A Personal Anthology of short stories

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I wrote a bit on twelve short stories that have stayed with me in A Personal Anthology, run by Jonathan Gibbs. It’s a great project: a weekly newsletter of 12 short stories selected by a different literary person everytime. You can (and should) sign up to the newsletter itself, or browse the site by writer/contributor.

I’ve tried to make my contribution varied enough, and most stories are available to read online, so go have a look!


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‘Tiny miracles’: New story in Holdfast magazine


My short story ‘Tiny miracles’ has just been pubilshed in Holdfast magazine. The theme of this issue is ‘Gods and Monsters’, and my take on it sees a tiny plastic Mary figurine take life in a Lourdes souvenir shop.

Holdfast is a great online speculative magazine based in the UK that really tries to improve on the traditional lit mag format and go beyond a simple selection of stories. Each issue has a lot of Non-Fiction, including an open letter to a SF/Fantasy author. They put up a playlist on the issue’s theme, have interviews of authors and also, in their ‘Unbelievers’ section, give a book to some non-SF/F reader to see if he can get a taste for it…

They’re looking for submissions for their next issue on the theme ‘Looking Forward, Looking Back’ (“Depictions of the future, alternative histories, time travel, utopias, dystopias, or anything else related to timey wimey things”) 

Deadline is September 15th


(This is the Terry Gilliamesque illustration for ‘Tiny miracles’, by Jenny Kadis)

Good ideas #2 Internet beauties : Paper Darts


I might be biased (they’ve recently accepted a story of mine for publication), but Paper Darts is one hell of a great online magazine. They publish one print issue a year too but I haven’t had the opportunity to read one yet, but they seem to be all the fun you could expect from the online version.

In the words of the editors (from an interview in the great Review Review):

“Studying literary magazines as undergrads showed us that for every lit mag that’s getting it right (and there are a lot of them), there are fifty that are hard to look at and hard to read. We wanted to shake up the formula and bring color, illustration, and lightheartedness back into the lit mag sphere in a big way. […] At Paper Darts we give the pieces we publish online the same amount of illustration and design love that our print pieces get.”

Have a look! They’ve great short fiction (for instance, that short funny piece by Elizabeth Bernstein), poetry, and non-fiction. And brilliant art too.

Good ideas #1 The Common and Titular

Here’s the first of… more than one, let’s hope, hopefully a series of blogs about interesting ideas and innovations in magazines. Not that their is anything wrong with a straight forward, traditional literary magazine, but now and then I stumble upon a feature that I really like.

Now, we’ll have a look at two magazines that take an encyclopaedic approach to short pieces.

On its website, The Common publishes Dispatches, “short evocations of particular places” in 500 words. The stories tell of towns and landscapes from Mexico to Uzbekistan to Korea to New York. Only improvement I could see : why not make that map interactive? (Submissions accepted year-round)

Titular focuses on (guess what?) titles. It publishes stories which share a title with an existing novel, film or TV show. The idea is to take the title as a starting point and to write a different reality to suit it. “Each story aims to reconstruct concepts instilled by its existing title by exploring and provoking the implicit disparities between the two. This is also a meditation on the semantic implications of each title. Our goal is to build a literary Collective of New Beginnings.” I remember reading a while back some mission statement where these folks said they hoped in the end to have a cross-referencing archive, where you could for example read all the stories written from titles of Tom Cruise movies, or from Hemingway novels. Can’t seem to find it on the site, but I liked that idea. Sad thing is these folks now only solicit material.