Ever since I was a child, I have loved books. With no brothers or sisters, I learned early how to occupy myself. This was usually with some kind of creative endeavour. Making things, drawing, reading and writing were my favourite activities. Best of all, I loved to lie in bed at night, rest a book on my knees, and escape into the world of my imagination.
I always had a small voice inside me telling me to write. My only regret is not taking it more seriously when I was younger. But in the meantime, life has taken me to many unexpected places which means I have all the more experience to dip into when creating fiction.
My first published story appeared in a small press magazine, Countryside Tales, which has sadly since closed. I was 42. Before that I had submitted the occasional story to magazines, but become quickly discouraged by rejection. I used to think that if I could have one story published, I would be satisfied. When it happened, of course it wasn't enough. I had to do it again, to prove it wasn't a fluke. And again, and again. It took another couple of years before I began to believe I might actually make a go of this writing lark.
Through writing, I have met some wonderful people and made lasting friends. And probably, when it comes down to it, that is what matters most.
This is an overview of the places where I've had work published. Most of these are for short fiction, unless otherwise indicated.
The People's Friend
Writing Magazine (summer ghost story winner, 2007)
The Weekly News
That's Life (Australia)
Writers' Forum (poetry winner, August 2013)
Countryside Tales (2nd prize in annual competion, 2004)
Scribble (2nd prize in quarterly competition, Autumn 2011)
Flair for Words (article)
The Dawntreader (poetry)
Bristol Prize Anthology Volume Two (Shortlisted for Bristol Prize 2009)
100 Stories for Haiti
50 Stories for Pakistan
100 Stories for Queensland
Pod (a Leaf Books anthology of commended entries from competitions, 2011)
Story.Book (a Spilling Ink anthology - 2nd prize in annual flash fiction competition, 2011)
Barcelona to Bihar (an Earlyworks Press anthology of shortlisted entries from annual competition, 2011)
Sixteen Single Sentence Stories (a Chair Parade anthology)
Frome Festival short story competition website (winner, 2007)
Story Feedback website (winner of monthly competition, November 2009)
Jacqui Bennett Writers Bureau website (2nd prize in poetry competition, spring 2010)
International Tree Foundation website (2nd prize in story competition, 2011)
Ifanca Helene James short story competition website (winner, 2012)
Alfie Dog Fiction website
Flash Flood Journal 2013 and 2014