- short stories -
- flash fiction -
'A powerful novella of real substance, bold technique and readerly appeal, it’s the kind of literary fiction that would grace the shelves of any bookstore and find a passionate readership'
~ Michael Loveday
I was thrilled that my novella Homing was one of four shortlisted in 2020 for the annual Saboteur Awards, which recognises writers, publishers and performers from smaller, independent presses and events.
What readers say about Homing:
'holding back tears having just finished this incredible piece of work'
'Each piece is short [yet] feels epic'
'makes spectacular use of the novella form'
so good I devoured it in one sitting'
'an engaging and unputdownable novella-in-flash [...] beautiful and poetic'
'just buy it!'
'poignant and moving and beautifully crafted'
I am also a trained, professional proofreader and Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading. If you are interested in these services, please see my website www.ascribe-editing.com.
Short stories. Flash fiction. Novella
Publication 29 June 2019
I was stunned and delighted to be named one of the two runners-up in the Bath Flash Fiction novella-in-flash competition 2019. My novella is now available for purchase from Ad Hoc Fiction. It tells the story of a Norwegian family from the Second World War onwards, and the judge's report, by Michael Loveday, can be read here. The novella was also simultaneously shortlisted in the Ellipsis Zine flash collection competition, under a different title. Two chapters can be read here (Ellipsis) and here (Reflex Press). Buy the ebook here for £4.99.
FIRST PRIZE, BATH FLASH FICTION AWARD
In a challenging year, winning the Bath Flash Fiction competition was a true highlight. My story 'Blessings, 1849', is set in the Irish potato famine and forms one of the chapters of my work in progress.
The 2020 anthology, Restore to Factory Settings is available to buy here from Ad Hoc Fiction, and also includes two of my other shortlisted stories, Backfire and [Insert Title Here], a Novel.
FIRST PRIZE, CAMBRIDGE PRIZE FOR FLASH FICTION
I was beyond thrilled to win first prize in this year's The Short Story flash fiction competition, judged by Elisabeth Ingram Wallace, for my 400-word story, 'Yew'. The Short Story is a champion of the short form, and their website is a treasure trove of flash fiction, short stories, interviews and essays. You can read my interview about the story and writing in general, here.
THE COMPOSITION OF US - LUCY WRITERS PLATFORM
My flash fiction piece The Composition of Us was published in response to a call for submissions on the theme of Friendship in the time of Covid,as part of the Lucy Writers #disembodiedvoices series. It is a celebration of female friendship that can persist despite many rocky paths.
MSLEXIA ISSUE 82
My short story 'Smalls' was chosen as one of the five twice-yearly themed Showcase prose pieces, selected by judge and award-winning author Linda Grant. I bought my first issue of Mslexia in June 2008, a month after my eldest was born, even though I wasn't writing then, and wouldn't until 2016. Other than a couple of really skint years, I have subscribed ever since. It's a still-unreal dream to see my writing in the pages of this brilliant magazine, alongside some fantastic authors.
12 August 2019
SmokeLong is an online literary magazine 'dedicated to bringing the best flash fiction to the web'. It accepts pieces of 1000 words or fewer. Established in 2003, they publish one story a week. My story, 'Marks', was chosen by guest reader Elisabeth Ingram Wallace, a wonderful, unique and talented writer whose work I greatly admire, so it was an honour to have my story picked by her that week. In September 2020, this story was also chosen by a selection of renowned writers and editors as one of the top 50 best British and Irish flash fiction stories 2019-20 (BIFFY50).
CAMBRIDGE SHORT STORY PRIZE
My story, set in Scarborough in the early 1990s, reached the shortlist of the TSS Cambridge Short Story Prize. It's one I had worked on for years so it's lovely that people can finally read it.
FLASHBACK FICTION: MOON-THEMED MICROFICTION
To commemorate the moon landing in 1969, the brilliant online historical flash journal launched the second of its microfiction competitions. My piece 'Moon Burial' was placed third, and it is about Eugene Shoemaker, geologist and planetary science expert. You can read more about him here. I'm thrilled to have a piece on the Flashback site, as I really love the work they feature and admire the team and their dedication to historical flash.
DINESH ALLIRAJAH PRIZE FOR SHORT FICTION/COMMA PRESS
An annual collaborative short story prize between Comma Press and UCLan, in memory of much-loved writer and tutor Dinesh Allirajah. My story 'The Power of Suggestion' was shortlisted in 2019. All seven shortlisted pieces are available as an ebook for the bargain prize of 99p on the link below. A fantastic range of stories, all with a different approach to the theme of 'Scent', by some super writers. The next theme will be 'Artificial Intelligence'.
Reflex Press runs an ongoing flash fiction (180-360 words) competition with a fun concept, whereby the longlisted flashes are published online day by day, in a countdown to the three placed stories. I have had longlisted stories published online in the autumn 2018, summer 2019 and winter 2019. In winter 2018 my story (a chapter from Homing) won third place. Read the judge's report for 'Heartwood' here. My work features in two anthologies, The Real Jazz Baby and The Girls' Guide to Fly Fishing, both available to buy here.
THE BRIGHTON PRIZE ANTHOLOGY
The Brighton Prize arose from the Rattle Tales spoken word event in Brighton. My story 'Seven Minutes' was the second story I ever wrote and was published in the 2018 Brighton Anthology, edited by Erinna Mettler and Edward Rowe, as one of its Highly Commended stories. A victim of its own success, the competition is taking a break in 2019 while it looks into funding opportunities.
You can buy the print anthology from the link below, or the ebook here.
Ellipsis Zine describes itself as 'an online literary magazine for beautifully written fiction & creative nonfiction. 1,000 words or fewer, any genre'. My flash fiction piece 'Learning to Share' was published online by Ellipsis in September 2018 and is one of the first pieces I wrote for my novella-in-flash. Ellipsis runs a flash collection competition as well as publishing flash fiction print magazines and novellas.
July 2018; March 2019
Strix is a literary magazine that launched in Leeds, UK, in 2017. Its poetry editors are Andrew Lambeth and Ian Harker, with SJ Bradley as fiction editor. In 2018 Strix was nominated for best magazine at the Saboteur Awards. My short story 'The Butterfly Project' featured in Issue #4 and 'A Catalogue of Chemical Abundances' was included in Issue #6. It is a stunning magazine, both in form and content, and I'm delighted to have had my work featured here, and to have read at both magazine launches, in the 250-year-old Leeds Library.
RETREAT WEST CHARITY ANTHOLOGY NO GOOD DEED
Retreat West publishes an annual themed anthology, with proceeds going to a different charity each year. This year's theme was 'Help' and the anthology will be called No Good Deed. The contributors are chosen from a selection of invited writers and open submissions. My story 'Bufo Bufo' was chosen from the open call. The charity chosen is the wonderful Indigo Volunteers, who place volunteers in refugee camps.
Lunate accepted my flash fiction piece Avowal for one of their weekly online publication slots. A zine that launched in 2019, it has already published an array of excellent flash fiction, poetry and short stories. They also run competitions in those genres.
17 April 2020
The Best Microfiction anthology series provides recognition for outstanding literary stories of 400 words or fewer. Co-edited by award-winning microfiction writer/editor Meg Pokrass, and Flannery O’Connor Prize-winning author Gary Fincke, the anthology features the award-winning author Michael Martone serving as final judge. My story 'Heartwood', which is also a chapter from my novella Homing, and which received third prize in the Reflex Press quarterly prize, has been chosen for the 2020 Best Microfiction anthology.