News: A longlist, a personal best, and what’s next on the TBR

Whew! It’s been a whirlwind of a month between starting a new job and trying to keep with writing and book review commitments. But amid all that, I was longlisted for the 2021 4thWrite Short Story Prize for my short story When The Tears Don’t Fall. To say I was delighted is a proper understatement! Even though I didn’t make the shortlist, words cannot describe just how excited and proud I feel, especially as I really wasn’t expecting it!

Then as if all that excitement wasn’t enough, the same story has been published in a book called Personal Bests, a collection of short stories by a mixture of seasoned writers and newbies like myself. It’s available on Amazon now, and all the profits are shared by the contributing writers. So if you are so inclined your support would be much appreciated!

What else can I say except I’m really proud of my achievements especially coming off the back of a difficult year! It’s true that God will really find you in the valley place and make it a bed of springs. So I’m immensely grateful to God and to everyone who has followed, supported and sent words of encouragement. You have been the biggest blessings! And to anyone out there writing – keep at it, make your voice heard, we need to read your stories!

What have I been reading?

Truth be told not much! I recently finished Bernard and the Cloth Monkey by Judith Bryan. This novel is part of Penguin Books’ Black Britain Writing Back series, which I really hope they continue with as I’m sure there’s more books to unearth. Bernard and the Cloth Monkey is about two sisters reunited after the death of their father and the reconciliation of their relationship and memories of their childhood. It was quite a harrowing story to read, and although it’s quite a short novel I still took my time to read it, in short bursts as it was A LOT. Nonetheless, very well written with vivid imagery and a powerful exploration of when childhood trauma and abuse goes unchallenged and unacknowledged.

I’ve started reading Sista Sister by Candice Brathwaite, which always has me singing the theme to the TV show in my head! This is a collection of essays or notes on the things Candice has “learned the hard way so you don’t have to”. Admittedly I haven’t got so deep into it that I’m blown away but so far so interesting and I will continue on.

I just picked up Three Rooms by Jo Hamya and Luster by Raven Leilani. A story of a search for a home and a self, Three Rooms explores politics, race and belonging through the eyes of a young woman recently graduated from Oxford university. Luster, is the critically acclaimed debut about the messy life of a young woman with a dead-end admin job and a penchant for sleeping with all the wrong men. Can’t wait to dig into these two.

Till next time, and oh yeah – please buy my book and/or leave a review!

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