First the good news.
It has been six months since the horrific earthquake in Haiti, something that seems incredible to me; surely it was only a matter of weeks ago?
Out of the wreckage came an iron resolve to do something. Many, many organisations and individuals stepped out of their daily lives and did incredible things. One such man was writer Greg McQueen, who put together an anthology of stories donated by authors. Six months later 100 Stories for Haiti has raised over £3000 for the Red Cross Appeal.
Originally brought out as a paperback, you can now also get it as an e-book and a podcast. Aside from its worthy aim, it is also a very very good collection of short stories.
You can see the work the Red Cross have been doing and donate straight to the Appeal here.
If you look right, you can see my e-short story I wrote to raise money for the same cause. It has raised rather less than 100 Stories for Haiti, but I am still collecting and every dollar helps. It is $1 in the US, 35 cents (the author's share) of which goes to the appeal. Unfortunately, outside the US it costs more.
Now the bad news.
Salt Publishing, one of the UK's most respected independent publishers, are in trouble again. The recession and the demise of Borders UK, one of their major customers, have hit it hard and they have only one week of cash left. Probably less by the time I write this.
They have a fantastic line-up of books due to be published this Autumn, and they are expanding into new lines. They publish books by Tania Hershman and Vanessie Gebbie, whose blogs you can see in my blog list, right.
If you are looking for something new, go and check out their website and help support independent literature.
Then some more good news.
This year's Bristol Short Story Prize has been won by Valerie O'Riordan for her 'stunning and incredibly powerful' 350 word story Mum's the Word. Yes, a flash story has won a short story competition. I am very much looking forward to reading Valerie O'Riordan's story. The anthology of all 20 finalists' stories is now available.
Finally, my own news.
I have had two more acceptances, one from my friends at Every Day Poets (which is fast becoming my second home. If I ever get kicked out of here I may move in permanently) and one at the exciting new Eclectic Flash, who publish as an e-zine and in Real Paper Format. They have a delicious website, and only launched in January this year. I'll put up links when they come out.
I'm not doing a lot of submitting at the moment as the novel is in full swing (now at 55,000 words) so acceptances are a real boost. They remind me there is life outside my dystopic world.