I had some fantastic news recently: My short story The Pig Farmer’s Burden was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize out of more than 6100 entries, and I’m just a little bit over the moon about it. As literary Prizes go, Bridport is among the most prestigious, so even making the shortlist is, for me at least, a big deal. As writers, to have your work validated anywhere is a big deal. It’s why we write; to be read and appreciated.
The shortlisting is especially nice for me as I’m not really a short story kinda guy. I’ve written five shorts in my entire life, the first being a handwritten effort that is as I write this fading away on an old pad somewhere at the bottom of a junk drawer. Of the other four, two have never seen the light of day. The other two I really liked, and so decided to send them out into the world. The first was Portrait of the Devil, a story about an aging street artist and was inspired by a trip to
was first published in Dark Recesses
magazine and then made it into the British Fantasy Society Journal. The Pig
Farmer’s Burden was written as a transition between my second and third
novels, but it’s a story I’d been thinking about forever and I always knew I’d
write it one day. It’s set in 1930s
American Deep South, and was inspired by my love of the Southern Gothic and the
writing of Cormac McCarthy, although the story is little of either. Barcelona
If you’d like to read Portrait of the Devil, it’s here. As for The Pig Farmer’s Burden, we’ll just have to wait and see.