08 April, 2013
3 into 1 Anthology
Last year, at some point when I needed a fun and short project to stretch my brain in between novel drafts, I entered the 3 into 1 Short Story Competition. This was a contest, judged by authors Michael Dobbs and Adele Geras, to write a story which linked a black queen chess piece, a bunch of fresh flowers and a 10 pound note.
I decided to write something in a different style/genre than my usual stuff. I often do something experimental between novel drafts, which is fun but usually means the stories aren't as slick as they might be. Sure enough, I wasn't a prize-winner. I was a little disappointed, of course, but not awfully surprised and I'd really enjoyed writing a bit of humour for once in my entry The Final Observations of George Postlethwaite.
Fast-forward a few months and the anthology of stories was produced. My blogging friend Dan Purdue had won second prize (which I was very pleased about in a teeth-gritted kind of way!) and so I decided to buy the anthology. Dan's a good writer and I enjoy his short stories, so his presence in the book - coupled with the famous judges - assured me this would be an anthology worth reading, as well as being a good literary way to donate to charity (the competition and anthology are in aid of The Arthrogryposis Group).
Well, imagine my surprise last week when I received the anthology to find The Final Observations of George Postlethwaite in it! I knew there had been a lot of entries so I had assumed my story just hadn't cut the mustard this time. The judges said they had picked the top 50 fairly easily, but then had trouble whittling that down to a shortlist of their top 20. I had no idea I'd even made the 50 cut, let alone the 20. So that was a lovely surprise - to get another small publishing credit to my name.
I'm saving the anthology for holiday reading next month, but if you're looking for a new collection of short stories to read and fancy supporting a charity to the tune of £10 (including P&P) you can buy the anthology here. I have to admit, flicking through my story I've spotted a handful of formatting issues/typos that aren't in my original manuscript, but in general it looks like a well-produced book (and I'd rather they used the money for the charity than for multiple rounds of proof-reading anyway). I like the snazzy cover and it's nice and thick - a lot of charity anthologies contain very few pages for a lot of money and rely purely on goodwill, this one works out at only £0.55 per story!