Thursday 13 October 2011


Two erstwhile writing colleagues from The Fiction Workhouse of old (My online writing home for a few years - a small closed writing group) have contacted me with brilliant news. I am sooo pleased for them, hardworking writers both.

Chelsey Flood, first - writing now as C J Flood. I met her at Exeter at the launch party of the first Riptide Journal, loved her work, and when she said she did not have a writing group, but would like to work with a good one, invited her to join. Now, a few years down the line, and after time spent at UEA as well, she's emailed to tell me that she's landed a fantastic deal for two YA novels with Simon and Schuster and a German publisher. Both the English and the German rights went to separate auctions. 'Silverweed' (or whatever the final title is) is going to be a real hit! Chelsey blogs here, at C J Flood.

You can read an old bio, hear her reading her story 'The Grief Benches' here, on Route Online... Posted this because its nice to hear, and a good story - but also, look at that bio. We were all there once, with a few publications - then wham! Fab, and I am delighted!

Michael Logan next. I judged the Fish One-Page comp back in the dark ages, and awarded this story, I Will Go Ahead and Wait for You, First Prize. Michael doesn't live round these parts - currently, he is based in Kenya - and he couldn't attend the Fish prizegiving in Bantry - so I offered to read the story for him. We ended up corresponding, and he too joined the FW for a while. Michael emailed to let me know he had won Terry Pratchett's 'Anywhere but here, Anywhen but now...' novel competition and yup - another success. Here he is, (on the left) with Terry Pratchett and the other winner, also a Logan, coincidence!)
Michael's novel 'Apocalypse Cow' (fantastic title - a tale of zombie animals...) is to be published in May 2012 by Transworld. He blogs HERE.

Who says I can't pick a good writer when I see one!


  1. Well, I don't know either writer, but I'm very happy for them both. If you have any magic pixie dust left over, please sprinkle some in my direction!

  2. Cheers for the big-up Vanessa. I still remember how I jumped for joy (literally) when winning the Fish prize, and I'm just glad you liked the story - not least because it set us on the course of being virtual chums.

    Here's hoping The Coward's Tale will be winning more awards. It must be a future Booker favourite!

  3. Hi Neil - it is smashing innit! There is no pixie dust, Im afraid. Just a recipe for hard work, not trying to cut corners, believing in your own originality, and having a bit of fun en route...

  4. My pleasure Michael - Its such a lovely thing to happen, and I am deeelighted for you Many congrats again - let me know when it is launched - will it be here, or Kenya?(!)

  5. If there is a launch, which is still not certain, it will be in London, so I will scab you an invite! I may have an unofficial launch party in Kenya for fun. It depends on books navigating customs. Tiffany Murray came over for the Storymoja Hay festival last year, and her copies of Diamond Star Halo got stuck at the airport, so she had nothing to sell or sign.

  6. It's lovely how you support other writers Vanessa. And congrats to Chelsey and Micheal!

  7. ooo yes please, Michael. And come and natter about the book here on the blog whenthe novel is out there.

    L- most of us support each other, really, don't we - I've had oodles of help from other writers!

  8. Many congratulations and bon courage to them both!

    And on the strength of a Welsh grandparent, former membership of the LW Mixed Voice Choir & residence in Gwent, I send you commiserations on yesterday. Max Boyce's lines about 'the Sunshine Home for retired blind Irish referees' are resounding in my head. Having just left Nice, I assume I have now made space for a certain 'Monsieur' Alain Rolland to take up residence in his shiny, new rent-free life-interest desres in the Carré d'Or ...

  9. Tough day, yesterday. We went into mourning. Or at least I did. My other half carried on as normal!