Yesterday, I went to the Newcastle Writing Convention at Northumbria University. It was amazing to be around fellow writers all day, networking and learning from amazing creative people such as Louise Doughty, who gave the Keynotes speech about her journey to becoming a writer. I'm filled with ideas for future projects, so watch this space in the coming weeks!
While I was there, I had a chance to pick up the new-and-improved issue of Mslexia. If you're a woman writer based in the North East (or beyond, really, as today's short story comes all the way from Vancouver), get yourself a copy of Mslexia. There's loads of information and advice on furthering your career, as well as tons of ways to get involved and showcase your work - such as with today's offering; Alex Renwick's "Imaginary Sisters".
Merrie walks alone to the market, lame and unloved, with the taunts of fellow children ringing in her ears. She is always alone, these days. What exactly happened to her family, up in her ancestral home on the hill? And what part did her beautiful, elegant sisters play in the dark events that threaten to repeat themselves?
This is a beautifully written, pitch-black story, where nothing is explained away neatly - which makes what happens all the stranger, all the sadder, and all the darker. Whichever way you interpret what happens - as supernatural or the product of a damaged, lonely mind - the whole story is tinged with cruelty, which leads to more cruelty, until the only people Merrie can rely on are her sisters - who may, in reality, be damning her even further with every act in Merrie's defence. This is a wonderful, bleak story - perfect for mulling over on a Sunday evening. You can buy Mslexia Issue 69, which features this story, here, in both digital and paperback form.
Musings on my life as a writer.