After writing six novels, I need a break from emotionally draining two-year projects.
Over the last six months I’ve immersed myself in short stories – reading some of the best authors of the genre, and learning the craft of writing an entire work in 2000-3000 words.
I’m hopeless at remembering what I read (I’ve been promising for years to keep a list), but the standout short story authors have been Hilary Mantel, Peter Carey, Seamus Deane, Lucy Caldwell, and Wendy Erskine. The latter three are from Northern Ireland, and I chose them to help get my creative mind in good shape for a visit to Belfast in May 2023; one of my projects is to develop a piece of biographical short fiction based on a fragment my late father wrote on his early life in Belfast.
The Northern Beaches Writers Group, based at Manly here in Australia, have been a great support in critiquing one of my story drafts and exposing me to local short story writers.
And to show I’m really serious about this, I’ve entered stories in four competitions!
I have a collection of seven unpublished stories that I’d love to get more feedback on. The stories are mostly set in Australia and range from An Afternoon under the Paperbark, where a hidden observer witnesses a deadly family bust-up on the lawn, to Your Own Luck, a tale of desperate man who jumps off a cruise ship in search of a new life.
If you want to receive a copy, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .