Posts filed under Publications

Winner of the Bath Flash Fiction Award - Things Left and Found by the Side of the Road

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Chuffed beyond words to have won the February 2018 Bath Flash Fiction Award with my piece of flash fiction, Things Left and Found by the Side of the Road

It was written (in my head) driving home from my friend's house in a stream of listicle consciousness and took shape at home later, constrained by the modest 300 word limit. It was going to be a poem but I am not a poet and I have a soft spot for one-paragraph stories. 

Fun fact: The errant imaginary friend was real (at least to me), and his name was Tan Tan. And one fateful day he was flung from an open window somewhere on the A23, never to be seen (or unseen) again.

Celebrating with pizza and ice cream (even though it's snowing here right now) because that is how we roll. 

Thank you to judge Tara L. Masih and the Bath Flash Fiction Award team. I won't traumatise you with video evidence but just imagine the happy dancing going on in my house at this very moment. 

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2014: an excellent year of booky things

2015 snuck up like a sneaky thing with sneaky bits, didn't it? Jo Gatford books

All things told, 2014 was a pretty good year for my bookshelves. My first novel, White Lies, was published by Legend Press, my story, Bing Bong, won the Fiction Desk flash fiction competition, another story, Someone Elsewas a finalist in the Aesthetica Creative Writing competition, and yet another, Vitamaximafeatured in the beautiful third issue of Vector Press. Online, the wonderful editors at Sundog Lit and FlashFlood published a couple more of my stories online.

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And if that wasn't enough, I ended 2014 with two very exciting pieces of news... which I can't yet shout about, because they're highly covert and, well, I love a good dramatic pause.

So, as the first day of 2015 settles its cold, cloudy arse down upon the land, I will start the year as I mean to go on: by making a cushion fort with my kids and reading comics by torchlight.

Thanks to everyone who made 2014 an excellent year of books and writing - to the generous and supportive publishers and editors who decided my work was worth the paper; to the readers who picked up a book with my name on it, left a review, or listened to a live reading; to the many wonderful writers who have held my hand, kicked me up the bum, raised a glass, and helped me be a better writer; to friends and family, my tirelessly encouraging husband and my ever-inspiring boys.

Cheers for a great year, and here's to a brand spanking new one.

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Posted on January 1, 2015 and filed under Competitions, Flashes, Novel, Publications, Short Stories, White Lies.

A launch and a poem for 'White Lies'

White Lies by Jo Gatford

My book is released on Tuesday (1st July) although several friends have been shouting excitedly at me that they've already received their copy. It's all a bit mad. The launch party is next Wednesday (2nd July at Brighton Waterstones from 7.30pm - come along if you're in the area, there will be free booze and nervous reading!) and I'm being interviewed on BBC Sussex radio on the Tuesday (around 4.20 pm) to talk about booky-type things. To say I'm anxious/ecstatic/fluff-brained would be an understatement. This beautiful monster of mine has taken me 6 years and now it's in print - and although selling hundreds of thousands of copies would be frankly marvellous, simply holding my book in my hands as a real, live thing (you have to put your ear really close to hear it breathing) is all I've ever wanted.

So... all is well.

If you've bought, borrowed or stolen a copy, I'm gonna have to ask you to leave me a review somewhere - Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter, on a slip of paper sellotaped to a bus stop, whatever. Ever picked up a book (or clicked one into your virtual basket) because of a really enticing review? It really helps get the word out and encourages more people to take a look, so I would be eternally grateful for your reviews and thoughts - even if you hated it - because readers' opinions are so important to an author's success. (Holy shit I'm an author now...)

This whole marketing spiel wasn't meant to be the point of this post. I actually planned on coming here to post up one of my favourite Dylan Thomas poems. His collection has been sitting neglected on my bookshelf for a long time but I flicked through it today, remembered Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night, and realised that it is the perfect introduction to both central characters in White Lies. I'll just leave it here, and hope it inspires you to read a) more Dylan Thomas, 'cause I love him, and b) my book, to find out how this poem relates to Peter and Matt...

Enjoy:

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

By Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.