Writer • Playwright • Writing Events
I've been busy during lockdown. As all live events in April and May have been cancelled, I got together with Olly and Caroline from Kilter Theatre and we decided to create an online Story Friday. Dark Clouds, Silver Linings first went live on Youtube on Friday 24th April. We've now done three events, with 19 writers and 19 actors - a hugely varied selection of excellent stories, including one of mine. Click here for all the links.
My workshops in Bath and Bristol have been cancelled of course, but Zoom means we can do all these things remotely - as the entire world has discovered! I've been running weekly workshops, which have proved really popular. I'm also running a weekly short story discussion group. For full information and to book click here.
BBC Radio Bristol is going strong, and the lovely Adam Crowther has just broadcast my short story The Witch. "I love it, it put a right smile on my face," said Adam.
I'm also delighted that the wonderful Fairlight Books are due to publish another of my stories, The Garden, on their website in June. And that my favourite Cornish live fiction event TellTales have selected one of my stories for their online recordings, theme of 'Freedom'.
Festivals: I was due to perform on my first solo show Long Story Short at Bath Fringe (May) and Buxton Fringe (July). Both Bath Fringe and Buxton Fringe have now been cancelled. I'm contemplating how and whether to progress the show. Meanwhile, I am still hoping to read my monologue Mouthy at the Frome Festival for Nevertheless Productions, on 9th July. I await updates on whether the festival is happening.
In news from Before:
I'm delighted that the lovely Fairlight Books published my story The Winter Egg on their website at Easter. The story is about the female designer of one of Faberge's Imperial Easter eggs, and was inspired by my recent trip to St Petersburg. Fairlight Books published my story Touching The Sun on their short story portal in the summer, and they have selected it to be included in their anthology 'Best of Fairlight Shorts' which will be published later this year. They are also publishing my story The Garden in the next few months.
I think my story stars are in some kind of alignment at the moment... I've now had four stories broadcast on Adam Crowther's show on BBC Radio Bristol, in October, December, January and now April. It's a bit fab to hear my voice coming out of a real radio! He chose A Long Way From Home and The Winter's Egg, both of which are serious stories, and a couple of humorous ones including No Animals Were Hurt In The Writing Of This Story: 'Lovely story that had me belly laughing today', said Adam.
I was so pleased that A Long Way From Home won the Frome Short Story Competition, and in a double whammy I got the local writer's prize too! Huge thanks to the organisers and to wonderful judge Tyler Keevil. I was invited to read my winning story on Frome FM. The recording is now available on the Frome Writers' Collective's website or here.
Elsewhere, Storgy Magazine have published The Interview, one of my favs, in their latest magazine (and they said I was a 'gifted story-teller' - little dance of delight!). Blue Nib published A Long Way Home on their website in September. I was also very pleased to win third prize in this year's Yeovil Short Story competition. I was a finalist in the Aesthetica Magazine Creative Writing Awards, and have a story in their 2019 anthology.
My story Swimming Away was in the July issue of the uber-cool Barren Magazine. My story The Clown was published by Fictive Dream in May, such a chic website hosting some fabulous stories. Someone liked me in Frome this year, because as well as winning (which was lovely) another of my stories My Land, Your Land was longlisted. My story Celestial Dragon was shortlisted by Magic Oxygen, and will be published in their latest anthology.
Plays and scripts:
My short monologue Mouthy was screened at the Egg Theatre in August as part of the Fourteen project, and was recently screened again at the Clifton Lit Fest in Bristol. Many thanks to Engage, Screenology, and especially director Hannah Entwhistle Jones and wonderful actor Suzanne Kendall.
I'm was so pleased that one of my short plays 'This Heart of Mine' received a rehearsed reading at the Merlin Theatre in Frome in February.
In exciting news, I have been shortlisted by Greedy Ear to develop a theatre-in-the-dark sound play. More on this soon. Also, The Goats Theatre Company will be recording my play Reputation soon, and it will be available to listen to one their podcast.
Little Potatoes went down really well at the Old Red Lion in London last year:
'An extraordinary, heart-warming tale...thought-provoking and well-executed....it will get you laughing one minute and crying the next' [My Entertainment World']
'Heartachingly moving and delightfully comic' [The Spy In The Stalls]
'An emotional two-hander with a relevant political message...refreshingly different' [London Pub Theatres Magazine]
'Well-written, self-contained..a quietly absorbing study' [Everything Theatre]
I'm so proud that after our fantastic runs at the Old Red Lion in 2019 and at the Edinburgh Festival in 2018, Little Potatoes lived on in a new production by Red Dragonfly Productions. It was part of Taking Flight at their pop-up Nomad Festival and toured to the New Forest, Cheltenham and the Buxton Fringe Festival. We are discussing staging it again for a Chinese Theatre festival in the autumn of 2020.
Foraged Fictions, a story promenade event which I created with Kilter Theatre went down at storm at Prior Park. "This is a production of an originality that expands the boundaries of what is considered theatre. One hesitates to use the word 'magical', but this is a unique experience that echoes in the memory for long afterwards." (Theatre Bath*****).
I was very pleased to hear that my story Morg has been downloaded nearly 80,000 times on Bedtime Fm, and gets 800 new listeners a month. It is apparently Darcy (aged 6)'s 'enduring favourite' on the podcast site...!
Readings: I've continued to read my stories at Story Fridays in Burdall's Yard, Bath, the event I run with Kilter Theatre. I'm running some Story Saturday events at Clifton Library in Bristol, where I will be reading alongside other writers, as guests of Foccal. I have read stories in a variety of sites recently, including the atmospheric Tin Church in Brokerswood, as part of the Frome Festival.
If you'd like to get in touch with me send me a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.