Sunday, 29 December 2013

Next Year, Work Harder

"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." STEPHEN KING

Welcome to my end of year post! It might make for sobering reading, but I hope you won't mind that. Some of you might well need the kick up the arse I'm about to give you. You're welcome!

As anyone I've ever bored on to about writing knows, I'm a firm believer in discipline and hard work. Go to work every day, put the hours in, get a system together for submissions. I'm not rich (and probably never will be - HURRAY!) but all the same, I consider myself a success on my own terms. Success in my mind being: a writer who writes the way she wants to, and gets her work published pretty regularly. Your definition of success is probably different, but there is mine, and I'm sticking to it.

Below, I detail what I've been up to this year, in numbers.


Number of hours spent writing: 450 (approx)
Number of hours spent submitting: 16 (approx)


Number of submissions made: between 48 & 52 (approx)
Number of short stories published: 5: 3 print, 2 web

Most number of times a story was rejected before finding a home: 18 (approx)
Fewest number of times a story was rejected before finding a home: 1
Number of times a story got accepted the first time I sent it out: 0

The Best Of Times, The Worst Of Times

Low point: receiving 4 rejections for the same story within the space of 2 days.
High points: seeing my words handset in a letterpress book made by a friend; having my novel accepted at Cinder House & Dead Ink Books.

In Summary:

You won't get anywhere if you sit around feeling sorry for yourself.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Toro - a new short story

[Image courtesy of Dead Ink Books]

My new short story, Toro, is now available to read for free on the Dead Ink Books site. Many thanks to Nathan at Dead Ink Books for all his help with this! 

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Top Dog: available now!

Photo credit: Jeff Moriarty

I'm really excited that my story, Top Dog, has been published in the December issue of the US lit journal Toasted Cheese. The issue is now online and you can read the story for free by clicking here!

Many thanks for Theryn and all the editors at Toasted Cheese for deciding to publish my work.

Currently reading

Pharmakon Dirk Wittenborn
Bossypants Tina Fey

Crap Dad: The Ideal Christmas Gift

(Photo by Phil Treble / @muttonsandnuts) 

"There once was a family who lived in a wood; a boy, a girl, and their selfish old Papa. The children went about barefoot, and ate whatever they could find on the forest floor. They were always dirty and hungry. Their Papa had no interest in looking after them. He lay in bed all day, smoking and listening to filth on the wireless." 

 Now available to buy: a seriously limited edition handmade letterpress short story chapbook. Featuring a modern-day flash fiction fairy tale, written by me, in a book with a centrepiece illustration by Helen Entwistle, and letterpress printed and handmade by Phil Treble.

Only 100 of these were ever made, and believe me they are absolutely beautiful - the picture really doesn't do them justice. I am forever grateful to Phil for making these, and for he and Helen for collaborating with me on them. You can buy these from me at readings, or email me, or they're available in Phil's etsy shop.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Join my mailing list!

As a general rule, I think mailing lists are the work of the devil. I say this as somebody who regularly gets added to mysterious email lists without her permission.

HOWEVER. Following a recent request to join my mailing list (I don't have a mailing list!) I decided it was probably about time I started one of my own. 

Here are my mailing list promises to you:

1. I won't pass on your email address to anyone else EVER.
2. I won't email you every single day (too busy). You'll probably get emails three to four times a year at the MOST. 
3. My mailout will contain exciting information like: where my stories have been published lately, where I'll be giving live readings, when my book comes out, etc. 

In addition!

4. To make the mailout more exciting and creative, subscribers to the mailing list will receive one completely exclusive story a year via email. The story will be something new, unpublished elsewhere, and will be available only to mailout subscribers. This is my way of thanking you for taking an interest in my work. 

You can sign up below: 

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