Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Words with JAM Shortlisted

                                                 The Pyrenees: View from the Gers

My short story ‘Poke’ was shortlisted in the Words with JAM Short Story Competition 2012. I'm absolutely delighted because it’s a magazine I greatly admire.

February Issue and winning stories can be read online here:

My pick from the winning stories: 'B for Bottom', by Tracy Darnton, in the Shortest story competition (250 words). I’m still laughing! Look it up—It’s excellent!

Monday, 25 March 2013


Our orchestra played this weekend at the becerrada in the warm March sunshine. 

Bullfighting is traditional in this part of France. Even small villages have an arena. The event was the becerrada where the baby bulls learn the ropes, and the younger matadors as well. No animals were hurt (or killed) although I'm sure the first bull gave a sigh of relief when they let him back in to his Mammy, who was waiting patiently. Wine and Armagnac was had by all (well, not the bulls--they're underage!)

Back to the desk tomorrow morning:
Delighted to see my recent flash fiction piece 'Just working on my tan...' has been published in The Galway Review

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Writing West Midlands Short Fiction Comp Winner

Trying to Blossom:

Great news this week from the Writing West Midlands Short Fiction Competition 2013.

Kalashnikov for Shoes is the overall winner. I’m particularly pleased with the comments from guest judge, Tiffany Murray:

‘This is a big, sweeping journey. It’s one that tells the story of these particular characters, but also one that tells a story of a whole nation. It’s hard to get such ‘bigness’ into a very short story without becoming sweeping, general, or mawkish. I think Kalashnikov for Shoes succeeds. Of course it starts with a great title.’

Click here to read the rest of her comments and links to the other winning stories.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Writing for Radio (RTE Arena Shortlisted)

RTE Radio 1’s Arena programme, together with New Island Books, is running a Creative Writing course every month, which is co-ordinated by writer Dave Lordan. Every month he gives a prompt and invites the listeners to participate. I was thrilled this month to have written one of the shortlisted stories ‘Don’t Mind Maggie!’

It was also a boost to hear Eoin Purcell, commissioning editor at New Island Books, giving positive feedback on the entries: ‘If these were the first four pages of four novels, I’d have asked for full novels from all of these writers. That’s how good they are…’

Another encouraging week!

Further details on Arena competition to be found here:

‘This month's creative writing prompt from Dave Lordan focuses on dialogue. It's called "The Universal Lottery"… Write what you have overheard in the form of a dialogue of less than 700 words and send it to by midnight on the 28th of March.’

Sunday, 3 March 2013


Excited, exhilarated, delighted... receive the news that my story, Kalashnikov for Shoes, has been shortlisted in the
 Writing West Midlands Short Fiction Competition 2013
and I have been invited to read at a Celebratory Reception in Birmingham in April.

Looking forward to the final results in March.