My name is Aaron Cox. I have long had a fascination with fiction writing: it is a craft I have been practicing for nearly twenty years. Short stories have always provoked the greatest sense of wonder. I am but a blade of grass in literature’s flourishing garden, beguiled by the many wonderful flowers – JG Ballard, Alice Munro, Lydia Davis, Angela Carter, George Saunders, Deborah Levy. In a moment of madness I once wrote a twenty thousand word dissertation on Robert Coover’s experimental short stories. About ten years later I did an MA in creative writing at Birkbeck College. Neither has foreshadowed fame or brilliance. Alas, I’ve forgotten most of what I learned. Yet, still I try to write my way out of mediocrity. Who knows what might happen next?
Writing is a curious art form that involves trying to put structure to the mind’s wild musings. An exciting, but also deeply frustrating, process. I’ve called this blog writing smog as those early, all-important drafts often feel like I am writing in a kind of a smog that will only clear by reworking a piece until I can finally see what it’s about. As Toby Litt once said during the MA, “writing is rewriting; reading is rereading”. Yep, that pretty much sums up the sort of loops I find myself in.
The pages on this blog contain ideas about the writing process and observations about the novels and short stories that I am reading – bits and pieces that pique my interest – and possibly the odd short story, a few pages of the novel or other bits of fiction I am working on.
I have had short stories published in Unsweetened, the University of New South Wales’s annual student anthology, and Birkbeck College’s Mechanics Institutes Review. I have also had minor recognition for stories sent to competitions:
Drought was short listed for BBC Radio 4 Opening Lines programme in 2012.
Halloween received an honorable mention from US short story journal Glimmer Train as part of its February 2015 New Writer Award.
The Occupants was a highly commended story at the London Short Story Prize 2016.
Herd and Splinter won Spread the Word’s ‘City of Stories’ competition for the London borough of Lewisham 2017
Game Theory was shortlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction Award, October 2017