Tell me your success stories in terms of publishing/self publishing?
I started writing short stories in 2008, when I was pregnant with my second child and forced to take a period of absence from work. My first story sent away for publication – “A Pickled Egg” – was accepted by The London Magazine, one of the UK’s oldest and best established journals. Since then, over thirty of my short stories have been published online or in print.
I have been featured as a writer as part of the Grassroutes project, a project funded by the Arts Council and run by the University of Leicester, which showcases the best transcultural writers in the county. I won the Fowey Festival of Words and Music Short Story Competition (previously the Daphne Du Maurier Festival) in 2013, and was runner-up in 2014. I was winner in the Black Pear Press Short Story Competition in 2014 and was longlisted for the Green Lady Press Short Story Competition in 2014.
In 2012, my debut collection, Catching the Barramundi, was published by Odyssey Books, and was longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize in 2013. In 2014, my second collection, The Settling Earth, was published by Odyssey and was again longlisted for the Edge Hill in 2015.
What are your top writing tips for any aspiring writer?
Send your work out! It is important to build up your portfolio, if you want to interest publishers or agents. There are hundreds of journals and online magazines out there who might be interested in your work – sign up to a search engine/database for these journals and take note of their submission rules. Then work on your stories and send your stuff out.
What are you working on now?
The Settling Earth is set in colonial New Zealand and I drew on my research undertaken for my PhD, achieved in 2005. I am working on a novel which takes up the lives of several characters from The Settling Earth, and is set in 1893, the year that New Zealand gave women the vote. The novel explores the experiences of two sisters – their loves, their challenges, and their engagement with the suffrage campaign.
Thank you Rebecca