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I'm an award winning and Amazon best-selling author. I now run this website full time. My long-term aim is to grow the site into a writing community that people can be proud to be a part of.
I was born in the 1970's, which is too long ago for my liking.
Photo by Jean-Marc, taken at the Bath Fringe Festival
When I left school I played in a rock band called Airbus for 15 years. We toured and played gigs all over the world, most notably Glastonbury Music Festival in 1999.
Photo by Simon Hedges, taken on tour in Germany
The band's most notable recording was the Portishead B-Side of Sourtimes, from their album Dummy. We were based in California for a couple of years (2000 to 2002) and were fortunate enough to record with record producer Richard Dashut, who produced Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album. You can learn a lot more about Airbus and my other music projects in the music section of the website.
Airbus band logo by Marc Bessant
As I was a drummer, I owned a van - it's part of the job description. When the band stopped being a full time concern, I started my own removal business, trading as 'Van Man! – Driving Superhero' (the joy of being self-employed is that you’re allowed to think up your own job title).
Van Man business logo
I ran the business for 7 years in Bristol. During this time I worked for Beast Clothing and was used as one of their t-shirt models (I use the term 'model' loosely...). You can learn about that here.
One summer, I was hired to move a bee hive. I’d assumed the hive would be empty. I was wrong – the hive contained 5,000 tenants. Having been given a bee keeping suit, I was asked to drive them to Devon. For some reason which eludes me now, I accepted. The bees were fork-lifted onto the van and gassed. This was supposed to calm them, making them drowsy. Unfortunately, it just seemed to infuriate them.
It transpired that bees which have been shoved into the back of a Ford Transit and poisoned don’t like to travel. I was distracted and became lost. Whilst trying to read a map amidst a swarm of buzzing death, I decided a change of vocation was paramount.
Photo by Marc Bessant, taken at the Fleece & Firkin in Bristol
I undertook a correspondence writing course. As part of the course I started writing newspaper articles. Some of them were published. I wrote some blog posts. Some of those were published too.
As my writing developed, I got a job working in digital marketing and closed my removal business. The decision I'd made in the swarm of bees had become a reality.
I quickly progressed in the industry and within a few years became Operations Director at Fat Media, an award winning digital agency. My job was to make shit happen. I worked in digital marketing for 6 years.
I used to have to pretend to be sensible. I sometimes wore a suit.
Me, looking uncomfortable in smart clothing
Despite enjoying my job, after much deliberation I decided to pursue my passion - writing. I left my day job in February 2016 and now write and run my website full-time.
OK, back to writing - rewind back a few years...
As part of the correspondence writing course, I'd also written a synopsis for a novel. My tutor was very positive about it, so once the course was completed I decided to write the book. It's called Wicked Game and was published in 2010.
Wicked Game book cover by Christopher Fielden
70,000 word novels aren't easy to complete. Around work and gigging and life in general, the book took me 3 years to write, edit, get critiqued, rewrite and publish.
3,000 word short stories are much easier to finish. They're also much more likely to be published as there are so many opportunities out there for short fiction. So, to avoid a mental breakdown, I decided to concentrate on shorter tales.
While developing my short story writing style, I started developing this website. I launched it in October 2011.
Christopher Fielden website logo by Dave Fielden of Bluetree
Because no one knew about the website, no one looked at it. I decided I needed to develop some content that would attract an audience for the site.
To get my stories published, I had to do a lot of research to find short story competitions and magazines. I thought other writers might find the lists I'd compiled useful, so I shared them on my website as free writing resources. Because of this, lots of people started visiting my website, my stories got read and I started selling more books.
To see all the writing competition lists, visit the Writing Advice section of my website.
Because my website was enjoying a growing audience of writers, I decided to try and write a book they might like, find useful and be interested in buying.
I've been very fortunate and have had many of my stories published and/or performed on radio or at reading events (you can see where in my publishing history). Because of this, I wrote a book called How to Write a Short Story, Get Published & Make Money.
How to Write a Short Story book cover by Lukas Miguel
The book shares all my experiences and uses my published short stories as case-studies so writers can clearly see how I used all the advice and tips in the book in real life to get my stories published. I also share how much I have earned from writing stories, setting realistic expectations for other writers.
Because the site was attracting a lot of writers that were interested in short story competitions, I decided to start running one.
To Hull & Back anthology 2015 book cover by Lukas Miguel
The annual To Hull & Back humorous short story competition has been running since 2014. It offers the most amazing literary prize in the known universe. I'm not biased at all. Honest. It really is amazing. Check the competition out here.
I hope I can develop my website and writing so I'm able to earn a reasonable living from it. That's the dream. I have a way to go, but things are moving in the right direction.
At present (this paragraph written November 2016) I need to invest another year or two into developing the website to increase the audience and revenue it generates. Eventually, I hope to be able to employ other people to help me run the site.
Stories bubble in my brain constantly and sometimes they ooze out of me onto paper. On occasion, other people like to read them, which pleases me immensely. Sometimes I get paid when they're published. I'm trying to make that happen more often.
You can read some of my short stories for free in the short stories section of the website.
Photo by Rob Rowles, taken at the Somerset Hall in Portishead
Due to my addiction to playing rock music in various bands, there are rather a large number of photos of me playing drums on this page. They tend to make more interesting viewing than me holding a pen while trying to look thoughtful...
Photo by Nigel Adams, taken at the Reckless Engineer in Bristol
I've littered this page with pictures of my ugly mug for anyone who wants to stalk me.
Photo by Rob Rowles, taken at my pad
Me, doing drum sound check at Toybox Studios, Bristol, for a Ye Gods! recording session
Photo taken at Talking Tales, a Stokes Croft Writers reading event
Here are links to all my social media profiles:
Here is a record of the various publications that have published my fiction and non-fiction work.
You can find links to a lot of the blog posts I've written for other websites on my portfolio page.
You can find more information about the books I've written in the books section of my website.
I'm the member of a fabulous writing group called Stokes Croft Writers. We're based in Bristol in the UK and our meetings are often held in cafes just off of Stokes Croft, a road known for its graffiti and artistry in the heart of the city. Hence the name of the group.
From left to right, Chris Fielden, Christie Cluett, Tom Parker, Mel Ciavucco, Nick Edwards, Steph Minns, Andy Melhuish and Leah Eades
We run a regular short story reading event in Bristol called Talking Tales. You can find out more and listen to all the podcasts from our previous events by visiting my page about Stokes Croft Writers & Talking Tales.
Here are a list of reading events that I can be found at. Sometimes I speak. Sometimes I read stories. Sometimes I'm just there to drink beer. I like a chat. Feel free to come and speak to me.
If you would like me to do a presentation on short story writing for your event, writing group or literary festival, please see my author talks and presentations page.
Here is a review of my most recent talk, kindly supplied by Rushmoor Writers:
"Massive thank you to author Christopher Fielden for coming to speak to Rushmoor Writers this evening. He gave an insightful, engaging and useful presentation about writing and selling short stories. Bloody nice chap too :-)" Christopher Berry, Club Chairman
Left Bank, Bristol - Stokes Croft Writers present Talking Tales - Saturday 18th February 2017
Talk for Croydon Writers - Monday 10th April 2017
The Cliché Cabin, Bath Flash Fiction Festival - Sat & Sun 24th/25th June 2017
Left Bank, Bristol - Stokes Croft Writers present Talking Tales & the 2016 To Hull & Back short story anthology book launch - Saturday 10th December 2016
Trade Secrets Short Story Writing Workshop at Chip Lit Fest - Tuesday 29th November 2016
Left Bank, Bristol - Stokes Croft Writers present Talking Tales as part of the Bristol Festival of Literature - Saturday 22nd October 2016
No. 51, Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3QP - The Flash Slam @ the Bristol Festival of Literature - Friday 21st October 2016
We only bloody won it...!
Talk for Rushmoor Writers @ Farnborough Community Centre - Weds 12th October 2016
Me and the members of Rushmoor Writers
Left Bank, Bristol - Stokes Croft Writers present Talking Tales - Saturday 13th August 2016
John, me and Christie being rude after too much beer
Arkbound 'Boundless Magazine' launch, Bristol - Friday 10th June 2016 Burdall’s Yard, Bath - SCW present Talking Tales @ The Bath Fringe Festival - 5th June 2016
Left Bank, Bristol - Stokes Croft Writers present Talking Tales - Saturday 16th April 2016
Left Bank, Bristol - Stokes Croft Writers present Talking Tales - Saturday 20th February 2016
Left Bank, Bristol - Stokes Croft Writers present Talking Tales - Monday 14th December 2015
Café Kino, Bristol - To Hull & Back Anthology Launch - Friday 27th November 2015
Left Bank, Bristol - Stokes Croft Writers present Talking Tales (The Speakeasy) as part of the Bristol Festival of Literature - Saturday 24th October 2015
Bristol Fest of Literature Flash Slam, The Crofter's Rights, Bristol - Friday 23rd October 2015
Bristol Book Bazaar Day 2, The Green Lab, Bristol - Sunday 18th October 2015 Bristol Book Bazaar Day 1, The Green Lab, Bristol - Saturday 17th October 2015
Left Bank, Bristol - Stokes Croft Writers present Talking Tales - 17th August 2015
Left Bank, Bristol - Stokes Croft Writers present Talking Tales - Monday 15th June 2015
Left Bank, Bristol - Stokes Croft Writers present Talking Tales - Monday 13th April 2015
Reading 'Zombies on a Boat' with Mel Ciavucco at the inaugural Talking Tales
Small Bar, Bristol - Small Stories reading - Monday 2nd February 2015
Foyles, Bristol - To Hull & Back Anthology Launch - Friday 28th November 2014
I have recently become aware of an author that shares my name who writes books about wine. I am NOT that Christopher Fielden. If you are looking for books by Christopher Fielden the wine author, you can find them on Amazon.