Exeter Writers

My story ‘Dying Teddy Bears’ was longlisted in the Exeter Writers competition (but did not progress any further). It is already in a couple of other competitions, so we’ll see how it does there.

Ann Pattison Memorial Prize

Sutton Writers has renamed its annual competition after Ann Pattison, a stalwart of the group who passed away recently. This year there had to be a link with St Mary’s church in Beddington, and they introduced separate categories for poetry and prose. I won the poetry (but not the overall trophy)! Maybe I should give poetry more of a try…

Dillydoun 2022

My story ‘A Voice Across the Coughing Brine’ has reached the Dillydoun Review long list!

The title is a quote from a Mervyn Peake poem…

A voice across the coughing brine
Has sewn your spirit into mine!
O love it is for me to die
Upon your bosom noisily,
Ah pity me, ah pity me,
What is it all about?
What is it all about?

Cranked Anvil

I’m longlisted in the latest Cranked Anvil competition! (Update: I was eventually shortlisted but not placed)

I’ve also had a slightly puzzling email from the Moth, telling me my entry has not been successful. The only thing about that is, I entered twice, on different dates. Does that mean the other one is still in the running (and which was it?). Probably not, but it’s hard not to over-interpret. (Update: of course neither had progressed). There’s a certain competition that keeps sending me messages that look like rejections at first sight, but turn out to be about some other trivial thing. Ah well.

Poetry shock

My poem ’Under and After All’ was longlisted for the Fish poetry prize! This is gratifying and surprising, because I hardly ever write poems. In this case I had a short story that was clearly a bit too strange and avant garde – so I thought, I’ll pare it down, chop up the lines, and call it a poem. If I were to write a poem, it would normally rhyme and stuff. There’s now a terrible temptation to get my old, failed stories out and make them into weird blank verse.

It’s here if you’re interested.