February Fortnightly Round-Up (1)

Hello story lovers,
Welcome to February, which is wet and windy round here. A good excuse to stay in, read and write, right? Here’s a round-up of what’s been happening at ShortStops over the past fortnight.

Lit Mags, Competitions and Workshops
New to the site is The Grind, a “literary and visual arts magazine serving Scotland and its diaspora”. Short Fiction’s 2014 short story prize wants your stories, deadline March 31st. The editor of the Writers’ Hub has blogged some useful advice about How To Get Published On The Writers Hub (And Elsewhere)The Moth International Short Story Prize is now open for entries, deadline June 30. Coming soon – a call for submissions for Transportation, a new Tasmanian/English short story anthology.

Smoke, the London Peculiar, is calling for submissions for their London water-themed short story anthology, Smoke on the Water. And Neon Magazine wants your tiny fictions for a new project, Battery Pack.

If you want some help working on your short stories before sending ’em off, check out the Writers’ Centre Norwich’s upcoming short story workshops.

Live Lit
Stand-Up Tragedy’s February event is Tragic Love, Feb 13th in London – on that same night in Brighton, head down to Rattle Tales – the line-up for the event has just been announced. On Feb 28th White Rabbit presents Are You Sitting Comfortably? Science Fiction in London.

Last Minutes & Gentle Reminders
Today, Feb 3rd, is the deadline to send your stories to the Davy Byrnes short story competition  you are an Irish citizen or resident. The National Flash Fiction Youth competition is open for entries til Feb 21st. Number Eleven mag welcomes submissions, and Riptide Journal is open for submissions for Volume 10, on the theme of ‘Imaging the Suburbs’ (deadline March 1 2014).

Tania x

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January Round-Up

Hello short story fans!
There has been so much activity at ShortStops since our last round-up that I’m still trying to catch my breath! First, congrats to Tracy Fells, the winner of a copy of the new Short Fiction journal – read Catherine McNamara’s interview with Short Fiction co -editor Tom Vowler. More interviews and giveaways of lit mags coming soon.

Here’s a round-up of the rest:

Workshops
Want to work on your own short stories? Check out the Writers’ Centre Norwich’s upcoming short story workshops.

Live 
We welcome bi-monthly Falmouth live lit night, Telltales, to our list – their first 2014 event is on Jan 28th. White Rabbit is taking Bernadette Russell’s multimedia story show, 366 Days of Kindness, on tour around the UK from Jan 10th – find out if it’s coming to a theatre near you. Seven of Gill Blow’s short stories have been adapted for the theatre  –  Take 7 will be performed in Sheffield on Jan 24th and 25th. Word Factory #19, featuring David Almond, Stella Duffy and Rebecca Swirsky, is on Jan 25th in London. And Bad Language is back for their first event of the year, on Jan 29th in Manchester.

Lit Mags
New additions to our pages include “surreal/irreal/gritty/realist” print mag Fur-lined GhettoesOctavius, a literary magazine for students in Scotland which is calling for submissions for Issue 3, and fortnightly online journal The Siren,

Tube-flash is back – The Casket of Fictional Delights has new flash stories inspired by the London Underground – and wants yours, too. The January edition of Long Story, Short is ‘Nutella’, by Katie M. Anderson, read an excerpt. Open Pen Issue 10 is now in the shops, get a sneak peak and a hint of upcoming events. Smoke, the London Peculiar, is calling for submissions for their London water-themed short story anthology, Smoke on the Water. And Neon Magazine wants your tiny fictions for a new project, Battery Pack.

Last Minutes & Gentle Reminders
Today, Jan 20th, is the last day to submit to Holdfast for Issue #2, ‘Animals, Beasts and Creatures’, so get your stories in. If you are an Irish citizen or resident, send your stories to the Davy Byrnes short story competition by Feb 3rd. The National Flash Fiction Youth competition is open for entries til Feb 21st. Number Eleven mag welcomes submissions for Issue 4, and Riptide Journal is open for submissions for Volume 10, on the theme of ‘Imaging the Suburbs’ (deadline March 1 2014).

Phew. I told you there was a lot going on. Enjoy! To get this by email every two weeks, glance slightly to your right and click on the link that says Sign Up For Our Email Newsletter.
Tania x

Davy Byrnes Short Story Award 2014

The Stinging Fly are delighted to announce the return of the Davy Byrnes Short Story Award — Ireland’s biggest short story competition.

Prize fund: €15,000 for the best short story, plus five runner-up prizes of €1,000

Competition Judges: Anne Enright, Yiyun Li and Jon McGregor

—The competition is open to Irish citizens and to writers who are resident or were born in the thirty-two counties.

—Entries must consist of a previously unpublished short story written in English. The maximum word count is 15,000 words, no minimum. Only one story per entrant.

—We will be accepting entries from December 1st 2013. No online entries. Entries must be posted/delivered to Davy Byrnes Short Story Award, c/o Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, Dublin City Libraries, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.

—The deadline for receipt of entries is Monday, Feb 3rd 2014. There is a €10 entry fee, payable online or by cheque/postal order.

—The six short-listed writers will be announced in late May/early June 2014 and the overall winner announced in June 2014.

The competition is sponsored by Davy Byrnes and organised by The Stinging Fly in association with Dublin UNESCO City of Literature

For further information about the award — and to enter your story! — please visit our website.

What the judges say:

The Davy Byrnes Award is given to a story that has the writer’s name removed, the judges of the prize have been more international than local and the prize money is substantial. These three things meant the world to me when I won in 2004, a time when I felt washed up on the shores of the Irish boom. The short story yields truth more easily than any other form, and these truths abide in changing times. As a writer turned judge, I am looking for a story that could not have been written any other way; that is as good as it wants to be; that is the just the right size for itself.

—Anne Enright

I am a staunch advocate for short stories, and respect any organisation/effort that supports stories and story writers. I am thrilled to be serving as a judge for the Davy Byrnes Award. As for what I look for in a short story, to borrow from Tolstoy: ‘Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’ There are stories written like happy families, which one reads and forgets the moment one puts them down. But the stories that belong to the category of unhappy families, they can do all kinds of things: they touch a reader, or leave a wound that never heals; they challenge a reader’s view, or even infuriate a reader; they lead to a desire in the reader’s heart to be more eloquent in his ways of responding to the story yet leave the reader more speechless than before. A good story is like someone one does not want to miss in life.

—Yiyun Li

I’m both thrilled and slightly daunted to be taking part in judging the Davy Byrnes Award this year. Thrilled, because it’s a prize with an astounding track record of unearthing great talent and excellent stories; the previous judges have clearly had a very sharp reading eye. Daunted, for pretty much the same reasons. There’s a lot to live up to.

What I look for in a short story is a kind of intensity of purpose and a clarity of expression; something which holds my attention and rings clearly in my reading mind. For me, this is mostly something in the voice on the page; something in the control of the syntax, which immediately puts me in the world of that story. If it’s there, it usually kicks in within the first few lines; after that, it’s just a matter of seeing whether the writer can really keep it up.

—Jon McGregor