So, since the turn of the year I’ve been working in Rotherham (among other places), for the brilliant Writing Yorkshire, looking after the Young Writers’ Group there when Vicky, who usually runs it, has been off. And I’ve loved it. It’s a top group and super-talented too and, now everyone’s broken up for the summer, I’m really missing it and them (hello, everyone!).
Charlie, one of the group’s members, had a couple of stories accepted while I was working with the group and, you know, that is such a big deal and it’s one of the best bits about doing the job I do (doesn’t do my ego any harm, either, knowing I’ve helped). I remember, very clearly, my first acceptance back in 2003 (I think – okay, maybe I don’t remember it all that clearly). It was a feature on local Arthurian legend and it went in a county magazine and that was the moment I felt validated as a writer – the moment I felt like I really could do it. I think I cried. I know I’ve still got a copy of the cheque framed somewhere. I was in my very early twenties back then, not in my teens. Yes, I’m a bit jealous.
And yesterday Charlie got in touch to let me know that the issue the story’s in has gone live. It’s in Bunbury Magazine (Oscar Wilde reference?) and it’s brilliant, and I’m certainly not just saying that. IT’s the sort of piece that I’d have loved to have received when I’ve judged competitions and edited for places. Go and see for yourselves. Bunbury are doing that cool thing where you pay what you think it’s worth so you’ve no excuse.
And well done, Charlie.