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Living and Writing Abroad

May 22nd, 2015

Kerry.blogLiving in France can sound like a dream come true to Francophiles living in the UK, but when you’re a budding writer it can sometimes feel like you’re living in exile.

How I envy those bloggers who wax lyrical about their writing groups and litfests, not to mention book signings. When my French friends show an interest in my writing very few are able to read it let alone provide a critique.

The current trend for Indie publishing is also out of my grasp as I can hardly nip over the channel in my spare time to actively promote my book in local bookshops. Looking for an agent is just as difficult as it would be if I were back in Blighty, but at least comprehensive lists can be found on the internet.

Speaking of the world wide web, this is my lifeline, it keeps me abreast of changes in the publishing world and allows me to pester my faithful readers back home with dozens of rewrites! Even finding an editor for my first full length manuscript proved a simple task, again with the help of my trusty laptop, and whilst the editing process taught me a lot, I can’t help thinking it would have been so much more fulfilling to learn this face to face or in a writer’s circle. Writing is by definition a solitary pursuit, but how I crave the contact with like-minded souls!

Another lifeline has been the literary competitions to be found online. They’ve enabled me to get published and, perhaps more importantly, they have provided me with the validation that every writer needs in order to continue. However, I read the competition rules and regulations very carefully these days as I’ve been caught out several times fine tuning my story only to read that it’s for UK residents only.

Am I complaining? Well maybe just a little, but I recognize that living in France has also coloured my writing; a lot of my short stories are based in France as is my first novel ‘Birthright’ which is patiently waiting for a publisher. In the meantime I continue to draw inspiration from my adopted home whilst dreaming of cozy writing circles, Rich tea biscuits and red buses.

 

Kerry Chiron won second prize in the Writers Bureau 2014 Flash Fiction Competition. She is an expat who has been living in northern France for the last seventeen years. Originally from Liverpool, she now teaches English to business people who, she says, then open their meetings with unfathomable Scouse accents! She writes short stories and flash fiction whilst waiting for inspiration for the novel (the one that agents will be falling over themselves to represent).

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