Two excellent stories from Cornish Short Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Cornish Writing will feature on The Source FM in July. Listen in on 96.10FM or here
First up, at 2pm on Friday 3rd July is Rob Magnuson Smith’s magical Sonny, about the unexpected impact an injured seagull has on the life of a long term couple.
At the same time on Friday 10th July, you can hear Emma Staughton’s The Siren of Treen, a contemporary reworking of the traditional Cornish tale The Mermaid of Zennor.
copyright woodcuts @Angela Annesley/ cover image @Vita Sleigh
If you missed the earlier shows, there is still time to listen again to The Superpower by Sarah Perry, The Haunting of Bodmin Jail by Anastasia Gammon and Roaring Girl by Alan Robinson here.
Ballast by Sarah Thomas can be heard again here.
Our thanks to The Story Hour producer Patrick Haughton, the actors from Penryn Community Theatre, and The History Press.
I am absolutely delighted that Travelling in the Dark has won this year’s Hall and Woodhouse DLF Writing Prize. The prize was set up in 2018 by Dorchester Literary Festival organisers Janet Gleeson and Paul Atterbury to celebrate writing from the West Country.
The £1000 prize was awarded by guest of honour Minette Walters at a ceremony held in the Duchess of Cornwall Inn, Poundbury, Dorset on 18 July 2019. My thanks to Lucinda Gray and Anthony Woodhouse of Hall and Woodhouse who kindly sponsor this award.
It was lovely to meet the other shortlisted writers and hear readings from their books. They were Susmita Bhattacharya for her short story collection Table Manners, Dee La Vardera for her work of non-fiction The Road to Civitella, and runner up Maria Donovan for The Chicken Soup Murder.
The DLF announcement can be found here.
Emma and Tom will discuss how their fictional writings portray natural environments that are almost characters in themselves, creating complex ‘psychogeographies’ that reflect emotional and psychological landscapes, as well as investigating the unstable boundaries between past and present, and reality and fantasy
1pm to 2.30pm, St John’s Hall, Alverton St, Penzance. £4.00. Concessions available.
Cornish Short Stories nominated for a Holyer an Gof Award 2019, 10 July at Royal Cornwall Museum
Organised by the Gorsedh Kernow and now in its 23rd year, this award is for books by writers from Cornwall, about Cornwall or written in Cornish. There are many fine books amongst this year’s nominations.
Travelling in the Dark Shortlisted for the DLF Writing Prize, 18 July 2018
The other shortlistees are Dee La Vardera, Susmita Bhattacharya and Maria Donovan. The Award Ceremony, with guest Minette Walters, will take place at the Duchess of Cornwall, Poundbury, Dorset at 6pm.
There are two lovely events taking place in June.
The Callington Book Fair will be held on Saturday 8 June from 10am to 3.30pm in Callington Town Hall. Entry is by donation to Cornwall Air Ambulance. The authors Lilian Henry, Anthony Fagin and Mark Simmons are also taking part along with a number of book dealers.
The following day, Sunday 9 June, Cornish Shorts is on at Greenway Literary Festival, Greenway House. From 2.30 to 3.30pm, Tom Vowler, Heather Norman and I will be discussing the importance of place in short stories. Admission charges apply.
I’m delighted that Travelling in the Dark is on the long-list for the Dorchester Literary Festival Writing Prize 2019. Now in its second year, the prize is for works of fiction and non fiction by writers from, or connected to, the South West.
Another book which is close to my heart is also on the long-list – Corpse Path Cottage by Margaret Scutt. Margaret was an accomplished author of two historical novels, but her crime novels failed to find a publisher during her life time. Set in the 1950s, an era it captures perfectly, Corpse Path Cottage was finally published last year more than six decades after it was written.
It’s just over a month until the inaugural Greenway Literary Festival. I’ll be discussing the importance of place in stories with Tom Vowler on Sunday 9 June at 2.30pm. Details here.
On 9 June, Tom Vowler and I will be discussing the importance of place in short stories at the inaugural Greenway Literary Festival.
Greenway Literary Festival: Cornish Shorts
The Greenway Literary Festival is being held in honour of the ten year anniversary of Agatha Christie’s former home being open to the public.
Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing celebrates its first year since publication on 2 April.
Cover design by Vita Sleigh and woodcut illustrations by Angela Annesley.
I’m absolutely delighted that Travelling in the Dark will be launched at the UK’s oldest book store, Hatchards Piccadilly, on 12 July at 6.30pm. Four of the authors from the Fairlight Moderns series will be reading and signing books along with the wonderful team from Fairlight Books, our families and friends. Piccadilly was the first place I worked after arriving in London twenty-five years ago so I am thrilled to be returning there for this special occasion.
As I began writing Travelling in the Dark over six years ago, the publication of this book is the culmination of a long journey. My book has found an excellent home with the creative, thoughtful and inspirational new publisher Fairlight Books. I greatly admire their enthusiasm and determination in championing literary fiction and the beautiful but often over-looked form of the novella.
You can find out more in this interview on the Fairlight Books website.
There are also some new reviews and ratings up on Goodreads.
Travelling in the Dark is available from all good bookshops and online. There are a variety of ways to order which you see on the publisher’s book page here.
We are also out and about at some festivals with Cornish Short Stories this month. First of all with reading and discussion in Paper Wings at Penzance Litfest on Saturday 7 July at The Acorn.
And then we’ll be back with more readings at the truly unique gathering that is Port Eliot Festival on Friday 27 July at 1.45pm and Saturday 28 July at 2pm in The Tiddy Tent.
Please note that both these events are ticketed.
This month, I’m looking forward to judging the prose entries for the Carrick U3A writing competition.
The WoMentoring Project offers up and coming female writers, who would otherwise not be able to afford it, the chance to work with an experienced writer. I’m offering to mentor a short story writer looking to put together a first collection through this scheme. There are more details here.
I’m absolutely delighted that my flash fiction Crue de la Seine, 28 Janvier 1910 has been selected for inclusion in Bonsai: The Big Book of Small Stories.
Bonsai will be published by Canterbury University Press in 2018. Edited by Michelle Elvy, Frankie McMillan and James Norcliffe, this ambitious project (the first of its kind in New Zealand) aims to include the very best small fictions from Aotearoa.
In honour of their 5th birthday, Elbow Room have published a series of birthday postcards containing writing and artwork by past contributors. These lovely items are available to buy here for £1 each.
I’m very pleased to say that my short story Impressionism will be published in the next issue of Meniscus.
A free, online literary journal published by the Australasian Association of Writing Programmes, Meniscus encourages international submissions and has an editorial team based in New Zealand, Australia and Britain. They published my story A Walk in the Forest in 2013.