Featured market: The Reader Berlin and EXBERLINER short story contest Reply

This week’s featured market is an amazing opportunity all the way from Berlin. Don’t worry – you needn’t write in German. This is strictly for English-language stories of 1500-3500 words. The theme is “A Summer Night” and you have until midnight (CET) on May 31st. Best of all, it’s completely free to enter and there are some amazing prizes: first place wins publication in the summer print edition of EXBERLINER, €100, and a goodie bag. Two runners up will each receive publication on the EXBERLINER website, €50, and a goodie bag. And ten finalists will have their stories featured on The Reader Berlin showcase, and have the opportunity to perform their work live at a Reader Sunday Salon event in autumn. Please see here for full rules and submission details. Good luck!

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Zadie Smith’s ON BEAUTY: telling the story through sensory detail Reply

In this video we look at two descriptions of the same place, which appear at different stages of Zadie Smith’s On Beauty. Although the place is the same, Smith is able to advance the story just by changing the sensory details on which she and her characters focus. Being able to do this, to show rather than tell, to use concrete description as an essential part of the story rather than a background, is central to how most writers work. But do remember that mimesis is not the only way to tell the story: there are many alternatives to the cinematic mode of narration.

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Author Interview: Lochlan Bloom Reply

Lochlan-bloom-author-writerThis week we’ve been speaking with Lochlan Bloom, whose debut novel The Wave was published earlier this year. The Wave is one of three novels published by Dead Ink via their Arts Council-funded project PublishingTheUnderground.
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Lochlan has written for BBC Radio, Litro Magazine, Slant MagazinePorcelain Film, IronBox Films, The Metropolist, EIU,  H+ Magazine and Palladium Magazine amongst others.

Is The Wave your first work to be published? Do you write short fiction as well as longer form?

The Wave is my first full length novel but a few of pieces of my shorter fiction have been  published before.

Last year, Australian publisher InShort published one of my stories The Open Cage as a stand-alone chapbook and Philistine Press also published a short collection of stories Ambi & Anspi and other stories.

My short novella Trade is also available from Createspace.

What gave you the idea to write the novel and what gave you the idea to blend metafiction, historical fiction and screenplay? Tell us a bit about The Wave.

The finished novel came together from a number of different places  but the nucleus of the idea centered around the character μ and his slow dislocation from reality.

From the start, I wanted to create something that questioned the process of reading and explored this idea of a fictional character crossing over from the real to the unreal while balancing that with real life characters and screenplay elements.

The title itself comes from the concept of a guiding wave, put forward by David Bohm, to describe quantum phenomena. Its a hidden variable theory and suggests that, at a fundamental level, all the interactions in the universe are intimately connected. As such the guiding wave concept tied in with the connections between story and reality I was exploring in the book and this idea of a hidden or implicate order.

How did it feel once the book was finally finished?

It was great to finish the first draft of The Wave but I get a single eureka moment when a piece of writing is ‘done’. Often, the first  draft of a section just fits and there is nothing to change but then again for other sections the writing process is more as Borges described it when he said – ‘I do not write, I rewrite’. Getting that balance is the key to getting something that works I think.

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