LISP: Recommended and Interview


A special thanks to The London Independent Story Prize (LISP) for organising their quarterly competition. I have a story in their Recommended list this quarter alongside a short interview – which you can read here 


Long List And Recommended

Happy to share a flash of mine landed on the long list of Flash 500 – one of my favourite writing competitions on the calendar, so I’m delighted to make it so far. Congratulations to everyone on the short list, and I’m looking forward to reading the winning entries.

Another pleasant surprise today was being selected for the  Recommended list in the London Independent Story Prize (LISP) with a flash I wrote last year called ‘Manchester’. This was the first time I’ve submitted to their contest, so it was great news to be included in the final entries. I have an interview coming up with LISP about my writing along with the recommended story so I’ll share a link when it goes live.

A big thank you to both Flash 500 and LISP for all their hard work organising and reading and maintaining the contests.

Until next time.


Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine


Delighted to have a piece I wrote earlier this year, called You Begin To Ache In All The Same Places accepted for publication in Flash: The International Short- Short Story Magazine Issue 11.1 April 2018.

Flash has an excellent reputation and is one of the world’s leading publishers of flash fiction, so it’s a pleasure to be included in their next edition. Past contributors include Booker and Pulitzer prize winners and nominees and other critically acclaimed authors such as Margaret Atwood, Beryl Bainbridge, David Gaffney, James Kelman, Meg Pokrass, Calum Kerr, Ian Rankin, Ian Seed, Meg Tuite, Jennifer Egan and many more outstanding writers I admire.

You can read all about the magazine here, or subscribe or order past copies from their website here.

I’ve been reading a lot of short stories and flash recently, and one piece which stood out for me was Now That the Circus Has Shut Down, the Human Cannonball Looks for Work  by Meghan Phillips, published over at Wigleaf last month. It’s brilliant, and you really should go and read it here. You’ve got to admire a story done as well as it can be.

On that note, I read a great article in The New Yorker this week, called Donald Glover Can’t Save You by Tad Friend. It’s a long read, but well worth the time, and gives a range of insights into the mind of Glover, the multi talented creator of FX’s Atlanta. Fascinating. Highlights include his prediction that ‘we are probably at the end of the storytelling age’ and concerns about Elon Musk. Highly recommended, go read it here.

Other things to look out for – tickets for the 2018 Flash Fiction Festival UK, held at Trinity College, Bristol on the weekend of Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd July, are selling fast, so to avoid disappointment, go get yours now. The festival is for beginning and experienced writers who want to learn more about flash fiction and features workshops by leading flash fiction practitioners from the UK, USA, Ireland and Germany. The inaugural event was a huge success last year. Further details including a line up of events and speakers, can be found here. 

Last but not least, the National Flash Fiction Day Anthology has a call out for submissions until the 31st March 2018, which gives you a little more time yet to be included. Editors for this year’s anthology are National Flash Fiction Day co-director Santino Prinzi and the award-winning writer Alison Powell.

For more details you can visit the website here. 




Bending Genres


There’s a new online journal in town, Bending Genres, offering writing retreats, online workshops and contests and special events. Their pilot issue was pretty special, with work from all the founding names including: Robert Vaughan, Meg Tuite, David O’ Connor, Samuel Fox, Jonathan Cardew, Jessica Mehta, Sisco Hollard and Adam Robinson.

The first issue is now up, and I’m pleased to see a piece I wrote late last year included in there, called Places Satellites Go To Die, amongst some other stellar pieces. This is the first thing I’ve had published this year, so it’s a special one for me – breaking the 2018 seal so to speak. You can read it here.

One other important thing to note, it’s the last weekend to enter this quarter’s Bath Flash Fiction Award. For anyone not familiar with the Bath Flash Fiction Award, it’s brilliant and one of the best contests on the flash calendar. This round is being judged by Tara L. Masih, editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and The Chalk Circle (both ForeWord Books of the Year), author of Where the Dog Star Never Glows, and Founding Series Editor of the Best Small Fictions series. So, no pressure there then…

Right, I’m off to find a pen, and a blank sheet of paper.

See also, happy new year


lancet liver parasite

A creature which spends its entire adult life inside a cow’s liver. After mating, its eggs are excreted into the cow’s faeces, where snails, who like to snack on cow shit, eat the parasite’s eggs. To rid themselves of these unwelcome intruders, the snails package the eggs up into cysts and secrete them through their slime trails.

Next, ants, who use the snail trails as a source of moisture, ingest the sticky eggs. Once inside the ant’s gut, the parasite heads straight for the nerve cells located beneath the ant’s esophagus and hijacks them, taking control of the ant.

Thus, by day, the infected ant goes about their usual business, but as the sun drops, the parasite takes over, drawing the host away from the safety of its colony and forcing the ant to the top of the nearest blade of grass, where it will stand, transfixed, mesosoma upright, waiting for a grazing cow to come along and eat it; So begins the cycle once more.

See also happy new year