Thursday, 21 August 2014

Short stories you can read for free!

The other day, I was boring on to somebody about short stories, and how there are so many great short story writers out there, doing great work.

Even better, there are even lots of magazines - high quality ones - publishing new short stories that you can read, completely FREE, online.

Electric Literature does this amazing series called "Recommended Reading" where they publish a new story, every week, recommended by a reputable organisation or writer. The best of all is, they also publish these in e-reader friendly formats, so that you can send them to your device, should you wish to.

One of my recent favourites from Recommended Reading was 'Not a Bad Bunch' by Anu Jindal:

"One time, Stigsson, a lumbering, manic Swede, leapt while climbing down from the mast. Fifteen feet, blurred blond beard and soiled bare feet flagging in the air towards the deck, where he landed in a funny way. As it happened, a stray nail had been left behind where he touched down and it entered him through his heel, paralyzing his foot permanently so that he walks always with a kind of slump now."

You can download or read the rest of it here:

There's this other publisher called Fiddleblack who specialise in what they call a 'modern literary aesthetic', specifically 'antipastorialism'. It's pretty interesting and you can read their mission statement here.

A recent favourite from their publishing series was Sharpening the Sickle to Shame the Scythe by Matthew Jabukowski:

"IN THE HOURS BEFORE Lauren Hunter-Aikens got the news she was stuck trying to revise a story she had written in her creative therapy group.

In the story, the narrator imagined that the news of her son’s death would come by phone. She would be at work drinking coffee, clicking with intense focus through documents on her computer screen. Her phone would buzz in her purse. Not wanting to disturb the office silence, she would answer right away and keep her voice low out of respect for her colleagues on the other sides of her cube.

The voice would ask if she were sitting down. She’d say yes, why?"

You can read the rest of the story on the Fiddleblack website.

More soon. 

Currently reading

Thirst Andrei Gelasimov
Norwood Charles Portis

Saturday, 9 August 2014

What's new?

Or: another post containing a list of good news....

"Brick Mother... is urban, northern and authentic", says Dave Schofield over at Structo magazine; you can read the full review here

Upcoming appearances:

Richard Smyth and I will be appearing at Bad Language on 27th August, at The Castle Hotel in Manchester. More information here

I'll also be appearing at Wakefield Lit Fest, alongside Richard Smyth, as part of 'Dead Ink in Conversation', on Thursday 24th September.

The next Fictions of Every Kind is themed: Whodunnit?! with invited speaker AJ Taft and murder ballads performed by Lowlands. As ever, there'll be a writers' open mic, sociability, and word games. You can find out more here, or the facebook events page is here. We love to see new faces and we're a very friendly lot - you're welcome to come along even if you're not planning to read anything out - we would love to meet you. (Wharf Chambers is a members' club and you do have to be a member to attend events, but it is very easy to join - it only costs £1 and anyone can do it! See the Wharf Chambers website for details.)

Currently reading

How to fight Islamist terror from the missionary position Tabish Khair