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Messages - Allen

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Announcements and Suggestions / BFS Short Story Competition 2019
« on: April 17, 2019, 08:00:53 pm »
I am pleased to announce that as of 1 April we are open once again for the annual British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition. Rules and guidance are basically the same as last year, only the dates have changed! I am looking for brand new, unpublished short stories across the broad fantasy genre (fantasy / science fiction / horror / fabulism / slipstream /etc). Maximum word length: 5000 words firm. Top prize is £100 plus a year’s free membership and publication in “BFS Horizons”. Second prize is £50 plus a year’s free membership and publication in “BFS Horizons”. Third prize is £20 plus publication in “BFS Horizons”. I will read each story silently and expect to read most of them more than once. Entries close at midnight BST on 30 June 2019. Results are due by the end of October 2019. BFS members who are not committee members are allowed one free entry; non-members or second entries require a payment of £5 via PayPal at the weblink.
Full details:
Here we go again!

Thanks for the figures, Stephen. Originally, the competition was only open to writers with three or fewer professional publication credits; but it was then – possibly after an AGM discussion which would certainly have involved yours truly – opened up to everyone. At that point, there was probably a spike in entries. The “three or fewer” notion was very hard to police and would be even tougher nowadays with the changing landscape of what is considered to be a publication.

Hi “Rolnikov”,
Thanks for your good wishes. I’m not going to publicly single out any stories in particular but, yes, I am glad to say that the winning quality has been very high.
I am being quite solipsistic: the figures I refer to relate only to my tenure as judge – since March 2012. Six rounds of the competition and counting. Cheers.

It has once again been my privilege and pleasure to judge the competition. This year I received a record-breaking crop of entries with 117 eligible stories submitted for consideration. I read every story thoroughly and silently. I read a large percentage of the stories twice, three times or more. After much deliberation, I can now announce that the three winners are:
First place: “Revive” by Richard Salazar
Second place: “Sacrament” by Charlotte Platt
Third place: “Labyrinth of the Sun” by Matt Colborn
I have also awarded a fourth place as highly commended: “The Beast” by James Ellis
The top three stories win prizes and all four of the above stories will appear in a future issue of “BFS Horizons”.
Thank you for your patience during the judging process.

I am pleased to announce that I will once again be hosting the Poetry Round-Robin at this year’s Fantasy Con in Scarborough. Please note that in a break with tradition, this year’s poetry event will be on the SATURDAY evening rather than Friday.
I can confirm that the poetry round-robin will take place from 8pm to 10pm in The Circle event room in the Grand Hotel, Scarborough on Saturday 24 September 2016.
The format will be similar to previous years: I will act as host and will bookend the event; I will introduce each poet; I expect that each poet will get the chance to read at least twice – one poem in the first half and one poem in the second half; we will have a short interval partway through. Please bring two poems of up to 40 lines each. Please also bring a couple of spare poems in case we get time to go round again.
If you would like to read, please let me know either by adding your name in the comments here or by emailing me on my BFS address

Promote Your Projects / Allen Ashley Book Launch
« on: June 23, 2016, 03:53:11 pm »
I am pleased to announce that the official launch for my revised and updated novel “The Planet Suite” (Eibonvale Press) will be at 7pm Friday 24 June 2016 (tomorrow!) at Trinity Church Centre, 15 Nether Street, London N12 7NN as part of Finchley Literary Festival. I will be reading from the book, be interviewed by Sandra Unerman and also take questions from the audience. Free entry; no pre-booking required; just turn up and enjoy. More details on the festival
Take a look at David Rix’s fantastic cover for “The Planet Suite” and read the blurb here:

Announcements and Suggestions / Re: BFS bulletin
« on: May 11, 2016, 12:19:00 pm »
Yes, your legacy will live on.

General Discussion / Re: Martin Owton
« on: May 11, 2016, 12:13:51 pm »
This must be very hard for Martin to cope with. David, please pass on my best wishes when you see him or are in contact with him.

Announcements and Suggestions / BFS Short Story Competition 2016
« on: April 06, 2016, 08:52:24 pm »
In case anyone has missed the announcement or thought “Oh, that’s ages away yet”, I’m pleased to let you know that this year’s BFS Short Story Competition is up and running and ready for business. I’m open for entries until 12 midnight on 30 June 2016. Rules and requirements are broadly the same as last year. Details are at this link to take you elsewhere on this site:

Promote Your Projects / Re: Allen Ashley
« on: November 25, 2015, 03:26:24 pm »
I’ve just written a guest blog for Roger Tichborne’s fabulously popular and political Barnet Eye Blog. For anyone who is a fan of BBC Four, I am sure you will enjoy my piece. Link is here:

Promote Your Projects / Allen Ashley
« on: November 15, 2015, 07:25:31 pm »
The State of the Short Story Interview
I’ve just been interviewed for the website Futures Less Travelled - in my self-appointed role as custodian of the short story flame. Expect a few strong opinions.

Books / Re: What are you currently reading..?
« on: October 26, 2015, 07:11:55 pm »
Nina is an absolutely brilliant author, particularly at novelette / novella length.

FantasyCon / Re: FantasyCon 2015
« on: October 26, 2015, 07:02:42 pm »
Another very good Fantasy Con and I would like to echo Carl’s thanks both to those visibly working very hard to make it a success and also all those who worked behind the scenes. Plus the attendees and friends who make the event essential.
The food issue was discussed at the AGM. There were some strong opinions. Fingers crossed for Scarborough to answer everyone’s culinary wishes.

British Fantasy Awards / Re: AGM 2015 and awards proposals
« on: October 26, 2015, 06:45:06 pm »
Stephen, you are still Awards Administrator.
We discussed your proposal and considered pros and cons but put off a decision for a while.

BFS Publications / Re: BFS Horizons #1
« on: October 17, 2015, 07:08:40 pm »
Hi Des and Peter,
Thanks for your responses. And a very funny mock-up there, Stephen, to take any heat out of the debate. And there’s nothing personal here – I’ve enjoyed other examples of Howard Watts’ art, such as that featured in “Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction”.

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