Well, it’s been an exciting old few days here at The Residence.
Firstly, I’ve been quietly hammering away working hard and diligently on my short fiction – something I’m passionate about and hugely enjoying writing at the moment.
I recently started a short course with the rather lovely and talented short story writer (amongst other things), Nik Perring http://nikperring.com/ , who happens to have some gorgeous short story collections. If you haven’t read them yet, you really should.
Then, last week, all the editing and working paid off! A fairly new and quirky little literary journal SickLit Magazine published my first flash fiction piece. Yay! I was thrilled.
The magazine hasn’t been going all that long (a year I think) and the editor, Kelly Coody, is a feisty, feminist writer herself, with a great ethos towards writers and writing which I adore. She put out a rallying call for more women writers to submit to the ‘Women’s Writing Week’ slot she was running, and says she receives too little work from women, who are often apologetic that they write at all.
I knew where she was coming from – I’ve suffered self-doubt about my writing since I could write. Yet it never stops me from doing it, it’s like an addiction once you start, I suppose. And so I submitted a short piece I thought would sum up what it’s like to be a woman in a man’s world – and she agreed it was ideal for the last slot on last week’s magazine!
If you’d like to have a read of the piece, here is the link: http://sicklitmagazine.com/2015/12/11/taking-up-space-by-kate-jones/
But the excitement didn’t stop there. Oh no. Because a couple of days later, I heard back from the editor who informed me she is nominating me for next year’s Pushcart Prize!! This is a complete shock and honour, and has given me an enormous boost to keep writing and keep trying to improve on my writing.
What all this adds up to is a fact that I’m (constantly) trying to drum into my two daughters: don’t give up. Don’t let others dictate what you should or shouldn’t be doing/writing/how you should live. Take up a bit more space – there’s plenty of room for all kinds of people and all kinds of writing.
Because, in the end, you have to be true to yourself – that way, your achievements, when they do come, are all the sweeter.
Have a good week and a great festive season.