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Monthly Archives: May 2011

An upcoming issue of online journal Thoughtsmith. They have chosen my short story Come; Visit the Dog.


(Oh, and my writing was delayed for various reasons– back on track tomorrow with a further post on the writing process)

Take care,


At Tongue Box, in The Cobblestone, Smithfield, this Tuesday at 8pm. I will be performing two of my newer stories. So if you want to experience the bleeding edge of fiction, come along and let me jam prose in your mind!


Bosch is the Business

Hi there!


We’re back for the second part of the Process– today is Exploration, the first day of writing! This is when I sit down and open a word document and just see what nonsense comes out– what tone and method and characters appear. This is often the most fun and creative part of the Process, when I give myself the fullest freedom to be very silly or very strange, when I don’t yet have to worry about polished prose or logical plots or word count. It is just me and the story discovering each other and getting to know each other’s quirks and foibles.

It is a first date, with all the fun and terror that implies.

With the blank page in front of me, and with a very vague Idea established from the night before I sit down to write THE SHITTING PRINCESS. I am always conscious that writing is a process akin to alchemy–in the fusing of mind and page, mediated by the thumping of keys, new concepts and ideas will be thrown up, old ideas mercilessly cast aside. I don’t know what to expect.

C’mon mind; let’s get creatin’!

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Oh, Hello!

Occasionally, just occasionally, people ask me where I get my ideas from. And it is the clichéd response of any writer or creative person to roll their eyes at this and purse their lips and go pffffft! What a question to ask! But I do find myself legitimately puzzled by this– where do you get your ideas from? It’s the from part that troubles me– I don’t go out and look for ideas; it is not an active pursuit. I’d be surprised if it was for anyone. Ideas turn up, on their own good time. Where do my ideas come from– now that’s closer to the mark, but still that’s not a question I can answer, not satisfactorily anyway– cue rolling eyes and pfffft! I get the bulk of my ideas either on the bus or in the shower or just when I’m about to fall asleep. And ideas in and of themselves are not hard to come by, I’ve always considered myself an ideas person — left to my own devices I can stave off boredom readily enough by inventing scenarios and doing silly voices out loud, and maybe rocking back and forth a bit. No problem there.

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One of the purposes of this blog is to get my writing “out there”. Hey, it’s pretty “out there” alrea Unfortunately, publishing my stories on a blog such as this disqualifies them from being picked up by the majority of literary journals and e-zines. This limits, for the moment at least, what I can put up. However, one story that I can put up on this blog right this minute is the one that started it all: BEND AGAIN A SECOND BEND (we fed our baby bacon fat), which won the 2010 College Green Literary Prize and stands now as a real watershed moment. This story helped me realise that not only was writing what I wanted to do, but hey, I wasn’t too bad at it either! From this story sprang the idea to do forty of these linked stories (subsequently forty-five, constituting the sequence that I call Hot Nonsense Weeping– more on that later).

So, pull up your mother’s tumour or wriggle into a cosy bleach-basin; fill your hands with cool, cool bacon fat; bleat mercilessly at a squinting priest and, most of all, enjoy.




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On the 7th of April this year I began to send out short story submissions to as many journals as possible– if they were open to submissions by email, if they had a semi-functional website with a smattering of quasi-literate paragraphs and a blurred black and white photo of something Poignant, well chances are they got a submission from me. I used two databases to find ‘markets’ (that is what they’re called, apparently) Poets & Writers and Duotrope’s Digest. Though the former is not as extensive as the latter, I found it easier to use. I recommend using it first to get used to the whole submission protocol thing.  My first Submission Binge lasted until 25th April. When the dust cleared I had sent submissions to 294 outlets. Six short of a round 300. Why didn’t I go for the triple century? Everyone would have thought I was so cool. I don’t know.

Anyways, as of 27 May my submission stats are as follows:

135 active submissions (still under consideration as far as I know, or at least they haven’t said no just yet!)

50 NO!

9 YES! (11 stories in total) Hurrah!

48 Resubmits (journals who recieved a story that subsequently sold elsewhere and are eagerly awaiting a new submission.)

And there are 30 stories currently doin’ the rounds. Too early to say which one has been refused the most, but chances are it will be one of the blasphemous ones. The cowards!

So that is how it stands at the end of May. Lookin’ pretty good. June will see the beginning of Submission Binge 2, starting with those Resubmits above– as soon as I get to 20 stories accepted I will begin Looking for an Agent Binge (No. 1 of infinity.)



Hello there!

In the last two months I have had some success in placing short stories in various publications. There are no set dates for some but here are the names of the stories and the journals that have snapped them up (I’ll be dedicating posts to each as we get closer to publication)–

Online journal Anemone Sidecar will be publishing Nativity of Flies, probably in early Autumn.

The Battered Suitcase will be having Dinner with the Pigeon Prince, probably for their September issue.

Jersey Devil Press have been inflicted with Mammy’d Give Me Minds to Eat.

Kerouac’s Dog Magazine (my first sale!) have burdened themselves with both Sweet Apple Please and I Want One. Both should appear in issue four. It is available for purchase now! Go buy it!

Plain Spoke will be donning Hot Spectral Helmets For Me, For You.

Pyrta will be spectators to The Racing. (Who knew people wanted to read a story about looking at willies through a hedge?!!)

Sein Und Werden have gotten their hands on The Suckling Spike and Melt Calves See Nothing. The former will appear in the print version, the latter online. Lovely!

The Quotable will put their feet up and sigh and remember and howl: And Oh! The Fun They Had That Friday Night!

THIS Literary Magazine will throw their hands up and lament My Son is Now My Motorbike!

And that is how it stands at the moment. Eleven stories placed. Fifty+ to go.



Hello there!

And you may be screaming– Lord in Heaven, What is This?! Please, don’t hurt me– just let me introduce myself. My name is Graham Tugwell and I am a Writer. Look at the confidence in that capital W! Almost like I know what I’m doing!

Yes, I am a Writer, of bizarre and unsettling fictions– I particularly enjoy forcing the reading mind into that strange hinterland where it oscillates furiously between horror and amusement– forever unsure which is more appropriate. Something that amuses me no end are stories that are stupid in synopsis but become horrific and harrowing in execution.

I want to create lasting moments of apocalyptic clarity that return to the reader days or weeks after finishing the story.

In short, I want people to have my mind babies.

For the last year I have been feverishly working on a series of short stories, all linked together, all sharing the same setting and thematic sensibilities, though style and execution is always particular to the story being told. As of this date, 26/05/11,  I have written 63– just over one a week; though taking into account other commitments I generally have been able to knock off a bulb of prose in about three days.

And there are three rules to my stories:


Cheery stuff, no?


What is the point of this site, then?

Well, here I will keep track of the stories I have written and my various attempts to get them published.  I will post timely notifications of when and in what fine publications they will be available so you can lap them up.  I will also post reports from any of the  live readings or performances I have been known to attend.

Welcome. Do have a root around. Who knows what you might grub up?

All the best,