It has only recently occurred to me that I should think before submitting work to absolutely any magazine or competition who will have me, but when Slingink announced they were unable to award prize money for their July competition, I did stop and work out that if they selected me as a prizewinner , the story would get published; a nice gesture, but one that would earn me nothing and prevent me from entering it into other more profitable competitions or sending it to a commercial publisher. As a result I did withdraw that particular story , in the hope it might do better elsewhere.
Since then Slingink (which began as a spin-off from an Open University fiction writing course) have selected two other stories of mine for publication in the All Shorts e-zine. One of these stories is Preparing for Winter which has already won two prizes and looked like being a ‘banker.’ But I earn no money for it in this case, and so it looks like its earnings potential my have come to a (premature?) end. But even if this is a small circulation mag with limited publicity, I don’t feel too despondent. Hey – I have two more short stories selected for publication and there are still some competitions which accept published work. The e-zine is also available in print via Lulu and looks rather nice, and so if If anyone is interestedin reading Preparing for Winter and Talking to Amy, All Shorts costs just £3 + postage, or you can download it and read it free here. Look out for some nice formatting and illustrations. More importantly, time to move on and write something else. For all I know, there’s another, better, money spinner holed up in my head.
It has been a busy week, but thanks to i-player I’m catching up with the series of short stories going out on Radio 4 all from ‘debut’ writers called Opening Lines. The first of these (Horse, by Emma Greengrass) is an afffectionate portrait of an elderly lady. It ticks all the short story boxes but falls short, I think, of the wow factor. I much prefer Jon Pinnock’s The Amazing Arnolfini and his Wife, broadcast yesterday, about a husband and wife tightrope walking team, ten minutes of pure entertainment.
Adding a quick update. Heather Reid’s Kiss is also great . But then the heroine’s voice bears a striking resemblance to someone I know quite well. And the writing is lovely. And the ending is very (but not too) neat. Another class act.