I only went and bloody won something!

Transition Town Worthing‘ held a competition to imagine Worthing in 2030 and how energy would affect life in the town.

A near future story based in Worthing? That’s my niche! It would be rude if I didn’t enter.

Click here to read my entry – ‘From The Sea, Plenty‘ – for the Worthingites (I think that’s what we’re called), see how many Easter Eggs you can spot.

I won a DVD, ‘Collapse‘, which is a great documentary interviewing Michael Ruppert about the state of the world and his reasons why it’s going to collapse, when and how.

If you like Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Michael Moore and other anti-laissez faire capitalists then you’ll like this. btw another great documentary is ‘The Corporation‘ if you haven’t already seen it.

Here’s another short story I wrote a couple of years ago that’s picked up a few rejections along the way.

It’s an actual, full-monty, sci-fi story in space. I like the anthropomorphising of planets in it.

The idea of life coming from distant planets and not evolving by itself here is something I’ve never forgotten from a Star Trek TNG double episode where it explained why all alien races (Klingons, Humans, Ferengi, etc) have two legs, arms, one head, etc and basically look the same in the series (can’t remember the name of the episodes edit: 21st April 2014, just watched it on Netflix, it’s called ‘The Chase‘ – although it was about an ancient alien race dumping DNA on various planets and left to evolve on it’s own).

Anyway, let me know what you think.

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This is another short story I wrote which gained a few rejections. I initially wrote it for an alternative fairy tale competition. I still quite like it but realise it’s more of a vent against bankers than a ‘pure story’ and now it’s probably a bit dated for anyone to publish it.

So here it is before the financial crisis becomes a distant memory we’ll all look back on and laugh, recalling how things were so much better in the good old days.

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September 7, 2011

I thought I’d get involved in Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction competition, 100 words on the theme ‘revenge’. Editing this to the bare bones to meet the word count proved harder than vomitting forth the first draft, so here it is…

Mr Kingston sat coiled in his chair, scrutinising Mr Harris at the podium,

“Thank you, Headmaster. As new Head of History…”

The hall doors opened. Mr Kingston’s head remained fixed as his periphery vision investigated approaching footsteps.

“…ahem. History has a way of revealing…”

Two policemen sailed in; one remaining by the stage, the other conferring with the headmaster. Whispering pupils left in their wake.

The headmaster interrupted the coronation, “Thank you, calm down. Mr Harris, if you’d follow the sergeant, I’ll finish assembly.”

Mr Kingston chewed on a sneer.

“Sir, what’s happening?”

“Shut up, Jenkins.”

So here’s my first ever publication, in the flesh. Feels good, feels like I’m actually getting somewhere.  The best part was seeing my name in the copyright pages, nothing like legal mumbo-jumbo to stir the emotions!

Richard from Spike The Cat sent over a copy of ‘The Last Laugh’ anthology a few weeks ago.  I thought I’d do a post after I’d read it.

It’s a collection of 12 humorous short stories, my favourites were ‘A Match Made in Heaven’ and ‘Looking Back’.

I still like my one, ‘The Lost Journeyman’, especially the fact it’s 100% dialogue – conversations on the phone.

You can buy a real life book version for £7 here or the ebook version for £1.49 here.

A bargain considering it’ll probably be worth thousands in a few years!

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The second victim of my ‘5 strikes and you’re out‘ rule for short story submissions but i’m walking this one because it’s only faced 3 pitches.  I like the idea behind it but I don’t think the execution has been particularly well done.

Anyway, let me know what you think, how you’d rewrite it and if you actually do want to rewrite it, go for it!

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A momentous day! My first ever publication!

365 Tomorrows have published ‘Turning a Frontier into a Home’ which is more of a flash fiction story as it’s only about 350 words.

It was originally written for a competition by ‘New Scientist‘ who wanted flash stories ‘about the world 100 years from now‘.

So go check out 365 Tomorrows for a new sci-fi short story everyday.

Update 19th June: Great hearing the feedback on the 365 Tomorrow’s forum.

Holy crap! Hell must have frozen over, eskimo’s must be buying ice AND arabs must be buying sand plus other such impossibilities because one of my short stories is actually getting published.

Spikethecat had a competition called ‘The Last Laugh‘ so I submitted my story ‘The Lost Journeyman’. Recently I got an email saying it had been chosen to be published in ‘The Last Laugh’ anthology, along with 11 others.

In the top right of the site I’ve written ‘unpublished’, so I’ll cross that out as soon as I have a hard copy or ebook in my grubby little hands.  One down, two to go.

So until then, let’s run some numbers.

All my writing has been rejected a total of 35 times, the 36th time this short story got accepted.  So 1 in 36 times I’m successful, which, if my maths serves me right, means I’m batting 0.027, not major league.

It also means I’m accepted 2.7% of the time, which means I’m doing better than being rejected 99% of the time.

Thank you cold, hard maths for providing me with a warm embrace.

I’ll let you know when this anthology is available to buy.

Update 21st Sept. 2010: The anthology is now available, looky here.

This is the first victim of my ‘5 strikes and you’re out‘ rule for short story submissions.

The fifth rejection was a very pleasant one but it commended the submission cover letter and rejected the actual story, not a great sign to be honest.

This was originally written for the Writing Magazine ‘Seance’ competition in January 2009.  If anyone wants to use it on or offline, then just let me know first.

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