I'm on Radio 4
Today at 3:30pm I’m going to be on Radio 4. Well, not me, but my story Teeth.
A couple of years ago I attended a ‘Writers Weekend’ organised by my local council for up and coming writers. At the weekend were various industry professionals. One was from the BBC. I remember what she said.
‘Having a short story on the radio is the biggest audience you will ever have as a short story writer’.
She was probably right. I write a lot of short stories but they don’t sell in the million. Although there are efforts to change this. Salt Publishing have a very fine website and is up for loads of short stories awards for its collections. Then there is Route Books, and Comma Press (both who put out short story collections).
(By the way JK Rowling, if you are reading this, I know you have a short story collection out at Christmas. Fingers crossed, hey?)
Tell Tales also put out an annual short story collection. I’m in the next one! Yeah! And I know they are hoping to go on tour later this year.
(I hope I can be involved. I’ve always wanted to go on tour. The late nights. The wild parties. The groupies banging on your door late at night, ‘Please Mr Gummerson, we love your short stories, we love you.’
‘Sorry,’ I shout back through the door. ‘I’m just throwing this tv out of the window. Well, after Gardeners Question Time of course.’)
Now for some advice on how to get a story on Radio 4:
Go to the BBC Writer’s Room website. The addresses and opportunities are all listed there. (If it’s any help I think I sent my story to BBC Birmingham.)
Now for some reasons why I like short stories:
1. They’re short.
2. They take more risks.
3. I’ve just realised I don’t like lists.
Now for 10 short story collections I have randomly pulled off my shelf but which obviously I like and another list.
1. The Snobs by Muriel Spark (castles and magicians)
2. The Nimrod Flip-Out by Etger Keret (Israeli, very short)
3. When The Nines Roll Over by David Benioff (diverse, an escaped lion in New York)
4. Dogwalker by Arthur Bradford (disabled dogs, sex with a dog)
5. Scenes from the Life of a Best-selling Author by Michael Kruger (can’t remember these very much except that I remember that I liked them.)
6. You’re an Animal Viskovitz by Alessandro Boffa (Viskovitz as various animals - a fish, a scorpion, a pig, a rat and so on)
7. Absent Kisses by Frances Gapper (funny and surreal)
8. Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris (the cover has Santa at a urinal)
9. Nail and other stories by Laura Hird (Scottish and very funny)
10. Carry On Jeeves by PG Wodehouse (I have a big soft spot for Wodehouse)
And my own book Me and Mickie James is 7 short stories in the guise of a novel.
Currently reading - Fiasco, The American Military Adventure in Iraq by Thomas Ricks
Currently listening to - Forth, The Verve