Belatedly, let me say what a privilege it was to work on Looking For Tigers in helping prepare the book for publication. Caroline Jaine is an extremely accomplished writer (she’s extremely accomplished in several other fields, too) and one who deserves a much wider readership.
Looking For Tigers is a collection of fifteen short stories taken from her amazingly varied life, from rebellious teen to perceptive maturity. It’s a journey in mind and body, beautifully described in personal memory and anecdotes.
Never just a tourist, Caroline carries us with her from Bristol to India, from Bratislava to Botswana, from Sri Lanka to Iraq. Always insightful and entertaining and without ever taking herself too seriously.
What a delight to have the Saltwater And Other Stories anthology published, the authors’ copies on their way and the first few sales clocked up on Amazon.
It’s always a privilege when writers entrust their work to you, and a great responsibility to see that their words are respectfully edited and properly presented on the printed page.
The result of all their hard work and my collecting and editing is a beautiful little volume of varied stories, united by the quality of the writing. Now, I just hope it reaches as many readers as the writing deserves.
(First posted April 2019)
So what’s so good about not making the shortlist? Here’s what – any recognition is welcome, and when that comes from an international jury of respected writers and critics, making the longlist in a field of five thousand feels like winning.
The story, Sixty Clicks, was my third attempt at The Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize. As with previous entries, it was submitted with very little expectation, so making the longlist is a huge bonus. But not only that, the manner of being told was wonderfully encouraging ” . . . your story was one of 200 longlisted entries read and discussed by our international judging panel. We hope you take confidence from this, and continue to write . . .”
Really, that’s all we need to keep going – encouragement. So thank-you, Commonwealth Writers, the longlist is a prize in itself.
(Originally posted February 2019)
Considering the quality of the stories published by Retreat West, hearing that Unforgettable has been nominated by them as one of the Best was a shock. What an honour, as if winning the competition in the first place was not good enough. Now it feels like winning it all over again. Thank you, Retreat West.
(Originally posted June 2018)
Very good to hear from Retreat West that Unforgettable has won their flash fiction competition. They have a lot of entries and they’re always of a high standard, so to come out on top is fantastic. Not to get too carried away though, because the differences between the longlist, the shortlist and the winners is frequently wafer-thin.