Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Hi there,

This week’s newsletter is a bit shorter than normal, due to the absolute chaos currently reigning in our house now that our belongings have been delivered from America. I have my desk and computer set up but am sitting in the middle of a sea of boxes with little idea where everything’s going to go.

Worse, the dongle for my keyboard got lost in the move, so I’m using another which has the page up button where the shift should be and it’s causing me a world of pain. New dongle should arrive this week, though, and typing will then be back to full speed. I am unreasonably excited about this.

Suw’s News: Racking up the rejections

It’s a good thing that I’ve become inured to rejections because I just got another one from Coverfly’s The Writers Lab UK & Ireland.

I don’t feel bad about it at all, possibly because I have other exciting writing things coming up. I’ve got a proposal to finish up for a project that could be a lot of fun and which, crucially, isn’t going to be judged on a treatment. I’ve got the two-weekend script editing course in the latter half of August to look forward to. And I need to finish up the Gates of Balawat for you all.

So I have a very full plate already, and that’s without thinking about all the unpacking I’ve got to do, or the bit where I’ve got to spin up a whole new consulting business before the end of the year.

Save the date: The Clarke Award

The Arthur C Clarke Award has just announced that this year’s award ceremony will be held on Wednesday 26th October at the Science Museum, as part of the Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination exhibition.

The shortlist is:

I have a very squishy soft spot for the Clarke Award, having collaborated with them on a number of projects. My favourite was The Science of Hypersleep panel discussion that we organised for Ada Lovelace Day 2021. If you want to learn cool things about hummingbirds, how humans might once have been able to hibernate and why we can’t now, take a look!

And of course, if you want to stay up-to-date with Clarke Award news, subscribe to their newsletter or follow them on Twitter.

Tip-top tip: What makes a short story?

Editor Farhana Shaikh wrote a great Twitter thread about what makes a short story stand out. Her list of ten things to consider when you’re writing is extremely on point. It’s well worth internalising before you start writing and checking over again before you start editing. Her advice also applies to longer stories, imho.

Good short stories, she says:

1. Know their purpose

Stories with a clear purpose from the outset really shine through from those which are well-written (around 99%). These pieces are stories, rather than extracts, outlines, descriptions or something else.

So first ask yourself is this a story?

Read the rest of the thread.

Obligatory cat photo

I have gone back deep into the archives, to July 2009, for this week’s photo. Grabbity has always loved sitting on shoulders, which worked fine when she was a young kitten, but now she’s a 13 year old heffalump is a bit more problematic.

Here she is, sitting on Kevin’s shoulder and watching him do the washing up.

That’s it for this week. A small newsletter but perfectly formed, I feel!

See you next week!


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