330Words celebrated its fourth birthday last month.
Like all my good ideas, I had the brainwave for 330Words while doing the washing up. The site was conceived as a place for writers, new and old. A home for enthusiasts to test out the medium and a space for experienced authors to hone their skills and techniques.
Over the past four years, I’m adamant that 330Words has been home to some of the best short stories the internet has to offer.
Short stories aren’t easy to write. They’re lean beasts – they have to be – and flabby phrases need to be exercised, obsolete words cast aside. The mastery of short stories isn’t in the initial composition, but rather the hours spent rewording, sculpting and trimming. Every sentence needs to drive the story on.
It’s incredibly difficult to get a well-rounded tale across in 500 words. Let alone 330.
So, over the past four years, it’s been an utter delight to host your short, short stories on the site. I’ve enjoyed every single one of them; each tale had a unique way of approaching the constraints of the word limit. Some were hilarious. Some gave me nightmares. Some made me cry. I’ve read so many great stories from so many brilliant writers.
Every story made me want to write. And every story made me a better writer.
330Words has introduced me to nights like Bad Language, where I began to read out my work for the first time. It led to countless meetings with great writers, such as Fat Roland, Dave Harley, Benjamin Judge and Clare Conlon; together we created #Flashtag. Ideas and techniques from these stories have fuelled creative projects elsewhere, from the stage to my career.
But, the time has come. All good things must end and I’m moving on to concentrate on a couple of big projects that would leave me with no time to look after the site. And that would be a colossal shame.
So, without further delay, I’d like to formally welcome Trisha Starbrook as the new curator of 330Words.
One of the leading writers in the Manchester literary scene, Trisha was the winner of the #Flashtag ‘Short, Short Story Slam’ at Didsbury Arts Festival back in 2013. Since then, she has performed at First Draft, Ruined (for Manchester History Festival), Tales of Whatever and Bad Language.
She’ll do an amazing job here at 330Words and I wish her the best of luck. I’ll still be penning the occasional story for the site and I’ll still be involved in #Flashtag. I’ll still be reading on the stage and I’ll still be doing interesting things with words.
But that’s another story and I’m already over the word limit.