Sunday, 28 February 2010

Hopes And Dreams

I am excited today, because it is March. The Haiti book is published this week and I can't wait to see it. I keep imagining holding it in my hands. That new book feel and new book smell! It will be very special.

There are also a few competition results due soon. I am really pleased to be on the Fish Short Story Prize short list. Two of mine reached the long list, which was massively thrilling. But when one of them moved into the short list, I was somewhat jubilant. It's a story that's a particular favourite and I had hoped it would do well somewhere. But I didn't realise it was good enough to find a place on this particular list. The winning stories are announced on the 17th, so I won't be able to help daydreaming. However, I shall still be delighted with the progress the story has made, even if it goes no further. And, as I've always said, if you believe in a story, it will succeed somewhere else. Just knowing that someone has liked it enough to keep it in contention, from 1800 entries down to the final 140, is good enough for me.

There are one or two other results due this month and I also have a lot of stories with magazines, which may notify me soon. One way or the other, it's good to know the fate of a story. The successes are always going to mean incredible joy. The rejections mean a twinge of disappointment, followed by sleeve-rolling, tweaking and re-submitting with all the fresh hope that brings.

Sunday, 14 February 2010


I am pleased to have one of my stories in 100 Stories For Haiti, £11.99, Bridge House Publishing.

The earthquake victims will be helped if people buy the book. I feel slightly less selfish about wanting to be a writer now that I have contributed to this.

Writing is a solitary and single-minded thing to do. Writers can become obsessed and insular. They feel guilty giving so much time and attention to writing, especially when it isn't easy to make a living out of it. The creative rewards are always there for the writer, but it is nice to see that sometimes the financial rewards can be there for other people as well.