Driving home the other day, unbeknownst to me the front passenger-side suspension spring broke on my car. I only realised the extent of the damage once I’d got home, when I saw the virtual zero clearance between tyre and wheel arch. Without doubt something nasty could have happened during those last few miles home… The… Read More Does our writing need a regular service?
It seems appropriate to briefly reflect on my first experience of Swanwick Summer School, a week spent with like-minded and friendly folk immersed in all things writing. There’s no point beating about the bush, the highlight of the week for me was reading my prize-winning short story Park’n’Ride at the prize winners’ event – and… Read More Swanwick Summer School, 2022
My Swanwick Summer School short story competition first prize has been picked up by a local news outlet and they have written a piece on me. You can read it here. Note: although the article says most of the US attendees to my monthly virtual poetry events come from California, for the anthologies contributors come… Read More No such thing as bad press?
I am delighted to announce that I have won First Prize in the Short Story category for the 2022 Swanwick Writers’ Summer school. This is a prestigious prize, and I am absolutely thrilled! Swanwick Writers’ Summer School has been captivating audiences for over 70 years. Believed to be the longest running residential writers’ school in… Read More Finally – A FIRST PRIZE!
Many years ago when I was studying at University, during holidays I used to work in a bookmakers. It was a wonderful experience for a young man learning about people and life. ‘Welshman’ is a short story based on those experiences, and whilst it is not a retelling of a specific event nor portraying real… Read More ‘Welshman’ – new podcast episode
Last week I had the great privilege of mentoring at another Writers’ Retreat. In addition to a couple of workshop sessions, at the core of my mentoring are 1-2-1 sessions with each of the attendees during which we discuss their current and future projects. Sometimes they arrived burdened with uncertainty over what to do next,… Read More Another great mentoring experience!
“you have to make an effort when putting pen to paper; it’s more meaningful; you leave something of yourself in the marks you make” Caroline, in my forthcoming story “Smoking in the Park”
I like to add some variety to my working routine. Often – as this morning – I make my way first thing to the café in one of our local supermarkets. Usually first or second to be served (black Americano and an almond croissant), I plant myself at the far corner table and open my… Read More Working in ‘the office’…
On Thursday next week I embark on another three-day gig as on-site mentor for a writers’ retreat. The commitment involves running a couple of workshops, some evening sessions – ice-breakers, readings etc. – and individual 1-2-1s with the participants. Based on my experiences thus far, I am probably looking forward to the 1-2-1s most of… Read More Looking forward to mentoring again…
If you were looking for a collection of short stories with a somewhat dizzying array of themes, characters and styles, you could do a lot worse than take a look at Daniel Mason’s “A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth”. Thanks to the variety in the nine stories offered us, it is actually very… Read More “A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth”
The other day I read my short story “Park’n’Ride” at a local writing group. Someone whose opinion I respect described it as ‘brilliant’. It was – needless to say – a real boost! Of course it was also a demonstration of how subjective our appreciation of writing – or any art – is. “Park’n’Ride” has… Read More One little word…
I have just published two new episodes on my “Walking Thru’ Fire” podcast; both are short stories. “Downsizing” – sometimes short stories can surprise you, emerging not from specific ideas or experiences, but growing organically from seeds which you are later unable to identify or remember. “Downsizing” is one such story. It will be included… Read More Two New Podcast Episodes
The stories in David Constantine’s “Tea at the Midland” are a little like stained glass windows: sometimes you see fully formed portals through which the sun shines, and on other occasions just a fragment or two of glass glinting in the sun. As a consequence – and as I may have said before – don’t… Read More “Tea at the Midland”
The best part of a week since I returned from my retreat and, in terms of ‘what next?’, things are now clearly in focus. Which was one of the things the retreat was all about, to answer questions like that. And the ‘what next’ things are tangible and solid. Firstly: finish my next novel; second… Read More After the dust settles…
06:55 – 13th May 2022 Another decent day yesterday with the majority of my time spent on editing ‘Reunion’. Some work on the Sonnets as I edge closer to drafting #80. Plus I started work on my Reviewers’ list by reestablishing control over my Goodreads author profile. I think I’ll be doing some work on… Read More Retreat – Day 3
A good day yesterday. Most of the creative effort went into editing “Reunion” plus some sonnet-dabbling. Had a snooze after lunch to try and catch-up on Tuesday’s poor night’s sleep, and another short walk before dinner for cobweb-blowing. The highlight was the ‘open mic’ though. I read my short story “Downsizing”, two sonnets – “Pilgrimage”… Read More Retreat – Day 2
For as long as I can remember, when it comes to my writing I have always found myself desperate for positive endorsement – both my own and from others. In the first instance we’re talking about self-esteem; in the second, about reviews, comments, feedback, sales. Actually in my case it’s about more than just endorsement;… Read More Imposter Syndrome – the worst possible thing for a Writer?
A small number of places remain on Writers’ Retreat UK’s June retreat in Lincolnshire. Having been on a number of retreats now, I know just how stimulating and rewarding – and productive! – such retreats can be. You can find details of the retreat here.
I have been wondering how I would answer if someone asked me what I was up to – in a literary sense, of course! In the broadest sense I think I am trying to build something, firstly in relation to my own writing, and secondly with Coverstory books. In many respects the second is easier… Read More Trying to build something…
David Constantine’s collection of short stories, “The Dressing-Up Box”, is, in many ways, unlike any other volume of short stories I have ever come across. Many of the narratives are slightly surreal, other-worldly, and in some cases the stories fail to follow the beginning-middle-end convention – not that there’s any problem in that at all… Read More “The Dressing-Up Box”