How Fiction Works: A Study of Narrative Using Works by John McGahern

Linenhall Library, Belfast. May 13 & 14, 2019. 10am–5pm, both days.
Claire Keegan will direct this fiction writing course using works by John McGahern to explore and demonstrate the mechanics of writing and narrative structure.

1. The Leavetaking

2. “Christmas”

3. “Parachutes”

4. “The Conversion of William Kirkwood”

How do stories begin? How and why does an author make an incision in time and build tension? How is a reader drawn into a narrative? Why is a reader sometimes not drawn in at all? Keegan will discuss the structure of a narrative and go into what she calls the much-neglected middle, the trunk of the story. Are endings natural? Why do stories need to end, to find a place of rest? The discussion around endings will focus on falling action, emotional consequences and inevitability. Participants will also examine the differences between the short story and the novel. This course will be of particular interest to those who write, teach, read or edit fiction — but anyone with an interest in how fiction or reading works is welcome to attend. To book your place, contact ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com  Tuition is £300. A 50% deposit secures.

 

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Claire Keegan’s story collections include Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster (Faber & Faber). These stories, translated into 17 languages, have won numerous awards. Her debut, Antarctica, was a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. “These stories are among the finest stories recently written in English,” wrote the Observer. Walk the Blue Fields, her second collection, was Richard Ford’s Book of the Year in 2010, and won the Edge Hill Prize, awarded to the strongest collection published in the British Isles. Foster won the Davy Byrne’s Award, then the world’s richest prize for a single story. New Yorker readers chose Foster as their story of the year. It was also published in Best American Stories is now on the school syllabus in Ireland. Keegan has earned an international reputation as a teacher of fiction, having taught workshops on four continents.

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Masterclasses and author talks for short fiction lovers

For five years Novel Nights has been at the forefront of live lit in Bristol & Bath, programming author talks with authors like Maggie Gee and Nathan Filer.

This year we’re launching masterclasses, taught by experienced academics and writers. Tom Vowler will teach our first class, From Spark to Flame: Forging The Short Story on 27th April.  Tom is short fiction editor at Unthank Books, has published two short story collections and his third novel is out soon. He teaches at Arvon Foundation and Plymouth University.

“A masterclass to unlock some of the mysteries of this dazzling literary form. Aimed at both emerging and published writers, the class will explore how stories are crafted, how you can bring them to life, give them voltage and vitality.” 

On September 8th, Vanessa Gebbie will lead a day-long flash-fiction masterclass in Bristol. Tickets in advance.

“An in-depth look at flash fiction, aimed at any writer who is interested to start or continue an exploration of this sparkling form. You will create  many fresh pieces thanks to tried and tested games and exercises –  your tutor never asks you to share your writing, so you are unencumbered as you play freely and focus on meeting your new characters, voices and forms within forms.” Vanessa Gebbie has won awards for both prose and poetry, including a Bridport Prize and the Troubadour. Author of ten books, including five collections of short fictions, two of poetry and a novel, she is also commissioning and contributing editor of Short Circuit: Guide to the Art of the Short Story (Salt).

Novella-in-flash author talk 

On May 11th we’ve invited Michael Loveday, judge of the 2019 Bath Novella-in-Flash Award, to discuss writing a Novella-in-Flash and to share insights into the judging process.

Tickets only £8.50 from Novel Nights. Square Club, Bristol. BS8 1HB. Flash writers are welcome to submit to read

 

 

 

NOVELLA FEVER – 6-course with Kiare Ladner returns to Haringey Literature Live

Wednesday evenings, 6.45pm-9.15pm; dates May 15, 22 (half term), June 5, 12, 19, 26; cost £99; venue Writing Room 
If the short story is like a photograph and the novel is like a film, the novella is like a fever.

In six weeks, we will aim to start (or finish) drafting a novella. What you work on may be only slightly longer than a short story or slightly shorter than a novel. You may have an idea to explore, or a short story that’s growing, or something resembling a novel in progress. On the course, we will look at what gives this particular form its power. We will think about the value of the instinctive in our writing. We will discuss the general shape a story of this length this may take. In intensive weekly sessions we will workshop both writing and story ideas. All levels welcome.

http://haringeyliteraturelive.com/summer-courses/http://haringeyliteraturelive.com/summer-courses/

Kiare Ladner

Reflex Fiction Winter 2018 Winners!

Summer 2019 - 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.

Winter 2018 Winners

At the end of March, we published the three winning stories from our Winter 2018 flash fiction competition as chosen by David Swann. Here are the winners and links to the stories:

First Place: The Endless Conversation With My Mother by E L Norry
Second Place: Still Warm by K M Elkes
Third Place: Heartwood by Johanna Robinson

You can read David’s thoughts on the winning stories (and many of the long-listed ones) here.

Spring 2019 Long-List

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

Summer 2019 Open for Entries

We’re also accepting entries for our Summer 2019 competition. For this round, we’re delighted to have Desmond Elliott Prize winner Claire Fuller as our judge. Here are the important details:

Prizes: £1,000 first, £500 second, £250 third (or the equivalent in your local currency)
Entry Fee: £7
Entries close: 31 May 2019
Judge: Claire Fuller

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

Story Friday The Garden – Call for Submissions

Story Friday in May has the theme The Garden.  I don’t know about where you are, but here in Bath the blossom is blooming, the tulips are budding and spring is definitely springing. So take a stroll down the garden path and let your imagination fly.

Story Friday The Garden will be on 3rd May, deadline for submissions is 22nd April.  That’s very soon, so get writing! 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.

Quarterly Short Story Competition from Cranked Anvil

We are delighted to announce our quarterly short story competition.

The competition is open to any theme or genre, but your story must be a maximum of 1,500 words (not including the title). Closing dates are:

30th April
31st July
31st October
31st January

You can enter up to three stories in each quarterly competition.
Entry fees:
£5 for the first | plus £3 for the second | plus £2 for the third

Prizes
1st – £150
2nd – £75
3rd – £30

The three placed stories from each quarter will be published on this website. Future anthologies will also be considered, published by Cranked Anvil Press, in which shortlisted stories from each competition will be published.

Full details of the competition, how to enter, and competition rules, can be found on our website.

Good luck!

The Summer ’19 Reflex flash fiction competition is open

Summer 2019 - 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.

We had a fantastic response to our Spring ’19 competition: 394 entries from 19 different countries. We’re busy reading and judging in preparation for announcing the longlist on 1 April. In the meantime, the next round of the competition is now open for entries. We’re delighted to have Claire Fuller, the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize winner, acting as judge. Here are the important details:

Prizes: £1,000 / £500 / £250 (or the equivalent in your local currency)
Entry fee: £7
Deadline: 31 May 2019
Judging: June 2019
Longlist announced: 1 July 2019
Judge: Claire Fuller

Submissions

Submissions should be made via our online entry form.

Rules

Stories must be fiction, must be the entrant’s own work, and must be between 180 and 360 words inclusive. See the Reflex Fiction website for full Rules.