Saturday, February 10, 2018

Crowdfunding for Arvon bursary

Going on an Arvon residential writing course can be a life-changing experience for both beginner and more experienced writers - I know this from personal experience! However, the costs (£720 -£770 per place) can be daunting, even with the grants that Arvon itself offers, so I am crowdfunding to offer up to four half-funded places for those who wouldn't consider applying or be able to apply - BAME writers, writers on low income, writers from other marginalised communities - on the 5-day residential Arvon Flash Fiction course I am co-tutoring with Nuala O'Connor in November 2018. Every pound helps, if you can spare it! I have raised almost 25% already in only a few days, which is amazing.

When I have raised the funds I will call for applications from writers who would like one of the places.  You can find out more about the course here.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Terms and Conditions FilmPoem

I always love it when someone takes a piece of my writing and uses it as inspiration for another type of medium - several filmmakers have made films of my flash fictions and a poem, you can see them here (scroll down). And now Helen Dewbery and Chaucer Cameron of Poetry Film Live have made a film of the title poem from my new collection, published last year by Nine Arches Press - with the added delight that I asked my brother, Nick Hershman, if we could use one of his songs, and he agreed! I think the result is rather wonderful, I hope you enjoy it:

Saturday, November 04, 2017

A personal short story anthology

Jonathan Gibbs invited me to contribute to his fantastic weekly project (which you can sign up to to receive by email) in which a short story fan picks their own "personal anthology" of 12 short stories, sometimes on a theme, sometimes not. I really enjoyed putting my personal anthology together, and picked 12 stories that are all available to read online, ranging from 400 to 4000 or so words, and from the US, UK, New Zealand, Ireland and Israel. Here's a taster:

When I started compiling my personal anthology, at first I thought it would be more of a Desert Island short stories, the ones that have stayed with me for years, the stories I use over and over again in workshops and which leave me reeling each time I read them (my requirement for a great short story). But then I stepped back and noticed a theme running through: Family. Not just the one we are born into, but the families we choose, be that in romantic relationships or friendships. This is something that crops up in my own work again and again – my first collection turned out (unplanned) to be about different ways to approach parenthood, or non-parenthood, and all my stories (as perhaps all stories of any length are) address the difficulties of relating to other people. These are 12 of my all-time favourites, varying in length from a few hundred words to a few thousand, and moving from the UK to America, New Zealand, Ireland and Israel. I would be very happy with them on a desert island – and they are all available to read online too. I hope you are left reeling from some of them too.

'Mother' by Grace Paley, First published in Later The Same Day (FSG, 1985), included in Sudden Fiction, edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas (Peregrine Smith, 1986), and available to read online here

This is one of the first very short stories I ever read, in an anthology of “sudden fiction” edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas and published by Norton in 1983, and I was knocked sideways by it. How is it possible to do all this in just over a page?...

Read the rest here!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

My writing week - an audio diary

The Royal Literary Fund, my employers and a wonderful organisation supporting writers, asked me to keep an audio diary for a week, about my writing. I picked a week when I actually did some! If you'd like, you can listen to it here...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Quantum shorts competition 2017

I'm honoured to once again be on the judging panel for the excellent Quantum Shorts competition alongside Brian Greene, oh my! So, what do you need to do to win? Well:

You have from now until 1st December 2017 to send us a story up to 1000 words long. We challenge you to open your imagination to the strange ways of quantum particles and anticipate a new era of quantum technology

There is much inspiration for your stories on the website, do check it out - looking forward to reading your quantum flashes!