Books by Glenda Young - click on the picture to find out more

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Short story shortlist


I'm absolutely delighted... hang on, no.

I'm chuffed to bits... no, that's not quite right either.

Here's the thing. I'm beside myself with joy (that's more like it) at having a short story included as one of ten shortlisted in the Olga Sinclair open competition, run by Norwich Writers. The competition was open internationally, so you can see why I'm so upbeat about being one of ten on the shortlist.

My story is a dark one, on the theme of 'Strangers' and was inspired by a Writing for Radio workshop I did at Sunderland University earlier this year with Sunderland media types James Whitman and Jay Sykes.

Winners are announced on October 17th. Wish me luck.

Find out more about me and my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Come see me Sunderland Libraries Literature Festival


I've been asked to do a couple of talks as part of Sunderland Libraries Literature Festival 2017.  And while I've always shied away from talking in public in the past, and I'm nervous about doing these talks, I'm also excited about it. And if anything I have to say can help any other writers or bloggers out there, then it'll all be worth while.

I'm going to be talking about how and why I started up the Coronation Street Blog in 2007 (10 years ago!) and how it all works, what our team does and how to run a successful blog.

I'll also go on to talk about the seven TV Tie-In Coronation Street books I've written.

In addition, I'll speak about the fiction-writing side of my life as I write short stories for women's magazines (Take a Break, My Weekly, The People's Friend) and I was commissioned to write the first ever weekly soap opera for The People's Friend magazine (the UK's oldest story magazine).

I have also had the following successes with my short story writing:

2017: Won the judge's prize at The Word (South Shields) True Stories competition
2017: 2nd prize in the national Aurora Competition (Writing East Midlands)
2017: Shortlisted, one of ten, in the national Olga Sinclair Prize 2017 (Norwich Writers)
2016: Longlisted in the national Doris Gooderson Short Story Competition
2016: Two stories entered into the Sunderland Short Story Competition. Both were longlisted and one was highly commended.
2016: A flash fiction piece was read at the opening of Sunderland cultural event, Seagull City

And, last but not least, I'll talk about how all of that has led me to writing my first novel - which I'm currently doing - and how a leading London literary agent has signed me up.

You can find out more about me here.

So, here's when I'm on...  and if you come along for either or both of my talks, please bear with me if I stumble over words through my nervousness. I've not stood up to speak in front of people since I was in the Brownies.

Monday 16 October at Washington Town Centre Library at 2pm.


Friday 20 October at Houghton Library at 2pm.


You can find out more about the Sunderland Libraries Literature Festival here.

Find out more about me and my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

School Reunion


I've a short story called School Reunion in this week's The People's Friend magazine out today.  The story is about a woman who reunites with her school bully under some unusual circumstances.

Also in the magazine this week is another episode of my weekly soap opera, Riverside. This week it's the leek show - but who will win best in show?



Find out more about me and my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Monday, September 25, 2017

Books I read on holiday 2017


Sylvia Patterson - I'm not with the band
My score: 9/10
I love reading biographies. I love reading biographies written by women. I love reading biographies written by women in the media, especially in music. You can probably guess that I loved reading this book.


Alice Munro - Runaway
My score: 6/10
I gave up reading this book and felt guilty. It had won prizes! Major prizes! I should have liked it, I felt, I should have given it more respect. But it just didn't do it for me, it didn't engage me enough. Sorry, Alice.

The Travelers - Chris Pavone
My score: 8/10
A perfect read for a beach holiday about a travel writer who gets signed up for some dodgy spy activity. It was a bit blokey though and could have been a tad lighter in its prose. Still an excellent read.


Black Teeth and a White Smile - Adelle Stripe
My score: 10/10
Perfect. Just perfect. A novelisation of the life of playwright Andrea Dunbar. Gorgeous writing and makes me want to find out more about Andrea Dunbar's real life too.

The Power - Naomi Alderman
My score: 7/10
I think I was too old to enjoy this book to its fullest. A feminist anthem it might be, to those much younger than I. It's not the Handmaid's Tale, whatever it says on the cover. Bit of a damp squib rather than electrifying, for me.

Find out more about me and my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Flamenco, Flamingos and Fish


Back from a wonderful, relaxing holiday to a quiet part of Spain.

Holiday photos are now online at Flickr.

If you'd like to view them, they're here.

Find out more about me and my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Corrie weekly update - Buzzer Bee and a Caesar Salad

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street update has just gone live here.


This week in Corrie, the new Weatherfield County gazette was chosen.

Find out more about me and my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Front Page News


I've a short story in The People's Friend magazine today. It's called The Scent of Orange Blossom and was inspired by - and set in - my favourite village in Southern Spain.  The story has made the cover of the magazine too.


Also in the magazine is another instalment of my weekly soap opera, Riverside, which is SO much fun to write. I love it!


Find out more about me and my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Monday, September 04, 2017

G is for Glenda


“And this is Linda.”
“Glenda.”
“Sorry, this is Brenda.”
“It’s Glenda.”
“Sorry… did you say Glenys?”
“It’s Glenda. As in, you know, Glenda Jackson.”
“Oh, I liked her. She was in Downtown Abbey, wasn’t she?”
“No. She was a classical actress, done loads of films and stage plays. She’s an MP now I think. Anyway, my name’s Glenda. G. L. E. N. D. A.”
“God, I’m sorry, I thought you said Linda. And then I thought I heard Brenda.”
“It’s OK, I get it all the time.”
“Bit unusual, isn’t it?”
“Not really, no. Not to me, anyway. But lots of people get it wrong.”
“It’s not a name you hear every day.”
“Suppose not. There was a Glenda in Eastenders once.
“Eastender Glenda, that’s got a ring to it. I like that.”
“I don’t watch Eastenders though.”
“Me neither.”
“More of a Corrie fan.”
“Has there been a Glenda in Corrie?”
“Years ago there was, before my time. Been a couple of Glendas, I think, just bit parts, you know, not famous characters or anything.”
“I see you write short stories. I write poems mainly. Not much rhymes with Glenda I expect.”
“Oh I don’t know. I once had a poem from Stephen Fry, he emailed it to me, I’ve still got it. I printed it off and laminated it and I read it now and then. He managed to rhyme all sorts with Glenda.”
“Stephen Fry, off the telly?”
“Yeah.”
“Oh.”
“I know. And I did my MA in Gender.”
“Gender Glenda? Oh, I like that! Oh look, here’s Sue, she’s the one who organized tonight. Hi Sue. This is Gwen”.

True Story

Yours truly,
Glenda – not Linda or Brenda or Glenys or Gwen.

Find out more about me and my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Top 10 best music gigs of my life


Last month I had a birthday and one of the presents I was given was a DVD of a B52s gig. I mused while watching it last night that seeing the B52s at Camden Roundhouse in London was up there with the best gigs of my life. This set me thinking which of the other gigs I've been to that I'd put into a top ten, if I were to make one.

Now then, this isn't a top 10 where number 1 is the best. It's just a list of ten gigs that have left a lasting impression on me.   People who know me may be surprised that there's no David Bowie gigs on the list. I've seen him twice but both were huge arena type gigs where he appeared as nothing more than a speck on the stage from my seat at the back.

So here we go with my ten gigs that have left a lasting impression on me.


B52s at Camden Roundhouse in London, 2008. You can read about that here.  I've been a fan of the band since I first heard Give Me Back My Man played in Sunderland's Heroes when I was just 17 and shouldn't have been out drinking.


U2 at Gateshead Stadium in 1982. I was right near the front. U2 were there to support The Police but it was U2 I was blown away by. I'd never heard of them and wasn't aware they existed. But the day after the gig I went out and bought all of their albums - all two of them  (Boy & October) - from HMV in Sunderland, went home and played them to bits. I remained a fan until Bono turned odd. There's a great write-up of the Gateshead Stadium festival here.


Alabama 3 at Brixton Academy London in 2001. I've seen Alabama 3 a few times but this was the first, and remains the best of their gigs, for me.  The band were riding high after selling their song Woke Up This Morning as the theme tune to The Sopranos TV series (which I adore and have watched the box set more than, er, a few times).  To celebrate their success, they threw everything and the kitchen sink at this gig. It was mad, bad, raucous and a great deal of fun.  Every time I've seen them after that first time, they've never captured the same atmosphere. I was glad to have been there.


Ian Dury tribute concert, Brixton Academy London in 2000.  A concert tinged with sadness of course, but a joyous tribute all the same. Included Blockheads songs covered by the likes of Robbie Williams, Reckless Eric, Chas and Dave, Madness, Mark Lamarr and Phill Jupitus, Tom Robinson and Kirsty MacColl, Mick Jones. Even the wonderful Kathy Burke sang Billericay Dickie.  There's a good blog post about this gig here. 


Alison Moyet in Los Angeles. Sadly I can't remember the venue but it was an intimate club, where I danced my socks off. I was living out there at the time, so can put the date between 1990-3 but apart from that I'm lost.  Alison Moyet is the one music artist I've seen more than any other. Long may it continue.

INXS and The Soup Dragons in Las Vegas in 1991. This was an odd one, memorable for a couple of things, none of which was the music.  Firstly, the venue was a show room in Las Vegas casino, Bally's Grand. Nothing unusual in that, a lot of gigs are held in Vegas. But because it was Vegas, the show started with dancing girls on the stage wearing nothing more than feathers, sequins and a smile. And INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence's girlfriend at the time was Kylie Minogue, whom he pulled on stage from the audience to sing.


The Pioneers at Camden Jazz Cafe, 2010.  One of the original ska bands and I'm a huge fan of ska. Sounding and looking as good as you would want them to. An amazing night.  I blogged about it here.

Speaking of ska, the final three gigs are ska and reggae related.  The first is The Skatalites at Dingwalls London in 2003.  I've seen The Skatalites many times since this gig, but nothing compares to the first time I saw them live. It was one of those gigs where everything came together perfectly - the music, the mood, the venue, the dancing, the skanking and the drinking. Perfect, just perfect. I smiled for days afterwards. Just thinking about it now makes me lively up inside.



Jimmy Cliff at Newcastle Riverside 2015. Not just a great singer, but some would say the man who brought reggae to the UK.  A fantastic songwriter too, who composed many of the best selling ska and reggae hits.  The man, the legend, the gig. There's a good write-up of it here.



And finally, the gig that started it all for me.  It wasn't one of my first gigs - that would have been, the, er, Nolans at Sunderland Empire or, more reputation-saving, Blondie at Newcastle City Hall in 1980 when I was just 16 and my dad met my friend and I from the train when it arrived back in Sunderland.  No, the gig that really kicked off my love of ska and reggae was seeing The Specials on stage at the Sunderland Mecca in 1979, a year I was still at school. I remember the pink and black mod dress and white winkle-picker shoes I bought specially from my Saturday Job money. And yes, 30 years later I saw them again in Brixton, London. I blogged about it here.

You might also like to read about the second-worst gig of my life.

And perhaps the worst gig too.

Find out more about me and my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Novel-writing Diary - Week 7 - In the Groove


Only when I'm writing can I feel this free
At night I lock the door so no-one else can see
I'll never tire of writing here all by myself
Next week I wanna write with no-one else

Find out more about me and my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora

Corrie weekly update - Rita, Helene and Philosophical Phelan

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street update has just gone live here.


This week in Corrie, the demise of Rita Tanner continued.

Find out more about me and my books. Click on the image below:

Glenda Young books

I'm on twitter @flaming_nora
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