The First Ever Black Pear Press Short Story Competition!

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Short Story Competition 2014

  • The first Black Pear Press (BPP) Short Story Competition is now open
  • Closing Date Friday 26 September 2014
  • Send us your short story maximum 1500 words
  • Entry fee: £5 per story
  • For rules see below
  • Judges: Authors Rod Griffiths, Tony Judge and novelist and award winning short story writer Alison May

The first ever Black Pear Press Short Story Competition!

We’re looking for short stories of 1500 words or fewer to be submitted to us before 26 September 2014.

Competition Rules

  1. Closing date is 26 September 2014.
  2. The maximum word limit is 1500, not including the title (no minimum).
  3. Authors may submit as many stories as they wish.
  4. Submitted pieces must not have been published elsewhere, must be the entrant’s own original work and available, if selected, to be published in the anthology.
  5. Translations of anyone else’s work are not eligible. Copyright remains with the writer.
  6. Entries may be published on the BPP website and may be included in an anthology.
  7. Entries must be in English.
  8. Submit entries by email to pr@blackpear.net
  9. The subject line of the e-mail must read: BPP Short Story.
  10. Entries should be attached as a Word or an RTF document. Give your name and contact details in the body of the email, as well as the title and word count of your submission(s) and a circa 50 word profile of the writer in the third person. If you are paying by PayPal, your receipt no/transaction code should be included. Do not put your name or email address on the entry itself. Entries should be single spaced, in a clear font, 12pt.
  11. The winners and runners-up will be announced on the BPP website and on the BPP Facebook page.
  12. There is no theme. All styles and genres are welcome.
  13. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the outcome of this competition.

Entry into the competition is taken to be acceptance of these rules.

All entries will be judged anonymously.

Judges: Rod Griffiths, Tony Judge and novelist and award winning short story writer Alison May

Results announced 14 November 2014.

First prize: £75
Second prize: copies of two BPP publications

Please note that entries sent without the entry fee will not be considered and stories should be submitted only once.

All entries will be acknowledged within 48 hours of receipt of your payment. If you have not heard from us within a week please contact us. It is your responsibility to confirm your entry has been received.

No alterations can be made after receipt, nor fees refunded. The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence can be entered into. No entrant may win more than one prize.

Due to the anticipated number of submissions, we cannot accept any that do not follow submissions guidelines and rules.

Good luck!

PayPal for your entry here: btn_buynowCC_LG

Enquiries may be forwarded to pr@blackpear.net

Seeds of Destruction

The seeds of destruction have their roots in Simon’s bitter and lonely childhood. On the death of his grandfather he becomes wealthy enough to abandon his teaching job and, with ruthless determination, plans to remove anyone who stands between him and the attainment of his dream. Gradually losing all touch with reality, his behaviour becomes increasingly bizarre, with terrifying, destructive consequences.

The story unfolds through the eyes of Hester, a celebrity chef whose orderly life is thrown into chaos by her stepson, Simon. She views him with maternal affection, unaware that he harbours a dangerous obsession.

Frances Bennett launched her first novel, Seeds of Destruction, in 2014 and launches her second, Something Wicked, in 2019.

Front Cover Seeds_edited-1

Coming Soon! Jimmy Cricket

The newest title from Black Pear Press, Jimmy Cricket, will be published soon, so watch out for the launch date.

Jimmy Cricket front cover

Jimmy Cricket by Kevin Brooke is about that exciting and yet terrifying time in life, the early-to-mid-teens. Seen through the eyes of the main character, Jimmy Latham, this story shows how teenagers can, with the right support, survive just about anything.  Set soon after Jimmy’s fifteenth birthday and a year after the death of his parents in a car accident, his life is in disarray. He joins a bereavement club with a difference, where they play cricket as a form of emotional release, and he’s given the chance to focus on something positive.

Feedback from readers of the story so far includes:

‘A gripping read, I was drawn into the character as if I knew him. Very descriptive, thrilling and in some parts humorous. I would recommend this to my friends. Can’t wait for the next book (no pressure Kevin).’ Tom Bailey, aged 14

‘From start to finish it was exciting – I was desperate to read on. The main character was fun and mysterious.’ Genevieve Brown – aged 12

Although aimed at teenagers, Black Pear Press are convinced ‘Jimmy Cricket’ will be successful as a crossover book, a spokesperson said, ‘It’s a rare opportunity to support a local author who knows his target audience so well. When we read ‘Jimmy Cricket’ we couldn’t put it down, it has great ‘PTQ’ (page turning qualities).

Watch this space!

Jimmy Cricket front cover

Portraits of Prose

PoP Front Cover

Portraits of Prose Andrew Owens

Portraits of Prose is a collection of compelling short stories, each with the power to draw you in and leave a lasting impression. Each tale is concise, unique and well sustained and there is sincerity and feeling in every word. Whether it be the emotionally driven ‘30 Seconds’, the intense and disturbing ‘Sinister Justice’ or the touching and tender ‘Like Mother, Like Daughter’, there is something for everyone in this book. With their lovely easy to read style, these insightful stories engage the reader from the first paragraph to the last.

‘Delightfully impish’ – Glenn James co-founder of 42 Worcester (‘No Strings Attached’)

‘Concise, atmospheric, and with three twists, it engaged and was pretty much a case study in how to get it right’ – Gary Longden behind the arras (‘Bootleg to Paris’)

“Memorable, witty and highly amusing” – Fergus McGonigal (‘Between Friends’)

‘A creepy story with a very surprising twist in the tail’ – Jill King Worcester Writers’ Circle (‘While We Were Out’)

If you’d like it as an eBook click here

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The Not So Stories

NotSoStories

Prof Rod Griffiths has always admired Kipling’s Just So Stories. Kipling was expansive in his style and enjoyed playing with words. For example, we are told that the Whale:

“ate the Starfish and the Garfish, and the Crab and the Dab, and the Plaice and the Dace, and the Skate and his mate, and the Mackereel and the Pickereel and the really Twirly-Whirly Eel.”

Rod continues, ‘It is charming and quirky but hardly punchy. My stories are shorter. They have been developed in performances at story-telling gigs where time and word counts are limited. I aim to be at least mildly funny because in live performances laughter works so much better than tears.

‘Some of the charm of Kipling’s stories is in his use of simple questions: How did the tiger get his stripes? How did the camel get his hump? Kipling did not exhaust all such questions, so I thought it might be fun to explore a few more, like “Why do swallows sit on phone wires?” and “Why pigs don’t fly”. I have tried to imagine explanations that are vaguely plausible, though clearly impossible. None of these stories are true, or at least not completely true, hence they are Not So Stories.

‘In another departure from Kipling, I have to say that these are not children’s stories, though they are not about what is commonly called adult material; they are simply a little more complicated or in some cases require some background knowledge before the reader is likely to get the point. In some cases the logic may appear a little twisted or even quirky.

‘There are other stories, some of which have a common theme; “String Theory” three stories, “Zombies” four stories and “Gordis Thriff” five Stories. A little more background to these is included at the start of each of those sections. Two of the String Theory stories also fit the “Why Do…” format, but are included in the String Theory section.’

To purchase your paperback copy of Not So Stories from Amazon click here

If you’d like it as an eBook click here

 


Aimless Fear

Aimless front cover

Get it now from Amazon, UK customers click here

Non-UK customers can get it from Amazon too click here

eBook: click here

Rod Griffiths acknowledges ‘the fine folk who run NaNoWriMo each year. It may seem like a daft idea to write a novel in a month, but it is fun and it got the first draft of this book written.’

Professor Rod Griffiths CBE lives in Gloucestershire UK and spends his time making up stories and trying to convince people that they might be true.
Some of the material in the book draws on his experience in medicine and public health, the rest is pure imagination.

This is the second edition of Aimless Fear, a modern thriller with a supernatural edge. A modern thriller with a supernatural edge. Sam Diglis, a village bobby with an interesting past, has to deal with the aftermath of a series of fatal accidents. Each time an unlucky individual is overwhelmed by a bizarre fear, the consequences are fatal for someone. Trying to deal with a steady accumulation of widows in the village Sam comes to realise that each event lies on a ley line, clearly marked by standing stones and old burial mounds. These lines have existed since ancient time and no one knows for sure what they can do. The mystery deepens when he discovers that all the victims have blue eyes. What is the source of this aimless fear and how can it be stopped? When Sam finds out his own life is in danger.

 

Girl’s Got Rhythm

Girl’s Got Rhythm takes us on an urban journey with Morning Town Ride. Feel the emotional directness of Illumined. He Sits and Waits highlights the sadness of dementia.

See the homeless in Spilt Milk. The Silence of Emptiness expresses lovelorn loss.

Chill to the vampirical He Drinks Blood. Lamb and Hollyhock Noir revel in things of beauty.

A four-year-old speaks of injustice in not sorry yet.

There is humour, honesty, sunshine and sadness in this first collection of poetry.

‘Polly Stretton is a luminary of the Worcester literary community and her writing, whether prose, or poetry, is always worth listening to. Her poem of a tube ride on a sticky day with its onomatopoeia driven structure is very satisfying, whilst Across the Timeless River, “Five past six, light bright evening across the wrinkled river” does for the River Severn what Waterloo Sunset did for the Thames.’ Gary Longden (https://garylongden.wordpress.com)

The latest edition of Polly’s first collection ‘Girl’s Got Rhythm’ is available direct from Black Pear Press.

£7.00 +P&P

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Also available as an eBook: click here.


Chatterton Front Cover–Stretton

Chatterton was printed in a limited edition of 50 copies signed by the author, which soon sold out.

It is available as an eBook: click here.

 

The Girl From Midfoxfields

The Girl from Midfox outer cover set

Michael W Thomas’s latest collection of poems is available in both print and eBook versions from Black Pear and Amazon.

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Also available from Amazon. For a paperback copy click here. For the eBook click here.

About the Author

“Since 2004, Dr. Michael Wyndham Thomas has helped develop and spearhead the workshops for the Key West Robert Frost Poetry Festival. His hands-on teaching skills make poetry exciting for even the novice; his depth of knowledge is impressive.

Because he has endeared himself to everyone associated with the festival—and to many others who live on this island at the southernmost point in the United States—Michael is fondly referred to as the Poet at Large in the Conch Republic Navy”– Barbara Bowers, writer and journalist.

Many thanks from The Robert Frost Poetry Festival Committee, Key West, Florida.
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Michael Wyndham Thomas is an Irish-British writer and lived in Canada for a number of years. He now lives in Worcestershire. He is an internationally-known poet, fiction-writer, dramatist and musician. His poetry, prose and scripts have appeared in Critical Survey, English, The English Review, Fire, The Interpreter’s House, Iron, The London Magazine, Other Poetry, Pennine Platform, Stand, Staple and The Swansea Review (UK), as well as Poetry Salzburg Review and The National Gazette (Tirana), Alive!, From the Horse’s Mouth, Grain and Reflections (Canada), Etchings (Australia),The Black Mountain Review and Irish University Review (Ireland) and The Antioch Review, Magazine Six, Modern Haiku, Muscadine Lines and The Secret of Salt (USA). He also reviews for Other Poetry (Durham, UK), Poetry Nottingham (UK), Under The Radar (Rugby, UK) and The Journal of American Haiku (Toronto). His most recent reviews have appeared in The London Magazine and the TLS.

Since April, 2004, Michael has been poet-in-residence at the annual Robert Frost Poetry Festival, Key West, Florida. In consequence, he is Poet-at-Large in the Navy of the Conch Republic of Key West. Other recent events outside the UK include readings at Linnaeus University, Sweden and at Tampere University, Finland. Most recently, he gave the keynote address at Poems Are Being Written, a conference on contemporary poetry at the University of Portsmouth, November 2013.

Michael’s novel Pilgrims at the White Horizon was published by TQF, September 2013, and his poetry collection Batmans Hill, South Staffs was published by Flipped Eye International editions, December 2013.

He is available for readings, workshops and seminars on both the practice and the theory of poetry writing.

Website: www.michaelwthomas.co.uk

E-mail: michaelw.thomas@btinternet.com
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What the critics say about Michael W. Thomas’s poetry:

‘Michael Thomas’ poems are rich with the details of past and present lives.  They explore the wildest possibilities of those lives with passion and humour.’
–Alison Brackenbury.

‘Michael W. Thomas’s poetry shows a real sense of exploration and discrimination of fine states of feeling…. Thomas cuts away all dead weight, creating a sense of economy with richness, and is not afraid of using a phrase that in a lesser craftsman’s hands would bring a sneer…. His language is vigorous and street-wise and his poetic tools work on experience in Coleridgean mode, dissolving, diffusing, dissipating in order to create a surprising world.’
–Peter de Ville, Poetry Salzburg Review.

‘Thomas is a poet who deals with the muscular and descriptive qualities of language…. The poetry often launches itself at the reader in a way that is both terse and direct [and] perhaps more sensory than sensual. Metaphor is often employed in a strange and imaginative way. Many of the poems deal with the domestic sphere, but Thomas also writes about unusual or imagined scenarios [and] is not afraid to write about many different subjects.’
–Maria Taylor, Under The Radar.

‘What is this man doing to me? I want easy references, polite allusions. I don’t want my thoughts to be shattered, to fall down like a wet wave! Michael Thomas tears the traditions of metaphors and similes apart. One feels each word took him hours to select before he cemented it in place; he has complete control of his medium. An American poet would shun some of his subjects—but I know my blood ran cold and then hot when I read [the poems] carefully. For me, they tossed Eliot’s spoonfuls on the rug and announced the new ‘Howl!’ Always his language is terse and efficient. No words are wasted on poetical indulgences.’
–Kirby Congdon, US poet, dramatist, editor and associate of the Beat Poets; author of Selected Poems and Prose Poems and New Mystic, Connecticut, Sixty-Five Years Ago.

‘The language throughout has a grit and tactility that seems distinctly British to this American ear. It has a bite which is, however, always without animus, ironic rather than sarcastic. These are poems that show abundant compassion, feeling for family, and affectionate regard for all the various characters Thomas encounters and describes.’
–Barry George, US poet and haiku master, author of Wrecking Ball and Other Urban Haiku, instructor at Spalding MFA Summer Residency, Louisville, Kentucky.

 

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