The publication by Arachne Press of my two stories in Stations back in 2012 was a significant moment for me. I’ve made my living as a journalist and teacher, so writing has always been essential to those roles. I continued to squeeze imaginative writing into this life and, like most aspiring writers, had folders full of half-finished novels and abandoned stories.
Publication by Arachne, however, changed everything. It signalled that I could write a story that someone else would want to read. It signalled that I should be serious about writing for publication. It signalled potential.
But I realized I needed help – and deadlines. I signed up for a creative writing MA, with a non-fiction book in mind, and with time to devote to it. I am about to start my second year, with many thousands of words still to write – and I am having the time of my life.
A huge thank-you, therefore, to Arachne for the part it has played. Without Arachne’s founder Cherry Potts and her decision to publish my stories, I should not now be able to say the following: I expect to finish my book, the story of my cousin’s eventful move to a mountain top in Italy, by the end of 2018. Look out for TheHazelnutGrove by Paula Read.
And we had three Flash From the Floor, (one of which was a riposte to Pete’s story!) so thank you to our audience for joining in with your flash fiction, and wearing hats as requested for Bartle’s story, and for the feedback to Paula, all much appreciated.
It was Hats ON for Bartle at Wednesday Night’s Story Sessions, a seasonal collection of stories about cult singing groups and carol services, Spanish and Greek alcohol, a lack of christmas spirit, unwelcome and uninvited guests, and interlopers of other kinds, from Cherry Potts, Peter Higgins, Joan Taylor-Rowan and Paula Read, as well as Bartle and his hats – the audience joined in with a few Flash from the Floor, and hat wearing! The Ivy House got in the spirit of things with ivy garlands, fairly lights, roaring log fires, additional speakers (thanks Nyge) and festive gold lamé curtains for the stage too.
Just thought I’d mention, its three days almost exactly until time runs out on our funding bid. If you’d like to support us, please take a look at the pitch – you can have a laugh at me and Katy being distracted by every butterfly that flew past, and remaining oblivious of the trains roaring by at the bottom of the garden – one of the few decent patches of sun so far this ‘Summer’, a bit like today.
And in the meantime, watch a whole bunch of Arachne authors talk about their writing ambitions…