Spooky Manuscript Night

Much of last night’s meeting of the Poised Pen writers’ group was taken up with what can loosely be described as “planning” for our Buddha/spooky event above the Fly in the Loaf pub on 24 October.  In the knowledge that, actually, it’s not always alright on the night we had a few things to sort.  But the key thing is that entries for the Poised Pen’s spooky flash fiction competition are now all in and judging is taking place over the next day or two.  £100 first prize, not to be sniffed at; which leads me to the disappointing realisation that we didn’t get a single scratch ‘n’ sniff entry this year.

Being one of the judges I’ll be looking for something that’s genuinely scary with a bit of a twist in the tale.  Plus, being a pedant, I’ll grimace at poor grammar and spelling; I do try not to go over the top on this, but the sight of a misplaced apostrophe is like the sound of a witch’s nails sliding down a blackboard in my narrow little world.

So tonight will be settling down with a cup of cocoa and a mound of manuscripts, red pen in hand.  Even the weather’s turning a bit sinister and I’m sure that old tree at the bottom of the garden has moved a few yards closer to the house since this morning….

Spooky Flash Fiction

You can’t help but notice that the shops are full of Hallowe’en tat at the moment, after which they’ll be full of Christmas tat after which they’ll be full of Valentine tat, then Mother’s Day, then Easter…

An escape from tattiness comes in the form of a bit of creativity, in the shape of a brilliant competition being run by Liverpool’s Poised Pen writers’ group.  They’ve come up with a wizard, or warlock, wheeze to offer £100 for the best spooky story sent to them, in fewer than 666 words.  Diabolical, what?   The bad news is that the competition closes at the end of this week, midnight on Friday 10th to be precise; the good news is that it’s only 666 words – or fewer – so how hard can it be?

Best news of all is that the presentation of the prizes (there are runner-up ££££ on offer) will take place in the Fly in the Loaf pub on Hardman street, on Friday 24 October, and evening which will combine readings from Buddha in a Hat and an open mic session.  Last year’s Poised Pen bash, in the Ship & Mitre, was a tremendous success and this year’s should be no different.

So, go to the website, get writing, and we’ll see you on 24 October!

Poised Pen Spooky Flash Fiction Competition.

Granty’s Inferno, Liverpool Comedy Festival

Very pleased this week to have got back on track with some performance stuff, notably to do some poems from Buddha in a Hat at Granty’s Inferno, itself a part of the Liverpool Comedy Festival.  Peter Grant and his partner Cath Roberts jointly run one of Merseyside’s finest bookshops, Literally, in New Brighton.  What makes it so special is that they’re not just running a bookshop, but a cultural hub.  Regular evening performances from local celebs such as Ken Dodd, Pauline Daniels and Eithne Browne have been a feature of recent years.

So it was something of a coup this week to be asked to perform alongside Carl Chase (always the baddie in films such as Batman and Alien, and Dean Sullivan, or Jimmy Corkhill as he’s still known around these parts.

A strange venue – the dining room of Dunsandles guest house in New Brighton – turned out to be perfect for a relaxed evening of poetry, song and performance.  Happily, the Buddha selection went down well and many a copy was sold & signed on the night, then very relieved to see a warm review of the night on Ian Hall’s Liverpool Sound & Vision blog Granty’s Inferno

Having got that one under my belt – with some friendly faces from the Poised Pen group in the audience – now looking forward to a night of merriment in the Fly in the Loaf on 24 October.  See you then.

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