Bursaries for Arvon Flash Fiction course for BAME/Low income writers

Hello, I’m Tania Hershman and I run ShortStops! I’m also a short story writer and teacher – and I have crowdfunded so that I can now offer three £250 bursaries for BAME writers or writers on low income who would like to attend the Arvon foundation 5-day residential flash fiction course I am co-tutoring, with the amazing Nuala O’Connor, in Devon in November. More details about the course here – there are only a few places on the course left. This funding is coming directly from me –  if you’d like to be considered for one of the £250 bursaries (you will need to pay for the remainder of the course fee yourself) or you know someone who is not on social media who might like to apply, please email me taniah@gmail.com as soon as possible and let me know why you’d like the funding! It’s going to be a wonderful week, come join us!

 

Tania

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Don’t miss First Story’s National Writing Competition!

first-story-footprints-2016

Competition closes 23 November

Students and teachers: don’t miss First Story’s National Writing Competition for state secondary schools!

There’s not long left to write 850 words on the theme ‘Footprints’ – you must get your entries to us by midnight, Wednesday 23rd November.

Short stories are welcome – but any form of writing is accepted. Flash fiction, poetry, drama: follow the theme wherever it leads you.

If you’re a young writer, or teach someone who is, don’t miss the chance to win an incredible Arvon residential writing course, and see your work in print in our professional anthology. Teachers can write alongside their students and enter too.

The amazing Mark Haddon, Juno Dawson and Salena Godden are the writers judging this year’s competition, which will be shortlisted by Penguin Random House.

Good luck, happy writing, and make sure you get your entries to us by November 23rd!

Find out more and enter at www.firststory.org.uk/footprints

April Round-Up II

Dear short story fans,
Another month almost over! Here’s our roundup of what’s been happening on ShortStops’ blog over the past fortnight:

Lit Mags and Competitions
We welcome two new lit mags to our list: Don’t Do It, “taking in fiction, poetry, critical writing and reviews from around the globe”, and HeadStuff “a collaborative website interested in a wide range of topics”. HeadStuff introduced themselves on the blog and would love you to submit something.

Talking of new and exciting: Writing Maps has launched a new monthly contest and lit mag and Writeidea announced a new national short story contest, The Writeidea Prize, deadline 31 July. More contests: the 3rd annual A Spot of Hysteria Writing Competition run by the UK Hysterectomy Association is now open for entries (deadline Aug 31), and the Historic House Short Story Comp (26 Sep) wants stories inspired by or set in a historic house. Jotters United announced Issue 2 and a new short story comp (deadline 31 May) on the theme of ‘Spirit’. (You can find all competition announcements by clicking the Competitions link in our top menu.)

Long Story, Short is calling for submissions of longer stories and the editor tells us what she’s looking for. The Cro Magnon wants your writing too, for their website and perhaps for their travelling show, and the Manchester Review is open to submissions for Issue 12 until mid May. Check out Confingo’s first issue, now on sale, and Structo’s brand new website.

Holdfast magazine is still open for submissions for their first print anthology, deadline June 15th, with submissions open til May 31st for their online issue #3. Myths of the Near Future is calling for submissions from under-25s for the Money issue, and The Moth International Short Story Prize closes June 30th.

Live Lit & Short Story Events
Fictions of Every Kind has produced its first podcast with stories and music. Story Fridays wants your stories on the theme ‘In Focus’ by 12 May for their May event. You missed Flashtag Manchester’s Short Short Story Slam and the Word Factory’s April event, make sure to keep an eye out for the next ones.


Workshops
Arvon’s Totleigh Barton centre assistant Eliza Squire talks about Arvon and short stories – there’s still space on upcoming residential short story courses. 

Last Minutes & Gentle Reminders
Wednesday is the deadline for to submit your entry to the Bristol Short Story Prize and to send a short story on the theme of Islands and Cities to a new Tasmanian-London anthology.

Happy reading, writing, listening and performing!

Short Stories and Arvon

Before working for Arvon (a charity that runs residential creative writing courses and retreats), my knowledge of short stories was mainly informed by my love of the Gothic; particularly the work of Edgar Allan Poe, and of course Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper. I didn’t necessarily realise that brilliant people were still writing such exciting short stories today (silly me). This ignorance was disastrously tied to a general inability post-English degree to read or understand anything that was written after 1900.

Enter my saviours, Tania Hershman and Adam Marek, who Totleigh Barton were fortunate enough to have as tutors for a short story course in 2012 (Totleigh Barton is Arvon’s original centre – a 16th century manor house located near the village of Sheepwash, Devon…yes, that really is a place).

 

Totleigh Barton

 

Luckily for me, Tania and Adam are both ‘short-storyphiles’ and were more than willing to stay up late educating me about the exciting world of short stories. Lucky too (despite the number) for the thirteen course participants inhabiting Totleigh Barton for the week. The nervous group that had arrived on Monday afternoon and huddled self-consciously around their cream teas, were effervescent with confidence and joy by the time they left on Saturday morning. They had experienced an intense week away from all the distractions of their home life to focus on short stories and it was a week that buzzed with energy. You could almost feel the creativity and friendship building and filling the house and no-one wanted to leave on Saturday morning. Despite being on the peripheries, I felt enlightened and excited to have found a new genre of contemporary writing and a group of such lovely people.

I thought this ‘short story buzz’ must have been unique to that week; special because of that specific group of people and those wonderful tutors. However, Arvon ran a number of short story courses (besides courses in a number of other genres) at all four of their centres last year; all of which by many accounts possessed a similarly positive feel. Partly, this was because of the talented tutors that ran courses in 2013, including Claire Massey, Claire Keegan, Alexander MacLeod, Nicholas Royle, Alison MacLeod and Robert Shearman. However, I have come to realise that writers who write short stories are just generally excellent human beings.

Arvon is just as excited by short stories as its course participants. This year we will be hosting more short story courses than ever before, with the introduction of a Starting to Write Short Stories course for beginners. At Totleigh, we are very much looking forward to welcoming back Adam Marek to tutor a short story course in May with the wonderful Jane Feaver, lecturer in Creative Writing at Exeter University. There are still places available so if you are interested please visit http://www.arvon.org/course/short-story

Short stories and Arvon seem to go together beautifully. There is something about Arvon’s ethos for giving people the ‘time and space’ to write, paired with the enthusiasm and open mindedness of writers of short fiction that seems to go hand in hand, like the pit and the pendulum… without the gory bits.

Eliza Squire, Centre Assistant at Totleigh Barton

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For more information about Arvon and its work, please visit http://www.arvon.org or phone 020 7324 2554. Or to reach Totleigh Barton directly please ring 01409231338.