Wednesday 8 November 2023

Paula Readman talks to me today about her involvement with our Gifted project


How did you interpret the word “Gifted”?

I thought about a small gift, something unexpected when I started writing my story, ‘Just a Packet of Seeds’. As the saying goes; from little acorns, mighty oaks do grow. Sometimes the smallest gifts give the greatest pleasure and from these come the best memories.

How did you find out about our call for submission?

I’ve been writing for Bridge House Publishing for many years now, so I always check out their web pages to keep up-to-date with their submission.

What are the merits for you of the short story form?

Short stories were the best way for me to learn how to write to be published. It can be tough tackling a novel first, which can sometimes be soul-destroying. However, writing short fiction can help you master the basic skills you need for writing your first novel. By writing to a word limit, you can learn how to choose your words wisely, keep your sentences concise, and understand the importance of editing and working on a deadline. Submitting your short fiction can help you develop a thicker skin to deal with rejection. The upside with all the rejected stories is that you have a back catalogue of short stories. A quick re-edit and then you can submit somewhere else. I learned quite quickly that no stories go to waste. You can revisit them as many times as necessary until a spark of inspiration helps you create a story that finally finds a home.

Tell us a little about you as a writer.

I embarked on my writing journey twenty-five years ago when I was thirty-nine. It was a personal challenge to get something published before my fortieth birthday. Despite being poorly educated due to dyslexia, which left me embarrassed about my awful handwriting and weak spelling, I was determined to learn the basics of grammar and punctuation, and also to understand how the publishing industry works. This gave me an insight into what publishers were looking for when submitting my work.

Since I was a single mother working full-time to support my young son, and myself I had limited funds and time. Attending writing courses was not an option for me. Instead, I taught myself from 'how to write' books I found in charity shops, on eBay, and books borrowed from the library.

My effort paid off in 2010 when English Heritage published my first short story. Since then, I have published over a hundred short stories and six books. Although it has been a long journey, I am proud of what I have achieved so far.

Do you have any more forthcoming publications or events?

My latest book is a novella published by Demain Publishing called Never Reaching The End. It tells a tale about a young couple buying a house. It seems some houses don’t let go of their past. I have two short stories published one in CafeLit, the second in Gifted.


Twitter: Paula R C Readman @Darkfantasy13

Amazon Author’s Page:

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