The Paperback Collective

A few months ago a very enterprising young woman called Jayde-Ashe (you can visit her lovely blog right here) had an idea. She wanted to establish a monthly online magazine of creative talent, showcasing stories, essays, poems, articles and photographs from contributors around the world. So she did it. And I’m in Issue Four, which you […]

Continue Reading →

Leave a Comment

One Down, Eight To Go

Nobody, not even the rain, has such small paws. Sorry E.E. Cummings, I have ever so slightly edited a line of your masterpiece (the wonderful poem “somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond”) in honour of my cat. I have two cats – Sam (who is always presumed to be a boy, but is in fact Samantha) […]

Continue Reading →

Leave a Comment

The Bank of Words

Robert Southey said: “It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.” Short fiction – good short fiction – can have an emotional impact and resonance not found in quite the same way in longer fiction. That is why I love it. The trouble is, it’s fecking hard […]

Continue Reading →

Leave a Comment

Elizabeth Goes Shopping

One day Elizabeth woke up and decided to go shopping. She dressed in trousers and an anorak and wrapped a paisley scarf around her hair. After breakfast she ducked through the kitchen, out the gates and was on the No. 32 bus before anyone had noticed she was gone. First stop, Boots the Chemist for […]

Continue Reading →

Leave a Comment

Crossing Over

Just for fun: I’ve written the same story, first in under 150 words, and then in under 300 words. I’ve entered both in different Flash Fiction competitions. Which do you think is best? Why? Crossing Over (150 words) We spear through the pre-dawn. As we shoot down the last hill before the pier, all wheels […]

Continue Reading →

3 Comments

A Short Short Story

As I have previously pointed out, I love writing short fiction. Perhaps still high on my success in the 2013 Reader’s Digest 100-word story competition (I came runner-up), I’ve just entered the BNZ (Bank of New Zealand) Literary Awards, in the Short Short Story category (150 words). As long as your story is deemed eligible, it’s published […]

Continue Reading →

2 Comments

Throat Clearing

I adore short fiction. I adore reading and writing it, and I suspect it may be where I eventually take up permanent residence in the writing universe. (For the moment I’m just peripatetically dabbling.) Here’s a gem from a Short Story workshop I attended at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival yesterday. The teacher, Australian writer […]

Continue Reading →

2 Comments

A Festival-Goer Field Guide

The Auckland Writers and Readers Festival kicks off tomorrow. I have spent the equivalent of a small Third World country’s debt buying tickets to the various workshops, author talks and seminars on offer. I can’t wait. They’re a funny lot, W & R Festival-Goers. It’s worth the admission price just to sit outside the various […]

Continue Reading →

2 Comments

The Writer in print

It’s quite something to see yourself in print. This story was published in the April 2013 issue of Takahē, a New Zealand literary magazine. I received my copy in my letterbox today. I have posted the story previously, but for the sake of ease, here it is for those who haven’t read it before. The Writer The Devil […]

Continue Reading →

Leave a Comment

My Wee Winning Story

My, that’s a large one. I refer to the photo of my face that jumped out and slapped me as I opened the April issue of Reader’s Digest (New Zealand edition). With the issue finally out today, I can announce that out of thousands of entries I am one of two runners-up in the NZ Readers […]

Continue Reading →

Leave a Comment