WONDER- seeking short story writers for a candlelit immersive live lit event PLUS FREE writing workshop!

White Rabbit is Bernadette Russell and Gareth Brierley- a multi  award-winning arts organisation which creates films, podcasts, theatre and immersive live lit /storytelling events. 

We are writers and performers who are passionate about stories and storytelling. We are delighted to be working with Revelation in Ashford to create two immersive live lit evenings of short stories on the theme of WONDER.

We are inviting short story submissions inspired by the  theme of WONDER, with a maximum of 1500 words in any style. Priority will be given to Kent writers or writers with an association with Kent. 

We will select stories from the submissions to be performed live on two consecutive evenings by our team of professional actors, in  the candlelit environment of the beautiful and ancient St Mary’ Church (referenced in the Doomsday Book in 1086!).

We look forward to this event being a great opportunity for Kent writers to showcase their work. As writers you need do no more than submit your work, once it is selected then you can come along to the event, relax and enjoy the show!

Deadlines for submissions are: Midnight on 14th February 2020. Please submit your stories on the theme of WONDER to gbbrierley@btinternet.com with the subject heading WONDER. Please ensure your name is on each page of your story (in the header or footer if possible) 

The shows are 21st and 22nd March 2020 at 7.30pm. 

We are also hosting two FREE writing and performing workshops- the first being on 9th November- a chance to be inspired by the beautiful church and graveyard and to have a space to write! Details are here

Our website is currently under re-construction- so in the meantime please visit this link for further information and FAQ: https://www.bernadetterussell.com/single-post/2019/10/10/WONDER–FAQ-for-writers 

If you would like to see a film of previous storytelling events please go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogo9Pl6LSCE 

This project has been commissioned by Revelation Ashford and is supported by Ashford Borough Council, Arts Council England, Kent County Council and Music Venues Alliance

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Reflex Fiction Summer 2019 Winners!

Autumn 2019 Winners - Reflex Fiction - Flash Fiction Competition - shortstops
Reflex Fiction is a quarterly international flash fiction competition for stories between 180 and 360 words. We publish one story every day as we count down to the winner of each competition.

Summer 2019 Winners

At the end of September, we published the three winning stories from our Summer 2019 flash fiction competition as chosen by Claire Fuller. Here are the winners and links to the stories:

First Place: The Puncture by Lauren Collett
Second Place: Do Not Tell Me We Are Friends by Alice Franklin
Third Place: Growing In the Dust by Dona McCormack

You can read Claire’s thoughts on the winning stories here.

Autumn 2019 Long-List

We’ve also just published the long-list for our Autumn 2019 competition and have started publishing stories as we count down to the announcement of the winners at the end of December.

Winter 2019 – Choose your own entry fee

We’re also accepting entries for our Winter 2019 competition. For this round, we’re delighted to have Barbara Byar, author of the forthcoming Reflex Press book Some Days Are Better Than Ours as our judge.

We’re continuing with our choose-your-own-entry-fee system. If the suggested entry fee of £7 is prohibitive, just pay what you can afford. If you’d like to support a writer who can’t afford the full fee, why not add a pound or two? More details on our website.

Here are the important details:

Prizes: £1,000 first, £500 second, £250 third (or the equivalent in your local currency)
Entry Fee: Choose your own
Entries close: 30 November 2019
Judge: Barbara Byar

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

 

October Round-Up

Lit Mags & Chapbooks

Fictive Dream is open for submissions for Flash Fiction February 2020. Pixel Heart is calling for submissions for its 4th issue, on the theme of ‘joy’, deadline Nov 1st, and submissions are now open for Shooter lit mag‘s “supernatural” issue.

Competitions

Ouen Press short story competition for stories on the theme of ‘the gift’ is now open, deadline 31st December. Oct 31st is the deadline for entries to A Story for Daniel, a flash fiction competition raising awareness of childhood cancer support. And you have until Dec 2nd to enter the Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition for stories of up to 1000 words.

Live Lit & Festivals

Warwick Live Lit is holding a spooky lit event, Words That Go Bump In The Night, on Oct 10th. Story Friday wants your stories on the theme of ‘Chemistry’ by Oct 28th for its Nov 8th event in Bath. Judy Darley invites you to the launch of her second short story collection, in the company of several other writers, in Waterstones, Bristol on Nov 2nd. Untitled Writers is holding its third salon on Nov 7th in London.

Workshops & Courses

Curtis Brown Creative is running a six-week online short story course taught by Cynan Jones, starting on Oct 17th. Haringey Live Lit’s weekly short story workshop with Kiare Ladner begins on Oct 30th in London.The next 30 Days of Writing online course begins on November 1st, run by Shaun Levin, editor of the A3 Review.

Short Story Workshop with award-winning writer Kiare Ladner – starts October 30.

Wednesday evenings, 6.45pm-9.15pm; dates October 30, (no class November 6), November 13, 20, 27, December 4, 11; cost £99; venue Collage Writing Room, Wood Green Works, 40 Cumberland Road London N22 7SG. Click for details of courses. To book, email kate@collage-arts.org

The short story – liberating to get down, exacting to get right! Over six intensive sessions, we’ll explore the art and craft of the form. In doing so, we’ll look rigorously at your own stories, alongside a diverse range by other writers. From the traditional to the experimental, from character-based to thematically driven, from stories that expand a moment to those that cover a lifetime, we’ll discuss what works, how it works and why it works. Come along if you’d like to be inspired, motivated and challenged in your practice. All levels welcome.

Kiare’s short story ‘Van Rensburg’s Card’ was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2018. She has a Creative Writing PhD, which focused on short fiction (stories and novellas) while exploring Italo Calvino’s concept of lightness. Before this, she did a Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia for which she was given the David Higham Literary Agency Bursary Award. Her short stories have been shortlisted or received honourable mentions in competitions including the Bridport Prize, the Short Fiction Competition, the Short Sharp Stories Award, storySouth Million Writers Award and Glimmer Train. Kiare Ladner’s debut novel Nightshift will be published by Picador in autumn 2019.

Writing Short Stories with Cynan Jones

Write and edit a complete short story and learn essential fiction-writing techniques on Curtis Brown Creative’s brand new six-week online course, Writing Short Stories led by award-winning short story writer Cynan Jones. Cynan won the Betty Trask award for his novel The Long Dry and he won BBC National Short Story Award in 2017, for which he was on the 2019 judging panel . His short stories have appeared in a variety of anthologies and in journals and magazines including Granta and the New Yorker.

We interviewed Cynan to find out more about his love of short fiction…

You won the BBC National Short Story Prize for your story The Edge of the Shoal in 2017 and now you’re on this year’s judging panel for the prize. How does it feel to come full circle? And what do you look for when reading short stories for competitions?

Judging the competition has certainly pointed out what an extraordinary thing it was to win. Ultimately, all a writer can do is write as strongly as he or she can, and work on a story until it’s the best possible piece they can produce. What happens to that story is a product of the work and attention put in. If nothing else, I know I’ve really worked hard to write strongly. In many ways then, it feels less of a circle and more of a starting point! What next? I’m always aiming to challenge myself.

The sense a writer has challenged him or herself is in the best stories too. You read great pieces and think, ‘How!? How did they write that?’ Such stories feel both totally impossible to write, but as if they couldn’t be written better.

When reading stories for competitions I look for that. Stories that take narrative risks and show the technical ability to make those risks pay off. That’s much rarer than you think.

What initially inspired you to start writing in short fiction?

I think several elements led me to shorter forms. Firstly, the thing of reading a story from start to finish in one sitting. I loved that as a reader and – as most of us are copyists when we first start writing – wanted to replicate that experience.

I also think that, even in my initial attempts at serious writing, the way my prose hit the page lent itself to shorter form. I aimed always to put a picture down as simply and powerfully as I could and relied on the reader to think and feel in response. That meant I didn’t write a great deal of explanation or back story, or direct a reader how to react. In itself, that makes for fewer words.

In retrospect, perhaps too there were constraints as to how long I could really dedicate to the process of writing when I first started. I usually had about three months for writing at the beginning of the year before the freelance work I did at the time really got going. Perhaps that made me feel I needed to write something I could start and finish in one block. (Which loops back to the first thing I mentioned here, about the immersive experience of starting and finishing something in one go.)

We’re thrilled to have you on board as the teacher of our brand-new Writing Short Stories course. What’s your favourite part of teaching?

Probably how teaching makes you dig into your own process and really work to understand it so you can pass what you know on.

Other than the help of the world-class authors I read, I taught myself to write. Because of that, it’s only since teaching that I’ve really dissected exactly what it is I do, and that’s helped me take things further.

Could you share your top three tips for writers who want to start writing short stories?

Read.

Work at the craft.

Don’t write to be published.

Read the full interview with Cynan over on the Curtis Brown Creative blog.

Curtis Brown Creative’s brand new Writing Short Stories course led by Cynan Jones is open now for enrolment. It starts on October 17th 2019.

Short Stops readers can get an exclusive 10% off by using code: SHORTSTOPSCBC

 

Call for Submissions: Pixel Heart Literary Magazine – Issue Four: Joy

Screenshot 2019-10-01 19.35.27

Pixel Heart Literary Magazine is currently open for submissions for its fourth issue, which has the theme of Joy.

The magazine publishes flash fiction (under 750 words), poetry (of any length), and short stories (1,000 – 2,500 words) as long as they adhere to the issue’s theme.

There is no submission fee, and submissions are open to all – experienced and new writers alike.

Pixel Heart Literary Magazine is dedicated to publishing writers who are disabled, LGBT, and/or writers of colour, as well as writers from a working-class background. While all submissions will be considered with great care, if writers state in their submission email that they are any of the above, then their submission will be given a little extra attention.

For more specific submission guidelines and information on how to submit, please click here. Submissions for Issue Four: Joy are currently open until midnight BST on the 1st of November, 2019. ❤

Story Friday Chemistry – we want your stories!

After a lovely long summer and story walks in the sun, Story Fridays is back inside, at Burdall’s Yard in Bath.  Our next event in November has the theme Chemistry. Are you thinking of bunsen burners, or eyes meeting across a crowded room? Whatever you choose, chemistry is all about reactions, explosive or otherwise. We can’t wait to see where our latest theme takes you!

Story Friday Chemistry will be on 8th November, deadline for submissions is 28th October. We’re looking for stories that are 2,000 words or fewer.  (Full submission details are here).  Writers must be available to come to Bath for the event.  If you’d rather not read, we have wonderful actors who can read your story for you.

For more information about Story Friday, to listen to stories that we have recorded at our events over the years, and/or to submit your story please visit A Word In Your Ear.