‘Mandy Sutter has a strong, spirited, firmly contemporary voice… her easy conversational style is spattered with striking images.’ Odyssey magazine
My work-in-progress in 2016 is a linked collection of travel/memoir pieces and stories set in Nigeria in the 1960’s.
Bushmeat, one of the pieces, excitingly won first prize in the New Welsh Writing Awards 2016! Seed won second prize in the 2015 Ambit competition and Munachi Bones was published in Mslexia, also in 2015.
I’m hoping to publish the whole collection soon. Watch this space!
Over the years I’ve had twenty or so short stories and memoir pieces published in magazines and also in anthologies by independent publishers Tindal Street Press, Comma Press and Route Online but I haven’t attempted a full collection before.
Readers sometimes ask whether my stories and my blog are ‘true.’ They are (sort of) but I often re-imagine what someone said or conflate one event with another to make the narrative work better. Whether a story happened in real life or not, it must happen again in the right place: on the page for its reader. Here’s an article I wrote for New Welsh Review on that very subject.
Life took an interesting turn in the summer of 2010 when my Dad, then 87, took on an allotment. Knowing I’d be doing most of the work while having to pretend I wasn’t, I decided to blog about it by way of consolation.
Reluctant Gardener became a hit with its readers and when I announced its end, there was an outcry. Well, three people and a dog begged me to reconsider (actually the people asked; the dog begged). And I realised that writing about the allotment had become intrinsically connected with working on it. And so the blog lives on. Perhaps one day we will go viral! In the meantime, there is plenty to do, especially weeding.
My poems have appeared in some good poetry magazines like Stand, The North, Rialto and on BBC Radio 4, and also in some great anthologies. Most recently, Caring for the Environment appeared in Life-Saving Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2015, ed Anthony Wilson) and Wharfe Swimming appeared in Surprise View, the latest Otley Word Feast anthology, launched in March 2016.
My latest poetry pamphlet, Old Blue Car (Kettlebell Press 2015), is available on Amazon. Read a smashing review of it in the Telegraph and Argus and listen to the title poem, performed on stage at Greenwich Theatre by Claire Redcliffe.
An earlier collection, Game (1995) is still available from Smith Doorstop Books and I have copies left of an even earlier one, Permission to Stare (Slow Dancer Press, 1994). Get in touch if you would like one.
It’s nice being read to! Here’s a video clip of me reading from my first novel, Stretching It (Indigo Dreams, 2013), a light-hearted look at love, papier-mache and looking after an elderly parent, which is available on Amazon, should you fancy reading more. If you’re interested in how the novel came about, there’s a good feature article in the Yorkshire Post.