Waterstones Bristol Galleries! They now have several signed copies, if you are in the area. And if you happen to be in either Stroud on Sunday or London on Tuesday, please do come along and say hi...
to Stroud Stories, at the Stroud Valley Artspace, 8pm Sunday night, where I am honoured to be headlining a fabulous line up, as part of the Stroud Site Festival, and will have some copies of my book there too.
And then on Tuesday I'm being allowed to talk and talk about short stories as part of Spread The Word's Short Story: Big Picture event, where I am on a panel which includes Bloomsbury editor Helen Garnon-Williams, Ted Hodginkson, the online editor of Granta, and Di Spiers, the producer for readings on BBC Radio 4, all chaired by BBC Radio producer Aasiya Lodhi. The event is 6.30-8.30pm at the Free Word Centre and I believe there are still a few tickets left. Will have some copies of my book there too!
Now, delving into ancient history, way way before I had any books, before I had published anything at all, around 15 years ago, when I began trying to write short stories, what I did was take workshops. As many as I could. Workshops with amazing teachers who showed me what a short story could be and helped me write my first, then my second... I went to workshops in the US and the UK, and they were invaluable.
Nowadays, in the Internet era, you don't have to fly anywhere - there are online workshops, and one I would like to highly recommend is a brand-new venture from two garlanded short story writers I respect, admire and trust - Tom Vowler and Zoe Lambert's The Art of The Short Story:
The 6-week online course looks at the following elements:A brief history of the short story
Leaving space for the reader
Critical analysis and revision
Structure and unity of effect
Submitting to competitions and journals
Aimed at writers of all levels, there are weekly exercises and the tutors provide detailed feedback on your work. You will also receive critiques from fellow students. The course, whilst being dynamic and challenging, takes a nurturing, encouraging approach. At the end of the course you should have a story of publishable standard, along with several more pieces of fiction to take forward. For details on the next course see the above link.The next course starts on June 11th and costs £145 (or £125 if you bookby June 4th). Find out more here. Frankly, if I wasn't going abroad in June, I'd do it. There's always always more to learn, even for those of us who have been at it for 15 years!