wily-winnerPlease excuse the post title. That’s probably one of the most overused cliche phrases ever, but I couldn’t help it. I’ve had a really good weekend of news regarding my short fiction. First off, something I’ve been pleased about for a while but not allowed to announce. As you can see from the image, I won a contest. Well, I was one of two winners.

Every month Wily Writers opens a theme for short story submissions. From all the submissions, the best two stories are selected and published on the Wily Writers site and also podcast by them. You’ll have heard me mentioning Wily Writers before. They published and podcast my story, Stand Off, back in 2009. That story was subsequently collected and reprinted in Night-Mantled: The Best Of Wily Writers Volume 1 in February this year. For this month Wily Writers announced some time ago that instead of a particular theme they wanted submissions from people previously published by them (over 50 writers) for a Wily Writers Short Story Contest. Guest editor, Stacey Janssen, then went through those submissions and selected the two winners. The winners were Dragonborn by Kelli D. Meyer and Declan’s Plan by myself.

Declan’s Plan is a post-apocalyptic story, about a man, his dog and his reprogrammed alien probe, wandering through the destroyed wastes of the Australian outback. They have a plan. The story has been ably read by Philip Pickard. It’s always strange to hear my work read by a voice actor, but always a thrill too. I was a bit concerned with this one, as the story is so strongly Australian and I wondered how the actor would cope with the accents. I have to say, Philip Pickard has done a sterling job. He’s really brought the characters to life and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to his rendition. Thanks, Philip, and well done – I owe you a beer if ever we meet.

You can find the text or podcast of Declan’s Plan here. I highly recommend the podcast!

totgaIn other good news on the short fiction front, I found out this weekend that my story, In The Name Of The Father, has been accepted for publication in the Dark Prints Press anthology, The One That Got Away. That book is due for publication in early 2012 and they’re planning to announce a list of some of the contributors soon. I’m looking forward to seeing who I’ll be sharing a ToC with in that one. This book is edited by Craig Bezant, an accomplished writer himself, and I think Dark Prints Press is going to be putting out some really good books. I’m thrilled to have a story picked up by them.

murky-depths-issue16This post is starting to sound very boastful, for which I apologise, but I’m not done yet. It seems that short fiction success is a bit like waiting for a bus. You stand there for ages and nothing happens, then several buses arrive at once. The next bit of good news, which I have mentioned before, is that my story, Mirrorwalk, is being published in Murky Depths, Issue 16. This is a fantastic publication, a British Fantasy Award winner and well worth your time and money. I’m so pleased to get a story Murky Depths. I mention it now as Issue 16 is out in April and available for pre-order now.

I did get one other piece of awesome news over the weekend that had me Snoopy dancing all over the place, but I can’t mention that one yet. I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as I’m allowed. (And for those keeping score, no, it has nothing to do with the “big submission”. It’ll be months, I’m sure, before I hear anything about that one.)

So apologies for all the self-satisfied, look-at-me content of this post, but please do go and read me and listen to me. I’m very proud of all these stories and selling a short story, seeing it published, hearing it podcast, never, ever gets old. Of course, as ever, feel free to leave me comments and let me know what you think. If you listen to Declan’s Plan over at Wily Writers you can leave comments there too. Enjoy!