Blogs

ABCtales Critiquing Service - good reports!

Over the years many of you have asked for a critiquing service and it has taken a long time to find (a) someone good enough to do it well and (b) someone who will charge what we regard as a reasonable fee. Finally, we've done it! Lorraine Mace is a freelance writer, columnist and tutor for the Writers Bureau. Winner of the Petra Kenney International Poetry Competition (comic verse category), Lorraine's fiction, features and humour have appeared...

Beautiful Fish by Mark Kilburn

Mark Kilburn (who writes on ABCTales as Kilb50) won the 2020 Cerasus Poetry Olympics back in July. As part of his Gold Medal prize, Cerasus has collated a collection of his poetry which is now available on Amazon: Beautiful Fish: Amazon.co.uk: Kilburn, Mark: 9798572785401: Books Here's a review by Ewan: Beautiful Fish By Mark Kilburn : A Review I was very pleased to be asked to review this collection “Beautiful Fish” by long-time ABCTales...

Storyville: Locked In: Breaking the Silence, BBC4, BBC iPlayer, director Xavier Alford, editor Collete Hedges.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000pz1w/storyville-locked-in-breaking-the-silence I once told the doctor there was nothing much wrong with me, apart from bits falling off. I’m hitting sixty and that’s the kind of thing you expect. My biggest fear is dementia. When you talk to others, often you hear, ‘My mum, or my da… had it’. Director and cameraman Xavier Alford, aged 42, is a father of two and he suffers from a rare neurological disease...

Arthur Golden (1998) Memoirs of a Geisha.

I’d already read Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha . Perhaps I didn’t appreciate in the way I should the first time. A few things I remembered: it was set in Japan, and it was seemingly a memoir about a Geisha. The sort of information that even the outgoing President of the United States would be able to pick up from flashcards, or the cover of the novel when prompted. Perhaps he would recognise that Japan wasn’t on his list of ‘shitty...

Beautiful Fish

Gold Medal Winner of the 2020 Cerasus Poetry Olympics

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point

Firstly I hope to 'see' you at our virtual reading event tomorrow - we have an absolutely brilliant line-up, including a very welcome appearance from Tony Cook who I hope is going to read some of his work in progress. Still some spaces left if you want to be in the audience, just register with the link on the front page, but if you can't make it we will be putting it on YouTube in due course Anyway, our Story of the week goes to Mark Burrow for...

A Waggy Dog Story!

For the past year or so, I have, from time to time, been posting stories on ABCtales about the two dogs at TURN Education, Packham and India and seeing the world from their perspective. My thanks to everyone here who kindly read the stories and commented. I've now gathered alll of these stories together, plus a few new ones especially written, in a paperback book for children released in time for Christmas. I think the best thing I can do is...

READING EVENT NOVEMBER 28TH - THE LINE-UP!

Don’t miss our Virtual Reading next Saturday where we have an international line-up of superb poets and writers – 19:00 to 21:00 (UKT). We'll be hearing work read by Peter Bennett, Jenny, Penny4Thought, lavadis, Noo, Philip Sydney, Sean McNulty, airyfairy, HudsonMoon, the legendary celticman and Drew Gummerson will be reading from his recently published novel, Seven Nights at the Flamingo Hotel, extracts of which first appeared here on ABCtales...

The Booker Prize 2020, won by Douglas Stuart for his novel Shuggie Bain.

Who will speak for us? —is sometimes as simple as who speaks like us. We all might be Jock Tamson’s bairns, but in the real world debut novelists those using Scottish dialect don’t win prizes. How Late it Was, How Late , well it was 1985 when something like this happened. James Kelman caused a kerfuffle. Rabbi Julia Neuberger saying the book was ‘crap’. I prefer Jeff Torrington, Swing Hammer Swing , or Janice Galloway’s memoir that’s not a...

Small Axe: Mangrove, BBC 1, BBC iPlayer, written Alastair Siddons and Steve McQueen, directed by Steve McQueen.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p08vy19b/small-axe-series-1-mangrove In my day Steve McQueen was the go-to guy if you wanted ride a motorcycle over barbed wire to escape the Germans, or rescue screaming women and children from a building skyscraper. We’re still waiting for the enquiry into Grenfell Tower, but we all know the score. Nothing much will be done, while the issues of class and race hatred will be quietly shunted into a side-line...

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