On Judging and Good Stories

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’ve been judging the SlingInk Scribbling Slam. A six round writing competition where, after each round, I provide feedback on all the entries in the hope that my suggestions will help the writers become better. And it’s been difficult. I don’t mind admitting that. For one, I know some of […]

A Winning Story

Today, I have: Had my hair cutandfinished judging round 3 of the SlingInk Scribbling Slam. And again, I’ve been very impressed with the standard. Which leads me rather nicely onto this… As with the 1st round, I’m delighted to post the winner of the 2nd round here. It’s a short, short story called Crescendo, it’s […]

Thank You, Oz

I’d not seen Return to Oz in a long, long time before last night when I found it was on the telly. I watched it. I loved it and something very much clicked. It was the ideas behind the story and the characters. Odd characters, strange characters, but characters that felt very real. Tiktok, the […]

I Was Wondering

I was wondering -well, have been for a while – whether there was anything people would like to see more of here on the blog. Or less of, of course. Is there anything in particular you like or dislike? I am curious, and, naturally, always aiming to please…


So, yesterday I tidied my office. I went through files and folders and cupboards and shelves and GOT ORGANISED. And I was surprised at what I found. Old drafts of stories. Old drafts (and drafts, and drafts) of books I’d written before deciding they were rubbish. My work for a (pretty crummy) distance learning writing […]

We Won’t Be Pursuing Further Work With You

I’ve been having an almighty clear-out of my office today and happened upon this gem. It was for a script I’d sent the BBC many years ago. And yes, the very final and very definite ‘We won’t be pursuing further work with you’ did, most certainly, sting at the time. I can smile about it […]

It Is Seldom Simple

Well. It’s been quite the few days. But first I want to point you in Amazon’s direction, because you can buy Not So Perfect from them for £5.99. 20% off’s not bad at all, in my book. *** So, what else has been going on? Well, one moment I’m called an expert, the next, the […]

What Makes an Expert?

I have a question for you. And it is this: What Makes Someone An Expert in Something? The reason I ask is because, a couple of days ago, someone called me an expert on the short story. It was a strange thing to hear. Flattering, of course, but it has got me thinking, mostly, because […]

In Conversation With Me

A little while ago the I answered some questions the brilliant Jenn Ashworth put to me. We talked about writing and about my books. We talked about music. We talked about writers’ block. I gave some tips on blogging. It was fun. And you can see the results at The Lancashire Writing Hub by clicking […]

Me and Me and Others

I’m rather pleased to point you in this direction. The direction of top writer Tom Vowler’s blog, where today you can see him interviewing me. (I interviewed him here. Us short story writers are nice like that.) *** And I’m very much looking forward to 2.30 on Friday when, along with super Caroline Smailes and […]