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Welcome to The Literary Pig's blog - a safe haven for all those afflicted with
the unbearable urge to write.

Saturday 22 November 2014

Ticking the boxes

Do you have a list of writing goals or aspirations? The Indoor Writer is an obsessive list maker and of course she's got a specific list for writing goals. These range from:
nomination for the Man Booker Prize (well you have to aim high!)
50 short stories published (she's at 41 to date ...)

Somewhere in this list is getting a story in the CHRISTMAS issue of The People's Friend. And this one is now definitively TICKED! 

Her short story 'Once Upon a Christmas Time' (and they kept the original title) is published in issue 98 The People's Friend Christmas Special.

You're far more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. You don't have to do this at the start of a new year, otherwise they can turn into resolutions rather than goals - any time will do. And remember to celebrate when you get to TICK one off!

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Short Story Week: Collections and Anthologies

To further celebrate National Short Story Week LitPig has rooted out some favourite short short collections and anthologies. If you regularly read short stories then why not try an author you haven't read before. If you usually prefer a long read then why not dip your trotters in a short story collection ... you could be surprised by what you find. If you don't have time to read then listen to a short story. Radio 4/Radio 4 Extra and Radio 3 have regular slots for short stories. You can also listen to some stories here.

There are far too many excellent collections/anthologies out there to list in full, so these are a sample recently discovered by LitPig.

Several of these collections are by well known novelists who also write short stories. These stories stretch across so many genres that it's easier to list them under literary. Your emotions will be pulled in so many directions - that's the beauty of the short story.

Evangelista's Fan - Rose Tremain
England and Other Stories - Graham Swift
Saltwater - Lane Ashfeldt
The War Tour - Zoe Lambert
The Love Object - Edna O'Brien
A Cat, a Hat and a Piece of String - Joanne Harris

Quirky / Unusual:
All of these will surprise you in many ways. They include comedy, pathos, push the boundaries of short fiction and sometimes make you think.

Instruction Manual For Swallowing - Adam Marek
The Stone Thrower - Adam Marek
Tiny Deaths - Robert Shearman
Fugue - anthology from The Siren Press (includes 'White Sheets' by Tracy Fells)

Well it says what it does on the spine...

Room in Your Heart - Wendy Clarke

Please share your favourite short story collections or anthologies ...

Monday 17 November 2014

Short Story Week: Competitions and opportunities

If you're a lover of short stories, either a reader or writer or both, then LitPig salutes you! Today marks the start of National Short Story WeeK - hear all about it from the horse's mouth or follow the week on Twitter @shortstoryweek. If you regularly write short stories then here are a selection of the best websites/blogs/Twitter feeds to follow. All of them are lovers of short fiction and many regularly list details of competitions, submission windows and other opportunities.

Thresholds – home of the international short story forum (run by University of Chichester)
Competitions and Submissions deadlines / Events / Articles

Nudge nudge - they have a great article available to read online talking about ghostly short stories, read 'Possession, Obsession and Unfriendly Ghosts' by Tracy Fells.

Competitions and outlets/opportunities and interviews on his blog. Paul is a terrific supporter of the short story and writers. He's also involved in WordFactory, organiser of London Short Story Festival and is a jolly nice guy.

Setup and run by Tania Hershman (@taniahersman). Promotes short story opportunities and openings. Sign up for the e-newsletter.

Monthly short story salon (Waterstones Piccadilly, usually last Saturday of the month) and masterclasses. Also a short story club meets to discuss a single story before each monthly salon.

The following bloggers all regularly post about FREE short story competitions:
Patsy Collins @PatsyCollins
Helen Yendall @HelenYendall

Sally Jenkins often shares competition news and her guides to self-publishing on Kindle (Kindle Direct Publishing for Absolute Beginners) comes highly recommended by Wendy Clarke (@WendyClarke99). Wendy recently guested here to talk about her new short story collection 'Room in Your Heart', read the post here.

If you use other websites/blogs/twitter feeds which share opportunities for Short Stories then please let me know!

 LitPig is always rooting about in short story collections, he'll share some recent favourites later in the week...