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  • Melissa Darcey, Author at Litro Magazine
    Litro Magazine Melissa Darcey is a writer based in San Diego CA She has a soft spot for Jane Eyre coffee and her orange cat Milo Her work has appeared in The Rumpus The Big Jewel Black Heart Cease Cows and elsewhere Website Twitter Facebook Contact Us General 44 0 20 3371 9971 info litro co uk Sales Advertising enquiries 44 0 20 3371 9971 Email Sales Magazine Editorial editor litro co uk All Online Editorial online litro co uk Book Reviews Author Interviews reviews litro co uk Film Arts Editorial arts litro co uk Litro Lab Podcast litrolab litro co uk LitroTV litrotv litro co uk Litro Listings listings litro co uk Subscribe Stockists Submissions Advertising Our Team About Litro Litro Magazine is a free short stories and creative arts magazine in print and online Providing a place for readers writers and the broader creative community to discuss various aspects of literature arts and culture through features reviews non themed fiction interviews columns and more Perfect reading for those with busy lives When the first issue of Litro was published in April 2005 the main free paper for commuters and city dwellers was the morning Metro Since then many tabloid style free sheets have joined the field like the Metro these can be skim read and quickly discarded Litro is different our central aim has always been to provide commuters and city dwellers with an inspiring thought provoking alternative that takes you places you don t normally think about when travelling around the city We believe literary magazines should not just be targeted at writers themselves or even those with a particular interest in literature instead Litro believes in reaching the general reader whether they be a commuter someone browsing in a bookshop or in a bar or a

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/author/mdarcey/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Northern Ireland: A Place of Birds, Not Riots or Murders
    in which I found my biographical subject was alive to such ebb and flow in nature But as his Birds of Canada 1934 makes clear Percy Taverner also knew that sometimes it became ebbtide without flow as with the Labrador duck or the great auk These lives were ended Perhaps biographies of the dead are more satisfying for there is beginning middle and end But in ornithology the bird biography is usually the monograph the study of a species without reference to its numbers David Lack s wonderful wartime and often reprinted study The Life of the Robin 1943 where the life means the way of life Though as the author of The Natural Regulation of Animals Numbers 1954 Lack too knew about death as well as life Or The Wren 1955 by Edward A Armstrong the Northern Irish clergyman naturalist folklorist and Shakespeare scholar a marvellous writer who produced one of the most beautiful of ornithological memoirs Birds of the Grey Wind 1940 However it was the way of death and Taverner s eloquent obituary for a species that made its immediate mark on me in a friend s kitchen in Vancouver as I leafed through Birds of Canada My friend and I were used to the teeming birdlife of the Fraser River delta in British Columbia where one could see tens of thousands of wintering snow geese a dozen or more snowy owls in unpredictable winters eleven species of raptors on a given day waders and ducks unlimited I happened upon his entry for the passenger pigeon Ectopistes migratorius It had once been numerous in Canada and the United States beyond all but the most reckless computation Its nestings were of astounding magnitude and became the raison d etre of an entire industry that involved pigeon hunters pigeoners agents meat packers railroad schedules butchers shops and customers The unnatural regulation of animal numbers you might say Taverner writes The last great rookery was near Petoskey Mich In the autumn of 1878 the birds left on their usual migration but failed to return in commercial numbers the following spring This is the sentence that struck me setting as it does an extraordinary puzzle His 1934 entry ends Even yet rumours and circumstantial accounts of Passenger Pigeons still extant appear from time to time vouched for by those who remember the bird in their childhood but there is little doubt that the species is extinct I knew then I had my biographical subject though it waited years to be honoured The passenger pigeon died out in the wild around 1900 and the last one on earth died in the fateful September of 1914 No human life could have been neater in scope or more meaningful or sadder About John Foster John Wilson Foster spent his academic career at the University of British Columbia Vancouver and is now a freelance writer and scholar in Belfast He writes on Irish and British literature natural history and culture His most recent books include

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/07/northern-ireland-a-place-of-birds-not-riots-or-murders/ (2016-02-15)
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  • John Wilson Foster, Author at Litro Magazine
    natural history and culture His most recent books include Nature in Ireland ed 1997 Titanic ed 1999 Irish Novels 1890 1940 2008 and Between Shadows 2009 A dramatic monologue A Better Boy has been recently performed in Belfast Brussels and Paris Pilgrims of the Air the story of the passenger pigeon was published by Notting Hill Editions in 2014 Website Twitter Facebook Contact Us General 44 0 20 3371 9971 info litro co uk Sales Advertising enquiries 44 0 20 3371 9971 Email Sales Magazine Editorial editor litro co uk All Online Editorial online litro co uk Book Reviews Author Interviews reviews litro co uk Film Arts Editorial arts litro co uk Litro Lab Podcast litrolab litro co uk LitroTV litrotv litro co uk Litro Listings listings litro co uk Subscribe Stockists Submissions Advertising Our Team About Litro Litro Magazine is a free short stories and creative arts magazine in print and online Providing a place for readers writers and the broader creative community to discuss various aspects of literature arts and culture through features reviews non themed fiction interviews columns and more Perfect reading for those with busy lives When the first issue of Litro was published in April 2005 the main free paper for commuters and city dwellers was the morning Metro Since then many tabloid style free sheets have joined the field like the Metro these can be skim read and quickly discarded Litro is different our central aim has always been to provide commuters and city dwellers with an inspiring thought provoking alternative that takes you places you don t normally think about when travelling around the city We believe literary magazines should not just be targeted at writers themselves or even those with a particular interest in literature instead Litro believes in reaching the general

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/author/john-wilson-foster/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Teach Me to be a Writer
    why would someone consider writing a five hundred page historical thriller without reading similar texts to see how they were constructed Not that in reading the goal is copying as it might be with a car but writers need to know the basics the rules of the genre before they can be creative with them Anyone who has seen Shrek will know that as a comedy it is almost totally useless unless audiences are aware of the fairytale conventions it subverts You could not write something so original without a good grasp of the familiar first But being a writer is not just about writing A good deal of what a writer does is nothing whatever to do with writing It is to do with self promotion networking doing public readings time management organisational skills IT skills etc The compulsory first year module on Northumbria University s joint English and Creative Writing undergraduate degree includes a session led by New Writing North s director Claire Malcolm on the topic of the professional life of a writer and how he she may earn a living On my Creative Writing MA there was an entire module called The Life of Writing which dealt with such crucial issues all of which are teachable How successful a student will be at them though depends less on the quality of the teaching and more on the student s dedication and determination to be a writer Are they prepared to go to yet another reading given by someone they don t really like for the chance to make an industry contact Are they prepared to travel miles to attend an industry event or literary festival Are they prepared to stay up late emailing their manuscript to every agent in the Writers and Artists Yearbook I have often thought that the difference between a writer who succeeds and one who doesn t is nothing to do with the quality of their writing and everything to do with how resilient they are when faced with rejection and failure Perhaps rather than a writing course new authors should be partaking of some therapy or meditation practice that equips them to cope with this There is also the argument that it is who not what you know that will make you a writer publication success sometimes resulting from the dumb luck of right place right time I don t subscribe to this If someone really wants to be a writer they make it happen And they do so by honing their craft improving their writing through any available means acquiring every vital skill never letting an opportunity pass by no matter how insignificant it might seem and never giving up That way when an opportunity presents itself the writer is ready for it Luck is best defined as the moment when opportunity meets preparation Given that I would argue that there is a genuine role for the plethora of creative writing courses currently running because they help prepare writers for

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2014/12/teach-me-to-be-a-writer/ (2016-02-15)
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  • The Heat Comes Early This Year
    happen when the boys turned themselves in the next day On my way home though I just kept seeing the hash drop to the floor If it hadn t fallen I d never have known I mostly went to ground an old army term for staying put digging in and waiting after submitting my report in Mubarakiya My wife and I can laugh about how stressful those final few months in Kuwait were albeit with that hard edged forced laughter used to move on from the funniest most difficult things But it s easy too to recall the tension of waiting for the news that I d somehow pissed off the wrong person with the right nationality that a certain phone call had been made grounding a certain pair of Canadians and their ambitions beyond Kuwait As I reach out to former colleagues friends and students this sense of unease of never really feeling secure reemerges We all have the same stories Influential parents running over staff like they were nothing Administrators standing by when teachers were threatened Fundamentalist students acting like morality police Senior students phoning in bomb threats and planting fake devices as a prank Teachers contracts getting terminated without warning or cause But I m also reminded of the tiered system of how foreigners are treated by Kuwaitis and see that while our security as citizens of Western nations might have been less than stable there was no risk of physical danger Not so for everyone who adopted Kuwait as their home particularly the labouring class Indian cleaners Bangladeshi construction workers Pakistani oil workers Philippina maids and the like And although the boy s parents were white collar professionals because of the curious and deep rooted contempt Kuwaitis had for Arabic speaking countries away from The Gulf it s clear that justice was never pursued much less served on behalf of our boys Emails from Phil our school superintendent are heavy with regret Like Bruce he leaped in straight away to find the culprits with a certain Sherlockian swagger actions he says that revealed leadership at its self righteous worst He says that a wiser leader would have contained the hysteria and addressed the issue within the more civilized context of the school but I think that s hindsight speaking Bruce too admits that perhaps things should have been handled in house but shrugs and cites an ongoing legal battle at a school in Kuwait that flushed the evidence and refused to bring in the police Near the end of our talk he interrupts himself mid sentence and leans back in his chair I don t know that we supported you very well as an administration he says We worried more about those boys than about you The unasked question I pause too Bruce is a sensitive soul and a friend It wasn t that I didn t feel supported by the administration I finally say It was just a lousy situation to be caught in For anybody I don t share my next thought which is that I know I d have been on my own if anything went sideways Yet I don t hold that against anyone either we all just acted as educators and guests in Kuwait and assumed things would work out In truth and this is hard candy to chew I don t know if I d have done anything differently given the unreliability of Kuwait s legal system and the shadow of wasta lurking around every corner Even if I d known where the boys would end up I hate that I know that about myself After parking the Porsche the Major and I walked into the police station I must have looked nervous because he clapped me on the shoulder and told me not to worry that my statement was merely a formality Before I could ask why an Indian manservant appeared and took us to the detectives offices following a few steps behind and rushing forward to open doors The Major smiled and embraced the moustachioed detective swapping filial kisses on both cheeks the requisite salaam s and rapid fire pleasantries in Arabic Tea with cardamom and saffron was ordered and served It had only been a couple of days since the hash was discovered but I d eventually learn that despite the school s evidence and insistence to the contrary the police had decided that Abdullah must be the ringleader of our school s drug ring with Habib viewed as a trusted lieutenant Both boys were interrogated although Habib s Canadian passport spared him the worst Sabeera another of the sibling owners of the school had reported the incident to the Ministry of Education which ruled on the boys case with unlikely speed The school was ordered to expel them immediately regardless of the outcome of the investigation and furthermore levelled a total ban from all education in Kuwait forever When this draconian decree reached the school there were many resolutions to fight it but it would take weeks before enough nerve was gathered to begin covert tutoring for the boys first in their homes eventually after hours on site The Major translated the detectives questions and my responses Many of his translations written down by the Indian manservant while the detective reclined in his seat sipped his tea and chain smoked seemed either much abbreviated or expanded which did nothing to reduce my anxiety The pages I signed were dense with sweeping Arabic script like windswept clusters of winter grass in the desert I immediately regretted letting one of the school s owners speak for me in a legal capacity and would never know what omissions he made or extras he offered It wasn t until I was back at school to teach my remaining classes for the day that I allowed myself to relax knowing that my statement as with so many things was beyond my control Still the incident seemed to get bigger by the

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2014/12/the-heat-comes-early-this-year/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Brent van Staalduinen, Author at Litro Magazine
    Dalhousie Review The New Quarterly The New Guard Literary Review Mash Stories The Storyteller and Bazaar He was shortlisted for EVENT Magazine s 2014 creative nonfiction award and longlisted for the 2014 CBC Canada Writes Short Story Prize A graduate of the Humber School of Writers he is currently completing an MFA in Creative Writing through the University of British Columbia Website Twitter Facebook Contact Us General 44 0 20 3371 9971 info litro co uk Sales Advertising enquiries 44 0 20 3371 9971 Email Sales Magazine Editorial editor litro co uk All Online Editorial online litro co uk Book Reviews Author Interviews reviews litro co uk Film Arts Editorial arts litro co uk Litro Lab Podcast litrolab litro co uk LitroTV litrotv litro co uk Litro Listings listings litro co uk Subscribe Stockists Submissions Advertising Our Team About Litro Litro Magazine is a free short stories and creative arts magazine in print and online Providing a place for readers writers and the broader creative community to discuss various aspects of literature arts and culture through features reviews non themed fiction interviews columns and more Perfect reading for those with busy lives When the first issue of Litro was published in April 2005 the main free paper for commuters and city dwellers was the morning Metro Since then many tabloid style free sheets have joined the field like the Metro these can be skim read and quickly discarded Litro is different our central aim has always been to provide commuters and city dwellers with an inspiring thought provoking alternative that takes you places you don t normally think about when travelling around the city We believe literary magazines should not just be targeted at writers themselves or even those with a particular interest in literature instead Litro believes in reaching

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/author/brentvans/ (2016-02-15)
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  • I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside...
    hence the ridiculously over tight clothing and the girls with a twinkle in their eye Sex in one form or another was the most common theme His wives nagged and their husbands mother in laws were tyrannous but in using these stereotypes he recognised the permanence of marriage He said himself that his work was a skit on pornography obscene sometimes but not immoral They were saucy or risqué raising a titter rather than a leer However in 1954 the newly elected conservative government was concerned about the post war deterioration in morals Following the obscenity trial sales of the cards plummeted The Swinging Sixties saw a resurgence but what we laugh at changes and the postcard revival didn t last Today we have a more liberal approach to coarse jokes and language but a greater emphasis on political correctness Although the postcards have historical and artistic value it s doubtful if anyone would find new art of that type acceptable now Donald McGill was not the only postcard artist seaside visitors had a good choice Tom Browne Will Owen Harry Rountree and Phil May all had their own styles and topics but were mostly inoffensive and twee rather than daring James Bamforth the most successful producer of cheeky postcards published designs by Arnold Taylor Philip Taylor and Brian Fitzpatrick as well as McGill These had themes similar to those of McGill with cheeky captions bright colours and exaggerated characters None however had McGill s command of the saucy market Artistic recognition nevertheless was slow in coming In 1941 George Orwell wrote an essay on the work of Donald McGill a serious analysis where he described the overbearing vulgarity crude drawing and unbearable colours of the postcards He saw their popularity as a rebellion against convention and a reflection of a repressed British society He did however admit that he would be sorry to see them vanish Later opinions refute Orwell s views and recognise McGill s skill as a cartoonist Little did Donald McGill realise when at the age of 79 he was found guilty of obscenity paying a 50 fine with 25 costs that his original colour washed drawings would now raise several thousand pounds each He never earned more than three guineas a design The naval draughtsman who got into postcards after a relative saw a get well card he had designed and decided it should be sent to a publisher has now had work displayed at the Tate Interestingly the ban on the postcards has never actually been revoked About Linda Fawke Linda is an arts person who pursued a scientific career but now has the time to write She writes fiction non fiction and poetry She has published in various magazines including Berkshire Life and The Oldie and has been a winner of the Daily Telegraph Just Back travel writing competition and the Litro NanoWriMo experience competition She has just completed her first novel Mail More Posts 4 Comments comments Prev O Digba Ka Na

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2014/11/i-do-like-to-be-beside-the-seaside/ (2016-02-15)
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  • I Am From Dzerzhinsk
    had Moving out of it is not a choice but a necessity for many young people including me Lazy gloomy unbearably Soviet Dzerzhinsk could be the perfect location for shooting a movie about a brutal totalitarian regime but in reality it might be seen as scary for a completely different reason its absolute lack of any visible creativity You can criticize the government as much as you like nobody would pay any attention to it just as much as if you smash your head to bits trying to write poetry and be listened to Walking down the main street you can see a lot of grocery and clothes shops some occasional cafes and grotesque God and world forgotten huge empty factory buildings on the outskirts How dystopian and sad is the place without creativity how scarred is the society which prioritizes making money over anything else And maybe that is where part of the answer about overwhelming commercialization in Russia lies the country is so deeply traumatized and exhausted after all the events and tragedies of the 20 th century that it can t concentrate on creating beauty It reminds me of Max Ernst s painting Europe after the Rain in which a dead carcass of a town is standing under a blue sky Will the plants eventually grow out of it and bring it back to life Or will it fall down with something new and exciting being created in its place As lifeless as my town looks there could be movement underneath maybe only in the thoughts expressed during conversations over tea in shabby or modern tiny or large kitchens the same creativity that is already splashing here and there in Moscow and St Petersburg finding expression in peaceful protests gatherings art spaces This creativity has always been represented by people of different nationalities religions sexual orientations races Pushkin Tchaikovsky Mandelshtam Pasternak but somehow seems to be missing at the moment Yet it cannot fail to exist even if at the moment it looks as though society is purely focused on being financially successful It must be there as it always has been despite repressions hardship and corruption despite its own difficult past and complicated present One of my best friends is a doll maker She produces astonishing unusual characters which are unique and beautiful She first draws them on paper deciding on their identity and outfit She then forms their shapes out of metal and finally comes up with faces clothes and individual special features Each doll takes a couple of months to finish and is a piece of art She has never tried doing anything with them so they are standing in her bedroom looking at you with a curious excited look of expectation sad ballerina embarrassed emperor medieval fresco painter One day there might be an opportunity to show them somewhere she usually responds when I comment on their brilliance For now I just don t have time She is also busy making her living

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2014/11/i-am-from-dzerzhinsk/ (2016-02-15)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-12-08