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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 I am looking for brand new, unpublished short stories across the broad fantasy genre (fantasy / science fiction / horror / fabulism / slipstream /etc).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!

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 / 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 / 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.

Announcements and Suggestions / BFS Short Story Competition 2015
« on: June 08, 2015, 11:09:00 am »
I am once again privileged to be judging this year’s British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition. Entrance closes soon - 30 June 2015. Details here:
In the meantime, to give you an idea of what works for me in the short form, have a look at my article “Impress me With Your Story”, which was published a few weeks ago as a guest spot at Deborah Walker’s website and is now up on my own website.
Direct link here:

Promote Your Projects / Anthology Closing Soon
« on: May 22, 2015, 05:54:38 pm »
Just a quick reminder to all you authors out there: I am editing an anthology entitled “Creeping Crawlers” for David Sutton’s Shadow Publishing. Submissions close at midnight on 31 May 2015. Looking for brand new stories on theme 1000 to 6000 words. Full details at:

Don’t delay.

BFS Events / London Open Night, Friday 6 March 2015
« on: March 04, 2015, 11:42:41 am »
Sensorama Launch Confirmed
I am thrilled to announce that we have now set a launch date for the anthology “Sensorama: Stories of the Senses” edited by me, Allen Ashley, and published by David Rix’s Eibonvale Press and that we are honoured to say that this launch will take place as part of the British Fantasy Society Open Night on the evening of Friday 6 March 2015. The venue is: The Blacksmith & The Toffeemaker pub, St. John’s Street, London, UK. In terms of transport: you are recommended to take the tube to Angel station (Northern Line). For those of you travelling from outside London, Angel is one tube stop from King’s Cross St Pancras.
Timings are fluid – BFS nights usually run from about 7pm to 11pm. Our official launch is likely to occur around about 8pm.
We will have extra hardback copies of the book available at the launch at a guide price of £15 on the night; we are also expecting to have cheaper paperback copies available as well. Each purchase will guarantee the buyer a raffle ticket which offers the chance to win David’s original framed artwork for the front cover!
BFS Nights are friendly, welcoming and a great chance to put faces to names within the genre. This is also an opportunity to meet and chat with the contributors. Eibonvale has previously held successful BFS launches for my anthology “Where Are We Going?” and for “Tallest Stories” by Rhys Hughes.
Further details including the cover image and contents list are at the Eibonvale Press website:
Look forward to seeing you there. Come up and say hello.

Announcements and Suggestions / BFS Short Story Competition 2014
« on: June 06, 2014, 10:27:27 am »
BFS Competition Closing Soon
I have been publicising this year’s BFS Short Story Competition quite widely but noted that I hadn’t put it on the boards yet. So, here goes: This year’s competition is open until 30 June 2014 for brand new, unpublished stories within the broad fantasy genre. Maximum length is 5000 words. BFS members get one free entry; non-members pay £5. I am the sole judge. You can contact me on:  Full details of the competition are available elsewhere on this website or you can use this direct link:

Promote Your Projects / Clockhouse London Writers
« on: July 09, 2013, 01:53:32 pm »
Many of you will know that I have been running an advanced writers’ group called Clockhouse London Writers for the past academic year. We meet approximately once a month and mostly focus on the broad science fiction / slipstream / fantasy / horror genre. The group is currently full but I am always open to enquiries regarding member ship. Email me on clockhouselondonwriters (at)
We are also about to deliver our first public reading on Sunday 14 July from 18.30 to 19.15 at the Bull Theatre, High Street, Barnet. Readers will be: Mark Lewis, Madeleine Beresford, Gary Budgen, David Turnbull, Sarah Doyle and Allen Ashley. The event is FREE, so everyone is welcome. We are very pleased to be involved with the launch day for a brand new art exhibition at The Bull called “In Art We Trust”. Other events taking place that day include artist talks, live art demonstrations, a pianist and a band.
So, get along and support us if you can!

Announcements and Suggestions / BFS Short Story Competition 2013
« on: March 05, 2013, 11:17:35 am »
Time marches on and today I can announce that I am once again the sole judge for this year’s British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition. You will doubtless have already spotted a message to this effect on the News pages of this site and the eagle-eyed amongst you – which is, surely, everyone – will have already seen the announcement in the recent “BFS Journal”. You will have noticed, also, that I have been open for submissions since 1 March 2013. The window closes at midnight BST on 30 June 2013. Lots of you left it rather late last year, including one entrant at 23.58 hours. Ah, the joys of judging!
Seriously, though, the details are on the main page of the site – click on “The BFS” and then “Short Story Comp. 2013” for further information. If there is anything not covered there, you can leave a message here or you can email me on:

Promote Your Projects / Asteroids
« on: February 15, 2013, 09:41:42 pm »
Hi everyone,
For those of you worrying about an asteroid passing very close to Earth tonight (15 Feb 2013)… well, before the world ends, you might like to click on the link to my poem “The Asteroids” performed last March with the jazz band Special Edition. Click here:

Promote Your Projects / Jazz Poetry Event – The Sunday Edition
« on: February 05, 2013, 03:12:45 pm »
On Sunday 10 February 2013, I (Allen Ashley) will be co-hosting a Jazz Poetry event – “The Sunday Edition” – along with poet Sarah Doyle (featured in “BFS Journal” and “Unspoken Water”), at the Dugdale Centre, 39 London Road, Enfield EN2 6DS.
This exciting new venture kicks off at 7pm and promises to be a brilliant night out. I will be performing a 20 minute set, including excerpts from “Dreaming Spheres”, accompanied by a jazz band. Other featured guests are Jacqueline Saphra and Anthony Fisher. The jazz band is Special Edition whose line-up is: Graham Pike (horns, harmonica), Tim Stephens (drums), Barry Parfitt (Keyboards) and Louis Cennamo (bass). Yes, that is legendary fretless bassist Louis Cennamo (Renaissance, The Herd, Colosseum, Armageddon). As well as the band accompanying the featured guest poets, there is an “Open Mic” slot with the opportunity to come and read your poem accompanied by a top jazz band.
The Dugdale Centre is just off the A105. There is ample pay parking nearby. Several buses serve the area, including the 329. Enfield Town rail station is less than 5 minutes walk away.
Tickets £11; or £10 online. Phone: 020 8807 6680
In brief: The Sunday Edition, 7pm , Sunday 10 February 2013, Dugdale Centre, Enfield.
So, if you want a really great, cultural evening out – The Sunday Edition is the gig to go to.

Alchemy Press / The Alchemy Press Book of Astrologica
« on: January 12, 2013, 11:14:16 am »
You will probably have seen the Alchemy Press call for submissions on the news page of the BFS website. Peter Coleborn’s award-winning imprint is publishing three new anthologies this Autumn.
This is just to let everybody know that I am editing “The Alchemy Press Book of Astrologica”. Submissions opened on 1 January 2013 and close at midnight UK time on 31 March 2013. Further requirements, click this hyperlink:
I will also be posting an irregular blog on the progress of the anthology, complete with tips on any changes to guidelines, any star signs that I’m missing, and so forth. The link to the first of these is here:
Looking forward to reading everyone’s astrologically themed stories.

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