The Black Path free literary event, Wed 23 October.

Don’t forget that there will be a free reading of work from The Black Path by last year’s students on the MA Creative Writing course.

The reading will take place in MC0025, 12.00 – 1.00, Wednesday 23 October (2013). Work will include poems, flash fiction and extracts from longer pieces.

Everyone welcome.

Shirley’s ‘Jury Service’ story to be included in forthcoming anthology.


Congratulations to Shirley Bell, whose story, ‘Jury Service’, got an Honourable Mention in the recent Darker Times Fiction Competition. It will also be included in a forthcoming Darker Times Anthology.

More about Shirley on her blog.

Flash fiction competition – closing date March 25.

Get your entries in for Bloomsbury’s Flash Fiction Challenge:

Can you write a story in 200 words or less?

To celebrate the continuing rise of the short story and following on from the huge success of last year’s competition, Writers & Artists andBloomsbury are delighted to announce another Flash Fiction challenge.

For this year’s competition, we’d simply like you to write a story of no more than 200 words based on the theme of ‘alienation’ and/or ‘the quest for belonging’.

And to tie in with this theme, we’ve asked Roshi Fernando, author of Homesick, to judge all of this year’s entries.

The lucky winner will receive not only a bundle of all our short story collections published from this year and 2012, but also two tickets to see George Saunders discussing his new collection Tenth of December.

Jon McGregor (IMPAC Award-winning author of Even the Dogs and If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things) will be chairing the event, which takes place on Wednesday 29 May.

Info here.


Trout Fishing in America: Richard Brautigan.


Despite praise and recommendations from leading literary figures, no publisher would accept Brautigan’s manuscript for Trout Fishing in America. James Laughlin at New Directions passed it to G. P. Putnam’s Sons, who forwarded it to Dell/Delta who sent the manuscript back to G. P. Putnam’s Sons, who said they would be happy to consider it for publication, but rejected the manuscript in August 1963. Donald Allen then sent the manuscript to Coward-McCann who rejected the manuscript.



The new issue of Flash (international short story mag) is now available.

The October 2012 issue of Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine features stories by Craig Raine, Etgar Keret, Jon McGregor, Tania Hershman, Elise Blackwell, Robin Greene, Ihab Hassan, Allan Kolski Horwitz, Pamela Painter, and others.

For further information, please visit the Flash website:

Copies can now be ordered online from the University of Chester Shopfront:

With best wishes,

Peter Blair and Ashley Chantler


Mad Swiss Sherlock Holmes pilgrims.

What is this really about? Perhaps the single most revealing fact I later discover is that Sherlock Holmes is the most often depicted fictional character on screen of all time. With over 250 different instances, Holmes surpasses his nearest rival, Hamlet, by some distance. His first outing is thought to be a 30-second silent movie, Sherlock Holmes Baffled, which appeared in the US in 1900. Hundreds of actors have since played the role. And, of course, his appeal is as direct and as fulsome and as lucrative today as ever it was. Indeed, we are now in the midst of a Sherlockian renaissance (not that he ever went away): the Guy Ritchie movies; the curiously apposite Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC adaptation; Elementary, a new series from the US; and the new “estate sanctioned” book.

Source: Prospect Magazine.