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I've not made a post on this blog in something approaching 47 years. This is mostly because my computer at home, which isn't actually my computer at all but is more sort of communal, has unanimously decided I'm not to have access to blogger anymore and when I'm in the office I'm generally doing something I need to be in the office for, which isn't really blogging.

This morning, however, we are out of staples, and this has caused my work-rate to grind sufficiently to a halt that I'm able to make a post. There's an elephantine pile of databasing to my left. It is unstapled. I can't database it until it's stapled. Well, technically I could, but meddling with unstapled sheaves of paper that are much better off corralled into individual stories is practically courting catastrophe. Were I to embark on such an endeavour I fancy things would get in a pretty pickle, as the young folk say. I mostly say a ghastly mess. I don't at all. I don't know why I pretend such things.

We've judged the micro-fiction, you'll be happy to know. We wanted to have announced the results by now, but we rather dimly left the stories with the member of the team who was way too busy to get the names off the database, so we're going to have to do that within the next couple of days. Then there shall be an announcement. And it'll be almost on time. We're very close to being proud. Peculiar stuff though, micro-fiction. Don't take massive offence or anything, but I'm going to point out an area where lots of you went slightly astray. You wrote too much. Not too much for the rules or anything. Just too much for the stories you were writing. It's our fault for putting the word limit up probably, but this competition did largely lack the wonderfully concise, epigrammatic little two-sentence and single paragraph stories that were by and large our favourites in the first comp. The vast majority of these stories pushed right up to the 500 word mark, and it was either more or less wordage than they truly had in them. Which is possibly a thing to think about for next time.

Another way you can make us happy is to use tab indents for new paragraphs. We'll love you more than we love satsumas if you actually use the tab button instead of hitting the space bar four times. You don't know what joy that brings to a typesetter and an editor. Really you don't. And don't address us as 'Dear Sirs', because half of us are nothing of the sort. Thank you. I didn't mean to be telling you off.

As I say, we're out of staples. That's the kind of news you've been missing out on.



Micro Fiction and Matt’s Head

The judging for the micro fiction is hotting up. Partly due to the fact that we have been sitting outdoors in this lovely weather in order to better enjoy the entries. Partly due to the fact that there is a finalists pile! No names to be revealed yet. Well, we don’t even know the names because we don’t look until after the stories are chosen. So, all you eager micro writers and writers of micro fiction, any moment now…

Also micro fiction is so fun that we have now opened another competition for it. This time, watch out, it is even more micro. Only 300 words. Ha, there’s a challenge for you.

Also, if you want to see just how it’s done, we have just had a further print run of ‘The Final Theory’ back from the printers. This book contains all the winners and commended entries from our first micro competition. There’s some great, impressive and very compact work in there. You can buy it straight from our site (we get more money that way) or from Amazon (they get more money that way).

Finally, Matt’s head was in no way damaged any further than it usually is by balancing all those cups on it. Could the person who promised to buy a copy of ‘The Better Craftsman’ if Matt could perform this amazing exploit please do so. Because we won.

Any further office challenges will only be taken up if the challengers promise to buy books.
Don’t tell Matt I said this, but, he claims to be able to do a headstand … that is surely worth buying a few anthologies for. Aside from which they are great to read.


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alt We think this implies that we win...






Click here for Coffee and Chocolate Cover Large Version

I thought I'd share the cover of the upcoming Coffee and Chocolate Anthology for anyone that's interested. I think it's very sensual.


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