Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Don't Look Down - The First Tentative Steps!

This blog's title, and my fiction writing itself, owes much to a course run by Oxford University School of Continuing Education at Reading campus in September 2010. The noted poet, writer and teacher David Grubb ran a 20 week course called 'Tightrope Writing'.

The course focussed on short fiction and had an aspiration that participants would write something every week and that the course would produce a magazine of new fiction by the end of the course. The deadline driven nature of this endeavour served both as a challenge to my competitiveness and a spur to my indolence.

After ten weeks David was unable to continue as tutor and mentor to the group, so for the remaining ten weeks of the course the award winning novelist Morag Joss took over the reins. These two very talented but very different writers inspired me to let out the stories that had been buried under the weight of producing training material and work based reports.

David and Morag, in conjunction with a frighteningly talented group of fellow students, encouraged me to press on.

At the end of the course we produced not a magazine but a one off web-zine. Some of us kept in touch for a while as a sort of loose writers' circle, and this gave me the final push into really regular writing and submitting work for publication. Since I have been flying solo, I have had the expected number of rejections, but also had a steady trickle of acceptances.

I have since been fortunate enough to have received additional help and inspiration from some other talented writers, Ruth Brandt and Helen M Hunt among them.

This blog will be somewhere for me to post my responses to a number of the wonderful challenges and prompts that I use to ensure that I regularly flex my writing muscles. 

In time, in addition to new stories, I will post some older ones, with links to the sites of the writers who host them.

I will also post links to places that you can find other examples of my stories.

I hope you enjoy the stories and I would welcome your comments on any of them.


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