I got some rather good news while writing this post. It was originally to be titled 'Something of a Roundup', and feature some news and musings of a decent nature, but this latest development has put an even better spin on things.
Initially I was going to say how I'd entered a flash fiction competition run by the folks at 5asideCHESS (in partnership with the Morecambe Fringe) and although I'm deflated to have not been one of the winners, I'm happy to have submitted something, and I believe an anthology is going to be produced, which I should be in (all entrants will be published, unless they don't want to be, so I understand), which is great. I can't put too fine a point on how important it is to keep talking about mental health, and I'm happy 5asideCHESS and Morecambe Fringe have given us this opportunity to express our Covid-19 thoughts through the medium of sort fiction. It's not just a benefit to the writers themselves, but hopefully everyone reading the stories (or listening to/watching them in these videos that I don't seem to be able to link to individually...) will at least be entertained, but hopefully deeper chords will be struck too :)
One thing I didn't enter, that I should have done really, was the 100 Words of Solitude project. I don't regret not submitting too much, because I wasn't 'just being lazy' and putting it off, I had (and have) other pressing things going on in my life, and will just look out for the next opportunity, rather than chastise myself for missing that one. I've really been enjoying the entries I've read over on their site. There were a few standard thoughts and expressions, sure, but mainly there's a wonderful variety of angles they've attacked the brief from, some real dreamy narratives, and some bizarre surreality etc etc, lovely, go check them out :) And keep an eye out for the book they're producing - I'll be hoping to get a copy myself :)
Another part of the original post was going to mention how it's nearly two years since Till Roll was published. That's nuts... To think what I've (not) done with my life in that time... Shameful. But I digress :) I will instead say how happy I am that Till Roll ever came to be (it was, and is, an honour to have worked with Sam Riviere on that), and I've bought a number of titles from If a Leaf Falls Press since then, which have all pushed the boundaries of poetry in such a way that is enjoyable, but serious. As ever, do check out his site and, if you think you're at all bothered about poetry, then you should check out some of his titles (his own, and the ones he's published).
But now, without further ado: BIG NEWS! I found out on Thursday that I had been shortlisted for the Literary Lancashire Award. I can't remember now if LLA came up as a Facebook advert, or whether someone from a local Creative Exchange group shared it back in February, but either way, I thought it sounded good and got to work on a piece using a technique I'd recently been experimenting with, and produced 'Since Error'. I don't want to blather on about it too much (I'm giddy and all that, but I have to remember not to make you, dear reader, suffer my pretentious dissections of craft, as if I've bloody won the Faber and Faber 'None Greater' award for 'absolutely smashing poetry and being a poet'), but yes, it is great to have that boost, and I look forward so much to reading everyone's entries when the collection comes out. I see that the winners have been published in Cake Magzine (buy your digi-copy HERE), but keep your eyes peeled for the collection of winners, runners up, and 'shortlistees' which I'm assured will be out soon. If any of the organisers are reading this; thank you for your time and effort in creating such an opportunity, bringing together and celebrating Lancashire's writing talent :)