I guess this is the moment when I have to wheel out the creaky old joke about the buses arriving all at once?
I rewrote my planned blogpost this week, because my craft guide Unlocking the Novella-in-Flash: from Blank Page to Finished Manuscript (2022), first on Wednesday and then on Saturday received recognition in an international book competition – the International Book Awards 2023 and the National Indie Excellence Awards 2023, where in each case it has been announced as a Finalist in the Writing/Publishing category.
I’ll admit there’s a strange giddiness for me in this week’s double news – and also in having now been pipped at the winning post four times with this book – effectively four consecutive runner-up (or joint runner-up) prizes. Oh so close!
It’s the only book, however, in the Writing/Publishing category that has featured as a Winner or Finalist in all four book awards for independent publishing so far this year – the National Indie Excellence Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Reader Views Literary Awards, and International Book Awards. I still can’t quite believe that’s happened! But apparently so – I check the listings a day or so later and they are still on-screen, not mirages glimpsed by a dehydrated desert nomad. And I’m taking comfort in consistency… hopefully prospective readers of the book can find reassurance there too…
And this is a good moment to repeat something I’ve mentioned before: this craft guide simply wouldn’t exist at all without a TON of help from all sorts of writers who made suggestions and gave crucial support in the process of finishing it. They’re thanked by name in the back of the book, in a two-page acknowledgements list! This book wasn’t a solo effort.
Similarly, thanks are also due to all the writers who have bought the book so far, and those who have tweeted about it or posted a review online. (Please keep tweeting and writing the reviews! – this signposts new readers in the direction of a book that otherwise from its title might seem quite “specialist” in its subject matter. It’s my hope that this craft guide crosses over to readers who write all kinds of stories, not just novellas-in-flash.)
Huge credit is also due to the publisher, Ad Hoc Fiction, for designing the hard copy so beautifully. And to artist Lucie Arnoux for the brilliant cover images.
Here are the two new badges that Ad Hoc Fiction and I are allowed now to feature next to the book:
So… two metaphorical buses in one week. I’ve spent a fair time waiting for buses in my writing life. And been thrown off a few for not having the right ticket! So I hope you’ll permit me to hop on these two buses simultaneously. If there’s one thing all writers know for sure, it’s that the writing journey itself is full of ups and downs. So today for a while I will be celebrating, knowing that the ever-changing view itself is the real reward.
I hope you might be tempted to find out more about the book here!
And here’s a poem about life’s balancing act, by one of my favourite poets…
Night and Morning
by R.S. Thomas
One night of tempest I arose and went
Along the Menai shore on dreaming bent;
The wind was strong, and savage swung the tide,
And the waves blustered on Caernafon side.
But on the morrow, when I passed that way,
On Menai shore the hush of heaven lay;
The wind was gentle and the sea a flower
And the sun slumbered on Caernafon tower.
“I know good teaching, and folks, this is it.” (Kendall Johnson at MacQueen’s Quinterly, read the full review here)
“[T]his brilliant guide… detailed, informative…I have never been so excited to start a workbook!” (Jonathan Cardew at Bending Genres, read the full review here)
“[V]ery much the printed equivalent of taking a focused MA on the topic of the novella.” (Judy Darley at the SkyLightRain blog, read the full review here)
“My copy is plastered in yellow stickies and I will be continually returning and delving into different sections of this craft guide again and again… think of it as a guide to writing good fiction and developing any narrative form.” (Tracy Fells at The Literary Pig blog, read the full review here)
“[J]am-packed full of knowledge…this book finds that sweet spot where most writers would feel empowered…[A]ll-encompassing, motivational and in-depth.. worth its weight in gold…” (Matt Kendrick, read the full review here)
“If you’re a fiction writer you should read this book.” (Sharon Pruchnik, read the full Goodreads review here)
“This book is a classic…a five-star resource that will help thousands of writers produce the best possible version of their creative work” (Lily Andrews, 5-star review at Reader Views, read the full review here)
“There is magic in what Loveday says in his craft book.” (John Brantingham at The Journal of Radical Wonder, read the full review here)