Blogs

Heather Morris (2020) Stories of Hope: Finding Inspiration in Everyday Lives.

Heather Morris’s debut novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz , sold around six million copies. I think I even had two copies floating about in my house at one time. I’ve still got one. The stories in the title. Lale Sokolov (he changed his surname, years earlier to make it sound less Jewish) was transported to Auschwitz from Bratislava with his family. His sister Goldie survived. He did too. His job as a tattooist, inking all those consecutive...

Savile: Portrait of a Predator, ITV, STV 9pm, ITV Hub

https://www.itv.com/hub/savile-portrait-of-a-predator/10a1253a0001 https://www.abctales.com/story/celticman/jimmy-savile-and-me Ten years ago, Sir Jimmy Savile died. His funeral was an event that featured on the news. The great and the good appeared, in sombre tones, mourning our loss. People lined the streets to pay their respects. Sir Keith Stammer was Director of Public Prosecutions. Operation Yewtree was set up in London in 2012 to...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point

So many things to choose from as usual - particularly poetry, but my final choices are both from north of the border this week. Story of the Week goes to Peter Bennett for his two-parter Pawns which is part of his longer work in progress but you can easily read it out of context. A gritty and compelling read: https://www.abctales.com/story/peter-bennett/pawns-part-one https://www.abctales.com/story/peter-bennett/pawns-part-two Poem of the Week...

Alexander Starritt (2020) We Germans.

Alexander Starritt’s name can be added to the list of great Scottish writers. (He’s written another book I’ve not yet read, The Beast. ) I, initially, thought We Germans was a translation like Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front and The Road Home . The format is simple. A grandfather writing to his Scottish grandson, Callum. And his grandson replying. Oberkanonier Meissner was in the Wehrmacht. Six-foot-two and broad shouldered...

Story and Poem of The Month

Our Story and Poem for the month of September have very kindly been chosen by london_calling79: As the days are drawing in and the diesel’s running low, where better to be than back at home again? Enjoy the cosiness or combat the boredom with some superb writing. Take a trip in the strange mastery of mitzi44’s bullnose-fronted sidecar, ‘The Busmar Astral.’ A masterpiece of metaphor which made me remember me own dear dad’s miscellaneous...

Iain McDonald (2021) I Piped, That She Might Dance.

The title is like the snatched breath of an overhead conversation. It makes assumptions and asks questions of the reader. ‘Piped,’ refers to playing bagpipes. The identity of the ‘She’ refers to Queen Victoria. The narrator is Angus MacKay (1812-1859) telling the story of his life from a cell in Bethlem Hospital (Bedlam). Iain McDonald takes on the persona of Angus McKay. A factional story, fictionalising the few facts known about McKay. The...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point

Last week's Inspiration Point produced some wonderful work, and our Poem of the Week is one of those pieces. Jenny Skinner's 'Stone Loach' is a marvellous piece of nature writing, beautifully written and full of atmosphere: Stone Loach | ABCtales Story of the Week goes to Simon Barget's 'No. 782', which takes us to a place where we can reflect on where the time went and what it all means. It has a lot of humour, and much that pretty much all of...

Help!

I've tried multiple times over the past few days to upload a story but I keep getting the incomprehensible error message below. I've sent pleading messages via the Contact Us section of the web page but to no avail! I would really like to upload this story but may have to abandon the effort if this goes on :-( Any ideas? PDOException : SQLSTATE[HY000]: General error: 1366 Incorrect string value: '\xF0\x9F\x98\x8A</...' for column 'body_value...

Calling all first-time writers! womensprize CBGBooks cbcreative audibleuk have launched Discoveries, a brand new talent development programme for aspiring female writers

Discoveries: our writers’ development programme Submissions are now open for our 2022 Discoveries writing development programme – enter via the Curtis Brown submissions portal by 11:59pm on 17 January 2022 Discoveries invites unpublished women writers from the UK or Ireland to submit the opening of a novel in English, of up to 10,000 words. Unlike most initiatives of this kind, writers are not required to have finished their novel, and...

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