In which we share the latest news from The Fiction Desk, including upcoming publications, writing competitions, and other odds and ends.
Monday, 17th March 2014. There are no comments.
On Wednesday 19th March, two of our authors will be doing a reading at the British Institute in Florence, Italy.
They’re both well worth reading, or listening to, so if you’re in the area, go along and see them!
It’s time to announce the winners of our 2014 Flash Fiction Competition. We had a lot of great entries this year, and putting together the shortlist has been tricky. So tricky, in fact, that we’ve increased the number of finalists from the planned four to six.
This year’s finalists, in no particular order, are:
- Nik Perring, with ‘Loss Angina’
- James Collett, with ‘Little Bird Story’
- Sarah Evans, with ‘Mission to Mars — an A to Z Guide’
- Dan Purdue, with ‘The Guy in the Bear Suit’
- Die Booth, with ‘Badass’
- Cindy George, with ‘Colouring In’
And the overall winner is:
- Jo Gatford, with ‘Bing Bong’
Thanks again to everybody who took part in our competition this year, and congratulations to the winners!
I’ll be in touch with the winners in the next few days, and all of the above stories will appear in an upcoming Fiction Desk anthology, so keep an eye out for that.
Today we’re launching the 2014 edition of our annual ghost story competition.
The first prize this year is £500, with at least five finalists each receiving £100. (This may go up to ten, depending on the entries we receive.)
For more information, see the ghost story competition page in our submissions area. And if you need inspiration (or just fancy a good read), pick up or download a copy of our anthology New Ghost Stories, which includes last year’s winners.
Wednesday, 26th February 2014. There are no comments.
The Writer’s Award is voted for by the contributors to the anthology, and along with the acclaim of his peers, Jason receives £100.
‘Half Mom’ is the third story we’ve published by Jason, who made his Fiction Desk debut in our very first anthology, Various Authors, with the story ‘Assassination Scene’. His story ‘Get on Green’ later appeared in All These Little Worlds.
We’ll look forward to featuring more of Jason’s stories in future; in the meantime, why not pick up (or download) a copy of New Ghost Stories and read his winning story for yourself.
If you’re in Rome on 12th February, Fiction Desk regular Charles Lambert will be launching his new novel, The View from the Tower, at the Almost Corner Bookshop.
Charles Lambert is a fine author, and the Almost Corner is a fine bookshop, so it’s well worth going if you can make it. It starts at 18:30, and you’ll find more information on the Wherevent page. There’s more information on The View from the Tower at the publisher’s website here.
The cover for New Ghost Stories, our sixth anthology, is pretty straightforward, but also a little bit revolutionary — at least by our standards. The covers for the first five volumes were simple photographs, with very little processing. They followed fixed rules: everything had to be in front of the camera, and only paper and the written — or printed — word could be featured in the photograph. New Ghost Stories was originally intended to follow those rules, but ended up breaking them in a last-minute rush to get the files to the printers.The original plan was to repeat the cover design from our first anthology, Various Authors, but with gravestones in place of the figures from the original cover.
Where the text on the cover of Various Authors is a rambling mission statement for the series, the text on New Ghost Stories is an equally rambling, stream-of-consciousness ghost story, made up on the spur of the moment to fill the page. (Don’t worry: the cover is the only place in a Fiction Desk anthology where you’re likely to find much in the way of stream-of-consicousness prose.)
However, when the gravestones were cut out, they didn’t really work as well as the original figures had: there’s something, well, lifeless about gravestones, even with the addition of the bird from Richard Smyth’s story (er, top left).
With a couple of hours to go before the files were due at the printers, there wasn’t time to start a new design from scratch. I ended up flattening the gravestones back down into the paper, and taking various shots of the text. I layered these on the computer with varying levels of opacity, altering the colours and inverting the top layer. There was a brief flirtation with the use of a ribbon to hold the title — see the photo at the top of this post — and the cover went off to the printers with minutes to spare.
It could have wound up as a complete dog’s breakfast, but actually I’m rather pleased with the cover of New Ghost Stories. And breaking the rules once has set a precedent for the future. Anything could happen… now, where’s my scalpel?
Tuesday, 12th November 2013. There are 3 Comments.
It’s time to announce the latest winner of the Fiction Desk Writer’s Award.
The Writer’s Award is given for the best story of each anthology, as voted by our contributors. Nobody else gets a vote, meaning that the award really does represent the judgement of the writers themselves; after all, they’re the ones who best know what makes a good short story.
Today’s award is for the best story in Because of What Happened, our fifth anthology. It was a tough contest, with fifteen stories to choose from, including Tania Hershman’s already-prizewinning story from our 2013 flash fiction competition. But we have a winner…
I’m delighted to announce that our writers chose Cindy George’s story ‘The Coaster Boys’ as the winner of the Fiction Desk Writer’s Award. Congratulations Cindy!
Cindy George has written a post for us about the inspiration behind her story; you can read her post here, and you can read the story itself in Because of What Happened, out now in paperback, Kindle, and other ebook editions.
The 2014 edition of our annual flash fiction competition is open now.
This year, we’ve boosted the first prize to £200, and reduced the maximum word count slightly to 1,000 words. (We thought that 1,250 words may be a little long for flash fiction.)
Entry fees are the same as last year, and the deadline is midnight on 31 January 2014 (UK time).
For more information visit our Flash Fiction Competition pages. You’ll find the full terms at the bottom of the entry forms.
We had a great response to last year’s competition – see the winning entries in our anthology Because of What Happened – so I’m really looking forward to reading this year’s entries.
Thursday, 1st August 2013. There are 3 Comments.
We had a fantastic response, especially given that the competition is only in its first year. Listing only the two winning stories wouldn’t really do justice to the strength and variety of entries we received, so we’ve decided to add a shortlist to our announcement.
The winner of the £500 first prize is:
- ‘Guests’ by Joanne Rush
The winner of the £100 second prize is:
- ‘At Glenn Dale’ by Julia Patt
The ten shortlisted stories are:
- ‘Half Mom’ by Jason Atkinson
- ‘The 25th Caprice’ by Linda Brucesmith
- ‘Tom’ by Oli Hadfield
- ‘Washout’ by Matthew Licht
- ‘No Good Deed’ by Amanda Mason
- ‘In the Walls’ by Miha Mazzini
- ‘A Whole Bloody Century’ by Jonathan Pinnock
- ‘Journeyman, a ghost story’ by Eloise Shepherd
- ‘Chalklands’ by Richard Smyth
- ‘Old Ghosts’ by Ann Wahlman
Thank you again to everybody who took part. The two winning stories will appear in an upcoming anthology, and hopefully we’ll be able to feature some of the shortlisted entries too.
We’ll certainly be running this competition again next year, so stay tuned for details of that. (We’ll also be running our flash fiction competition again this autumn.)
I was delighted to hear that Fiction Desk favourite Charles Lambert has secured publishers for not one but three new books.
It’s been almost three years since the publication of Lambert’s last novel, Any Human Face, making him the author equivalent of a city bus (you wait years for one, and then…).
Two of the new books are thrillers, which will be published by Exhibit A, the crime imprint of Angry Robot Books. This is exciting news in itself: Angry Robot are a terrific publisher, and I’m a fan of Robot Trading Company, through which they sell ebooks direct to readers.
The other book, described in The Bookseller as ‘a series of 120-word texts, arranged by theme, adding up to a picture of one man’s life,’ will be published by Scott Pack at The Friday Project. I know Scott’s a fan of Charles Lambert, so this intriguing book is in safe hands.
Good news all round, then!