New Year - New Start

Happy New Year everyone.Well the holiday season is over and it's back to work/school/college. 
This is just a gentle reminder that we start Wirral Writers Club again tonight -  Friday 5th January.
19:30 at Bebington Civic Centre.
Bring along your sacrificial offerings, ahem, I mean stories, to share and critique. Up to 2000 words. Please remember, if there are many of us, we might need to read shorter sections or miss a go until next time.
 Even the act of reading aloud is a helpful exercise for the writer, as we can listen to the rhythm of the prose and/or poetry, notice those jarring words, pick up those names that are unpronounceable, and see where we have written a word twice in a row (surprising how often people write and and)
Newcomers are always welcome.

“It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.”
—Jack Kerouac, 

Writing Advice

Here's the kind of writing advice I like – something you can boil down into one or two sentences but which will stand you in good stead for all manner of plotting and characterisation problems. It's an article in Clarkesworld magazine by the excellent Kelly Robson.

'Magic Dan' on free download 18th - 22nd December

My novel about musical life on the road in the 1980s is on free download for a week at Amazon, if you fancy it for a Christmas read. It follows the fortunes of keyboard player Jonnie Cole as his band tour Europe over Christmas 1985.

A tale of sex, drugs and synthesisers, it is not for the prudish!!

Wirral Writers Autumn Sunday Dinner

Doesn't time fly? 
Here we are again approaching Christmas. We had an early Sunday Dinner this year as our 'Lunch Calendar' became a little fuzzy round the edges - like after drinking too many G & Ts.
We ate at our usual haunt; Brook Meadow Hotel, Childer Thornton. This year saw 13 of us, sat down to dinner together; including new-comers/first-timers, Mick and Amy. Some brought their partners or friends, some came alone.

As is our custom, we all brought a piece of Flash Fiction - 200 words on the theme of Sunday Dinner. This year we had an interesting mix including poems from Nick, Mick and myself (though not a natural poet, I like to flex my rhyming muscles on occasion!)
After dinner we read our offerings then played a written version of the Exquisite Corpse -Each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence, either by following a rule or by being allowed to see only the end of what the previous person contributed.

The results were interesting and in one case, hilarious.

Asterisk Anthology

Thought I would let the local writing community know of my latest good news.

Asterisk Anthology: Volume 1 has just come out. Published by Nosetouch Press; a Chicago based publishing house, this is a horror anthology with four themes.
Nosetouch ran a series of four competitions with a 'heading' for each section -  Halloween, Ghosts, Nautical Terrors and Cosmic Horrors. I was runner up in two, so have two stories published ! Most gratifying.

You can read 'Apples to Ashes' and 'Tombs in Space' online at:-


or buy the book at:-

Nosetouch Press is run by editors David T. Neal and Christine M. Scott, both successful authors in their own right. I have to also comment, out of all the submissions I have made to various publishers; online or other,(and there have been many) Neal and S…

National Novel Writing Month

You may not have heard of NaNoWriMo - It's a website that attempts to help writers get their novel done and in the bag. It's quite good as it provides the motivation to keep the word count rising towards your completed targets.

They set off each November (i.e. next month!!) and the object is to reach your goal by the end of the month and feel good about yourself all through December. I found it very helpful and fun when I did it a couple of years ago

There is a Liverpool support site and they don't seem to mind us Wirral folk. Worth a look (you might have to set up an account to access this site). I'll be participating this year in an attempt to finish the novel I'm currently writing. You've heard a couple of chapters at the WW meetings. It's a multi-threaded story and I'm hoping to finish a couple of strands that should complete it.

Hope to see some of you there.

Updates from Mjke: Book Bundles and Anthology

Writers of SciFi have another greatbundle of FREE books and stories to offer.It's available now through to the endof September. Click here to access your free downloads.

Launching in November is The Jim Baen memorial Award: The First Decade. It's an anthology of 16 optimistic short stories that present a plethora of futures beyond Earth.
My own story, A Better Sense of Direction, was the first winner of the award back in 2007. It's a story I've included in my own collection, Power for Two Minutes and Other Unrealities.

I'm super excited to be included in this book. All the stories are from past winners, and I get to rub shoulders with some top award-winning authors. The anthology has been edited by Nebula-award-winning author, William Ledbetter, who has administered the Jim Baen Award right from the start. Here's a pre-publication review by Publishers Weekly which should help the book to hit the ground running on launch day. I've had a sneak preview of the pro…