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Black Static


Three Things

1st Nov, 2010

Author: Peter Tennant

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The Advent Calendar

We did this last year and it was a great success (the term 'great' is relative), so I thought we should repeat it for 2010, only this time giving people a little more notice than before.

Details are pretty much the same as before (I've posted a link to the previous year below), except this year we'll raise the word limit to 1500 as people had difficulty with last year's 1000 limit. Order of priority for submissions will be a) those who've appeared in TTA Press publications b) regular posters on our forums and c) everybody else, with the usual exception of known plagiarists, misogynists, homophobes, racists etc.

To emphasise, this is a Christmas event and it's about having fun. There will not be any element of selection on my part, other than that I reserve the right to reject or ignore anything or anyone I consider unsuitable with no explanation. That proviso aside, it will be first come, first chosen, subject to the overriding categorisations above. So, if you want to take part, send an email to with 'Advent Calendar 2010' in the Subject line and a link to your story or poem, wherever it appears, in the body of the text.

Watch the dedicated thread on our Forums for news of if and when your story will be appearing (I'll try to tell people, but I'm old and sometimes forgetful).

National Short Story Week

It runs from 22 to 28 November and is an initiative to encourage appreciation of the short form, something which is dear to the hearts of all at TTA.

I thought it would be fun to have a 'short story tournament' along lines similar to the World Cup, except without the distraction of actual football and the annoyance of those ruddy bugles or whatever they were called (though Andy could well organise a sweepstake).

We'd start with 16 stories that are available online to read, and do a draw to decide the 'matches' for round one, with people reading and arguing for their favourites, and a poll to decide the winner. The winners from each round would move forward to the next.

Round one (the first 16) will run from 22 to 24 November, then round two on the 25th and 26th, and round three on the 27th and 28th.

If anyone would care to suggest stories to take part, then post your nominations to the thread on Interaction.

National Short Story Day

This is slated for 21 December, the shortest day of the year, and is another initiative to promote appreciation of the short form. You can find out more by checking out the dedicated website and facebook page.

TTA has several things planned for 21 December.

a)      The canny will have already figured out that the 'short story tournament' above won't have been resolved by the 'matches' scheduled during November, and so 21 December is 'Cup Final Day' to decide the best story, with a 'playoff' for runner up as well.

b)      I'll post the entire Case Notes section of Black Static #19 to the website, with reviews of thirteen short story anthologies.

c)      Most of our readers and forum irregulars have websites, blogs etc of their own, so on 21 December why not consider posting a bit about your own favourite short story? We'll set up a dedicated thread on Interaction for links to all the people doing this - if you're a member of Interaction you can post your own link, and if you're not and don't want to be, then send the link to on 21 December and, time allowing, I'll post it for you.  As part of your own post, please provide a link back to the Interaction thread so that after reading your choice people can go on to discover what other people are choosing. The more people that join in with this the better.

All of this is strictly for fun, but it won't amount to much unless people take part, so please do consider joining in.


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