New Stories and Sir Peter Ustinov

The Sea Children

I’m writing this after a long hiatus of not writing. I feel like I’m always saying I’ve not written anything for a very long time but… and then very little happens. I blame this phenomena on studying and a sudden, inexplicable lack of confidence over the past year and a half.


I’m writing this after a long hiatus, but, there have been movements, and I should celebrate them instead of focusing on the negatives.

Back in February, my short story ‘Automaton’ was accepted for the fourth issue Phantaxis Magazine February 2017of Phantaxis Science Fiction & Fantasy Magazine (see a handy illustration nicked from the Phantaxis website to the right). I loved writing this story (lots of virtual window shopping for increasingly ridiculous products) and was inspired by Mac McClelland’s article over at In the piece, McClelland goes undercover and describes the back-breaking and thankless work for what she calls “Amalgamated Product Giant Shipping Worldwide Inc”. Wink wink.

Also this month, my contemporary short-story ‘The Sea Children’ found a home at The Saturday Evening Post for their Fiction Friday slot. This started life as a fisherman-themed competition entry for Writing Magazine and gradually evolved into a longer story after positive feedback from Granta and other publications. You can read it online here.

In other news, I finished up my latest uni module with a staggeringly bad exam. My answers were… lacking. Despite this, I’m glad to see the back of forced reading for a while; on my to-read-for-fun list this month is Expanse: Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey and Flannery O’Connor’s Complete Stories. Like most people, I binge-watched The Expanse on Netflix and pinched The Great Beta Reader’s copy (she’s heavily into space operas now, and wants to be a Space Pilot; nothing else will do).

I’ve also set myself a seemingly impossible goal of writing a pilot script for this year’s Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award, starting now with a July 1st deadline *gulp*. I won’t lie, I’ve spent a lot of today staring out of the window, eating a Pot Noodle, inwardly freaking out. I’m telling you lot so I can be held accountable. Happily, there’s the flickering image of a potential opening scene in my mind, so things are in motion…

Onwards and upwards.



Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award – Finalist 2014

New-YorkIt’s official. My TV pilot, written in just three weeks, is a finalist in the Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award. I’m a little bit late in announcing. I wasn’t sure if I was going to write a blog about it either, such is the power of jinxing. When I got the email (I was on the toilet, go figure) I quickly fired back an email asking for confirmation, because the email wasn’t specifically addressed to me i.e. didn’t have my name on it. I waited for an agonising 10 hours or so before finding out, happily, that yes it was meant for me.

If any other aspiring screenwriters happen to read this and haven’t heard about the competition before, here’s a quick run down of the details. It’s open to non-US writers under the age of 30, and is free to enter. The winner is flown to New York where they’ll be presented with $2,500 and have their script read out by professional actors at the International Emmys Festival. They’ll also be invited to the red carpet International Emmys gala in November this year.

I’d actually never heard of it until just over three weeks before the deadline. And man, did I work hard trying to pull something together. Can’t even remember how much caffeine was circulating in my system. And I’m not a coffee drinker, so it was pretty much energy drinks, sweets and coca-cola. I had a terrible sugar-crash afterwards. Worth it though.

Really, really pleased, and whether I win or don’t win, I’ll always be a 2014 finalist. Which isn’t bad for my very first script.