Welcome to the book blog of writer and creative writing tutor, Diane Paul.

Thanks to the publishers and kind PR people who send me books and releases about their clients' books for review. Press releases and review copies of fiction and non-fiction are always welcome. (No sci-fi, fantasy or erotica please.)

Due to the barrage of requests from self-published authors for reviews, I'm unable to deal with them all, although I'm sometimes drawn to non-fiction for the subject matter. And because I love print books, the smell, the touch of the paper and the sight of the words, I don't have an electronic reader or review e-books.

E-mail to: bookblogforbookworms@keywordeditorial.com for the postal address.

My writing website: http://www.keywordeditorial.com/

Friday, 23 September 2011

Short stories in peril campaign

Many writers, like Ian Rankin for example, began their careers with short stories on BBC Radio 4 and now it looks like the opportunities for short story writers are in jeopardy. The Beeb has reduced its short story quota on Radio 4 from five a few years ago to three and now to one a week.

The Society of Authors has taken up the cudgel and launched a petition on the National Short Story Week website and anyone who wants to sign it should log on to (www.ipetitions.com/petition/noshortstorycuts) At the last count it had attracted over 6,500 signatures, so let's keep it going.

Author Sarah Dunant was hoping they would reconsider. She says: 'When it comes to fiction radio excites and exercises the imagination in a way no other medium can manage. Nowhere is that more perfectly illustrated than the short story where, within 15 short minutes, one can be transported into a different world. It is a cheap yet invaluable example of radio at its best. It feels both mad - and sad - to think that Radio 4 would somehow be better without it.'

Sarah Dunant

BBC Controller Gwyneth Williams said the number of short stories on Radio 4 would be diminished from 150 to 100 from April 2012, some of them would premiere on Radio 4 Extra and that she hoped to broadcast short stories more on Radio 4 Extra.

Society of Authors' Short Story Tweetathon

To back up their campaign, and to celebrate the short story, The Society has launched a Short Story Tweethathon (#soatale) on Twitter for five consecutive weeks, beginning last week with Ian Rankin. Five first line contributions will be tweeted by Simon Brett, Neil Gaiman, Joanne Harris and Sarah Waters. Tweeters can complete the next four sentences, to produce a short story in 670 characters. Every hour, the best lines will be selected and the resulting short stories will be published on the Society's website where rules and stories can be viewed (www.societyofauthors.org/soa-short-story-tweetathon-soatale)  The BBC are currently showcasing shortlisted entries for their own short story competition.

In addition to the cultural and creative impact of the BBC short story cuts, the Society of Authors is concerned that the new scheduling will restrict linked themes and creative programming and that the proposed time slots will limit the audience. BBC Director General Mark Thompson and Chair of the BBC Trust Lord Patten are reviewing the proposed cuts but more signatures are needed.
Log onto Twitter every Wednesday at 11am if you would like to take part in the Tweetathon. Retweet via http://bit.ly/SoAtale

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