Let us creep a little closer to Hallowe’en courtesy of Words That Go Bump in the Night – a spooky live lit event at the Warwick Arms Hotel, Jury Street, Warwick, on Thursday 10th of October. Be part of our invited audience and enjoy some exceptional 5 minute stories, poems and plays all with a ghostly, other-wordly theme. Run by author Jenny Heap, her Words Of events have been playing both Spring and Autumn seasons to ever growing audiences and participants. If you’ve never attended a Words Of live lit event before come along to Words That Go Bump In The Night on the 10th of October to hear some great writing from local authors. 7.30pm and £3 on the door. See you there!
The submissions window for Fictive Dream’s Flash Fiction February 2020 is now open.
During Flash Fiction February, now in its third year, we will feature a new piece of flash fiction throughout the month. That’s a new story, every day, starting on 1 February right through to February 29. Our submissions window will remain open until December 31, 2019.
As always, we’re interested in material with a contemporary feel on any subject. Your stories may be challenging, dramatic, playful, exhilarating, even cryptic. Above all, they must be well-crafted and compelling.
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 2020 submission guidelines here.
Check out the Fictive Dream website here.
For those of you who prefer to write longer stories we remain open to standard submissions (500–2,500 words).
We’re looking forward to receiving your best work!
Palm-Sized Press is currently accepting submissions for the next issue!
We’re looking for:
- Flash fiction, up to 500 words
- Articles and essays on writing, craft, and flash fiction
- Original artwork
Deadline: 4 October
To submit your work, use the forms located on our Submissions page.
Contributors who have work chosen for the issue will receive a small payment! In order to make this possible, there will be a small submission fee of $2.
Those of you who have been with Palm-Sized Press since the end of 2017 know that we put together a small zine of flash fiction and art. This new magazine will also incorporate articles on writing and craft, and we’ll be looking into opportunities to include submissions and events listings, interviews, and more.
A month-long campaign celebrating short stories will culminate in an all-day festival.
Short Story September is a month-long initiative set up by independent press, Dahlia Publishing. Following their first short story festival, the aim of the project is to celebrate the short story form online as well as showcase newly published short story collections.
Writers can follow the campaign via a dedicated blog which will offer daily prompts and feature writing by authors with works published in 2019. Authors featured during the campaign include BBC National Short Story Prize Winner, Sarah Hall, and rising stars such as Jamel Brinkley.
The online initiative will be followed by an all-day festival which will feature a series of talks and workshops designed to help writers take their writing to the next level.
Crossroads Festival takes place on October 5 2019 at Curve Theatre in Leicester.
Short story writers Rebecca Burns and Debz Hobbs-Wyatt will lead workshops on perfecting the opening and ending of a short story, as well as introduce experimental techniques to write successful short stories. Costa nominated Kerry Young and Women’s Prize shortlisted Meena Kandasamy will deliver inspiring keynotes and there will be sessions on writing rules and funding and finance. The event concludes with this year’s Leicester Writes Short Story Prize ceremony.
See the full programme for Crossroads Festival and and book your place on Eventbrite.
Following the success of the second Untitled Writers’ Salon back in July, we are back with the third in the series on November 7 as we welcome ten writers to The Curtain in London. Tickets are now available to attend the Salon as our wonderful audience!
Untitled is a new platform for underrepresented writers to share their work in front of a live audience. We welcome all writers who self identity as underrepresented.
There are no limitations to what might be shared and we know there’ll be something for everyone in this safe and intimate space. The evening will be co-hosted by writers Ollie Charles and Shiri Shah.
Untitled events will be collecting donations in support of akt, working for safe homes and better futures for LGBT+ young people.
Doors open: 7.15pm for a 7.45pm start in the Design Studio at The Curtain, 45 Curtain Rd, EC2A 3PT
Please ensure you enter through the members entrance on Scrutton St between Curtain Rd and Phipp St, not via the hotel entrance.
To find out more about Untitled, email us at email@example.com.
If you are interested in reading at a future event, please do get in touch!
Please note this event is 18+
30 Days of Writing is an interactive online course that encourages and supports writers in the process of writing a book in a month. For the thirty days of the course, the focus will be on your writing, on finding the right voice to tell your stories in, and on exploring ways to expand and layer a collection of short stories.
30 Days of Writing is right for you if:
- you want to create a substantial amount of writing in a short period of time
- you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the collection you want to write and would appreciate some guidance and detailed feedback
- you have an idea for a book but are not sure how to go about writing it
- you like working in the company of others, but also enjoy the comfort of writing in your own space and at a time that suits you
- you have notes and fragments towards a book, and would like some input on how to organise everything and keep going
- you’d like to experiment with different ways of putting together a book, whether using text on its own, or combining text with photographs and illustrations
Tutor: Shaun Levin
Dates: 1-30 November 2019
For just over £12 a day, you’ll receive:
- detailed feedback
- daily writing prompts
- customised prompts and suggestions
- 2 x one-to-one consultations
- the company of other writers from around the world
- 2 x the 12 Doable Writing Projects Writing Map
- and the support to figure out what it takes to write your next book.
For more details about 30 Days of Writing, click here. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions about the course.
Call for submissions – 2019 Ouen Press Short Story Competition
Ouen Press are pleased to extend an invitation for writers to submit an original short story in line with this year’s theme – ‘The Gift’. Winning authors will receive cash prizes and be published in an anthology early in the New Year. This follows on from the success of the competition in previous years and subsequent publications .
The short story must be a work of fiction involving in its theme a ‘gift’ of any sort [e.g. a present, a capability ] at any time [past, present day, future] or in any place [this world or another]. For the purposes of this competition, the term ‘gift’ will be viewed by the judges in the widest possible sense related to both setting and context. They will focus on well-written compelling storylines, thoughtful plots and engaging characters.
Deadline for entries is 31st December 2019 – full information and rules of the competition, which is open to writers worldwide, can be found at www.ouenpress.com
For updates on our activities – come follow us on Twitter @OuenP
We’d be thrilled if you Like our Facebook page
To celebrate the launch of her second collection, Sky Light Rain, author Judy Darley invites you to an atmospheric evening of readings and music on the themes of sky, light, and rain. Drawing on her enduring fascination with the fallibility of the human mind, Sky Light Rain is a collection of short stories and flash fictions examining aspects of human existence, our relationship to nature and complex behaviours towards one another.
The event will take place at Waterstones Bristol Galleries, from 7pm on Saturday 2nd November 2019. Alongside Judy, participants include writers Paul Deaton, Kevlin Henney and Grace Palmer, and indie art-pop musician Hidden Tide.
This is a Bristol Festival of Literature 2019 fringe event.
Tickets are free but limited, so don’t forget to book yours.
Date And Time: Saturday 2nd November 2019, 7pm-9pm.
Location: Waterstones, 11A, Union Galleries, Broadmead, Bristol BS1 3XD
Book your free tickets here. Sky Light Rain will be published by Valley Press.
Award-winning writer Lucy Caldwell joined by former bookseller Lynda Clark, charity worker Jacqueline Crooks, and new voices Tamsin Grey and Jo Lloyd to complete shortlist of writers exploring sexual politics, intolerance, community and immigration.
Lucy Caldwell, multi-award-winning novelist, playwright and short story writer, has been shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University for the second time for ‘The Children’. Previously shortlisted in 2012 for ‘Escape Route’, one of her first ever short stories, Caldwell is joined on the 2019 shortlist by a wealth of emerging talent including University of Dundee Fellow and former bookseller Lynda Clark for ‘Ghillie’s Mum’; charity worker Jacqueline Crooks for ‘Silver Fish in the Midnight Sea’; civil servant Tamsin Grey for ‘My Beautiful Millennial’; and Welsh writer Jo Lloyd for ‘The Invisible’. The shortlist of five stories was announced on Friday 6 September 2019, during BBC Radio 4 Front Row.
The shortlist is:
- ‘The Children’ by Lucy Caldwell
- ‘Ghillie’s Mum’ by Lynda Clark
- ‘Silver Fish in the Midnight Sea’ by Jacqueline Crooks
- ‘My Beautiful Millennial’ by Tamsin Grey
- ‘The Invisible’ by Jo Lloyd
Now celebrating its fourteenth year, the Award is one of the most prestigious for a single short story, with the winning writer receiving £15,000, and the four further shortlisted authors £600 each. Selected from over 900 entries (an increase of 15% on 2018), this year’s shortlist is the sixth all-female shortlist in the BBC National Short Story Award’s history.
Nikki Bedi, TV and radio broadcaster and Chair of Judges for the BBC National Short Story Award 2019, says: “One of the things I’ve discovered over a lifetime of meeting, interviewing and spending time with the most extraordinary creative minds in the world, is that they all have something in common: they seek to move us, to make us think and to transform us. I strongly believe all five of the shortlisted writers and stories we’ve chosen do all that and more. Judging them, however, has not been an easy process. To say it was a hard-fought contest is putting it mildly. We agonised over our decisions and disagreed vociferously at times, but on the whole, the discussion and debating was carried out in a civilised manner.”
Nikki Bedi is joined on this year’s judging panel by novelist and writer of narrative non-fiction Richard Beard; short story writer, novelist and youngest author to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize Daisy Johnson; screenwriter, novelist and 2017 BBC National Short Story Award winner Cynan Jones; and returning judge Di Speirs, Books Editor at BBC Radio.
All five stories will be broadcast on Radio 4 on BBC Sounds in September and published in an anthology produced by Comma Press. The readers of this year’s stories include Line of Duty and Call the Midwife star Jessica Raine, who reads ‘The Children’, and Welsh actor Aimee-Ffion Edwards of Peaky Blinders and Skins fame, reading ‘The Invisible’. Tamara Lawrance, who read Candice Carty-Williams’ Queenie for BBC Sounds, reads ‘Silver Fish in the Midnight Sea’, and Katherine Press, whose television credits include Foyle’s War and the Golden Globe-nominated BBC series Dancing on the Edge, reads ‘My Beautiful Millennial’. Stephen Campbell Moore, best known for his role in the stage production of The History Boys completes the line-up with ‘Ghillie’s Mum’.
The BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University was established to raise the profile of the short form and this year’s shortlist join distinguished alumni such as Zadie Smith, Lionel Shriver, Rose Tremain, William Trevor, Sarah Hall and Mark Haddon. As well as rewarding the most renowned short story writers, the Award has raised the profile of new writers including Ingrid Persaud, K J Orr, Julian Gough, Cynan Jones and Clare Wigfall.
The winner of the BBC National Short Story Award 2019 will be announced live on BBC Radio 4 Front Row on Tuesday 1 October. The anthology published by Comma Press is out now.
Creative Industries Trafford (CIT) is running its popular Northern Lights Writers’ Conference for a sixth year, at Waterside in Sale, a short hop by tram, bus, car and bike from Manchester city centre.
The day-long event for emerging and established writers includes one-to-one advice sessions on writing, editing and submitting short stories, poetry and creative non-fiction; workshops on creating scripts for TV and collaborating on graphic novels; talks and panel discussions on funding, training and development opportunities for writers, pathways to publication, and diversity in the publishing industry; networking possibilities and book signings, plus a keynote speech and ‘in conversation’ session looking at different genres, platforms and adaptations by bestselling author Jane Rogers.
Saturday 21 September, 11am–5pm (registration from 10.30am), Waterside, Sale, £35 (£25 concessions). Book online or call 0161 912 5616. More here.
Shooter Literary Magazine has reopened to submissions for its upcoming winter issue, themed Supernatural, as well as the 2019 Poetry Competition.
Submissions for Issue #11 should revolve around anything to do with the occult. Psychological spookiness, eerie suspense, weird mysteries and unexplained phenomena are welcome elements, as well as the more obvious demons, angels, witches and ghosts. Religious themes are also relevant. Writing must be of a literary standard, not genre fare trading on shocks or gore. The deadline is November 17th. Please visit Shooter’s Submissions page for further guidelines.
The 2019 Poetry Competition is also open to entries, with no restriction on theme or style. Poems can be up to 100 lines long and multiple entries are allowed. The winning poet will receive £150 and publication both in the winter issue of Shooter and online, while the runner-up wins £50 and online publication. All entrants receive an e-copy of the winter magazine, featuring the winning poem. For guidelines on how to enter, please visit Shooter’s Competition page.
Writers who are familiar with the type of work that we publish are often more successful; past and current issues of Shooter are available to order via the Subscriptions page. We look forward to reading your work – good luck!
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.
Lit Mags & Chapbooks
Workshops & Courses
Stroud Short Stories is calling for short stories from Gloucestershire and S. Gloucestershire writers for its event on Nov 10th as part of the Stroud Book Festival, deadline Sep 29th.
We start the month with some wonderful news. Four Fictive Dream stories have been included in the very best fifty British and Irish Flash Fiction (BIFFY50) 2018-2019. We’re delighted and our thanks to authors Niamh McCabe, Gary Duncan, Meg Pokrass and Jason Jackson.
But now it’s back to business. Fictive Dream is open to submissions and, as always, we’re interested in short stories with a contemporary feel (500 – 2,500 words). We especially like stories that give an insight into the human condition; stories that focus on those moments that change people’s lives. They may be on any subject. They may be challenging, dramatic, playful, exhilarating or cryptic. Above all, they must be well-crafted and compelling.
Check out the Fictive Dream website here.
See our submission guidelines here.
We’re looking forward to receiving your best work!
Stroud Short Stories is open until the end of Sunday 29 September for submissions from Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire writers.
It’s free to submit and we will select ten stories to be read by their authors at our 19th event on Sunday 10 November at the 150-seater Cotswold Playhouse. Our last 13 events have all sold out.
The event is part of the 2019 Stroud Book Festival.
It’s an open theme this time so any subject matter, any style so long as it’s a short story of no more than 1,500 words.
Information about our rules and how to submit is on the SSS website.
Tickets, priced at £8, go on sale on the Playhouse website on 11 October.
We’re thrilled to announce that The Shadow Booth: Vol. 4 will be published on 24 October 2019! There’s a suitably folk-horror vibe to this one, with new stories by Lucie McKnight Hardy (author of Water Shall Refuse Them), Charles Wilkinson, Jane Roberts, Gary Budden, Ashley Stokes and many more (full lineup below). Once again, we’ll be publishing as an ebook and a mass-market paperback, which should match your copies of Vols. 1, 2 & 3 perfectly on the shelf.
Pre-orders are open now through our online store. If you’ve enjoyed Vols. 1-3 (or are just a fan of strange, uncanny short stories), please take a moment to pre-order your copy.
We’ve also dropped the price of Vols. 1 & 2 through until October, so if you’ve fallen behind now is the perfect time to catch up! Vols. 1 & 2 are only £6.99 in paperback until 24 October, and all three volumes to date are only £2.99 as ebooks. It’s the perfect time to catch up on all those stories you missed, from the likes of Alison Moore, Kirsty Logan, Mark Morris, Aliya Whiteley, Robert Shearman, Chikodili Emelumadu, Richard V. Hirst and many, many others.
But we haven’t told you the most exciting part! The Table of Contents reads as follows:
- The Devil of Timanfaya by Lucie McKnight Hardy
- The Tribute by James Machin
- The Larpins by Charles Wilkinson
- Drowning by Giselle Leeb
- You Are Not in Kettering Now by Andrew McDonnell
- Hardrada by Ashley Stokes
- Defensive Wounds by James Everington
- The Verandah by Jay Caselberg
- The Salt Marsh Lambs by Jane Roberts
- The Box of Knowledge by Tim Cooke
- His Hand by Polis Loizou
- Terminal Teatime by Anna Vaught
- Collector of Games by Gary Budden
- One Two Three by Marian Womack
Hopefully you’re just as excited as we are. We think this might be the best volume yet. Don’t miss out.
Please show your support by pre-ordering your copy of The Shadow Booth: Vol. 4 here.
(Ebook pre-order here.)
The Amber Springs Hotel, Gorey, Co. Wexford
9:45 am – 5 pm, October 5 & 6.
In response to many requests, Claire Keegan will be directing a weekend on writing dialogue. Keegan will argue that our speech is full of casual and consequential misunderstanding. Some of what characters say is what we do not wish to say or reveal or realise. We will also look at other human factors: why it isn’t always possible to hear what is being said, and why we cannot often or do not wish to listen. And how despite our attempts to say little, we reveal a great deal. How, through our speech and silences, we give ourselves away.
Course participants will be asked to read scenes, and stories, examine and edit scenes – and we will also look at why and how dialogue works, and why it sometimes doesn’t. We will also take a look at accents, dialogue layout, pacing, humour and balancing descriptive paragraphs with dialogue.
This course will likely be of interest to those who read, write or edit novels, short stories, plays, memoirs, screen plays, creative non-fiction or are simply interested in how and why people talk.
The reading list is as follows:
1. Opening five chapters of Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
2. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
3. “The District Doctor,” by Ivan Turgenev, translated by Constance Garnett
4. “Sarah,” by Mary Lavin
5. “Miss Brill,” by Katherine Mansfield
6. “Music at Annahullion,” by Eugene McCabe
7. “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” by Raymond Carver
8. “Kathleen’s Field,” by William Trevor
9. “Bullfighting,” by Roddy Doyle
All the works in the reading list will be provided free of charge by email.
To book your place, email email@example.com. Tuition is 350 euro. A 100 euro non-refundable deposit secures a place. There are only two spaces left on this course. All welcome.
For more information, see ckfictionclinic.com
Marking the 50th anniversary of first Moon Walk 20 July 1969. Your chance to write a very short story inspired by the Moon Walk and have it published!
Working in collaboration with Sampson Low Publishers the Museum of Walking are delighted to announce the One Small Step flash writing competition for fact or fiction flashes of 50 words or under inspired by the first Moon walk.
Imagine what types of stories might be found in a “Lunar Library’ or which stories you would take on a journey to the Moon.
Winners will be published in One Small Step, a limited edition chapbook, published by Sampson Low Publishers. Winners receive 3 copies of the limited edition chapbook. The competition closes midnight GMT Saturday 17 August and the winners will be announced on the Friday 30 August. There is an entry fee (to cover administration costs) of £3 for one flash piece or £5 for two (entrants are limited to 2 entries only).
Wednesday evenings, 6.45pm-9.15pm; dates October 30, November 6, 13, 20, 27, December 4 2019; cost £99; venue Writing Room
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. more details here! /http://haringeyliteraturelive.com/autumn-cour
Now in its seventh year, Collage Writing Room aka Haringey Literature Live is best known for its much-loved, friendly, supportive and affordable writing courses for adults which run throughout the year and cover poetry, novels, short fiction and life writing among other disciplines, all taught by our superb teaching team. The venue is our wonderful teaching studio, the Writing Room, close to Wood Green tube and Alexander Park station in London, N22. Our students have access to two free drop in groups (Start Your Writing Week, and Feedback Fridays) and also to extras like our end of term celebrations at Karamel Restaurant, where they can read their work to their friends and family
Read about Kiare here! Kiare Ladner
A Story for Daniel, a flash fiction competition raising awareness of childhood cancer support, is open for entries, deadline Oct 31. Reflex Fiction announced its Summer longlist and the Autumn flash competition is open for entries of between 180-360 words, deadline Aug 31. The Ruth Rendell Short Story Competition is open for entries of up to 1000 words, deadline Dec 2.
Lit Mags & Chapbooks
Articles & Blogs
Tales From The Forest is an online magazine full of art and poetry and fiction, and we’re delighted to announce the theme for our eleventh issue: LORE.
We want legends, folk tales, elves and spooks.
We’d like witches, fairies, wyverns and ghouls.
Consideration will also be given to gods, goddesses, druids and mystics.
Fiction: no more than 1,000 words. Submit one piece only.
Art: any medium. Submit one piece only.
Poetry: any length. Submit one piece only.
Deadline: Sunday September 29th.
Please send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.