How Important is Genre Fiction?

I read in The Guardian on Friday that print sales for literary fiction have remained low since they plummeted in 2010. This ‘crisis’, highlighted in a report commissioned by the Arts Council England (ACE), has the same Council considering to fund this publishing genre.

It would be a mistake, I think, to assume that other genres only reflect society rather than examine it, or do not have anything worthwhile to say, and therefore don’t merit support.

Should we not question ACE’s literature director’s reported comment, “… we are saying that there is something so unique and important and necessary and fundamental about literary fiction in particular, that we need to focus on it and support it.”?

Shouldn’t ACE concentrate on promoting literacy in schools, or reading in adulthood, with the aim to allow the reader, not ACE, to support the authors of literary fiction or any other genre?

 

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We Are Gathered – audio version

I have just received a rough recording of my story, We Are Gathered.

It was recorded live in the Anglican chapel at Arnos Vale Cemetery on a stormy October evening, and is narrated by the poet and writer, B Anne Adriaens. Enjoy!

Many thanks to Rich Jeffery who will be putting together an audio book with a polished version of the above along with all the other stories that were read out at the North Bristol Writers’ event.

By The Graveside

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As Ophelia waved her tail in farewell and our very own Brian approached with all the stormy power its name suggests, our Tales From The Graveyard, the proposed tour of Arnos Vale with accompanying fiction, was limited to the Anglican chapel that crowns the cemetery’s hill.

The austerity of the building combined with candlelight shadows was the perfect gothic setting for our readings of the macabre and the horrible. And with an added soundman, Rich Jeffery, there maybe an audio book of the event in the future.

Among the North Bristol Writers that took part were:

Pete SuttonMaria Herring who was reading a story by Kevlin HenneyChrissey HarrisonJustin NewlandClare DornanJay MillingtonIan Millsted, and Piotr Sweitlik,

With the poet B Adriaens reading my contribution this ghoulish evening was concluded.

With thanks to the Arnos Vale staff – great coffee, by the way – and, of course, our audience – I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

Look out for the Tales From The Graveyard print anthology in 2018

Tales From The Graveyard

Come along to Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol on October 19th, when my story, We Are Gathered, will be read among the headstones.  Other members of North Bristol Writers will also be reading their new work. Visit the event page on the AVC website for more details.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACome along to Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol on October 19th, when my story, We Are Gathered, will be read among the headstones.  Other members of North Bristol Writers will also be reading their new work. Visit the event page on the AVC website for more details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arnos Vale Cemetery

Took my son for a jolly in Arnos Vale Cemetery today – I know, he’s a lucky lad, right?

My work in progress, We Are Gathered, will hopefully be performed here in October, so I wanted to get a feel for the place. After an explore through the shadows and having collected over a hundred and twenty photos (ones featured salvaged from the mass of photobombings), I have enough to start on the second draft.

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Arnos Vale is a forty-five acre Victorian Garden Cemetery alive with nature trails, a Forest school, guided tours, hidden symbols, underground tunnels and weddings, in the heart of the vibrant UK city of Bristol. For more info, visit www.arnosvale.org

 

Holding Hands

A man is introduced to his long-lost family on a visit to a Neolithic longbarrow.

Holding Hands features in Issue 3 of Mythic: A Quarterly Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine. Read here about what inspired me to write this dark fantasy story.

Holding Hands Uncovered

mythic3With Mythic, a new quarterly SF&F magazine publishing my piece of short fiction, Holding Hands, next month, I wanted to give you a little back story about this rather personal tale.

A while ago my son and I were having some difficulty getting on. After around six months of very little communication between us, either verbally or physically, we happened to be walking back from town, him trailing behind in silence like usual. As we did so, I felt his hand slip in mine. It was wonderful, brief, and a beginning.

It was that moment which I attempted to capture in writing, and from that, Holding Hands developed. I’m not proficient enough as a writer yet to have done that, but I’ve tried. I hope you enjoy the story.