The Deborah Cass Prize for Writing 2020: “Birch”

In October 2020 I wrote about being short-listed for The Deborah Cass Prize for Writing. This moment floored me. It signified validation for a manuscript I have nurtured, abhorred and distrusted in various measure over the course of years, largely because of its underlying personal nature. A part of me believes that every writer’s first…

Heroines Women’s Writing Prize 2020: “Grey Wolf”

On 15 November 2020 I read aloud in public for the first time. Like many others, I am horrified at the prospect of public speaking, and yet, in the same vein of other events during the past two years, it was a moment of needing to conquer a fear. I read an excerpt from Grey…

Mirror and Reflection and Lyra

I began this post this on 16 July 2020, and in the time since, have thought about my ambivalence and the extent to which my writing on this theme is obfuscated. It lives in the margins. I wore a metal-boned corset to write, black lace. And heels – Pleasers, 7-inch, shiny leather. I never thought…

NaNoWriMo 2020

A note: 20 October 2020. I have just now created a copy of a document I last opened in 2018. In 11 days, I will again try to complete NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The goal is simple enough: 50,000 words in 30 days – simple enough when broken down into elements of words, characters,…

Shortlisted: Heroines and Deborah Cass

Surprising no one who knows me, I cried on September 4 and October 12. On September 4, I found out I was short-listed for the Heroines Women’s Writing Prize. This was news beyond expectation for the first short story I’ve written this year. It’s a story that rends apart the classic Russian fable ‘Ivan and…

Write Me In Your Style | Rye Blood

The very talented Emma Darcy surprised me with a ‘Write Me In Your Style’ rendition of my story ‘Birch’. It was both an honour and a thrill to read it – not only had someone engaged with the work at such a level that they were inclined to explore it in their own form, but…

Poetry of desire: Turbulence | Thuy On

I ’ve quoted Nietzsche before: “Of all that is written, I love only what a person has written with [their] blood.” Writers, artists and poets, we bleed our words. We can’t not. Nearly two years ago I fell into online discussion with Thuy On about the pitfalls of courtship in our age. On my side,…

Update: Saint Petersburg, Self, S*x

It has been too long but in this time, I have been again to Saint Petersburg. I hoped, rather optimistically, to edit Birch in-situ, but instead spent time finding new ways of experiencing the city that informed most of my writing. I remember a moment of panic on the Sadovaya canal, the first morning I…

Review: The Shining Wall | Melissa Ferguson

The Neanderthal (UK: /niˈændərˌtɑːl/; Homo neanderthalensis) is the extinct species we Homo sapiens shouldered out of existence some 40,000 years ago. Melissa Ferguson’s The Shining Wall imagines their re-emergence as a servile class in a bleak future world. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advance copy of this extraordinary example of…

A new world: The Dangerous Bride | Lee Kofman

It is a glorious, frightening, changing time. I’ve found myself seeking out words to describe the sensuous, the sinewy, the indelibly physical. I returned to the eroticism of Anaïs Nin – that complex, tumultuous, passionate woman I discovered in my teens – and in the process, was directed by Walter Mason to The Dangerous Bride…