Monthly Archives: February 2022

In praise of stories

I have struggled to write a post this morning and it’s probably true of many of us who are overwhelmed by events and question the point, at times, of writing our stories. I read this on Saturday, written by the inimitable George Saunders in his Story Club email, and I want to share part of it with you. If you’ve already seen it, I apologise, but I think it bears reading again (and again). Continue reading

Twos-day Writers!

In case you hadn’t noticed it’s Tuesday 22/2/22 today. A palindrome. Some cultures believe that palindrome dates are a sign of good luck. Some couples marry on palindrome days for luck. So why not take advantage of such vibes, and write a story (or two).
Here’s a few suggestions to get you going: Continue reading

It’s February 14th …

Tree ‘heart’ ring, Cambodia

February 14th is marked by effusions of gauzy froth in shop windows, rose-tinted Prosecco, truffles with just a blush of strawberry, raspberry, in fact, anything pinkish that can be blobbed onto chocolate, with the possible exception of salmon. And then there are the cards: slushy, cutesy, jokey and the predictable ‘pornucopia’ range. We buy for lovers, mates and children so that a big red envelope plops onto the doormats of those we care about or want to tease. For years I sent all my friends’ children jolly Valentine cards (a habit picked up in the US where cards for this most Hallmark of holidays came in in boxed sets of 24 with one for teacher too). Continue reading

Reading as writers

Photo by
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You’re a writer, so you read. A lot. Right? We all know how important it is, it’s one of the mantras. You want to write short stories, you need to read them. Find out how they work, what you like, what sparks you? Read outside your comfort zone, read what you love, read what others recommend. Read everything! But how are you reading? Are you paying attention? Are you noticing what the writer is doing? When I teach short story courses, alongside the writing exercises, we read a story a week, looking at how it works. We take the story apart, if you like, examine the craft (it used to be called practical criticism when I was at school) and then we try it out in our own writing. Continue reading

New novel from BSSA 2021 prize winner, Kristen Loesch

Kristen Loesch won the third prize in our 2021 Award with her brilliant short story, ‘Important Letters’, which you can read in our 2021 Anthology, available from Ad Hoc Fiction and Amazon. This month (February 2022), her debut novel The Porcelain Doll, shortlisted in the Caledonian Novel Award and The Bath Novel Award is published in the UK and sounds fascinating: Continue reading