One of the first pieces of work I ever sold was to the BBC, a short story about an incident that happened to me as a child in Australia. The BBC has been a champion of the neglected short story art form for many years and the proposal is now to drastically slash the number of original short stories it broadcasts on Radio 4, as from next Spring. Short stories are hard to write well and don't make much money for publishers, so the BBC's commitment to broadcasting stories to high professional standards has provided listeners and writers alike with a really valuable outlet, and helped to keep the form alive.

I humbly apologies to those of you who don't know or care about BBC Radio or short stories... but anyone who does, please could you sign the online petition or write to BBC Feedback - details on the National Short Story Week website - or forward this on to anyone you think might be interested.

The picture? It's one I have had in my photo stash for a year: it was taken in South London. I am sure it'll prompt me to write a short story some day, just haven't thought of it yet!