Though I've published five novels and won a poetry prize, I'd call myself a short-story writer more than any other kind of writer. I think I know my theory when discussing shorts and I do OK as a teacher, but when I write "poetry" it's seat of the pants stuff for me, pure instinct. If it happens, great, but if I "work" a poem I'm as likely to screw it up as make it better.
I recently got hold of Stephen Fry's book on poetry and I'm crawling through it, squeezing in a few pages bewteen teaching, critiquing, and writing shorts.
A Shot from the BT Tower, London
I like Stephen Fry's attitude, and he writes well on the subject. In a perverse way I like reading as a neophyte and actually having to understand fresh stuff. I'll keep you updated on the book.
I have a few poems out there circulating, but if I'm good at any of the word-arts I definitely think shorts are my forte. But if you're less good at one aspect of the art-group, WORK on it. Being a better poet sharpens your short-story skills, being a better shorts writer makes you a better novelist. Never stop working, never stop learning.
Just heard I managed last twelve in Night Train's "Yates" competition. Apart from a last 25 placing at Glimmer Train I've still to do well in US Comps though I've won and placed third in Canada. You can see the third placed story in my blog entry Flash Fiction. Seems there's something about my style that doesn't quite gel with US Editors. Another market to crack!
More Boot Camp News.
Colin Upton wins First Place at Slingink's "Euro" Competition. Details to follow.
As we closed 2005 early these two "hits" count for 2006, so a great start for us in trying to beat 2005's incredible 26 First Prizes. Even with that great start it's going to be very tough.