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The front page of the website has been given a little re-refresh - sorry about that. I was trying to keep the stocking up until next year but got over-ruled - boo!

We're very much enjoying micro-fiction entries. There is less than two weeks left to enter but I'm sure you've already marked that in your calendar.

Production on the Better Craftsman (containing the results of the Summer Short Story Competition) is progressing marvelously and I think Matt is looking for a 70s revival with the cover. Very stripey and pretty. And production of the yet unnamed Chocolate and Coffee anthology is starting this week.

Reading/judging of the Open Short Story and Open Poetry is well underway.

Root Creations first self-published collection (The Red Book) is doing well. We've also re-introduced our critiquing service to the website for anyone looking for positive and practical feedback from our editor and team of readers.

And that ends this blog posting.



Which title, technically, is plagiarism, but we're going to call it intertextuality today. Mostly we're wanting to apologise for the slightly defunct and unchanging appearance of the front page of the website. You may have noticed that certain other pages have been going up and that we're not being wholly neglectful or anything of the sort, but the front page does have something of a deceased competition mentioned thereon and does also sort of have a bit of a Christmas stocking theme in the offing. Never mind. It will be updated very shortly and is pretty much top of the list after all the other terribly important things. There is a slightly frightful lot on a moment, but we're pretty much getting there. Don't think we're any description of a time warp. We're really not.



This place where we work. It's gone all pretty.

The trains are running fine, which is unsporting of them (too many folk are damnably ungrateful for a country that breaks massively on the rare days when there's sledding to be had), but that's not going to prevent my using (and that, I believe, was a gerund) the weather as an excuse to knock off really very early and walk to a quite different station for no reason other than my rather liking (and that, I believe, was another gerund) walking in the snow.

And also because the station here has no departure boards so if there was no train due till October I wouldn't really know it.



Because it's full of threads that connect lots of things to lots of other things, and it can quite easily get mind-blowinglyconfusing.

This might just be my opinion. I’m in the middle of a complicated website update and so threads are very much on my mind. For example I’m trying to make easier to use our critiquing service by adding an ‘upload and pay via Paypal option’, which is relatively straightforward, but I also want it make it easy to request a critique and make an online entry. This I’m finding isn’t so easy. I have a solution it just takes a little longer to do.

The main bits of the update should be done over the next couple of days; where I’ll be adding the Root Creations wing. Though for balance we do have a Brief Leaf wing under construction on the other side. I’m just waiting for the plaster to dry.

Please mind the wet paint on your way round.



Well, I don't know. You veritably prostrate yourself all over our inbox in your desperation to hear the results of the Coffee and Chocolate competitions, and then we give them to you and you say nothing. Whatsoever. Not a whoop or a boo or an about time too. I don't know.

Mostly this weekend I engaged in a staring competition with the online entries folder, which contained pretty much a hundred emails, all of which needed printing off and databasing come Monday. I stared at it in the hope that it would turn away first, but it didn't. It very much won, and it gave me my customary Monday headache a day early out of pure vicious spite. Then we all databased it this afternoon, which is by and large what it wanted. But don't ever try and make our lots easier by not entering our competitions, because frankly we'd much rather you did than otherwise. I'm only saying. Also I came in half an hour early today with a view to getting started on it, and nobody knows except me, and now everybody. I don't think there's much reward in coming in half an hour early of your own volition unless you subsequently make a spot of noise about it.

Next comes the judging of the Open Short Story and Poetry competitions, which we hope will be concluded by whatever date we said we hoped they'd be concluded by on the website. You'll have to go and look for yourselves really. See how clever? And the Coffee/Chocolate winners are in the process of being edited. Or tomorrow they will be. And 'The Better Craftsman' is being formatted mostly and will be being bookified inordinately soon, about which we're all massively excited. I fancy it's going to have a faintly intruiging spine. Two competitions remain open - Science Fiction and Micro-Fiction - as does the open submission call for novella(e)(s). Which is yielding lots of novellas, essentially, and that's about all you can ask of it. Bravo.

The loos here, by the way, smell faintly of aniseed. Things could be worse.


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