Writing prompt – tunnels

River Avon tunnels, Bristol cr Judy DarleyIt’s so strange what you can see a hundred times without really taking in. These tunnels pass from the River Avon and travel beneath a Bristol street, but where could they lead? Why purpose might they have?

Write a story exploring these dark, watery underground channels.

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to judydarley(at)iCloud.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Book review – Dip Flash by Jonathan Pinnock

Dip Flash by Jonathan PinnockThe tales in Jonathan Pinnock’s collection quiver on the page, ready to leap in unexpected directions. Hold on tight and they’ll carry you with them, into worlds where the peculiar is commonplace and some things, including houses, refuse to stay where you left them. Pinnock manages to compress entire worlds into a paragraph or two, where the laws of physics are subtly unaligned with our own.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of Pinnock’s unique viewpoint previously, I can assure you you’re in for a heady ride. As the curator of comic poetry site Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis, it’s clear that irreverence is a vital ingredient of this author’s often thought-provoking works.

Meet a man whose date decides to up and leave (sounds normal? Wait till you read the tale Dinner With Sylvia), spend time with a women who carries a curiously voyeuristic creature in a octagonal cage, encounter three hundred and sixty thousand bees, and have a chat with a saint called Geoff. See through the eyes of a ventriloquist’s dummy. Discover how your Granny could become a financial asset. Learn to expect the real and unreal to knit around one another in an unfathomable intricacy. Sleep deprivation, unrequited love and astral hi-jinks all have their vital roles under Pinnock’s narrowed gaze.

Continue reading

Enter Frome Festival Short Story Competition

Frome rooftopsPart of the Frome Festival 2018Frome Festival Short Story Competition welcomes submissions, with a deadline of 31st May 2018.

This small Somerset town of layered roofs is set roughly between Bath and Taunton has become a hive for writers, with the  annual festival featuring writing residencies throughout the small, characterful shops, and street performances seemingly on every corner.

The competition costs £8 to enter.

Stories may be on any theme, but must be between 1,000 and 2,200 words in length, not including the title.

First prize is £400, second prize £200 and third prize £100.

There will also be special awards for writers living within a 25-mile radius of Frome Library, in a bid to support and encourage local writers.

The Frome Festival is well worth visiting for its own charms, especially the incredible busking that takes place throughout the narrow streets.

For full details visit the competition website.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at judydarley(at)iCould(dot)com.

Writing prompt – pineapple

Pineapple cr Judy DarleyThere’s a man in Bristol who spends his days dreaming up new creations, and his nights building extraordinary sculptures. Each one is formed from those rubbery yellow cladding that swathes scaffolding poles in situ.

Some say he’s a vandal and a thief, costing construction firms time and money, but in a city where street art is a tourist attraction, these bright yellow explosions seem like a means to stay sane in treacherous circumstances while spreading a little joy.

What do you think? Use this as the starting point of some creativity of your own.

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to judydarley(at)iCloud.com to let me know. With your permission, I’ll publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Submit to Unthank Books’ UNTHOLOGY

Unthank Books' coversFancy seeing your words published by the unconventionally dazzling Unthank Books? They’re currently accepting submissions for their series of Unthologies.

Unthology 10 will be published in July 2018.

Unthank Books have an eye for the more unusual, risk-taking breed of fiction, so push yourself to your creative limits and send them your most unique pieces.

Unthology 8 coverMy story The Sculptor appears in Unthology 8, telling a story of semantic dementia and ice carving.

They say:

  • We will entertain publishing any genre of story but are looking for stories with a distinctive slant, worldview or structure.
  • Have a look at previous Unthologies before submitting. All are reasonably priced on Kindle
  • We have no wordcount restrictions for short stories
  • We don’t accept previously published work
  • Please send only one story at a time and one per submission window
  • Please include a short biography
  • Please don’t send us a story if we’ve recently published you in the most recent Unthology.
  • Stories should be emailed to Ashley Stokes at ashley.stokes@unthankbooks.com

Find full details here.