The last few weeks since my last posting have passed by in a flash. Not just because we’ve had four seasons of weather over that time, but because we’ve been flat out preparing the Fairlight Shorts website for launch.
Fingers crossed, IT Gurus (sorry – Creative Web Design Professional Gurus) and Gods of WordPress permitting, we might even go live today. Or perhaps at the weekend… Or Monday AT THE VERY LATEST… as I’ve said for at least the last ten days.
For several weeks now we’ve been sifting through short stories sent to us by writers from writing groups and forums across the UK. It’s been an impossibly hard task because the quality of the writing and the stories we’ve received has been so extraordinarily high.
It brings me joy to think of so many of those stories having been read between members of writing groups in all corners of Britain and Northern Ireland, shared, enjoyed and perhaps honed with honest, friendly and constructive feedback over a glass or wine, or a pint of beer and a nibble or two.
But whittle them down we had to do - we only have resources to edit, publish and promote a limited number of stories every few months – and as we did this, as a team, it was interesting to see the democracy of fiction in action.
Some stories broadly appealed to many, presumably touching on some shared commonality of feeling, but for those that stirred real passion, there wasn’t a consensus. One person’s treasure left another shrugging that they just didn’t get it.
As a writer, the process reminded me of the saying by the poet John Lydgate that, ‘you can’t please all the people all the time.’ It reminded me that when you get a bad review, or if a friend offers to read your book and then struggles to finish it, it’s not necessarily a reflection on the writing, it just wasn’t for them. Maybe they just didn’t get it. At the end of the day, that doesn’t really matter. Better to work to find your audience and work with and write for the people who do ‘get it’.
But I digress.
The great news is that we did finally manage to pick and agree on twelve stories to launch with, which will be published any day now.
We’re very excited to be able to make these stories freely available, on the Fairlight Books website, and to give their authors the opportunity to showcase their fantastic writing.
but maybe give it a day or two before you look. Just to be 100% sure the new site is up…
Finally, to pick up from my theme of last month, I’m happy to announce that the launch party for Fairlight Books and its launch collection of short stories, The Madonna of the Pool by Helen Stancey is to be held at Blackwell’s in Oxford on the 27th July. All writers, readers and lovers of literary fiction and short stories are welcome (and partners too of course if they are happy to fake an interest…). Details and registration link can be found on the site below:
I do hope you will be able to join us.