New Writing by E.R. Murray on, a journal of built and natural environments, is one of my favourite journals that deals with how the environment impacts our lives and how we impact it in turn – its content is so varied but always fresh, exciting and of an exceptional standard. So I’m truly delighted to have a piece of flash fiction, Discrimen, recently included. A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments logo

Set in West Cork, Discrimen is a tale of loss, love, and hope. It’s a short read, and free – so please share with people you think might enjoy it! 

Publishing fiction, non-fiction, poetry, interview and letters, is a real treasure trove, so have a good look around – and do share any of your favourite pieces you discover in the comments below.

And if you’re looking to submit your own work, you can do so here:

Happy reading, happy writing! x

Recycle your rejected short stories

misty irish weather

The path isn’t always clear, but there’s more than one route.

It’s that time of year where stories are starting to get accepted/rejected from the journals/competitions you entered end of last year/the beginning of this year.

If you’re finding yourself receiving rejections, don’t be disheartened – there are plenty more outlets to try. See it as the perfect time to recycle.

Sometimes a story is rejected because it’s not good enough and needs more work, sometimes it’s because the story resembles something in a recent issue, and sometimes it’s simply not to the editor’s taste.

How do you know the difference?

Read the feedback you received and reread your piece with this feedback in mind. If you feel your piece is still the best you can make it, send it out somewhere else. If you think it needs tweaking or improving (it’s amazing how time away from a story suddenly highlights its flaws) then rework and resubmit. Simple.

Here are a few journals currently seeking submissions…

If you’re in search of some paying markets, then check out (for starters):

Glimmer Train

The South Circular


The Stinging Fly

If you write long stories, e.g. 4000+ words – try Long, Story Short


Looking for inspiration and/or collaboration? Then Spontaneity could be just the place…

Other outlets definitely worth trying include:

Make sure you read the submission guidelines carefully and familiarise yourself with the journal before submitting… I admit that I missed the 2000 minimum word count for The Fiction Desk and had my story returned. My only faux pas, and never to be repeated!

Happy writing and good luck! I’d love to hear of any successes so I can share your links – and if you have other favourite outlets to share, please add in the comments below!

Three Great Short Stories

I’ve fallen in love with the short story this year after a decade-long dalliance spent trying to understand its formidable form. Now that I’ve finally learned to accept rather than question, enjoy rather than dissect, something magical has happened and I find myself on an exciting journey where one great story leads to another and another.

I’d like to share three of this week’s discoveries with you. These stories have really spoken to me in some way, and I think they are all excellent examples of the complexity, magnificence and power of a short story.

The Way We Carried Ourselves by Molia Dumbleton, winner of the 2013 Sean O’Faolain Short Story Award, with thanks to Southword & The Munster Literature Centre.

Victory Lap by George Saunders, a ‘first chapter preview’ of his collection, Tenth of December, thanks to Bloomsbury Press.

The Enemy Within by Kirstin Zhang, 2005 Scotsman and Orange Short Story Prize winner, courtesy of The Scotsman

Enjoy! And don’t forget to give the writer your positive feedback if you can – writing can be a lonely path and a bit of praise won’t go amiss.

three great short stories