The Transformative Power of Stories

And the winner is…


depression…Not me apparently.  The 2016  Bedford Short Story competition results are just in and although I had two stories shortlisted neither one managed to make the final cut. Something of a consolation  is that both my stories should appear in the 2016 Anthology which will  be available to  download from Amazon later in the year. Congratulations to the winners…maybe next time

Resting story teller


1928 -2016

Sad to learn that William Trevor was one of the many artists; stars and celebrities to pass away last year. He was perhaps one of the finest short story writers and certainly one that  inspired me to give the art a go.  Wikipedia records him as an ‘elder statesman of the Irish literary world’. He once said, you don’t so much write a short story as attack it with a pair of scissors.


Third time Lucky


Another piece of luck; my story, Wanting to be John Wayne has been shortlisted for the  HE Bates competition. The winner is to be announced in early February


Twice is Nice


I’ve been fortunate enough to have two short stories; Lifeline and It’s not easy being Clark Kent  shortlisted for the Bedford prize. The winner is to be announced at a Presentation Evening in the New Year which I’ve been invited to attend, though I don’t think I’ll be able to go.

Even if neither story makes it into the final three it’s still very encouraging and competitions like the Bedford Prize do so very much to keep the motivation for writing alive.

This is the second year that I’ve been shortlisted for the Bedford prize. Where the White Poppies Grow – appears in the 2015 Bedford prize anthology, available on Amazon. .

Believing in Stories


For those that don’t know Stoner by John Williams was said to be one of the finest, forgotten American novels of all time. I’ve just finished reading his lesser known or even more forgotten work Butchers Crossing which I can recommend.

‘Young people,’ McDonald said contemptuously. ‘You always think there’s something to find out.’


White Poppies


Apparently my story, Where the White Poppies Grow is now available to ‘your e-reader device’, or so an email has just informed me. This sadly rules me out as I still haven’t made the journey from paperbacks to electrical wizardry.  You can find the story in the 2015 Bedford writing competition anthology on Amazon, cost  £1.00 which goes to charity. Hope you like it.


The Teller of Stories



I believe in stories. I believe we’re constantly bombarded by nothing but stories; the stories we tell ourselves, the ones we tell others, the ones others tell us, political stories, religious stories, ethical and morality stories, stories about how much our lives could be enhanced if only we bought into this concept or that concept, product, or latest craze, trend or fashion. I also believe stories to have transformative powers not necessarily always for the good but as the story unfolds circumstances and lives can be changed as a consequence of them.


White Poppies


My story, Where the White Poppies Grow, was shortlisted for the Bedford prize which was announced on Friday 22nd January. Unfortunately, the same story has now been listed for several prizes never quite making it into the top three, but of course this in itself is still very encouraging. Equally I appreciate the subject matter of the story will, for some I’m sure, be considered a little controversial as it attempts to give a voice to a conscientious objector of the First World War. In the story I try and show that the conviction of the main character was on a par with those who were swept up with the flag waving jingoism and fierce patriotism of the times; and what courage it took to go against that tide.


Table crumbs



Just recently two of my stories have been, ‘highly regarded’ and ‘highly credited’ respectively, which of course is encouraging.

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