A short story I recently read

‘Anything Could Disappear’ by Danielle Evans Read it here in about 60 minutes. Thinking about why I liked it… The sparse but specific details build the story and characters. For example, in the first paragraph Vera’s twenty-four-hour bus journey is compressed into a mixture of impressions from the different stops on the journey: ‘From ChicagoContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

My top 10 of 2021

Here are just some of my favourites from my 2021 reading: ‘The Blind Woman Without a Toe’, by Intan Paramaditha, from the collection Apple and Knife Paramaditha’s short story collection reimagines fairy and folk tales, with a dark twist. This particular story is a fun retelling of Cinderella, while the others are tales from the author’sContinue reading “My top 10 of 2021”

A short story for winter

‘Winter Break’ by Hilary Mantel Read it here in about 15 minutes. Thinking about time… Time is important in this story, for several reasons. Firstly, time is used as a structural device. The story is just under 2,000 words long, and spans the duration of a taxi ride from the airport to the couple’s hotel,Continue reading “A short story for winter”

How I wrote it

My short story ‘Vengeance’ is available here – you can watch its performance (from August 2021), or read the story text. I’ve mentioned before that I love the technical elements of language and literature, and I’m going to explain here how I employed a technical focus to write this story. I wrote it during myContinue reading “How I wrote it”

A short story I recently read

‘Girls Have Sharp Teeth’ by Genevieve Mills Read it here in about 20 minutes. Thinking about narrative voice… It’s swiftly evident that our narrator is a teenage girl, and she has a great narrative voice. The vocabulary and semantic fields support the fact this is a teenage voice: the first line mentions a female collectiveContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently read

‘Guts’ by Kimberly King Parsons Read it here in about 50 minutes. Thinking about juxtaposed characters… Our narrator, Sheila, is an imperfect woman, a flawed character. She struggles with her body, self-esteem, and life choices. She’s embarrassed, but can’t stop eating junk food, secretly drinks alcohol and smokes pot, and is insecure about her relationshipContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently read

‘Town of Birds’, by Heather Monley Read it here in about 10 minutes. Thinking about why I liked it… I love characters changing into animals, so was interested in this story from the first line, especially as that first line juxtaposes this unusual event with an unusual response: ‘In the town where the children turnedContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently read

‘The Great India Tee and Snakes’ by Kritika Pandey Read it here in less than half an hour. Thinking about moving away from realism… I’ll read anything and everything, but I don’t like writing realism. I’m not sure why; I’m just never happy with what I write if it’s too close to realism. What IContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently read

‘As I Make My Crooked Way’ by Jules Hogan Read it here in about 35 minutes. Thinking about intertexuality and the Bible… I enjoyed this story the first time I read it, because it features an adult character who feels utterly stuck in her life, and that appealed to me as the pandemic has madeContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story for Halloween

‘A Better Place’ by Ottessa Moshfegh Read it here in less than an hour. Thinking about why it’s unsettling… In the first paragraph, our narrator, Urszula, says she’s not from Earth, but from ‘some other place’. This is a young girl speaking, as indicated by the childish tone, the vocabulary (‘silly people’), and her inabilityContinue reading “A short story for Halloween”