Living La Vida Loca
Funny Pearls is a fabulous satirical journal dedicated to showcasing humour by women. It’s based in London, but has a global readership. I’ve long enjoyed reading it and recently, it has very kindly published two of my pieces: Living La Vida Loca and An Exercise in Rebranding.
Humour by women? When asked why the journal was established, one of the editors, Mette Jolly commented:
We felt women were poorly represented in the humour genre. I would like to stress that we have no empirical basis for making this claim, it was a feeling, rather than a scientifically established fact. But many female writers have since told us they never thought they could be funny or that they had been told specifically that women aren’t funny. The latter is obviously nonsense.
Another widespread misconception is that only women enjoy humour by women. That’s nonsense too as our male readership would testify.
However, the magazine is not intended to be only for women. It has a broad readership and is not marketed at a primarily female readership. Everybody needs a laugh! Go on, treat yourself – take a look… 🤣
1st in Writers’ Forum Fiction
My rather strange story (That) Hollow Place astounded me by taking first prize in the fiction competition in this month’s Writers’ Forum magazine (December issue). It was its first outing and I wasn’t sure whether it worked or not.
I’m delighted that it hit the spot and was judged:
‘A moving and inspirational story with a strong plot and satisfying resolution.’
A First in Exeter Literary Festival Competition
This year, many Literary Festivals have had to cancel events or go online. The Exeter Literary Festival – a relatively newly- established event but a great addition to Exeter’s increasingly vibrant literary scene – was one.
BUT – they kept the competition going, and I am delighted to have won first prize having achieved second place in last year’s competition.
Competition Results – 2020:
As ever, the real prize should go to the organizers, readers and judges. It’s a huge amount of work with not nearly enough recognition or reward.
Fingers crossed for the return of the Festival proper (and the competition) in 2021.
In the Kitchen – a remarkable new anthology
This collection is a surprising platter of delightful and peculiar short stories by new and established writers that allow you to lose yourself in their magic.
“In the Kitchen is an anthology which showcases the best of food-inspired writing, with each beguiling story interpreting the theme in a different way. Food, in the hands of these writers, becomes a route into our memories, into magic, rebellion, grief and joy.” CG Menon
Talim Arab, Rachel Beresford-Davies, Dianne Bown-Wilson, Mona Dash, Sarah Evans, Vanessa Jarrett, Emily Monaco, Thomas Morgan, Angela Readman, Madeehah Reza, Reshma Ruia, JP Sanders, Nasia Sarwar-Skuse, Janet H. Swinney, Vanessa Timothy, Jane Wagar, Julia Wood, Alison Woodhouse, Rabi’atu T. Yakubu, Karen Yu.
Available now from the publishers, Dahlia Press
Encouraging, as ever, to have a story recognised. It’s unbelievably motivating. And, in this case, it was great to have it in the first issue of Writers Forum magazine to appear after several months when it ceased publication during lockdown.
Green and Pleasant
I was mega-pleased to see that my story, Green and Pleasant Land won joint 3rd place in this year’s Fiction Factory Short Story competition. It was also recently shortlisted in both the Writers Forum and Flash 500 short story competitions, so it was great that it finally edged over the line! The story is available to read on the Fiction Factory website.
Published in Ellipsis
Just published: Ellipsis 7 – A collection of flash fiction from 36 of the best contemporary flash fiction writers (their words):
Nicola Ashbrook, Joe Bedford, Kim Botly, Dianne Bown-Wilson, Dan Brotzel, Hannah Clark, Christine Collinson, Eamonn Patrick Daly, Mariah Feria, Alison Gibson, Donna Greenwood, Emma Hair, Emily Harrison, Jude Higgins, Amanda Huggins, Omar Hussain, Linda Irish, Denny Jace, Jan Kaneen, Emma Lee, Cathy Lennon, Rik Lonsdale, Rosaleen Lynch, Avra Margariti, Rob McIvor, Giulia Medaglini, Emily Painton, Steven Patchett, Aeryn Rudel, Tamim Sadikali, Sheila Scott, Hibah Shabkhez, Jeanette Sheppard, Chloe Smith, Sherri Turner and Natalie Wallington.
A story inspired by an image
It pays to try new things. Every month, Writers Forum magazine runs a quick writing competition with a specific theme and a tight deadline. Ideal for motivating writers to submit, one would think, but until last month it’s passed me by.
February’s prompt was that month’s cover image which didn’t immediately fill me with inspiration but for some reason (stir crazy after all the bad weather?) I decided to give it a go. The result was Halfway to Hank a 500 word, runner-up place, which is published in the March magazine.
So 2020’s rather-belated resolution: keep trying something new!
Here’s Something New!
My story, Quality Time, recently won a short story competition run by Soundwork. The prize was to have it read by an actor and recorded for their site – and today it has appeared!
This is a first for me, and of course, I’m both delighted and grateful to have it in the public arena.
Having another voice bringing one’s words to life definitely adds a different and interesting dimension. You can listen to it here.
The story won first prize in the Henshaw Press competition last year, and you can read it here.
Many thanks to both organisations for choosing my work. The encouragement is inestimable. (The picture is of Miggy, the Soundwork cat…)