MA Graduation

"Masters in Creative Writing with the Vice Chancellor's Prize"Three years ago I was still relatively unpublished. I’d previously had a short story called Farming Tsiolkovsky placed with Demensions magazine and a handful of non-fiction gaming articles (albeit paid articles) published with the Journal of the Travellers’ Aid Society. What I really wanted to do was write novels.

At this point I’d completed three ‘practice’ novels: a historical/Lovecraftian thriller set aboard a British airship, a mundane hard-SF novel with a rather turgid plot and a dystopian cyberpunk novel set in near-future London. These had all been sent off to various agents and publishers and I’d received the usual ‘no thanks’ response slips or just nothing at all. I decided that my writing needed help, especially at a technical level, and so I looked around for a local evening class. I eventually ended up swapping emails with Jon Glover, head of Creative Writing at nearby Bolton University, about joining that year’s intake for a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing.

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What a week…

Last Friday I swapped contracts with Murky Depths for my short story ‘Whisperer’ which will appear in their November issue (#18). Now I feel like a proper writer! I’m still very excited about appearing in Murky Depths because it’s such a gorgeous looking magazine (and it’s British!). You can still buy a copy of their latest  issue (#16) for just £6.99 and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed…titillated maybe, but not disappointed. 😉

Monday I received an email from Daily Science Fiction with the offer that they would like to publish my short story ‘Silver Sixpence’. This is my first sale to a professional market! ‘Silver Sixpence’ is a hard/mundane science-fiction story featuring some solid Einsteinian physics.

There was a fair amount of research involved in this story – perhaps my favourite was reading various Space Shuttle launch transcripts.

Wednesday I read my short story ‘Five-A-Day Friends’ at the Bolton Octagon theatre as part of their Creative Writing Showcase. It was a very strange experience standing on a stage in the bright lights, but it was great fun! Great work by Jenny Martin, Adam Martin, Tatiana Koutsokoumni, Joanne Powell and Laurette Evans for organising the event (apologies if I missed anyone off that list).

I’m looking forward to attending (and perhaps reading at) more of these events in future.

Last night (Thursday) I read my flash-fiction story ‘Metagurneypunk’ at the Flash Mob Writing Competition at the Dulcimer in Chorlton. What a fantastic evening! I finally got to meet some of the people I’ve been stalking on Twitter and Facebook. The networks are still rumbling with the aftershocks. Congratulations to the extremely worthy winners and here’s hoping for a repeat of the event in the future. I’ve heard a rumour that a podcast should be available at some point – I’ll post again when it’s available. The eBook should be available soon.


A loud round of applause to the organisers: Sarah-Clare ConlonDave HartleyTom MasonFat Roland and Benjamin Judge. I particularly enjoyed the exquisite corpses – there’s an online version here if you didn’t get enough last night.