Ups and downs

Oh dear. I should have known better. That not-so-subtle distinction between ‘it’s scheduled to appear’ and ‘it will appear’, common to so many editors, the first so reassuring and seemingly straightforward that the second seems to just follow logically. No; for some unfathomable mysteries of the media reason, my piece in the Exeter Express and Echo, while ‘scheduled to appear’, did not do so and I’m now in the position where we all find ourselves with the media from time to time, of trying to track down what went wrong and whether it will go right in the fullness of time.

Still, it hasn’t been so bad a couple of days. Firstly, ‘Shedding the Tears’, a tale about an old lady and a teenager finding mutual consolation, which managed to find its way into the final ten short list in last year’s highly competitive Wells Literary Festival competition, has been accepted by Fiction on the Web,, an e-zine of consistently high standards and a great variety of genres. It will appear on 20th August, and when Fiction on the Web says things will appear, they do. Other editors please note.

And, as if that wasn’t enough to be going on with, I am told by letter that, after several years of trying with a spectacular lack of success, I’ve finally registered a result in the Yeovil Prize competition, one of the longest-lasting, biggest and best organised of all the U.K.’s short fiction competitions – . A story called ‘Emily’s Derby’, about the aftermath of the 1913 incident when Emily Davison ran on to the Derby course, has made the last 17 shortlist of a total of over 1000 entries. Even if it doesn’t make it into the final three and the big prizes, it’s a result. It’s not on the website yet, but it will be, the Yeovil Prize being another organisation with a gratifying tendency to do what they say they’re going to do. Other editors please note again!


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