Afterwards, when the shock waves had subsided, there were only a few survivors left. In side-turned, velvet-clad seats. They cried until their breath escaped, and their plaintive, mewling noises made the theatre wish it did not have such sturdy walls, that it had not performed its pain-prolonging half-protection, but had simply let the tiny particles roll in and penetrate the oozing, fleshy bodies completely.
Excitement levels have reached new heights, as The Locust Theorem, one of my latest short stories, is Story of the Week on Fairlight Books. If you haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, you can follow this link, or check out the snippet below…
Doctor Evans slept like the dead. She grumbled when I woke her.
‘Shh. Listen.’ I held up a hand. She rubbed her eyes, trying to make sense of the noise.
‘Where’s it coming from?’
She got up, frowning, and padded to the open window. ‘Sh*t, look at the stars.’
‘Am I dreaming?’
‘No.’ I joined her by the window, both of us staring slack-jawed at the shuddering sky.
‘What is it? I know that noise, I’ve heard it before.’
‘I think it’s teeth,’ I replied slowly. ‘Human teeth. Chattering.’
I am hugely excited to be able to tell you all that my latest short story, BORN – BREATHING – BOUND, has been accepted for publication in The Cadaverine!
I’m so grateful to the fabulous editor Lenni Sanders for finding my little tale in the slushpile and can’t wait to see it on Cadaverine’s pages. Cadaverine is a wonderful, free online magazine of poetry and prose from writers under 30 and I’m really honoured to be featured in its pages.
As many of you may know, I love short stories. Reading them, writing them, eating them… Ok, maybe I don’t literally imbibe them but there’s a definite consumption process involved in perusing a short story.
So you can imagine how excited I was this week when I got to interview KJ Orr, the winner of this year’s BBC National Short Story Award. As always, read the full article over on BookBrunch or enjoy the excerpt below.
The big book buzz this week has been about the 2016 BBC National Short Story Competition winner, KJ Orr, and her winning story, ‘Disappearances’. A debut author, Orr beat a heavyweight shortlist including Man Booker winner Hilary Mantel and Costa Poetry Award shortlisted Lavinia Greenlaw. Here, Orr discusses what it feels like to have won, how she came across short stories, and their value to readers.
“It feels pretty incredible and still quite hard to believe,” says Orr about winning the award. “I was settled on the idea that I hadn’t won so I was not prepared at all. Doing the live broadcast directly after was surreal. Most writers are fairly introverted, quiet souls, then there are moments where you have to come out and put on a public hat. I just hoped I made some sense because I wasn’t really prepared to say anything!”
It’s a strange thing, but as a publisher and an author, I find I have to very strict about when I wear my work hat and when I wear my writer’s hat, and it’s very rare that I feel comfortable letting those two things overlap. This weekend’s London Short Story Festival was one of those occasions.
Running from Friday 18 to Sunday 21 June, this was only the Festival’s second year running. Despite this, it boasted a jam-packed programme of events and all its Masterclass workshops sold out well before it started. Events featured authors from around the world, from established masters like Ben Okri, Helen Simpson and Toby Litt to new guns like Kirsty Logan and SJ Naude. The Festival is sponsored by Spread the Word, who are keen to represent the diversity of the short story form, and this showed in the programming.
My latest short story, Dear Versailles, has been published in Issue 3 of Hark Magazine. You can read it right here on page nineteen!
There will also be a launch night on the 28th November, at the Washington Pub in Hampstead Heath. I won’t be reading this time (though I may be in the future – watch this space!) but my fangirls and I will be there, so should you!
I’m delighted to announce that my latest short story, Dear Versailles, has been accepted for publication in Issue 3 of Hark Magazine, due out later this month.
Hark is a fantastic new publication, full of liminal literarture, short stories and poems, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with them. They have a great blog too, and have just posted a set of interviews with all the Issue 3 authors, which can be found here.
There will be a launch event on the 28th November at the Washington Pub in Hampstead, which you are all very welcome to attend. I’m personally really excited that this story in particular has been selected, as it’s very close to my heart and has been a while in the mulling pot, so I really do mean it when I say I hope to see you there.
Last night, there was an excellent and most wine-fuelled literary shindig: the Kilburn Literary Festival Flash Fiction Competition reading and public vote.
What a night. So many wonderful and entertaining stories, lots of talented writers in one room. I am very proud that I got to be one of them and, not only that, but also to have won the 3rd Prize for my entry, Until Then, Sister. Thank you so much to Toni Green read my flash fiction piece out so beautifully and congratulations to fellow-wordsmith Jade Summer on 1st Prize!
Don’t forget the Kilburn Literary Festival is still on for a few more days, so if you’re a lit bunny, do go and check out their upcoming events.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am thrilled to announce that I have been selected as a finalist for the inaugural Kilburn Literary Festival Flash Fiction Competition!
My entry, Until Then, Sister, has been selected as one of twelve finalists, each one coming to no more than five hundred words. There will be an event on 30th October for anyone who wants to come and hear the stories, which will be read out by professional actors. What’s more, the audience then gets to vote on the winner. That’s right – gulp! – it is that most feared of all things: a public vote!
So come along, hear some stories, vote some votes, and have a gosh-darn literary evening.
For more information, visit the Kilburn Literary Festival website right here.