Wordy riches

Wordy riches by Judy DarleyI got back from holiday to discover three exciting parcels waiting for me. What a brilliant welcome home! Each package contained a wealth of wordy riches.

The first I opened contained a review copy of The Dragonfly by Kate Dunn, which I can’t wait to start reading.

Sleep is a Beautiful ColourThe second was this year’s National Flash Fiction Day anthology, Sleep is a Beautiful Colour, containing my story Fascinate.

The book offers up a selection of fabulously quirky and inventive flashes compiled and edited by Santino Prinzi and Meg Pokrass. I’m so pleased to have my tale included!

The third package contained my prize for winning third place in the National Flash Fiction Day NZ competition – my favourite kinds of prizes, words.

In The Wild Wood by Frances Gapper already has me enthralled, and, yes, those are teeny tiny books in the little box in the centre. So enticing!

National Flash Fiction Day NZ 3rd prize

I feel well and truly topped up with gorgeous fictions. Don’t expect to hear from me for a while :)

A flash about a dragon

Bamboo forest by Judy DarleyA dragon flies into a bar.


I’m thrilled that my story Flightless has not only been published on the Micro Madness website for National Flash Fiction Day NZ, but has been placed third in the Micro Madness competition!

The competition organisers asked if I mind it being read aloud at the festival events in New Zealand – of course I don’t mind, I only wish I could be there!

You can read it here.

A wordathon for refugees

Arnolfini cr Judy Darley

This Saturday I’m taking part in Satellite of Love’s Wordathon in aid of Borderlands. This Bristol-based charity offers support to refugees and asylum seekers.

Between 1.30 and 6pm on Saturday 10th June 2017, writers will be taking over The Dark Studio at The Arnolfini on Bristol’s Narrow Quay, sharing stories and poems to inspire, move and enthuse anyone who drops by.

Organised by Helen Sheppard, Stella Quinlivan and Pauline Seawards, the afternoon will offer a zesty sprinkling of five-minute flash fictions and poems, including some prompted by the refugee crisis.

At 2.30pm I’ll be reading a brief series of vignettes that are somewhere between flash fictions and poems, and are inspired by how we can become refugees in our own lives when we’re old.

Do come along if you can, and donate a few coins or notes to support Borderlands at www.justgiving.com/teams/satelliteoflove

Satellite of love - Spoken Word Event - 10 June

A literary outing in Hong Kong

Mussel shells cr Judy Darley

I’m happy to announce that my short story Preservation has been selected for the Liars’ League Hong Kong night of literary performances on 29th May.

In case you weren’t aware, Liars League is an event that matches short fiction to actors, celebrating the spoken word while giving it some thespian panache! Their tagline is Writers Write. Actors Read. Audience Listens. Everybody Wins.

The evening my story has been chosen for focuses on the themes Prophecy & History. Splendid!

Susan Lavender will be reading my story, which is great news as she previously read my tales Geese Among The Trees and Night Flights in Hong Kong.

The story was inspired by the fact various words about nature really have been excised from children’s dictionary to make room for more about technology. Sad but true. Mussel was just one of the words removed.

I can’t attend, but hope to catch up on the podcast or videos afterwards. It starts at 8pm on 29th of May at Social Room, a loft style multi functional Hong Kong event venue “ideally located next to the Central Escalator.” If by some chance you happen to be in that part of the world that night, do swing by. It should be a fabulous evening!

Strawberry Thief – a short story

Strawberry Thief by Judy DarleyJust as the birds are dashing around celebrating the start of spring, my flock-infused tale Strawberry Thief has found a new home with the deliciously named Straylight Magazine, biannual literary magazine of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

They say: “We look for innovative works of fiction, poetry, and art. Straylight takes pride in being on the edge of literary innovation.” So I’m feeling rather flattered.

The story begins: The hide is empty but for herself and Jonathan. In the clearing beyond the small, wooden structure, birds cavort—more species than she can name. Jonathan would know them all. He understood their code of feathers and colors in a way she’s never been able to grasp.

To read the full story, click here.

Reading at Novel Nights

Green Glass by Judy DarleyThis Wednesday from 8pm I’ll be reading my short story Green Glass as part of Novel Night’s romance themed evening. My tale is a bit less hearts and flowers than wavering principles and recycled glass, but at the core of it is a protagonist with a desire to be a better person, and that has to count for something.

Along with our gracious Grace-ious host Grace Palmer, I’ll be accompanied by local writers Amy Morse, Chloe Turner and Kate Dunn, with Rosemary Dun, author of The Trouble with Love, headlining. Can’t wait to discover their interpretations of love!

It takes place at The Square Club, 15 Berkeley Square, BS8 1HB Bristol, United Kingdom. You can buy tickets here: http://buytickets.at/novelnights/78222. Hope to see you there!

The Creak of Snow – A short story

Scottish Isle cr Judy DarleyAlmost a year ago, on Wednesday 3rd February 2016, in fact, I submitted my story The Creak of Snow to a special Scottish-themed edition of Literary Orphans.

I was thrilled when just a short time later, I received a merry email informing me my story had been selected for publication. Huzzah!

But then, well, nothing. No updates, no sign of the issue going head. No sign, in fact, that Literary Orphans still existed in the world. I checked the website a few times, and gradually resigned myself to that fact this wasn’t happening.

So imagine my delight this festive period when on 30th December 2016 I received an email from editor Mike Joyce explaining what had happened, apologising profusely, and announcing the publication of today!

The time difference between here and Chicago may confuse things a little, but to read The Creak of Snow, a story of a young Scottish girl coping with a new life in England, go to http://www.literaryorphans.org. Double huzzah!

Writing prompt – journey

Basque country coastal walk by Judy DarleyThe journey has long been a staple of storytelling. You give a character a mission, send them off on their way, stick a few obstacles in their path and see what happens.

In a recent story, The Daughters, I sent two sisters off on a journey I’d taken myself, into the rural reaches of Spain’s Basque Country. The setting gave me a backdrop for two very different women to come to terms with their relationship, while tasking them with solving the riddle of how to reach a particular beach from the clifftops they were walking along.

That area is on the fringe of the Camino de Santiago, making it ideal for a fictional pilgrimage. You can read the story at www.litro.co.uk/2016/12/the-daughters/

Think of a journey you could send your own characters on and how it might change them, however subtly.

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

Literary Bristol

Judy Darley in Redcliffe CavesBristol Festival of Literature returns from 21- 29th October 2016, with curious, intriguing, inspiring events popping up all over the city. I wrote a feature about it for The Bristol Magazine, and was wowed by the options on offer. Events are already selling out, so get your tickets fast!

Literary Stirrings feature in The Bristol Magazine

You can pick up copies of The Bristol Magazine all over the city, in cafes, hairdressers, estate agents and other businesses.

I’m taking part in a least two events. The first is Writers in the Caves, taking place in Redcliffe Caves from 8-9.30pm on Tuesday 25th Oct. Going Underground: Subterranean Tales is a Bristol Writers and friends event – I’m one of the friends, and very excited to be invited back! Reading in the caves is a really magical event – it’s a wonderfully spooky environment, and I’ve written a ghost story especially for the occasion. The pic at the top of this post (photo taken by Sally Hare) shows me at last year’s event.

The second is A Hint of Crime, the launch of Bristol Fiction Writers’ Group’s section anthology (which I have three tales in). At Foyles Bookshop Bristol (3-5pm, Friday 28th October, free), we’ll be reading stories with “a dark or dishonest undertone” and answering questions about writing and the imagination. I’ll be reading my story The Longhouse, inspired by my travels in Borneo.

There are so many other fabulous literary happenings to choose from too. Want to hear spooky stories in a cemetery? North Bristol Writers have that covered with Tales from the Crypts, (7-9pm, Thurs 20th Oct, £8). Fancy hearing some Egyptian storytelling surrounded by ancient artefacts? Head to Bristol Museum & Art Gallery (3-4pm, Saturday 22nd Oct, free). Keen to celebrate women in writing? Bristol Women’s Literature Festival are hosting a salon where you can share writing by women you admire, or your own at Spike Island’s reading room (6.30-8.30pm, Monday 24 October, free). Up for learning how to source fiction prompts from newspapers? Join journalist and author Emily Koch  at Paper Arts on Thurs October 20th, 10am-12pm (£5). And these are just a few of the rich literary pickings on offer!

Find the full programme and ticketing details at unputdownable.org. Hope to see you at an event or few!

Silvering – a short story

Leaves on lawn by Judy DarleyI’m thrilled that my short story Silvering has been published in volume one, issue four of Wolves Magazine. Bobby, the lovely editor, said some awfully nice things about it. Thanks Bobby! The story follows a man on an emotional journey as his view of the world is utterly changed.

You can read the story here: www.wolvesmagazine.com/#!silvering/t4t5c.

It’s a really beautiful and entertaining issue. Do drop by for a read if you have a moment free. And submit your tales and poems for future issues too – Wolves is one of the few literary publications to actually pay!