Thursday, August 20, 2020

Hybrid writing Arvon-at-home Online Masterclass

I'm delighted to be giving another Arvon-At-Home online masterclass - this time in Hybrid Writing! Break out of your box and join us wherever you are, Sep 22, 7-9pm UK time - free places available, please ask. Details here: arvon.org/writing-course

Thursday, July 30, 2020

5 Day Short Story Challenge - Aug 10-14

In April the Arvon Foundation ran a 5-Day Short Story Challenge using daily prompts that I’d written to guide you through the drafting of a new short story. Over two thousand people took part, and there were such enthusiastic responses, it was a joy to see! I ran it again in May – but if you missed it – or if you did it already but would like another week of daily writing nudges – here’s your chance! I’m running it again myself, using the same prompts, from Monday August 10 – Friday August 14. Every day you will get an email with a writing prompt and reading material to kickstart your imagination.

The cost to sign up is £5 – half of which is to provide me with a small amount of income, and half I will donate to Refuge, a charity which helps women and children experiencing domestic violence, something which has only increased during this lockdown. I am also offering several free places. Click here for more details and to sign up by Sunday August 9.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Get Gone - 2nd Prize

I'm delighted that my flash story, 'Get Gone', is 2nd prize-winner in Reflex Fiction's Spring 2020 flash contest! Here's a snippet:

Get gone, girl, she snarls and the girl, who never knows what she might be getting, goes. Galloping across roads, the girl feels herself small, feels herself dissolving. Giant clouds at the level of her shoulders try to make her laugh but the girl is not amused. Get gone, she herself says to the clouds, and to the snails that line the way, watching. Girls and snails never mix, this she knew from early on. 
Gathered in to herself later, after a day or week...
You can read the whole story here. 

Friday, June 26, 2020

New audio poems - octopuses, insects and John Clare!

It's been a week of audio poems for me this week - first, I was a guest on the octopus-themed episode of Radio 3's The Verb last Friday, where I had the enormous thrill of reading four poems inspired by Peter Godfrey-Smith's book, 'Other Minds: The Octopus and The Evolution of Intelligent life - in front of Peter himself! I have been told I don't come across as a completely hysterical fan girl, but you can judge for yourself, it's a really fun programme hosted brilliantly, as ever, by Ian McMillan, and with the excellent Kate Fox and Matthew Welton. There was a lot of giggling, something very necessary right now. You can listen here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000k3dl



And from octopuses to insects...I love being asked/commissioned to write new work, especially when it's inspired by something completely unknown to me. I didn't know the poet John Clare's work at all, so really enjoyed it when I was given free rein to respond to his poems with my own poem for the new Thunder Mutters podcast. I discovered John and I share a fascination for insects; I have a poem in my collection about the fire ant. So I decided to talk to John about it... through poetry.

"Dear John...
I am interested
in your choice of insect
names: tiny
loiterers, happy units.."

It's at 10 mins 28s but do listen to the whole, magical Thunder Mutters podcast!

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Octopuses on The Verb


I'm a guest on this week's thrilling octopus-themed The Verb on Radio 3, reading some of my new octopus poems - from my collection-in progress, 'Still Life With Octopus' -  inspired by Peter Godfrey-Smith's book, 'Other Minds: Octopuses and the Evolution of Intelligent Life' - and chatting with Peter himself, as well as the fantastic Kate Fox and Matthew Welton! You can listen to the programme here