Now I Am Become Ken Burns, the Destroyer of Worlds was knocked out of the Indie Writers’ Deathmatch in the semi-finals. The match was close, but in the end the eight-hour time difference with my opponent really told on my support – voting ended at 5am GMT but 9pm PST (Pacific Standard Time).

There’s now something of a deathmatch-shaped hole in my life, I have to admit. Much of the past two weeks has been spent voting or corralling other people to vote, with multiple pestering Facebook updates. I don’t know what to do with myself now.

My opponent is now in the final, fighting a losing battle against the favourite, who has seemed unstoppable right from the start. Despite being knocked out, finishing as a semi-finalist guarantees publication in the next issue of Broken Pencil plus a prize pack, so that’s something to look forward to. The whole thing was a strange experience, enjoyable but also very stressful. Thanks to the team at Broken Pencil for selecting my story and to all those people who voted for me – the support was incredible.

There was also some further consolation on Monday as I was invited to attend The London Magazine’s short story awards. This took place at the Terrace Pavilion at the House of Commons – a very impressive venue with beautiful views over the Thames. I wasn’t a winner but my story, The Black Hole of Westminster, was ‘highly commended’. All very encouraging and just the thing to cheer me up after the Deathmatch loss.


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