Some of you will be well acquainted with Jo Derrick's beautiful short story magazine, The Yellow Room, which is published twice a year. I just wanted to mention it for those who may not know it yet.
It has a lovely glossy cover displaying David Derrick's thoughtful and inspiring photography, sometimes black-and-white and often containing a glorious warm amber glow.
Inside is a wealth of literary stories of all kinds. Jo, who founded and edits the magazine, accepts submissions via email or post and is especially keen to receive stories up to 1600 words in length at present. However, stories up to 2500 words are eligible.
Flash fiction is also welcome.
Jo also runs a competition twice a year for stories up to 1500 words or flash pieces up to 300 words.
The magazine is of very high quality, both in terms of content and appearance. Jo is so enthusiastic about new and emerging writers, hoping to give an opportunity to those whose writing sparkles with originality, risk and that special magic. I always send her my best work! It's an honour to be part of such a vivid collection of stories in this neat A5 format, almost more of a book than a magazine, with its solid spine and crisp pages.
The previous issue, Number Seven, featured a story by Carys Bray, who has since had a wonderful collection, Sweet Home, published by Salt. I would highly recommend this book. I couldn't put it down. I was reading it while cooking, while Christmas shopping, while I supposed to be doing my own writing, hiding upstairs with it while the family were trying to find me. I read it until it was finished and then wished I still had it all to come.
One of my favourite short stories, At The Launderette, by Sarah Barr appeared in issue Two of The Yellow Room. I still read it as an example of the craft whenever I need a reminder of how an excellent story should be written.
Spare language, smooth development of the main character in a believable and careful progression throughout, a great stirring of emotion and a perfect ending. I won't say any more about it here, but will maybe devote the next post to why I think it's so compelling. It taught me a lot about taking care to pare a story down to the bone.
Issue Eight of The Yellow Room is available now.