The Five Stop Story competition, which I’ve mentioned around these parts before – www.fivestopstory.com – runs a quarterly competition, and the last deadline was June 30th. The Five Stop site, uniquely as far as I know, operates a kind of ‘league’ system where entrants get points for how well they do which add up over a full year – four competitions – and pay a fee which covers them for the whole year. Why not? Keeps one on one’s toes. Anyway, this time around, I bunged in three – ‘The Unfathomable’ and ‘These Foolish Things’, basically a couple of funnies about a bored teenager enduring his summer holidays and a couple busting up and just as soon getting back together, and ‘Using Jed’, about a couple of experienced drug dealers who are using a local jogger as a ‘mule’, or at least think they are. And all three have made the long list, the first time all of the entries have done something. O.K., the long list is 48 long, but I doubt very much whether the Five Stop, which has been going for a while, gets less than 200 per competition and probably rather more than that, so everything in the long list is not so bad going. Twenty of the 48 will finish up on site, so fingers crossed again for the inevitable upper or downer which is part of the fun of entering the competitions.
The publication date for my short story collection ‘First Flame’ is now definitely confirmed as September 1st, when it will be up there and running on the SPM site – www.spmpublications.com . There never was much doubt about it, but a final firming up is useful so all that needs to be done in the last lap can be done. Watch this space!