Wednesday, 16 August 2017

STORY SHOP 2017


So, here's a pic of the noticeboard outside the Spiegeltent at The Edinburgh International Book Festival. If you look closely that's my name on the board… 'Story Shop with Douglas Bruton'. If you want to read the story, 'LIVVY AND LOVE AND PENNIES IN JARS' then you can read it here. Also you can hear me reading a sample at the same link (later you will be able to see the filmed recording of me reading at the event).




Monday, 14 August 2017

THE EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL 2017

I can put this on my CV now, having had a great weekend there where I was involved in not one but two readings. 

Firstly, as part of LitLong’s event in Greenhouse 2 on George Street on Saturday. I read my story from the collection ‘Umbrella’s of Edinburgh’. I was there with the lovely and ever effervescent Finolla Scott, and Jane Anderson whose Edinburgh story is just brilliant, and Marianne MacRae whose poetry is just so fine and so beautiful. Reading was great fun – we were each given a ten minute slot. I kept my introduction to a minimum so that I could read the whole story… and that turned out to be a good decision – loved reading the whole piece and it was well received.

That was Saturday; on Sunday I was back at the book festival reading at StoryShop in the Spiegeltent. This was another ten minute thing, but this time it was just me. I squeezed in a wee intro before reading to set the scene and to let the audience tune in to my voice. The event was well attended, though 20 minutes before we went live there was no one at all in the Spiegeltent and I was a little concerned. It filled up in the last five minutes. The reading went very well and the audience was as quiet and attentive as could be hoped for… held is what they were, and then loud in their applause – thank you to them. Had fun reading and was told afterwards that as well as the live audience, about 150 had tuned in on Periscope to hear the recording and a further 10 immediately replayed the recording after hearing it the first time.


Really love reading to an audience. And what better place to do this than at The Edinburgh International Book Festival. So glad to have been given these opportunities.


Saturday, 24 June 2017

NEWS SUMMARY

In a bit of a rush… so here's the news in summary:

First in Federation of Writers (Scotland)’s Vernal Equinox Competition; Second in Neil Gunn Writing Competition (judged by Michael Faber!); Third in Aurora’s Annual Short Story Competition; Second in Flash 500 First Quarter (and the first placed story, ‘Rainbows for Coppers’ by Claire Whately, and the third placed, ‘Summary’ by Joanna Campbell, are both bloody brilliant so I don’t know how I got between them!); selected to read at Edinburgh Book Festival this summer; a story accepted for a nice anthology to come out later in the year.


Not a bad haul for now.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

PUSHING OUT THE BOAT 14



Publication of 'Pushing Out The Boat' is always a cause for celebration. The launch events are so much fun and the magazine itself is so beautifully produced. I have said before how generous the editors are with the space, respecting writers' work and not cramming stuff onto the page to fit more in and so potentially sell to more people and their families. No this is a superbly produced combination of writing and art - and the art is so right for the magazine.

Unfortunately I was not able to attend the launch last weekend - and that was a shame because I have attended a couple of these events and they are always so warm and so splendid. However, yesterday my copy popped through my letter box - and I was not surprised by how beautiful the magazine was when I tore open the envelope - not surprised because I knew it would be something special.

I have a short story inside - in amingst the poems and fiction and artworks. And just look at the splendid cover!


Saturday, 22 April 2017

PLYMOUTH WRITERS GROUP - AGAIN! (and other news)

Passing on some news - I won the Plymouth Writers Group Short Story Competition - the second year in a row! Different criteria was applied this year, so it's pretty good to come out a winner again. Thanks to all at Plymouth Writers.

Here's a link to the story in case anyone is interested: https://plymouthwritersgroup.uk/2017/03/06/Cap-in-Hand/

Having a good year so far with competitions - still with a success rate of around 40%.

Have also got a novel doing the rounds - though lots of great publishers have turned me down so far. My agent and I remain hopeful.

That's all my news for now.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

BREATHING AND HISTORY AND SYNCHRONICITY

Today a new collection of stories dropped through my letterbox. I tore open the envelope and flipped through the pages immediately. There was a story inside that caught my eye – it’s title something a little familiar somehow. I read it without sitting down, almost without breathing.

It was familiar because it was part of a project this writer and myself had worked on nearly ten years ago. It was all her own part and not a bit of it mine – the published thing in my hands. But it also felt like it would not exist if it had not been that we had worked together on this - and we were in step then, in tune and in time with each other, synchronised. I am pleased that it is in this collection – a part of me is pleased; but a part of me is something else.


It made me recall the project we’d shared for six months and the easy effort of that time and the enormous promise it held, and I could see from this published thing that now it will be no more than torn scraps. The piece that is published and which is in the collection I hold in my hands, it is tantalizing and incomplete and – for me – a little sad… like a torn bit of cloth that holds a snatch of pattern, all richly coloured and jeweled, but ultimately a scrap only and something less than the full bolt of cloth.

I am old enough to have regrets - they should only be had by the old and they should be few - and I regret that this writer and I fell out and I regret that this project is confined to the darkness of history; this torn scrap is a bright and brilliant reminder of what it could be if ever it was unearthed again.