Short Story September

A new campaign to get everyone writing short stories kicks off this week.

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 raise the profile of British short story writers.

Writers can follow the campaign via a dedicated blog which will offer daily prompts and feature a showcase of writing by authors with published collections. Authors featured during the campaign include ShortStops Founder, Tania Hershman, BBC National Short Story Prize Winner, Sarah Hall, and rising stars, such as CG Menon.

Writers also have the chance to win some fantastic prizes in a weekly competition supported by generous partners, including The Word Factory, Bristol Short Story Prize and Comma Press.

Writers can sign up at http://shortstoryseptember.co.uk/. Follow us on Twitter @dahliabooks and use the hashtag #ShortStorySept to join the conversation.

Short Story September launches on 1st September, so sharpen those pencils, power up the laptop, let’s do this!

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You’ve read Bunbury, now listen to us!

Hello to you all from Bunbury Magazine!

We’re just dropping by the give you a quick update on what we are up to at Bunbury HQ.

Did you know we’re now doing podcasts? Well we are. This is a very exciting development and means you won’t be too long between bouts of Bunbury. Currently, we are running two.

Bunbury Speaks, which is a monthly interview podcast with a twist. As well as talking to some very special people about writing, inspirations and all manner of other things, each guest contributes to a chain story, taking a starting point to some very interesting places. Currently, there is one episode available where the guest is our very own poetry editor Malika Street.

Just Write Speaks, the recording of our monthly spoken word event. There are open micers and special guests bringing a huge variety of rhymes and words to your ears. There is almost 6 months worth of events live right now, with guests including Rose Condo, Genevieve L Walsh, Broccan Tyzack-Carlin and many more!

Both of these can be found by clicking the lovely photo below.

This month, we have Joe Williams as our special guest. If you are in or around Manchester, please drop by. There are open mic slots available as well as the chance to compete in the Haiku Death Match. Search Just Write Speaks on Facebook or follow the link to the event right here – Just Write Speaks June.

If you enjoy the podcasts, please consider subscribing and reviewing us on iTunes while you are there.

In other news, Bunbury is still open for submissions. The theme is run and we are looking for short stories, poetry, flash fiction and all manner of writing. Details of our submissions guidelines can be found below.

That’s all from us, folks. Before submitting, consider looking through some past issues to see the kind of thing we do. You can get to our past issues through our website.

Much love and keep scribbling,

Christopher and Keri.

Happy 2nd Birthday, ShortStops! How’s The Short Story Doing?

2nd_birthday_cakeYes, it’s hard to believe but ShortStops is two years’ old today! It was November 2013 when I finally got my act together, inspired by all the wonderful short story activity in the UK & Ireland, to set up the site – as a hub, as listings, as a dynamic and ongoing celebration. I was going to wow you with some data – how many wonderful lit mags and live lit events there are now, etc.. etc.., but why freeze the picture today, and what are numbers anyway? Instead I invite you to wander around the site a little, peruse our lists, find something new to read, or a new place to send your own story, or an event to go to, check out everything that’s happening!

I do want to take this chance to thank all the tireless and dedicated editors of lit mags, organisers of live events, short story publishers, organisers of competitions, workshops – who so often do what they do for the love of the short story, of writing, of reading, not for the fortunes to be made! Thank you all for doing what you do, and thanks in particular to those of you who have been involved in ShortStops over the past 2 years, who have made the site even more dynamic, even more of a celebration. And, of course, to readers and to writers, without whom all of this wouldn’t exist.  Keep doing it! We need you!

So, how’s the short story doing? Well, from where I’m sitting, it’s all looking pretty fabulous, frankly. I’m off to have some cake now…

Tania xx

VOTE FOR US! WORDS AND WOMEN SHORTLISTED FOR A SABOTEUR AWARD!

Words and Women are delighted to announce that they have been shortlisted for a National Saboteur award in the ‘best one off event’ category.  The nomination is for this year’s International Women’s Day celebration held on March 8th at the Forum in Norwich. The literary event with a difference saw not only the launch of Words and Women: Two, a second anthology of contemporary women’s writing from the East of England but also the performance of four newly commissioned texts for ‘About,’ an Arts Council supported project which explores the relationship between women and place.

Words and Women’s trademark warmth, eclecticism and vibrancy was on show in Norwich as organisers Belona Greenwood and Lynne Bryan hosted a range of outstanding women writers from the region, reading their winning entries featured in the anthology. Words were intermingled with live music from Anna Mudeka and Sithabele Dube. There were stunning performances from actresses who took on the roles of 16th century Jane Sellars, found ‘idle at Trowse,’ a woman on a pilgrimage of grief, a railway woman’s quest in wartime Britain and a young prostitute, Anguish, incarcerated in a 19th century lunatic asylum, directed by Adina Levay of Chalk Circle Theatre Company and supported by the Arts Council.

‘The event drew a great audience of men, women and children, a range of ages and people travel from as far away as Peterborough and Cambridge to be with us.’ Said Belona Greenwood.

‘It is a really exciting to be shortlisted for this category. We want to encourage people to vote for us. It’s easy, just click on the link.’   VOTE NOW!  http://www.saboteurawards.org

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Rozzy Burt as ‘Anguish’ in Counting the Pennies by Tess Little, one of the ‘About’ commissions supported by Arts Council England.

Lora

Lora Stimson reading her winning story, ‘Cornflake Girl’ at Words and Women on IWD, March 8th..

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‘Words and Women: Two is an excellent anthology of imaginative and superbly written pieces.’ RM Bond-Webster, Eastern Daily Press.

Writing Maps Launches 6 New Contests and a New Issue

The A3 Review, Issue 2It’s all happening! Spring has got us sprung. We’re launching 6 new Writing Maps Writing Contests all at once AND we’re launching Issue #2 of The A3 Review.

You can read more about The A3 Review here. It’s a lit mag that behaves like a map. All contributions are under 151 words and up until now have been written in less than a week. But things are changing – we’re giving you more time to write, more time to tweak, more time to procrastinate. The next six Writing Maps Writing Contests are being launched in one go. There’s a small entry fee, and bigger cash prizes.

The themes for the upcoming Writing Contests are:

  • March: SUPERSTITIONS, Deadline 28 March
  • April: PLAYGROUND GAMES, Deadline 25 April
  • May: TEA & COFFEE, Deadline 23 May
  • June: GREEN THINGS, Deadline 27 June
  • July: JOURNEYS, Deadline 25 July
  • August: HANDS, Deadline 22 August

Read the full details here.

The two winning entries from each month will appear in Issue #3 of The A3 Review and will constitute the shortlist. The three overall winners from the shortlist will receive prizes as follows: 1st = £150; 2nd = £75; 3rd = £50. All winning entries will receive contributor copies, Writing Maps and other goodies.

The Things What We ‘Ave Been Doing

The last we spoke to you lovely folks at Short Stops, we were announcing the release of the latest issue of Bunbury Magazine, the Unexplained Special. The response to this issue has been phenomenal and we want to thank all you lovely Short-Stoppers for coming by and reading it along with all the regular Bunburyists.

We do know as well that Short Stops has new visitors every day. We would not want all you wonderful folks to miss out so once again, here is a link to the Unexplained Special.

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We here at Bunbury do not rest on our laurels however! We have been working tirelessly to make the experience for our readers and followers as immersive as possible. Last year, we started a blog of our own; a place where we could have a rant and rave about this, that and the other. Since then, we have upgraded to a fully fledged site with as much detail about who we are and what we do. It is home to our blog (more on this in a moment) and details of upcoming issue and more (again, there will be more on this in a moment!) Come and have a look at our new shiny-dancing website here: www.bunburymagazine.com

Firstly, we would like to welcome a new member of our team. Rhea Seren Phillips who is joining us as Executive Editor. She has had many fantastic poems and stories printed in Bunbury in the past and it is a genuine pleasure to have her on board. You can click on her name just above for more details about her.

Our Editor and co-creator has also started a rather insane challenge. This year, for the entire year, allllllll year, he will be writing a poem a day, with no regard to his sanity whatsoever. In fact, so far, there have been days where he has written more than one. We think he’s a closet masochist to be honest. You can catch up on the entire thing at the #PoemADayForForAYear blog and come and get involved on our Twitter account, @MagazineBunbury with the #PoemADayForAYear hashtag.

While we are talking Twitter, we have started a new prompting challenge on Twitter. Every Monday, Thursday and Saturday we will be posting a prompt for all you lovely people to write some micro-poetry. Send your responses to the hashtag #bunburyezine.

What else, what else. Oh, the content for the magazine for the next issue! We really want to announce some very exciting plans for the next issue but unfortunately our hands are tied so all we can say is this:

Last night, we sat writing an interview and then making it all fanciful for one of our favourite *redacted*. *redacted*, who played *redacted*. *redacted* will be talking to us about *redacted* and just about anything really! I almost wet myself when we made contact and *redacted* agreed. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, we also have *redacted*, who played *redacted*, talking to us about *redacted*. Oh my, it was almost too much for us!

Speaking of the next issue, as always we are looking for submissions from you lovely folk. The theme for the next issue is ‘Power’, so whether you write short stories, flash fiction, poetry or do art, photography…you know what, you know the drill by now, come and send us what you got! The new email address is submissions@bunburymagazine.com

One very, very last thing! On 17th February we are holding the latest of the Do The Write Thing events at Bar Ten on Silver Street in Bury, just outside of Manchester. It’s a fun-filled extravaganza of spoken word, games and drinks! If you can, get over as it’s always a great night and it’s also the night of Editor Keri’s birthday! Double the reason to get along! You can find more information about it on the link just above or on our Facebook event here: Do The Write Thing Birthday Edition.

That’s it for now, dear Short Stoppers and Bunburyists. Come say hello some time. We miss you!

Writing Maps Launches New Map and October Contest

Writing the Family AlbumThis month’s Writing Maps Writing Contest coincides with the official launch of the new Writing Map, Writing the Family Album, inspired by Sergei Dovlatov’s book Ours.

The prompt for October’s Writing Contest is: Write about a cousin, then and now. In no more than 150 words tell the story of a cousin, yours or a fictional character’s, as they were then and as they are now. As always, you can write this as a short story, a graphic story, a snippet of memoir, a poem, or a prose poem. Fiction or autobiography, SF or mis mem, erotic or academic. In 150 words.

The contest prompt coincides with the launch of our latest Writing Map, Writing the Family Album, in which you’ll be inspired to turn the family album – your own, or the characters you create – into a rich collection of stories.

Please make sure to view our full guidelines here or on the Writing Maps website by clicking here. In brief, the main rules are:

Entry is free. One entry per person. All genres welcome. All writers welcome. 150 words max.

Deadline is 25 October 2014.
The two winning entries will be published in The A3 Review, Issue #2. Winners will also receive two copies of the Writing Map, Writing the Family Album.
Good luck and good writing!