Call for submissions: SPOTLIGHT BOOKS

Small books, big ideas– we’re looking for a few good writers.

Inventive.  Hidden.  Compelling.  Unrecognised.  Challenging.  Unheard. Beautiful.  Ambitious.

Creative Future, Myriad Editions and New Writing South seek the best unpublished English short fiction writers from under-represented backgrounds—those who face barriers due to mental health, disability, identity or social circumstance.

We’re looking for manuscripts of 8-10,000 words–no more, no less.  We’re happy with one long story or a selection of several.  

Six writers (three fiction writers and three poets) will be selected, supported to polish their manuscripts and further their careers, and be published in individual short books with international distribution.

For more info and how to enter, please click here  

Deadline: 24 February 2019

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Call for Submissions: Tales From The Forest

Tales

Tales From The Forest is a quarterly online magazine full of art and poetry and fiction, and we’re delighted to announce the theme for our 10th issue.

It’s X.

What’s the literary term for “free-for-all”? That’s the theme of our next issue. X for 10. Write whatever you want.

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Fiction: no more than 1,000 words. Submit one piece only. 
Art: any medium. Submit one piece only. 
Poetry: any length. You guessed it: Submit one piece only.

Deadline: Sunday February 17th.

Please send your submission to talesfromtheforest.mag@gmail.com with a short bio.

* * *

We are open to work that has been printed elsewhere.

We maintain the right to publish and archive your work.

All other rights remain with the author or artist.

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Submission opportunity Flash Fiction February 2019

Four weeks left to get your story in for Fictive Dream’s Flash Fiction February 2019. Submissions close on midnight December 31 2018.

During Flash Fiction February we will feature a new piece of flash fiction throughout February 2019. That’s a new story, every day, starting on 1 February for the entire month. As always we’re interested in stories with a contemporary feel.

We’ve put a squeeze on our usual word count though, so only stories of between 200 – 750 words please.

Read our Flash Fiction February submission guidelines here.

Check out the Fictive Dream website here.

We’re looking forward to receiving your best work!

Laura Black
Editor

December Round-Up

New on ShortStops

Welcome to our final newsletter of 2018 – here’s to a great 2019 filled with short stories! This month we welcome Big Words Manchester to our Live Lit list, a new monthly spoken word night in Chorlton, Manchester.

Live Lit

Talking Tales #21 is being held on Dec 8th in Bristol and will feature the launch of the To Hull and Back short story anthology.

Lit Mags & Anthology

The A3 Review and Press has announced its new contest themes and the new issue is now available. Pixel Heart lit mag is calling for submissions for its second issue, on the theme of “Pride”. Unlit Press is inviting submissions on the theme of “darkness” for its first horror & dark fiction anthology, deadline 31 Dec.

Book Review

Ella March writes about her favourite story from Susmita Bhattacharya’s collection, Table Manners, published by Dahlia Publishing.

 

Short Story Workshops

The Unthank School is now open for enrolment in the online short story workshops and masterclass with Tom Vowler, which will start in January.

 

Competitions

Tavistock Library is running Gothic short story and flash fiction competitions, deadline May 31st.

Recommended Reads: Table Manners and other stories

Every year at Dahlia Publishing we provide a placement for two students from University of Leicester to undertake a 70 hour project. The placement forms part of a publishing module and offers students the opportunity to gain some valuable hands-on experience at a small press. 

This year, Ella March spent ten weeks with us. She was particularly keen to work with short stories and has written a short blog about her favourite short story from  Susmita Bhattacharya’s debut collection, Table Manners and the connections she found to her other favourite books.

It’s not exactly an uncommon experience to wake up to the sound of someone you love calling your name. It’s a little bit more so if that someone is dead. That is what happens to Mouli, the main character of ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’.

It takes her a little while to work out what’s happening- and if you don’t know, then you should read the story! But if you have read it, then you’ll know that hearing her husband’s voice helps Mouli come to terms with his sudden death, and her isolation from her family in its wake. Here are a few more books which deal with similar themes.

The obvious connection between ‘Good Golly’ and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is the isolation experienced by both of the main characters. They are perfect examples of how grief can make you feel trapped, but they also eventually find a way to let other people help them. Neither of them can be said to have truly happy endings, either- you come away feeling that you understand the characters, and wishing them well beyond their stories.

‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ is in many ways similar to PS I Love You, by Cecilia Ahern. If you enjoyed reading about how Holly came to find a way forward in her life without Gerry, you’ll also enjoy reading about Mouli’s journey. There are a lot of parallels between their stories, not least the peace it brings them both to feel like their husbands are still a part of their lives and the way they renegotiate their relationships with their friends and family. However, there’s a more humorous edge to ‘Good Golly’ that’s bound to make you smile.

The suddenness and brutality of death, which Mouli cannot really cope with, is also a struggle for the family of Maddy in I Liked My Life, by Abby Fabiaschi. Just as Maddy’s daughter Eve and husband Brady wonder how their beloved mother could disappear so abruptly, so there is an air of shock in the way Mouli reflects on her husband’s death. There is also an element in both stories of loved ones never fully leaving, and the knowledge that the only way of honouring a life loved is to move forward.

Finally, another story about accepting death is A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. This is a book which can be equally enjoyed by children and adults, and features a main character who feels just as isolated in his grief as Mouli does. Both characters also choose to find refuge in memories of their loved ones in happier times. They are both heartbreaking tales, but ultimately rewarding to watch the characters accept the magnitude of their loss.

Like many of the other short stories in Susmita Bhattacharya’s anthology Table Manners, ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ is not a happy story, but it is a hopeful one. It reflects on human life and love and pokes into the corners of how we deal with loss.

‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ is a short story in Table Mannersavailable from Dahlia Publishing.

Ella March is a final year student at the University of Leicester. She studies English and Creative Writing and is hoping to go on to a career in publishing.

Talking Tales #21 – 8th December – Bristol

Big laughs, big stories, small stories.

Talking Tales #21 is delighted to feature the launch of the To_Hull_And_Back_2018_Anthology_front_coverTo Hull and Back humorous short story anthology 2018.

All hail Christopher Fielden.

Many of the authors will be reading their listed and commended stories – including the winner Mr (nostrangertoTalkingTales) John Holland. You’ll laugh and there are some unexpected turns in some big stories to listen to as well.

But Stokes Croft Writers want more. There’s room for a couple of shorter stories too so why not submit and be in with a chance of being part of this brilliant night. Something around the 500 word mark would be ideal.

Submissions for Talking Tales#21 close on Friday 30th November.                            

E-mail your story to: stokescroftwriters@gmail.com

Event details – are stupendously straight-forward:

…venue:    Left Bank, 128 Cheltenham Rd, Bristol, BS6 5RW

…time:       6.30pm on Saturday 8th December 2018.

…join-in:    the ‘finish the lines‘ competition – win a badge.

We often smile in adverbs (supportively, happily, proudly) at new writer-performers.

Calling all Flashers – November Flashers’ Club

Cheltenham’s quarterly live flash fiction night, Flashers’ Club, will be opening the mic once again on Thursday 29th November, 7:30pm, at Smokey Joe’s Coffee Bar. Got a story between 100 and 1000 words? Bring it down and share it! We welcome everyone and every story – no submissions, no genre restrictions. Flashers’ is a great night out for fans of flash, whether you’re coming to read or just soak up the stories.

This month we’re very excited to feature flash author Santino Prinzi, who’ll be sharing some of his stories alongside our open mic readers. We’ll also be giving away a copy of literary journal Popshot Quarterly to one of our lucky open mic performers. Tickets are just £4, and all profits got to the charity First Story. Head over to our website to find out full details, or find us and chat to us on Twitter or Facebook.