Saturday 27 May 2017

Honourable Mention in Roswell Science Fiction Award

This year, the Roswell Award for short science fiction stories formed part of the Pasadena Lit-Fest, which celebrates books and authors. In previous years the award was part of a longer festival dedicated to science fiction writing, which presented one-act plays by new authors as well as adaptations of the work of established authors like Neil Gaiman and Ray Bradbury. As a result of a dispute with the actors' union Equity, the plays are missing in 2017, although the organisers hope to reinstate them in 2018.

The five finalists heard their work read to a live audience before the winner of the Roswell Award was announced. Richard Larson was presented with a cheque for $500 for his story Fifteen Minutes Hate.

The contest attracted entries from all over the world. Standing out from hundreds of other entries, Hornsea Writers member Madeleine McDonald was proud to receive an honourable mention for her short story, Not My Children, inspired by overpopulation. 

Saturday 20 May 2017

Hold the date for a Fantastic September weekend

Hold the date, 2nd and 3rd September 2017, for an amazing weekend in the UK’s City of Culture. FantastiCon 2017, the annual Sci Fi and Fantasy convention takes place at the Guildhall in Hull. Tickets are now on sale through Kickstarter. Follow this link and hit the Pledge button

Hornsea Writers will once again be well represented. Last year our own Stuart Aken launched the first of his Generation Mars trilogy, and the Fantastic Bookstore featured his earlier work as well as that of Penny Grubb and Linda Acaster who were only two of many local authors represented in amongst the Star Wars characters, the many full sized Daleks, the live music shows and the mind-blowing virtual reality demos.

FantastiCon is a ‘doing’ convention. All the activities are rolled into the very modest ticket price. You can even get kitted out with goggles and protective clothing and join the Nerf wars. Sign up now and come and say hello. You’ll find at least one Hornsea Writer at the bookstore at all times.

Saturday 13 May 2017

Nostalgia for steam: may it live forever.

I was quite young when most of the rail network disappeared, courtesy of Dr Beeching, may God rot his knickers! The railway ran along the bottom of our garden and I used to go outside specially to watch the 19.03 (yes, I am that pedantic) chug past. Then diesels came in and the magic died a little. Then they took up the railway and the trains were no more.

However, that childhood experience left me with a lifelong love of trains. I won’t be the only person to know the more famous name of the Gresley Pacific 4472 - The Flying Scotsman - for the uninitiated. Nor the only person who strokes the gleaming blue sides of the mighty Mallard. I visit the National Rail Museum in York regularly to get my train fix.

So, when I saw the competition for the Yorkshire Wolds Railway, it was irresistible. I was lucky enough to be long-listed and for my story, Smokescreen to make it into the resulting anthology.

You can read more about my love of steam here:

You can read more about April Taylor here:

Dreaming of Steam: 23 tales of Wolds and rails, published by Fantastic Books Publishing.

Just out by April Taylor:

A standalone crime story

A Georgia Pattison Mystery

Saturday 6 May 2017

'Dreaming of Steam' Celebrations!

As well as pursuing individual longer works, members exchange information on short story competitions. When the heritage line Yorkshire Wolds Railway announced a publicity and fund-raising fiction event, members rose to the challenge. Their enthusiasm paid dividends. Submissions from three members were placed, and one member was invited to submit to the anthology as a professional.

Elaine Hemingway’s The Diary of Daniel Duck – Runner-Up
Madeleine McDonald’s A Solicitous Wife – Highly Commended
April Taylor’s Smokescreen – Long-Listed

All stories appear in the anthology, along with Penny Grubb’s Sir Tatton Sykes Cooperates, submitted as one of four non-participating professionals. 

Elaine Hemingway & Madeleine McDonald with driver Graham

The prize-giving turned out to be quite an event. Lord Faulkner of Worcester, President of the Heritage Railway Association and a published writer himself, travelled up - by train of course - to present the prizes, and a heritage East Riding Motor Services double-decker bus arrived carrying no less than five Lord Mayors from the region, plus friends and official photographers, to lend support to a worthy charity project.

Much chat was exchanged, much tea consumed, but best of all were the rides in the cab of the 'Sir Tatton Sykes' diesel shunter along the short stretch of currently usable line. As everyone agreed, riding the cab of any locomotive stirs the blood and fires the imagination.

Congratulations to all our finalists.

  Dreaming of Steam – 23 tales of Wolds and Rails is available as a paperback and ebook from Fantastic Books Publishing or Amazon
 The Yorkshire Wolds Railway, Fimber Halt, near Wetwang, is open every Sunday & Bank Holiday Monday until the end of October.