Disclosure: I’d never written a single word of science-fiction. Read, sure, watched, hell yes, but writing? Then along came Singularity50, and while I loved the concept I had no intention to take part. More importantly, I also had no time. None. Zilch.
Which is why a few days before the deadline I woke up with an idea which by the end of the day found its way into the Singularity50 competition as “For the Love of Jenny”. Then I really really needed to return to my paid work and a novel edit, which is why 24 hours later I also entered “Safe House”. Only the deadline saved me from going Singularity-crazy.
Writers are weird, in general. Horror writers are twisted. Sci-fi writers are visionaries. Comet writers are... trailblazers? And they’re all part of the Create50 community, my weird, beloved
I joined Create50 in 2015 with my short script Psukhe for the “Courage and Kindness” project. This resulted in a Best Script Award at the British Screenwriters’ Awards that year. I wrote six scripts for the following Impact50 project, and Sirtaki was selected for the film; I Never Kissed a Girl Before didn’t make the cut but is particularly dear to me because I co-wrote it with my daughter Hannah. Family business.
On the basis (a) of Chris Jones’s call for blogs and (b) that this blog may well be better than my story ‘Rothschild’s Giraffe’, here goes. (It’s not so much a blog as a plea for redemption.)
The suggested timeline for The Singularity included one event that intrigued me very much viz. the resurrection of extinct animal species, and I suspected this topic would not find too much favour (extinct animals vs. sex-bots? – I’m not a gambling man but I know where I’d lay my bot bet).
I hope, Dear Reader, you will be forgiving if this post is not what you expected when you saw the word ‘blog’. In my defense, I have never written a blog in my entire life. Just what do you put
in a blog? There seems to be no one answer. The more blogs you read on the internet, the more you realise the idea of trying to write a successful blog is probably as hard as sitting down with
the intention of writing successful fiction. There is no magic formula. But the blank screen and blinking cursor demand attention, so…
…I’ll have another coffee and come back to this tomorrow.
Back in 2015, before the invention of Brexit and Trump, I wrote a short screenplay called Automatic Drive. Inspired by the development of driverless vehicles, I imagined a future in which
corporations responsible for automated highways used nefarious methods to keep the traffic flowing at all costs.
The script was well received by all who read it. It went on to the finals of the Reel Writers Screenplay competition and won a ‘Top Pick’ award. However, I wasn’t thinking of budget when I wrote it. Production costs would be astronomical. I wrote it because I had the idea and needed practise writing screenplays. The chances of an unknown like me managing to persuade J.J. Abrams to spend a few millions dollars on a ten minute movie were pretty slim, so I shelved it.
Drum roll please…
It’s been a long time coming but it’s time to share just who and what has been selected to be included in The Singularity 50…
So... The 50 writers and their stories are…
We are excited to announce that on February 12th at 11am UK time we will announce the 50 amazing stories and writers to be included in Singularity50.
A social media Thunderclap has been setup to help amplify this message and moment and it would be awesome if you supported it – it takes about 30 seconds and it would mean a HUGE amount to everyone involved!
Click here to support it… https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/67453-the-singularity50-winners-are
The Create50 community imparts something incredibly valuable to its writers – almost like finding gold at the end of a rainbow.
Not only does it instill a sense of accomplishment, bringing an urgency to write, but also through the writer feedback, it helps impart a sense of confidence in your own work.
The collaboration and community you feel is nothing short of amazing.
Congratulations to the shortlisted writers of The Singularity50.
After months of reading we now have a shortlist of the best stories submitted to The Singularity 50.
We will enter the final phase of redrafting very soon, but for now, a drum roll for the writers and stories (not in any order) in the shortlist for The Singularity 50!
Feel free to use the 'laurels' image here on social media to shout about your success with #Singularity50 hashtag. And the winning 50 stories and writers will be announced some time in early Autumn.
OK so the winners are...
An exciting aspect of Create50 was the opportunity to get feedback from other writers. As a writer, I know well the value of feedback. That said, it can be very difficult to hear.
Despite several years of experience, I can still have a negative response to other people’s thoughts on my work – akin to someone criticising your child.
However, I have learned that feedback almost always makes the work better.
Here is a new website for the anthology-project Singularity50, along with a very nice trailer, check it out:
My story is still in the run for a spot amongst the “most thought provoking voices in new SF” – I have my fingers crossed…
Offering up my first-ever short story to Twisted 50 was a challenge, but eased along by the kind practical advice of other far more experienced writers and by its being autobiographical. There was little need for imagination: 'Charcoal Granny' had evidently lurked in my head for six decades, and alarmed me when it sprang forth!
Story number two, Almighty Dog's MEGA Plan, for Singularity 50, was fiction and this turned out to be a technical challenge: it was driven by a strongly personal point of view, but I didn't want to bore or insult readers with polemic - a ready trap for a novice writer!
Now we are underway with the reading of The Singularity stories I thought I would share a few comments from writers that I have had via email…
‘I loved the process of Singularity 50! So far as I am aware it is unique in that others give feedback so subsequent drafts that can be refined in the light of what a reader makes of your story.
It is so easy to think that what you see in your imagination is actually in words that are comprehensible, on the page, when too often, it is not to a real live reader!
This is the page where we will share news and updates as well as interviews and articles about The Singularity50.
Right now all the stories that were submitted to the process are being read and assessed several times.
While it’s all about GREAT writing and ideas, it’s also about building a book, which we learned was no easy task from Singularity’s evil twin book Twisted50 (that we launched in 2017). More about Twisted50 HERE.