Thanks Ian St James Awards

Thanks Ian St James Awards

Tall And True Short Reads

Thanks Ian St James Awards

Episode 57 (8 August 2022)

In their heyday, the Ian St James Awards offered the biggest fiction prize in the UK and Ireland. Launched by the thriller writer Ian St James in 1989 to encourage new writers, the awards were open to 5,000-10,000 word short stories by unpublished writers.

READ SHOW NOTES

Thanks Ian St James Awards

Show Notes

Episode 57 (8 August 2022)

Thanks Ian St James is a blog post from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the post on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/blog/thanks-ian-st-james-awards

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Writer’s Insight

I wrote the Thanks Ian St James Awards blog post in 2018 after uncovering the original copies of my short stories and judges’ critiques during an attic tidy-up.

Although I enjoyed rereading all four Ian St James entries, 1994’s Both Sides of the Story was the one that had best stood the test of time. But it needed a good edit, and in 2019, I started reworking the story to share on Tall And True and published it as a collection of short stories in 2020, eventually narrating these for Tall And True Short Reads.

None of this would have been possible without the inspiration of the Ian St James Awards and the constructive encouragement of the judges’ critiques. And although the Awards no longer exist, this blog post was my opportunity to say a belated, “Thanks, Ian St James Awards”.

I hope you enjoyed this episode of gratitude. You can read this and all my blog posts, short stories and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections, including Both Sides of the Story, from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, please check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One and Two.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my writing and memories with other listeners.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small one-off or regular donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org.

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

The podcast is recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the traditional lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

Acast Podcast Supporter Page

Support this show https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

Contact Us

Thanks Ian St James Awards

The Lost Hour

Tall And True Short Reads

The Lost Hour

Episode 56 (26 July 2022)

You know what it’s like when you lose something. It’s always in the last place you look. So I write down all the possible places the lost thing could be and work through the list in reverse order. But how do you find a lost hour? It’s not like it can slip down the back of a sofa like coins or keys!

READ SHOW NOTES

The Lost Hour

Show Notes

Episode 56 (26 July 2022)

The Lost Hour is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the story on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/the-lost-hour

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Writer’s Insight

In April 2022, I learned the Australian Writer’s Centre had longlisted my short story, Stuck in Time, for Furious Fiction March. And I celebrated the following weekend by writing my third unofficial, off-quarterly month Furious Fiction.

I followed the usual competition rules and gave myself 55 hours to write a 500-word short story based on a randomly selected brief from the Writers’ Centre’s archive. And for this month, I drew the October 2018 brief from my hat:

  • The story’s title had to be “The Lost Hour”.
  • Include a sentence with three colours in it.
  • And the sentence or phrase, “it was lighter”.

After drawing the brief, I went for a long walk with my dog and thought about different interpretations for “the lost hour”. And before we got home, I had my story’s draft opening lines:

“You know what it’s like when you lose something. It’s always in the last place you look. But how do you find a lost hour?”

Along with the absurdist observation:

“It’s not like it can slip down the back of a sofa.”

Other parts of the story came together when I started writing. For example, if we “lost” an hour overnight, it would be lighter in the morning than expected, and only atomic clocks could confirm the discrepancy. World leaders would make speeches, and conspiracy theories would run rampant. And NASA would be involved, of course.

Neil Gaiman says short stories are “tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams”. And I wanted The Lost Hour to tick the Furious Fiction brief and tell an odd and unlikely story about the world losing an hour. But I also wanted it to offer a tiny window into the mind of a man who’s lost more and seeks redemption.

Did I achieve my goal? That’s for you, the listener, to decide.

I hope you enjoyed losing a few minutes listening to The Lost Hour. You can read this and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, please check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One and Two.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my writing and memories with other listeners.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small one-off or regular donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org.

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

The Podcast is recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the traditional lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

Acast Podcast Supporter Page

Support this show https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

Contact Us

Thanks Ian St James Awards

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton – Omen or Inspiration

Tall And True Short Reads

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton – Omen or Inspiration

Episode 55 (10 July 2022)

In May 1992, the Sydney literary news was full of Tim Winton’s success and his novel, Cloudstreet. And I thought it an omen. Winton was thirty-one, and I was thirty. He’d grown up in W.A., and so had I. He’d just won his second Miles Franklin Award. And I was having a second crack at being a writer!

READ SHOW NOTES

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton – Omen or Inspiration

Show Notes

Episode 55 (10 July 2022)

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton – Omen or Inspiration is a blog post from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read post on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/blog/cloudstreet-timwinton-omen

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Writer’s Insight

I received Tim Winton’s The Shepherd’s Hut for my fifty-sixth birthday in 2018. Given my long affection for Winton’s works, dating back to Cloudstreet in 1992, was the book another omen or more inspiration? Perhaps both, because it inspired me to write this blog post in March 2018.

I was pleased I’d kept the Sydney newspaper cutting, slipped inside my copy of Coudstreet, and enjoyed digging out my diary entries from my trip to Australia in 1992.

It was tempting to re-read Cloudstreet. But I’ve done this with other books I loved as a twenty-something, only to be disappointed by them as a fifty-plus-year-old. (One of these was The Great Gatsby.)

So, I didn’t re-read Cloudstreet when I wrote the blog post in 2018. However, recently, I listened to an audiobook version of Cloudstreet, narrated by Peter Hoskin, and again felt the joy I had reading my paperback back in 1992. And laughed aloud when Hoskin voiced Oriel Lamb’s stern reminder to her family, “Remember, we’re Lambs, not sheep!”

By the way, it took me twelve months to work through my towering to-be-read pile and reach The Shepherd’s Hut. But when I finished reading it, I shared another blog post on Tall And True about the book, aptly titled Tim Winton Wows Again.

In the post, I observed that Winton’s writing was in another league to mine back in 1992 and still is today. And how when I finished reading the last sentence of The Shepherd’s Hut, I exhaled the breath I’d held for the final paragraph and exclaimed, Wow!

I hope you enjoyed Cloudstreet by Tim Winton – Omen or Inspiration.  You can read this and all my blog posts, short stories and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, please check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One and Two.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my writing and memories with other listeners.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small one-off or regular donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org.

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

The Podcast is recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the land of the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation.

Acast Podcast Supporter Page

Support this show https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

Contact Us