The Alpine Fellowship Longlist

Alpine+Logo_new+text_midle

Well, this is turning into one cracker of a week, writing-wise…! I have been longlisted for The Alpine Fellowship.

This year’s theme is forgiveness and retribution. The winner receives a £10,000 prize, presented by the poet John Burnside.

Making this news even sparklier is the company of the wonderful Lynsey May and Rebecca Raeburn.

The shorlist will be announced in June.

 

Guest Reader at The Garsdale Retreat 2018

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 10.54.40

I am delighted to be a guest reader at The Garsdale Retreat this August. The novelist and playwright Hannah Vincent is leading a residential fiction course,  The Blank Page: Novel Writing for Beginners—and I’ll be popping down to this beautiful part of the Dales to read one of my short stories to the writers.

Poet Paul Deaton has described The Garsdale Retreat perfectly: ‘a northern sanctuary for writers across the UK.’ Their programme offers fiction, memoir, poetry, playwriting and songwriting courses, tutored by writers such as Janice Galloway, Ian Duhig, Willy Russell, Jo Bell and many more… And the food, the bountiful food, is mouthwatering.

 

Shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize 2018

Callooh! Callay! My novel, This Starling Flock, has made the shortlist for the Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize 2018.

Now it its eighth year, the competition seeks out unpublished novels by debut women writers. And the prize, sponsored by the Peter Fraser and Dunlop literary agency, has proved a wonderful catalyst. Previous winners and finalists include Gail Honeyman, who went on to publish the glorious Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Catherine Chanter, author of The Well, and Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott whose novel Swan Song will be launched this summer.

More information on the six shortlisted writers is available here. I am delighted to be in such talented company.

‘Story Shop’: Edinburgh International Book Festival 2015

 

11952738_10153789312678296_8749894850805246054_o

I’ll be reading at ‘Story Shop’ this month, a daily short-story slot at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Story Shop is a wonderful showcase for new and emerging writers run by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, and is now in its ninth year.  Do pop into the lovely Spiegeltent on my day, Monday 31st August. And do come along any or every day at 4pm, from 15th to 31st, to enjoy this year’s Story Shop writers.

In the meantime, here are audio previews for each of the seventeen writers.

wideshot-storyshop

The Rooftop Busker: New Writing Scotland 33

NWS33

I’m so pleased to have my short story, ‘The Rooftop Busker’, appear as the title piece in this year’s New Writing Scotland anthology. I’ll be reading from my story at the Edinburgh launch in Blackwell’s bookshop 1st September. The event is free and tickets can be reserved from  Blackwell’s.

This latest anthology from ASLS, edited by Gerry Cambridge and Diana Hendry, includes new work from writers such as Anne Donovan, Jim Carruth, Lesley Glaister, Vicki Jarrett and my old MLitt classmate Duncan Muir amongst many others. And it’s been lovely luxuriating in all their wonderful writing.

Popshot Magazine 13

walkingwater

© Jörn Kaspuhl

My short story ‘Walking Water’ is out today in the latest ‘Outsider’ issue of Popshot Magazine.

Popshot is a thing of beauty: fiction and poetry with glorious illustration. The artist Jörn Kaspuhl has illustrated my story: I love how he has caught my character, walking water.

It’s also lovely to appear alongside the talented poet Emma Simon, my fellow Jerwood/Arvon mentee. Her poem, ‘The Fish Man’, is a beautifully observed study of another character out of his natural element.

Finally, you can enjoy a taste of Popshot 13 here.

The Totleigh Barton Magic

Pigsties

Two weeks have already passed since I returned from my Masterclass Residency at Totleigh Barton, but the magic continues… My stay was a exhilarating initiation into my year as a Jerwood/Arvon mentee. I met eight wonderful writers – you can read about them here – and we were spun into various states of creativity during our workshops. We rewrote some D.H. Lawrence; we recast fairy tales into plays, diagnosing Rapunzel with Stockholm syndrome and introducing IVF into the Sleeping Beauty story; and we wrote a load of poems in three hours. We cooked and ate and drank – very, very well. And on the final night, compèred by the incomparable Sarah, we shared readings of our work-in-progress. Time to turn to my novel in earnest. Long may the Totleigh Barton magic continue!