Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the launch party for Future Shock, the anthology of the winning stories from the 2018 Retreat West short story competition.
I made the shortlist for this earlier in the year and, as a result, I have a story in the book alongside nine others and ten pieces of flash fiction. My story, Like a Dog, was inspired by Kafka’s The Trial – being a sort of tongue-in-cheek update of the novel for the social media age.
The event featured readings from several of the winners. Joanna Campbell read her story, Will You Go Out Tonight?, a hugely impressive piece that was clearly a worthy winner in the short story category. Alexis Wolfe also read part of her story, The Stutter, which hooked me right away and made me eager to read the rest of it.
On the flash side, Sherry Morris read her funny and touching Sticking Point, about a young boy’s love for Magnum PI, which took third place in the category. The brother of second-place flash winner Fiona Mackintosh also read her story Old Woman Cooking Eggs, Diego Velazquez 1618 in her stead. This one was a real sensory feast and I’m looking forward to reading it again.
Thanks to all at Retreat West for the wine, cake and company, and for selecting my story for the anthology, which marks my first appearance in a book.