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Beard That's Six Days with Alan Beard in Outsideleft


That's Six Days with Alan Beard in Outsideleft

by Ancient Champion, Columnist
first published: April, 2024

approximate reading time: minutes

On the 7th Day God Made Alan Beard...

Alan Beard Logo


I first encountered Alan Beard, one of Birmingham's, if not the country's great writers of fiction, walking along New Street, late on, one evening. I’d been to the launch event for the really excellent collection The Book of Birmingham, edited by Kavita Bhanot - which features Alan, Kit De Waal, Joel Lane, Jendella Benson, CD Rose, and… Well, well… A cavalcade of stars. But I’ll just stop there because I’d end up reciting the names of every brilliant contributor. And I want to get back to me. But, OMG, way back then (2018) they knew how to curate a damn fine collection of fiction, didn’t they? Anyway, I was making it back to the hinterlands, with a writer friend - sensationally, the equal of any of the above, with all of the attendant palaver to prove it, although I won’t name her because… I don’t want to be denting up her reputation like that, for hanging out with the Champ, it ain’t a great look. And she said, “that’s Alan Beard…” up ahead of us, loud enough for Alan to turn around and say hello, for a bit, before we all went on our way. 

I often think about Alan’s story in the Book of Birmingham, ‘Taking Doreen Out of the Sky’. It was originally published sometime before. But from the very opening line, oh man! 

A couple of years went by and then I had the great good fortune to hear him read a fuss-free short at the Old Mo' Stories night. There’s a sort of internal swooning that happens. When you just know. When you just know you’ve heard greatness in the upstairs room of a draughty Birmingham pub. It’s to live for.

Alan’s been published by Picador, he’s  closely associated with Birmingham's near legendary Tindal Street Press org that has done so much to promote literary fiction in this city. And now… We’ve figured out how to have Six Days With Alan Beard all to ourselves, all Week in Outsideleft, beginning on Monday. One crisp piece of fiction each day. For six days. Get ready to get your internal swoon on.

Beard. An intro to Six Days with Alan Beard
Six Day with Alan Beard: Wants to Get High 
Six Day with Alan Beard: Too Many Bags
Six Day with Alan Beard: Slightly
Six Day with Alan Beard: Gone
Six Day with Alan Beard: Riot
Six Day with Alan Beard: Whatwastherethematterwithher?

Alan Beard on X formerly known as Twitter

Ancient Champion

Ancient Champion writes for OUTSIDELEFT while relentlessly recording and releasing instrumental easy listening music for difficult people. The Champ is working on Public Transport, a new short story collection that takes up where 2021's Six Stories About Motoring Nowhere (Disco City Books) left off. It should be ready in time for the summer holidays. More info at

about Ancient Champion »»



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