News, Writing

Snaps and stories from the “To Hull and Back Short Story Anthology” Book Launch

On Black Friday, I drove to Bristol for the launch of the first To Hull and Back Short Story Anthology, which features the winning and shortlisted stories from the To Hull and Back Competition. To my continued surprise, my short story Psycho was actually placed second. I thought I would share some snaps and stories from the event…


After sitting in some wonderful Black Friday traffic on the way to Bristol (my absolute favourite thing to do), I arrived at Foyles Bookshop in the city centre. The turn-out was good! The winner, Mike Scott Thomson, was there (he pipped me to the post, the bastard) and did a reading of his story, How Not To Undertake An Effective Time-And-Motion Study. Armed with my trilby (which has, since my 29th birthday last month, become a permanent part of my head), I then did a reading of my story Psycho.

Me reading 'Psycho'
Me reading ‘Psycho’

Psycho is a story I wrote for another competition way back when I was in uni. In that competition, I wasn’t even shortlisted. It’s actually published on this blog in the Short Stories section. I entered it into the To Hull and Back Funny Short Story Competition because it was probably the only story I’d written up to that point that could be called a ‘comedy’. Not that it was intended that way. But I suppose there aren’t many ways you can make a story about a turkey going on a rampage with a pair of scissors particularly serious.

Me and my trusty trilby
Me and my trusty trilby

Anyways, I did a reading at the book launch and even got some laughs! Now I don’t think I’m going to transform into a comedy writer anytime soon (Million Eyes and its accompanying short stories are thrillers more than anything else – though a few of the upcoming short stories do have the potential for some comedy). But it’s nice to know I have a few snigger-inducing writing skills somewhere up my sleeve.

Some of the writers and judges from the 'To Hull and Back Competition'
Some of the writers and judges from the ‘To Hull and Back Competition’

There were beverages, food and some decent staging, as you’ll see from the pics. All the judges in the competition were there, including award-winning author Christopher Fielden, who ran the competition, published the anthology and organised the event. One of the judges, Steph Minns, dyed her hair red to fit the theme of fire. And apparently the writers and their guests got through 25 bottles of wine. Who knew writers could drink? (Well of course we do – I think I’m most productive when I’m swilling a couple of glasses of red through my pipes.)

Not a bad crowd!
Not a bad crowd!

Massive thank you to Christopher Fielden and all the other organisers. I bought my copy of the To Hull and Back Anthology at the event and can’t wait to start reading all the stories!

The 'To Hull and Back Short Story Anthology'
The ‘To Hull and Back Short Story Anthology’

If you’re a short story writer, have a look at Christopher’s website. It’s an invaluable tool, listing magazines and competitions for short story submissions and offering lots of writing advice. You can buy the To Hull and Back Short Story Anthology from Amazon. And finally, you can read my story Psycho for free here.

Happy Monday!

This Wednesday: Christmas conspiracies!

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