News: stories soon to be published!

A short update for those that follow this blog to say that I have two stories due to be published – yay!

The first is called “The In-between Place” and will be published in the online magazine Daily Science Fiction (DSF) in the near future. If you haven’t already signed up to DSF’s email service, I highly recommend it – they send you a lovely (very short!) story every single day, absolutely free.

The second is called “We Have Now” and will be published in the anthology 24 Stories. This anthology is being edited by writer, director and performer Kathy Burke and has been put together to raise money to support the PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) related needs of the survivors of the Grenfell tower fire. All the proceeds are going to the Trauma Response Network (a sister charity to Trauma Aid UK). The anthology contains stories on the themes of community and hope, 12 of which are written by well-known authors, and 12 of which have been written by relative unknowns – like me!

Please support this project if you can – it’s a great cause. You can pledge here to buy a copy of the book or, if you can’t do that, you can always follow @twenty4stories on Twitter and/or share a link – the more people that hear about it the better.

Thank you, lovely readers, for all your support!

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Check out the PodCastle flash fiction contest!

This is a little break from my usual thing, namely (mostly) flash fiction stories, to write a little something about an organisation that does great work getting writers’ work out there for everyone to hear.

Escape Artists produce weekly, free audio fiction

This post is about Escape Artists, and Podcastle, and the Podcastle flash fiction competition, which you can go and participate in, right now.

For anyone who’s thinking, wait, Escape what? Pod what? Here’s some background… (if you already know all this, skip the rest and go and read the free, awesome, stories and vote, vote vote!)

Escape Artists produce FREE, weekly audio fiction. Yes, free. I know they say nothing in life is free, but this is totally, actually free. They do pay their authors and voice artists, but they mostly rely on voluntary donations to do so (via their Patreon and good old-fashioned PayPal).

There are four podcasts and they are all brilliant with incredibly high production values (seriously, ditch your Audible subscription and just subscribe to all these):

Last month (June) PodCastle accepted entries for this year’s Escape Artists Flash Fiction Contest. The criteria were that stories had to be fantasy (at least arguably, it’s a pretty flexible genre) and had to be 500 words or less. That was it. Simple.

In June PodCastle accepted 500-word, fantasy story submissions to this year’s Escape Artists flash fiction contest

And now it’s July and the contest is closed! But that’s cool, because it means you can read all the stories. And vote on them.

To protect authors’ publication rights the stories will be published on the PodCastle private forum. You have to register to access it, but that’s simple and quick and, once done, you can head straight over to the Flash Fiction Contest IV board and start reading, and voting.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I do have a story in the contest. But I’m not allowed to tell you which one – that might be cheating. Just go and vote for whichever stories you love.

There were quite a few entries and so they’re being managed in leagues. Like football only, much, much more fun (!) The stories with the most votes in each group will go forward to semi-finals, and then the best of those will go onto the final at the end of August.

Right-ho, so, here’s a quick summary:

  • Escape Artists are awesome, subscribe to their podcasts.
  • PodCastle is their fantasy podcast.
  • Sign up to access the Escape Artists forums and you’ll be able to read, and vote on, all the awesome stories from the recent PodCastle flash fiction competition.

That’s it – have fun!

Have I mentioned that you should sign to PodCastle podcasts? You should totally do that.