Starting to Write – Toby Litt

“The aim of this Course is to get you writing and reading with energy, to help you avoid some painful mistakes, and to show you how you can rapidly improve your short stories.”

NPR Interview: David Means on his fifth short story collection

“The reader does most of the work. The reader does all of the imagining. You’re just giving them a set of instructions on how to hear and see something.” (David Means)

Thanks to Bristol Prize on Twitter for this link to David Means interview on NPR with Audie Cornish.

Litro: The Stages of Writing (Catherine Cho)

Catherine Cho, according to her Twitter profile is “Associate Agent. Story seeker at Curtis Brown Books Dept.” Read in Litro online.

Irish short story writers, get into this

RTÉ has been a terrific supporter and host for the short story genre, through their annual Francis MacManus short story competition, an opportunity for 10 writers to have their stories featured on Irish national radio as well as a shot at one of the big three prizes. Irish short story writers, you’ll never get a better opportunity to be heard.

Check the rules carefully. For example, each page must end on a full stop; haven’t seen that one before but it makes sense for reading out on the radio. Postal entries only. Follow the rules carefully, check one-by-one. Otherwise you might as well throw your hat at it. (Steve)

Orhan Pamuk reads and discusses a J. L. Borges short story

Podcast: Nobel laureate novelist Orhan Pamuk joins the fiction editor of The New Yorker, Deborah Treisman, to read and discuss “Ibn Hakkan Al-Bokhari, Dead in his Labyrinth,” by Jorge Luis Borges, from a 1970 issue of the magazine.

Word counts that get through? Various

When the short story competition was running, someone asked about the word counts for stories that get through. I started to write this response and I’ve only finished today, so it’s a bit late as the competition is no more. Still, I went to the trouble to get these stats, so here goes.

The word counts for all past first prize winners of the Willesden Herald short story competition were: 2977, 2261, 6362, 4483, 7658*, 4960, 3637, 3033, 7448, 5837 and 1381.

The word count for each of the stories in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 9: 4670, 4455, 6708, 5837, 1693, 6920, 2972, 6455, 3749 and 2260.

For our Short Story of the Month feature, we’re looking for stories in the range 1500 to 4500. For your info, if you’re a writer reading this in September 2018, the deadline for October’s selection is Friday 21 September. It’s always the second-last Friday of every month.

* The limit was 8000 that year, 7500 in other years. There was never a minimum.