Thursday, 30 December 2010

My Writing Year 2010

2010 is coming to an end. It hasn't been one of my best years. It has been a difficult year on an emotional and personal level, but when I look back I've had a great deal of success with my writing.

2010 was the year I completed my first novel in English, REPLACING ANGEL, and got an agent interested. In January I treated myself to a writing retreat in Lingfield. In February I sent the MS off. In December things started to happen.

2010 was the year I focused on short stories.

I've had two stories published:
*Lovers of the Planet in the Spilling Ink Review Anthology
*The Butter Dish in Scribble
*Next of Kin was shortlisted for the Ilkey Festival of Literature competition

I also submitted stories to the Bridport Prize, The Asham Award and the Fish Prize.
All in all I wrote about twenty-five short stories, including a few flash fiction pieces. What I haven't done enough of is submitting ...

However I've had loads of stories selected for readings at live literature events in Brighton:

*Foxy Lady and Relax Johnny-Boy have some fun for Are you sitting comfortably?
*Steal from the rich and give to the poor for SPARKS
*Ex Love for Short Fuse Story Salon
*I'm from further North than you for the Short Fuse appearance at The Edge of the Sea festival (the story will also be illustrated and published in an anthology to be sold as The Wedding Present Merchandise)
*Clowntown for New Venture Theatre's Into the Dark story event
*Party is over for the Ace Stories event
*Suicidal Girlfriends for Grit Lit

To make time for the short story events I decided to cut down on poetry (both writing it and performing it.) Yet I got a poem published called His depression in an anthology called Book of Dreams.

These are a few of the poetry performances I did in Brighton (and I said that I'd cut down!):

*The Hanover Poetry Festival
*Everybody's got to be somewhere at Prince Albert
*Black History Month at Red Roaster
*We Love Mondays & Thursdays (study support sessions at Jubilee & Hove libraries)
*New Writing South's Christmas party
*Waterloo Press Christmas party
*a couple of Hammer & Tongue slams

2011 was the year of workshops:

*Brighton Creative Writing Sessions & Not for the faint hearted with James Burt and Ellen de Vries
*Voice and singing workshop with Alexander Technique teacher Alan Mars
*Improvised spoken word and music with Safehouse Collective and Tom Cunliffe

And I also had time for some very professional things:

*lecturing at the Literature week in Gothenburg
*talks and book signings at opening of new cultural centre in my hometown, Nassjo
*lectures at Loxdale Language Centre in Portslade
*writing workshop for young adults at Hove Library
*attending Chichester Writing Festival
*organising author events and poetry nights at Hove library

2011 was the year I got a permanent part-time job at Hove library.
I'm lucky to be able to combine my writing with a job that involves literature
and organising events and performing poetry ...

All these good things wouldn't be possible without my wonderful writing mates ...
I meet up regularly to do some writing exercises with Morgan & Bernadette, and I also have "creative coaching" sessions with Sue. My coffee dates/drinks/meet-ups with Kay, James, Robert, Saskia, Kristen, Laura are invaluable. And I'm also very, very grateful for the support and feedback I get online. Tim, Brian, Sanna, Solera, Chris, James, Ed ... I hope I haven't forgotten anyone. Sara of course. Anna Liv. Lotus. You know who you are.

I'll celebrate New Year's Eve with my "sister" Johanna in the middle of the forest in the south of Sweden. Then I'll spend a week writing, i.e. revising my novel as the first third drags ... To help me stay focused and not distracted I won't use internet for a week. So if you make a comment on this post it won't show for a while as I have to log in to accept it ... Same with emails and facebook. Don't despair: I'm not dead - I'm writing.

My new year resolution is ...

to keep believing in myself and my writing.

Keep on dreaming, cause when you stop dreamin' it's time to die. - Blind Melon

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