Backward Facing Table Seat

A reverse timeline of writing activities and creative projects.

An interior train window looking down a carriage of red seats with white text that reads 'Backward Facing Table Seat'
Aug — Oct 2022
Comma Press Science Fiction Short Story Course
Graphic with the text: 'Comma Short Story Course: Science Fiction'

Venturing further into genre writing, I participated in a series of Comma Press Science Fiction short story workshops tutored by Justina Robson.

April — August 2022
Harriet Lee-Merrion Illustrated Zine

I contributed to an illustrated zine themed around Alan Ginsberg's 'Howl', organised by Harriet Lee-Merrion. The section of the poem I illustrated featured the line: "who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the East River to open to a room full of steam-heat and opium".

April — June 2022
First Prize winner of University of Liverpool short story competition 2022
University of Liverpool short story competition featuring a photo of Antony Gormley's 'Another Place' sculptures on Crosby beach

First, second and third prizes were awarded in three categories; Undergraduate Students, Postgraduate Students, and Staff. I won in the Staff category. The theme of the competition was ‘Looking forward, Looking Back’.

My story, ‘Don’t Point at the Sun’, is to be published in The Great Read anthology which will launch at the Liverpool Literary Festival in October 2022.

January — April 2022
New York (online)
Honourable Mention in the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge 2022

My crime caper placed just outside the top 5 and a judge commented: "The dialogue really crackles and shines [...]. The regionalisms are authentic and entertaining."

November 2021
Comma Press eBook
Strange Abrasions: Thirteen Untold Horrors

My short story, ‘Twenty Twenty Vision’, was published in an eBook horror anthology edited by Andy Murray (Comma Press). I also co-edited a number of the stories by fellow writers.

October 2021
Manchester (print & digital)
Cōnfingō magazine issue 16
Confingo magazine cover featuring an old lady looking out from a honeycomb window with some black and white bees

My short story, ‘Glass Half-Hearted’, was published in the Autumn 2021 issue of Cōnfingō magazine, a Manchester-based print publication which is now also available digitally.

June 2021 — Jan 2022
Wiltshire and online
Science Fictions: Journey Through Objects with Bedwyr Williams
Bedwyr Williams

Artist Bedwyr Williams is creating an artistic response to the construction of a new publicly accessible home for the Science Museum Group Collection at the National Collections Centre in Wiltshire. I was selected as one of the writers invited to contribute to Bedwyr's film and book project.

April — May 2021
Harriet Lee-Merrion Conceptual & Editorial Illustration course

During lockdown, I sharpened my pencils and participated in a 6-week online illustration course led by Harriet Lee-Merrion.

March — June 2021
Comma Press Horror Short Story Course
Comma Press Horror Short Story course poster and white on black comma logo

I analysed and wrote horror stories as part of a series of Comma Press Zoom workshops over six fortnights, tutored by Andy Murray.

January – April 2021
New York (online)
Honourable Mention in the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge 2021
NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge 2021

My ghost story placed 6th in its group and a judge commented:

“I was engaged, entertained, and I got a history lesson too. Your style is easy to follow and prompts the reader to visualize the scene.”

Sept 2020 - present
Retreat West Editorial Services
Retreat West logo and the text 'Editorial Services'

In September 2020, I joined the editorial team at Retreat West to offer manuscript critiques (with a focus on short story collections).

Sept 2020
Print anthology & ebook
STORGY Flash Fiction Volume One
STORGY Flash Fiction Volume 1 green book cover featuring an illustration of a typewriter

My short story ‘Undocumented Movements of a Lost Canary’ was published in an anthology of 30 flash fiction stories. It was shortlisted in the STORGY Flash Fiction Competition 2019.

Summer 2020
Leeds-based print magazine
Strix issue 8
Strix issue 8 featuring a lino print of an abstract owl

My short story, ‘Aspatria by Request’, was published in Strix #8. Originally planned to be the autumn 2019 issue, it was printed in summer 2020. The Leeds-based magazine is due to relaunch in 2022 with a re-print of issue 8.

April 2020
Leamington Spa (online)
PechaKucha online reading

On Friday 24 April 2020, I participated in a Leamington Spa PechaKucha Night (online due to lockdown). I presented 20 slides x 20 seconds via a Zoom webinar and the event was live-streamed on YouTube. I told a story about ‘A Lost Lido and an Accidental Time-Slip’.

January — April 2020
New York (online)
Honourable Mention in the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge 2020
NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge 2020 graphic with white text on a dark background

Judges feedback on my fantasy story:

“Great reveal. The transition from the everyday, mundane to more fantastical elements works perfectly. You turn what seems like a simple mixup into something far more intriguing.

October 2019
The Manchester Review
Reviewed the Cork International Short Story Festival 2019
Julian Barnes talking at the Cork Short Story Festival in 2019

I reviewed six events including Danielle McLaughlin (winner of this year's Sunday Times Short Story Award), Mazen Maarouf, Julian Barnes (pictured), Nicole Flattery & Lucy Sweeney Byrne, Kevin Barry and more (all hosted at Cork Arts Theatre between 25 – 28 September 2019). 

Read my write-up on The Manchester Review.