To Hull and Back

I’m really pleased to be amongst the longlisters in Chris Fielden’s To Hull and Back Humorous Short Story CompetitionI really appreciate the work Chris does to help and encourage how_to_write_a_short_story_front_cover_000other writers and love the fact that this is a competition for humorous short stories – probably the hardest of all to write, but wouldn’t it be great if there were more of them?

The competition continues to grow in popularity year on year; I’m already starting to think about next year’s entry…

By the way, Chris’s book: How to Write a Short Story, Get Published and Make Money is well worth a read. Helpfully, you can order a free taster PDF from his website – a great idea when there are so many ‘how to’ writing books about.



How difficult is it to write a short story?


I was impressed by an interview with the writer Edith Pearlman published on the excellent University of North Carolina Lookout site.

In it, in response to the question ‘What is your creative process?’ she said:

Each short story takes several weeks (five days a week, about four hours a day) to write, in many, many drafts, all on the typewriter. The draft then marinates in a drawer while I work on the next story or piece. The marinated story finally gets withdrawn, re-revised, typed at last into a word processor, and presented to my dear friend, colleague and ruthless reader Rose Moss, who usually sends it back to the typewriter for another few weeks of revision. So each story takes about a month and a half in total time.

When asked for her advice for  new and emerging fiction writers, she added:
Revise. Revise each story from beginning to end at least three times. When I say revise I mean rewrite completely.

Although reading sage advice about the process doesn’t in itself help the quality of the output, I found this reassuring ammunition against those who imply that short-story writing is a quick and simple process…

Writing and Reviewing on Taylz

taylz-logoTaylz is a new site for short story writers – and readers. Its aim, so it says is “to build a comprehensive library of the latest, most exciting new short stories available online. We want Taylz to be a natural port of call for readers interested in new voices in fiction, as well as a lively, creative forum where new and established writers can receive constructive feedback.

We’re interested in stand-alone stories that can be read in one 15-20 minute sitting (1500-8,000 words)– ideal for the average commute, lunch break, or as a bedtime read.”

Taylz is launching the site in two phases. Phase 1 is the story-building phase which is exclusively for writers.  This will build up a bank of stories and writers, that can then be used to attract readers for Phase 2  – which will be aimed at the reading public across the English speaking world.

Please do take a look. This seems a very promising outlet for developing writers. Becoming involved in the site also provides a very useful reminder of how much one learns through the reviewing process about one’s own weaknesses.