the off-the-wall (b)OINK zine in September and is possibly one of my favourite flashes I’ve ever written (mainly because of the fun I had writing it).

‘These Are the Rules of Canopy Shyness and Life’ is one of those stories I thought would never find a home because it’s really a bit mental and odd, but thankfully The Airgonaut loved it and will be publishing it in their September issue.

‘Moderation’ will be published in September by Spelk. 

And as if that’s not enough…

‘They Dropped the Bomb’ was published by Paragraph Planet on Sunday 25th June, while at the Flash Fiction Festival in Bath. It’s inspired in some ways by my family, and in others by where the world is likely to end up… You can read it below:

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My micro ‘The Broom of Sisyphus’ won National Flash Fiction Day New Zealand’s Micro Madness. You can read it here.

My prose poem ‘In the Light, I See…’ was published by Unbroken Journal, who I love. read it here.

A new anthology called Short on Sugar, High on Honey, which features stories about love that are between 7 and 13 words in length, is going to be published and will feature one of my stories. The anthology has been edited by Mark Budman and Tom Hazuka, and will be published by Flash: The International Short-Short Story Press.

And three more stories of mine will also be published in the 2017 Worcester LitFest Flash Fiction Anthology. The anthology is usually published in November in paperback and kindle, and will include ‘Actually, Love Actually’, ‘What the Coffee Promised’, and ‘Interviews with Prospective Postmen’.

If you’re in Bath on Friday 29th September, you can catch me reading some stories at St. James Wine Vaults in Bath for Jude Higgins’ launch of her pamphlet The Chemist’s House. It’s a great collection. The event is free so do come along! More details here.

I think that’s it… I’m hoping to return to more regular posting of news rather than piling everything into one post every couple of months. As I have now finished the MA, I’m currently planning on relaxing (hence the lovely butterfly picture I took on a recent walk), applying for jobs, thinking about PhD proposals, and getting some writing done! I have a few newer pieces out in the world for consideration, and I’ll be taking part in a Kathy Fish workshop in September, which I’m so looking forward to!

Thanks for reading!

‘A Change of Luck’ Published by Spelk!

My flash fiction, ‘A Change of Luck’, has now been published at the brilliant Spelk and is available to read by following this link here.

Spelk is a brilliant home for flash fiction. I hope you enjoy reading my story and wholeheartedly encourage you to read the other flashes Spelk publish and consider submitting your own!

10 Places to Submit Your Writing in 2016

Happy New Year everyone and Welcome to 2016!

Whatever you hope 2016 holds for you I hope it happens, and if one of those hopes are to get your writing published, be it your first piece or not, then perhaps this will be helpful!

There are a mixture of competitions and journals in this list, and the main focus is flash fiction, but many of these places are looking for other forms of writing, like poetry or non-fiction. I’ll try and be as useful as possible!

I’ll also try to include links to current issues if they’re a lit mag / journal because the best way to support a literary journal / magazine is to read what they’ve published and share the writing you loved with the world.

The ten places I’ve chosen are based on many factors, but the main one is this: they love what they do. I suppose that could be said for a lot of places, but I suppose I also love what they do, and I think it’s very important people send their writing to somewhere they love!

Some may not be currently open for submissions, but make a note, use that time to read and enjoy the writing they publish, and return armed with your submission.

Here are my 10 places I believe you should submit your writing to in 2016. To be taken to each webpage, click each subheading, which is hyperlinked.

National Flash Fiction Day (UK)

National Flash Fiction Day, heading into its fifth year, happens annually in June in the UK and is a great way to celebrate flash fiction, with events usually happening up and down the country. Each year they produce an anthology from submissions, but as if that isn’t enough, they run a micro fiction competition and publish a journal called FlashFlood where they publish a new flash fiction every ten minutes, meaning you’ll have plenty of reading material for flash fiction day itself if you couldn’t make it to one of the events.

Though later in the year this is one to remind yourself of and, as I volunteer for National Flash Fiction Day, you’re sure to hear more about it from me over the upcoming months. Last year was the first year I helped and I can honestly say the organisers, especially Calum Kerr, work continually to make it such a great time to celebrate the form. Past anthologies, as well as collections by Calum Kerr, are available to purchase.

Unbroken Journal

Unbroken Journal is a truly fantastic literary magazine who are now in their second year. Their focus is on poetic prose, the prose poem, and the haibun. I love this journal because the editor, R.L.Black, is supportive of both new and established writers, and has been very supportive of my own writing and have accepted a total of 7 of my prose poems (either published or forthcoming 2016). They currently publish an issue every two months and accompany the writing with art and photography. More importantly, the work they publish speaks to the core of me.

You can read their Jan/Feb 2016 issue by following this link here.

Adhoc Fiction / Bath Flash Fiction Award

The Bath Flash Fiction Award is, as you may guess, a flash fiction competition, but here’s what makes the competition unique: you can enter the traditional way by submitting writing and paying a small fee, or you can enter their weekly Adhoc Fiction contest.

Adhoc Fiction allows you to write a 150 word flash fiction inspired by a prompt, and each week a selection are published and the general public read and vote on their favourite flashes. The flash with the most votes wins a free entry to the Bath Flash Fiction Award. The winners are published online, and they seek to illustrate each piece, which means they’re looking for artists / photographers to create pieces to go with each published flash.

Smokelong Quarterly

This is one of the best literary journals for flash fiction, and they’ve been going for more than ten years now. The pieces they publish are powerful, varied, and demonstrate what one can achieve in a thousand words or less.  If you’re new to flash, this journal is a great place to start for reading flash and seeing what makes flash fiction so great! Submissions are open all year round, so you don’t need to rush to submit something to them. Take your time, soak up the writing they publish, and when you’ve recovered read some more. Why not try this excellent story on for size?: ‘Coat and Shoes’ by Tania Hershman.

CHEAP POP

I adore this online literary magazine purely for the work they publish. They love flash fiction of 500 words or less, fiction that really POPS! This is exactly what their fiction does, and I was really excited to have a piece of writing accepted by them – ‘Just Like Mummy’ is due to be published in February this year. Here’s a great piece, and there are many more to choose from, so please check them out: ‘Saudade’ by Zain Saeed. This journal is certainly the home of striking writing.

Vine Leaves Literary Journal

I love this journal because they publish vignettes. Everything I have read that has been published by Vine Leaves Literary Journal resonates from the page and I can promise you’ll not be disappointed by what they have to offer. This, from their website, sums up best what they’re looking for in a vignette: “Vignette” is a word that originally meant “something that may be written on a vine-leaf.” It’s a snapshot in words. It differs from flash fiction or a short story in that its aim doesn’t lie within the traditional realms of structure or plot. Instead, the vignette focuses on one element, mood, character, setting or object. It’s descriptive, excellent for character or theme exploration and wordplay. Through a vignette, you create an atmosphere. Issue #16 from October 2015 is available to read from this link here.

Spelk

I love Spelk, the home of “short, sharp fiction”. The editor, Gary Duncan, is wonderful and I’ve found him to be really helpful with both the stories he’s accepted and with the feedback he’s provided for stories that weren’t quite ready. Again, like Vine Leaves, I feel this taken from their website sums up what makes Spelk so great: A spelk, in northeast England, is a splinter of wood – a tiny little sliver or shard embedded under the skin. Without getting too pretentious, we think there’s probably some kind of analogy there – we like flash fiction that’s short and sharp, that gets under your skin and leaves an impression. That, and we just happen to like the word. They publish stories three times a week, and there are many different ones to read! Why not give this one a read: ‘Graffiti’ by Jonathan Pinnock. 

NANO Fiction

I love NANO Fiction and have recently subscribed to this great journal. They publish flash fiction in print journals, and all the pieces in them tend to strike me as unusual but provocative. They include featured stories online too, here’s an example: ‘Gravity’ by Armel Dagon.

Firewords Quarterly

Fireworks Quarterly is a stunning literary journal who publish mostly short stories and poetry, but they do have a flash fiction challenge too. It is the care that goes into the production of the journal and it is this that is truly breathtaking. Click on their website and just look at their artwork and how the pages of the journal look – simply beautiful, who wouldn’t want their work published here? But rest assured that the writing is not drowned out by the artwork – the writing they publish is just as evocative as the artwork, so send them something shattering.

Synaesthesia Magazine

Last, but not least, Synaesthesia Magazine. Like FirewordsSynaesthesia Magazine is a literary journal that looks as visually powerful as the words they publish. They publish short stories, poetry, illustrations and photography, and usually have a theme for each issue. One thing I really, really love about this magazine is, though they can’t always guarantee this, they try to provide useful feedback for any writing they decide not to accept for publication. This feedback has allowed me to grow as a writer, to consider their feedback, make changes, and some of the stories I’ve then submitted elsewhere have found a home. This is another journal worthy of your support both as a reader and a writer! Their most recent issue should be available from this link here.

 

There are so many other magazines and journals I love too, such as Funny in Five Hundred, a journal of flash fiction dedicated to humorous stories, and 101 Words, an online journal of flash where the story must be 101 words (no more, no less).

Feel free to share in the comments your favourite places to submit writing to, particularly flash fiction, and share this list with other writers who are hoping that 2016 is the year they publish some flash!

Happy New Year and Best Wishes to you all! Good luck – happy writing!

‘A Change of Luck’ to be Published in Spelk!

A flash fiction of mine, ‘A Change of Luck’, has been accepted for publication by Spelk, a fantastic online magazine. ‘A Change of Luck’ will be published in February 2016.

Spelk is currently open for submissions of flash fiction around 500 words, so why not check them out and consider submitting your flashes. The journal publishes a vast array of flashes of different styles and genres so it is definitely worth reading the flash fiction they publish. You can visit Spelk‘s submission page by following this link here.

‘A Change of Luck’ will be my second publication with Spelk. If you’d like to read my first flash fiction Spelk published you can do so by following this link here. The flash is called ‘Hereditary’.

‘Hereditary’ Published in Spelk!

Today another of my pieces of flash fiction, ‘Hereditary’, was published in Spelk. It is a great journal that celebrates flash fiction and particularly desires pieces that are both short but sharp.

The flash fiction is about a woman called Mae who unhappily makes bread for her husband every morning, except this morning is different as she attempts to set her plan into motion. I’m not going to say any more than that – hopefully that’s enough to intrigue you!

If you’d like to read it you can do so my following this link here: ‘Hereditary’Spelk.