Sunday 25 February 2024


For years I've used Twitter, Facebook and Blogger. I look at Twitter and Facebook maybe twice a day, posting infrequently if I have publication news. I use Blogger more often, for storing and making posts. I've 1300+ mini-reviews there and many articles. It's easy to use and it's uncluttered. I've been using it since 2011. The stats (over 1.2 million hits) aren't especially meaningful because there's so much bot activity. Here they are anyway -

Blogger's become less useful as those I used to follow (and who followed me) are leaving it. One of the common places they're migrating to is Substack, which offers syndicating and monetising features that Blogger lacks. If you put material there, it can be mailed to subscribers, and you can add material that only paid-up subscribers will receive. It's good for things like newsletters, and good for bait and switch. I'd have used it for publishing my articles and workshop notes had it existed a decade ago. I've started playing with it now, without knowing what I'm going to use it for. I'm watching the way people like KM Elkes use it, to get ideas.

Tuesday 20 February 2024

2024 - a quiet year so far

  • Only 1 acceptance.
  • 1 piece of Flash nearly written.
  • 1 short story from years ago 30% rewritten, incorporating 2 recent Flashes.

I don't feel as if I'm bursting with ideas, so it's time to focus on sending off. I've 6 stories, 8 Flashes and 9 poems out there awaiting judgement. 1 of the poems is in a competition (first time for years that I've tried) and 3 stories are in competitions. I've 7 stories to send off, and some poems that have recently been returned to me. Once I've dealt with those I really must get back to writing again.

The phase of the writing process that gives me the warmest glow of satisfaction is when a story I'm working on suddenly falls into shape - I can see what's not needed and where passages need to be added. Completion isn't far away and won't be hard to achieve. But reaching that phase is a struggle. Nowadays especially, as soon as a story reaches Flash length I'm tempted to stop, and start a new piece. My plan in the next month or so is to try the reverse - put some Flash pieces together to make a story.

Wednesday 7 February 2024

UK Literary magazines in print

Call me old fashioned, but I still like literary magazines that are printed. There aren't many left. Recently it was announced that Planet and New Welsh Review are ceasing - together they've been going for 130 years. I realised recently that Dream Catcher (poetry and stories, with a few reviews) is still going, so I've subscribed to that. I already subscribe to

  • Under the Radar (poetry and stories, with several poetry reviews)
  • Orbis (poetry and a few flash-length stories, with several poetry reviews)
  • The Dark Horse (poetry and essays)
  • Postbox (all stories) - no subscription. I buy it when when it comes out.