A good – and bad – writing week

I’ve had an oddly up-and-down seven days in terms of writing. Last Friday, I found out I’d made the longlist for the Colm Toibin International Short Story Award (shortlist to be announced tomorrow, but I’m telling myself not to get my hopes up – you know yourself).

Then I had the lovely news that a flash fiction piece of mine has been accepted for the launch issue of a new journal. Halo Literary Magazine will feature all-female contributors and sounds pretty interesting. I can’t wait to see the work they’ve brought together and I’m chuffed to be playing a small part in it.

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Those are not my Devon-bound feet

Finally, I was longlisted for a flash fiction competition to win a place on a writing retreat in Devon with Paul McVeigh. I was surprised to place at all as the story I wrote in response to a prompt sentence wanted to be much longer. I attempted to pare it down to the requisite 500 words because the prize was sooo good (it didn’t work, I know that). The retreat – and indeed all the workshops on offer through Retreat West – is worth checking out. Does the thought of spending four days writing while staying in an historic cottage right on Chesil Beach appeal to you? Yep, me too.

But, I hear you say, how then could it possibly have been a bad week? Well, I’ve just had my head turned so much by all this unaccustomed encouragement that I haven’t been able to concentrate long enough to put pen to paper. I’ve been as giddy as the younger Bennet sisters at the news that the regiment is in town. I did manage to knock a short story into shape to send out for a competition, but that was about it. Whenever there are periods like this, I feel I’ll never have an idea again – I’m sure I’m not alone. And in writing terms, I know it’s definitely a first-world problem, so when the dust settles I’ll hopefully be more focussed again.

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