Story Friday in February has the theme LEAP! in celebration of 2020 as a leap year. Story Friday is on 28th February, the day before the leaping day, and we want to revel in the glory of this springing theme! Whether your stories feature proposals or boxing hares, Christmas lords or death defying jumps, we are so looking forward to reading what you come up with!
Story Friday LEAP! will be on 28th February, deadline for submissions is 17th February. 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.
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!
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).
Tickets are now on sale for the 18th Stroud Short Stories event Incendiary! on Sunday 19 May –
Tickets are priced as usual at £8. The event, at our new venue, the 150-seater Cotswold Playhouse, Parliament Street, Stroud, GL5 1LW, starts at 8pm (doors 7.30).
Ten Gloucestershire authors will be reading their stories about fire, heat, passion, anger and rebellion selected from the 113 stories submitted.
The authors are –
Steve Wheeler (aka Steven John)
All info on the Stroud Short Stories website
As Brexit looms (or does it? who knows …?!) long-running, award-winning live literature legends Liars’ League have selected six superb stories of choice & change to take your mind off it all at our BEFORE & AFTER show on Tuesday 9th April. There are escapes & tippingpoints, cats & cows, sex & death, poetry & fistfights, yoga & porn, the Berlin Wall & a fishtank full of ghosts. And it’s STILL only £5 entry, which includes a programme, our infamous book quiz, and free birthday cake because we’re 12 🙂
WINNING STORIES for BEFORE & AFTER
Last Rites by Jess Worsdale, read by David Mildon
Namaste Bitches by Ana Soria, read by Keleigh Wolf
Counterfiction by Tim Aldrich, read by Tim Larkfield
The Poetry of Jenny by Gerard McKeown, read by Zach Harrison
No East or West by Mark Sadler, read by Silas Hawkins
Olena’s Scalpel by Alan Graham, read by Patsy Prince
Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30 start and tickets are a fiver on the door (currently cash only, sorry, but there’s a cashpoint across the street). Drinks and food are available at the bar throughout. There’s no pre-booking, but tables for four or more can be reserved by calling 07808 939535.
The venue is the downstairs bar at: The Phoenix Pub, 37 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0PP
Accessibility note: Access to the basement is via stairs: there’s no lift, sadly. The Phoenix is 5 minutes’ walk from Oxford Circus tube station, which is on the Victoria, Bakerloo and Central lines.
P.S. Want to submit a story for our next event, Infinity & Beyond? Deadline is Sunday 5th May and all the details are here.
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.
Stroud Short Stories is open for submissions from Gloucs and South Gloucs writers until 31 March – for our 19 May 2019 event in a new venue, the Cotswold Playhouse in Stroud. It’s free to submit and we are happy to consider published and unpublished work.
There’s a theme this time – Incendiary! Think of the theme as widely and flexibly as possible – stories about fire, heat, passion, anger, rebellion, incineration, climate change, inflamed senses, etc, etc.
As well as reading before an audience of 150 short story lovers at the Cotswold Playhouse in Stroud, the authors of the ten stories chosen will be offered a place in our next published anthology – due 2021.
Tickets for the 19 May event will be available from 21 April on the Cotswold Playhouse website.
All the info you need is on our website – http://stroudshortstories.blogspot.com/
How was 2018 for you?
We think it has been quite a year. We’d like to reflect on it and even celebrate it at Story Friday with stories that are inspired by events that happened in 2018. These events can be personal, local, national, international; they can be political, environmental, romantic, comic, tragic. We’d like a whole range of responses to what we’ve just experienced, as we usher in the new dawn of 2019.
Story Friday 2018 will be on 25th January 2019, deadline for submissions Monday 14th January. We’re looking for stories that are 2,000 words or fewer. (Full submission details 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.
!! STORY FRIDAY CHALLENGE !!
January’s Story Friday is all about events that have just happened, so for this Story Friday we have a special challenge.
As well as the submissions about 2018, for the first time we want to include ONE special story, inspired by a NEWS story the week before Story Friday! (ie between 18th and 24th January). Deadline is Thursday midday 24th January, the day before Story Friday. Max word count is 1,000 words. You are very welcome to submit both to Story Friday 2018 AND to the Challenge. The chosen story will be read by an actor at Story Friday.
Talk about HOT OFF THE PRESS!!!
For more information: A Word In Your Ear
Prepare to be scared this Halloween in the ghostly town of Folkestone!
Hand of Doom Productions once again invites you to gather round and hear some terrifying tales, monstrous monologues and scary sketches by Anthony White, Ribs Norman, Neil Dillon, Michele Sheldon, Adam Skipper, Louise Burgess and Charles Bain Smith.
It takes place on Saturday, October 27 at the Eleto Chocolate Cafe, Rendevous Street, Folkestone, from 8.30pm to 10.30pm. Doors open at 8pm.
Drinks are available from the bar (cash, no cards). Competition during the interval to win some ghoulishly cheap treats.
Tickets cost £6 and are available on the door or from Ticket Source.
As we hurtle towards Christmas we’re planning our next Story Friday and the theme is Feast! We’re looking for stories long and short that touch on feasting. You might go traditional and give us tables laden with roast meats and suet puddings, or take us to far-flung corners of the globe for fresh mangoes and newly dropped coconuts. You might decide that lack-of-feast, or famine, is your interest, or look at a feast that has nothing to do with food. However you want to interpret the theme we know we will be intrigued by your offerings!
Story Friday Feast will be on November 30th, deadline for submissions is on 19th November. Please check that you are available to come along to Burdall’s Yard in Bath on the 30th November before you submit.
We are looking for short stories or monologues, fact or fiction (but mainly fiction), maximum 2,000 words. If you want to enter a flash piece that can work too, either for the stage, or in print – recently we’ve included a flash piece in our programme for the audience to read in the interval and take home with them. No poetry, thank you.
We have some wonderful professional actors who are very happy to read your story if performance gives you the jitters. Olly Langdon of Kilter Theatre (who is also our brilliant host) will read a male voice, and we have a number of female actors who can read stories which need a female voice. Let us know in your email when you submit if you’d like someone else to read your piece.
To submit, click here.
As Anne Frank poignantly wrote: “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” Writing can be an incredible outlet, but sometimes there are stumbling blocks along the way.
Which is why the team at READ Foundation has put together a list of 12 Writing Tips to Get You Started.
READ is an education charity which builds schools and enables children from poverty-stricken backgrounds to access schooling. We’re currently running a writing competition for short stories, poems and personal essays which will inspire children in their educational path. Scroll down for more details on how to enter.
The charity has gathered the best tips from well-known writers, blogs and the wider web to help writers in their pursuit of the perfect prose.
- Write from the heart. A book without a pulse is like a person without a spirit. – Linda F Rad
- We love the tips in this Guardian article on the Top 10 Writers’ Tips on Writing. Particularly this one from Katherine Mansfield: “Looking back I imagine I was always writing. Twaddle it was too. But better far write twaddle or anything, anything, than nothing at all.”
- Enter competitions, send off examples to agents, read up on literacy festivals to attend, join writing clubs either locally or online – research as many places as you can which can help you on your writing journey, whether the aim is to get published, receive feedback, or simply learn more about the writing process from the people who do it professionally.
- Write on a computer which is disconnected from the internet (after you’ve finished reading this blog, obviously). It’s a distraction you can do without.
- The “show don’t tell” mentality is well-known for a good reason: it’s true. As fiction author Anton Chekhov puts it: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
- Oxford Dictionaries has some excellent general advice on better writing, whether it’s a letter, speech, email or something more creative. We like the tip “guide readers through what you write”. The advice is to “help readers understand your message quickly and precisely. To do this, it is necessary to show them clearly how the different parts relate to each other.”
- How about a writing tip from a Nobel winning author? Alice Munro, who was given the Nobel for Literature in 2013, has spent most of her writing life focussing on short stories. She said: “Usually I have a lot of acquaintance with the story before I start writing it….stories would just be working in my head for so long that when I started to write I was deep into them.”
- Proofread proofread proofread. It’s relly obviously when a sentennce has speling errors in it. If you’re entering a writing competition, judges may penalise you for the errors and it could mean the difference between winning or losing a contest.
- Write, even when you don’t feel like it. Get into the habit of writing on a regular basis. If you can commit to writing for a certain amount of time each day, for 30 days, it’ll soon become second nature. About 30-40 days is all you need to make a new habit stick.
- Recognise it’s not just your characters that are human – you are too! So if you have periods of struggle, you’re not alone. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
- Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Julie Duffy, founder of Story a Day, says “Don’t wait to write until you’re older/wiser/invited to the party. Don’t wait until you have something ‘important’ to say.” Other experts have revealed their best writing tips for beginners.
- Enjoy the process! It’s a journey you’ll be proud you’ve taken. Good luck!
While you’re here, we have some exciting news for you. Education charity READ Foundation is running its very first writing competition and needs people like YOU to take part. Read all about it here. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, 10thOctober 2018.
The Clevedon Community Bookshop is offering a flash fiction workshop from 7-9pm on Thursday 4 October 2018 delivered by Gail Aldwin.
Everyday lives are packed with tasks and activities that leave little time for reading or writing at length. Flash fiction has the ability to fit into the breaks and provides satisfying stories with all the elements of a longer piece of fiction. This workshop will explore opportunities to incorporate flash fiction into your writing and welcomes those who are already writing flash fiction and those who would like to start. Through activities and prompts you will be able to develop new pieces of flash fiction and understand more about the process of writing in this a short form.
Gail Aldwin is an award-winning writer of short fiction and poetry. Paisley Shirt (Chapeltown Books, 2018) was longlisted in the best short story category of the Saboteur Awards 2018. She is a visiting tutor on the Creative Writing BA at Arts University Bournemouth and Chair of the Dorset Writers’ Network.
“The world of John O’Connor is a world of the freshly snedded turnip, the new-sawn plank, the sod shining under the plough. His gift is to render the life of the Mill Row in Armagh as deftly and definitively as Steinbeck renders Cannery Row or Bob Dylan Desolate Row”
The John O’Connor Writiing School and Literary Arts Festival, sponsored and supported by internationally renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Paul Muldoon, has a two-fold purpose. It aims to to celebrate and commemorate the life and works of John O’Connor as well as offering practical guidance and assistance to aspiring writers through its workshops and master classes in the various literary genres and writing for commercial purposes.
Entries are currently invited from aspiring writers for the third John O’Connor Short Story Competition. It is being held to commemorate the Armagh born writer whose impressive literary legacy includes a collection of short stories which still retain a timeless appeal.
The prize winner will be awarded a full bursary to attend the John O’ Connor Writing School and Literary Arts Festival which will be held in Armagh from 1st to 4th November, 2018, plus a cash prize of £250. The bursary prize allows the recipient to enjoy all events in the John O’Connor Writing School and Literary Festival 2018, and to attend one class in the writing genre of his/her choice. The winner will be notified by 2 October.
The winning entrant will be formally announced at the opening of the Writing school on Friday 2nd November, and will have the opportunity to read at an event on Sunday 4th November 2018. Single room accommodation will be available free of charge to the winning entrant.
Ts & Cs
The competition is open to those 16 years and over. Short stories must be the original work of the author and not previously published or have received awards in other competitions. Entries must be in English and between 1,800 and 2,000 words in length. There is an entry fee of £10. One entry per person. Submit your entry online by 12.00 noon on 28 August 2018.
Find full terms and conditions, and online entry form on http://thejohnoconnorwritingschool.com
A word from previous winners:
“I won the inaugural John O’Connor Short Story Competition in 2016, the news delivered to me via a lovely phone call from Cathy McCullough, a personal touch which is one of the things that makes the weekend so special. I had started writing in 2014, and the win gave me a sense of validation that is so nourishing and necessary for a new writer. That year I attended Bernie McGill’s brilliant prose workshops, which generated an idea for a novel, and Stewart Neville’s masterclass. Last year Martina Devlin facilitated the prose workshops, and again I went away full of ideas for new work. The win also gave me opportunities to read my own work in public, a prospect I once found appalling which I now actually enjoy. My stories have won other prizes, but the John O’Connor win is the one that keeps on giving. “
Louise Kennedy, 2016 winner
“Thanks to the JOCWS I have made contact with an agent who is willing to read it [her novel] when it is ready… I hope all goes as well this year as last and I will certainly be coming along to the writing workshops again. I found them really useful. “
Roisin Maguire, 2017 winner
Write & Shine runs a programme of writing workshops that embrace the inspirational power of the morning. Writer Gemma Seltzer will guide you through the sessions, waking you up with words & energising you for the day ahead.
Our workshops take place bright & early in peaceful central London locations & are open to everyone, whether you’re new to writing, have some experience or simply want to add more creativity into your life. You won’t be expected to share your work, which offers great freedom & encourages all kinds of unexpected ideas to emerge.
For the summer series of workshops, we’ll find inspiration in sunshine, the lighter mornings & the 200th anniversary of Emily Brontë’s birth. Join us from 5 July.
Workshops cost £19 or you can purchase our seasonal membership to motivate you to enjoy all the workshops, events & online sessions we have on offer this summer. Find out more on our website: www.write-and-shine.com
Story Fridays‘ theme for September is ‘Tomorrow’. Tomorrow could mean Saturday – or it could mean the year 2060. For Story Friday Tomorrow we’d like to explore what happens next. We’d love utopias, dystopias, dreams and expectations in this step into the unknown. This is one where you can unleash your imaginations, go wild, surprise us with your visions for the future, near and far. Go on – you’ve got all summer to weave us your dreams!
We are looking for short stories that work out loud, or monologues, fact or fiction (but mainly fiction). Maximum 2,000 words. If you want to enter a flash piece that can work too. No poetry, thank you.
The event will be held on Friday September 21st at Burdall’s Yard in Bath. Please check that you are available to come along on the 21st September before you submit. We like the writers to be in the audience for these events.
We have some wonderful professional actors who are very happy to read your story if performance gives you the jitters. Let us know in your email when you submit if you’d like someone else to read your piece.
For more information go to our website.
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.
SHORT STORY FESTIVAL, SATURDAY 30th JUNE 2018, 10.30 AM – 6 PM
LCB Depot, Rutland St, Leicester, LE1 1RE
Join us for a wonderful celebration of all things small and wonderful as part of this year’s Leicester Writes Festival. The day will kick off with a two-hour workshop on writing and editing short stories with writers, Divya Ghelani and Rupert Dastur. The afternoon will be packed with author talks: award winning writers Rebecca Burns and CG Menon will be sharing their experiences of putting their short story collection together, and Jon McGregor and Alison Moore will be in conversation with Mahsuda Snaith to discuss taking the leap from writing short stories to novels. The evening will end in style with our Leicester Writes Short Story Prize anthology launch, where we will be celebrating the talents of this year’s longlist.
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM – ‘The Art of the Short Story’ Workshop
ln this session, Divya Ghelani will introduce and discuss several prizewinning short stories to assess short fiction techniques that are classic as well as experimental. She’ll cover aspects of character, voice, language, and intrigue within the short story form. This workshop is perfect for anyone looking to understand how the short form works and wants to write a successful short story. This session will include a number of writing exercises.
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Short fiction: An Editor’s Perspective
How do editors assess short fiction submissions? What are they looking for from short stories and flash fiction?
In this session, Rupert Dastur, senior editor at The Short Story will discuss what he likes and doesn’t like to see from manuscripts. He will offer an insight into how writers can edit their stories so they are ready for publication and offer suggestions on how to manage submissions. Rupert will also share his ultimate list of who to follow and what to read so you can learn from the best. With useful tips and tricks, this session is a must for anyone looking to build their career as a writer.
1:30 – 2:30 PM – How to Publish a Short Story Collection
Join Dahlia Publishing editor, Farhana Shaikh and award winning short story writers, Rebecca Burns and CG Menon as they discuss the process of putting together a short story collection. This session will discuss the publishing process as well as how writers select, organise and write short stories for a collection. Featuring readings with both authors and a book signing.
3 PM – 4 PM In Transit: From short stories to novels
How do writers transition from writing short stories to writing a novel? What skills do they develop in the process and what is it really like to work across forms? In this session, writers share their experiences of starting their careers by writing short stories before turning their hand to novel writing.
Featuring readings from award winning writer, Jon McGregor and Man Booker prize shortlisted, Alison Moore. Chaired by debut novelist and award winning short story writer, Mahsuda Snaith.
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM Leicester Writes Short Story Prize Anthology Launch
Join us to celebrate this year’s winning short stories in our prize giving ceremony and anthology launch. With readings from some of this year’s winners. Leicester Writes Short Story Prize was launched in 2017 to celebrate original short story writing. The judging panel included writers Rebecca Burns, Jon McGregor and last year’s first prize winner, CG Menon.
Tickets: Purchase your all-day festival ticket for just £20, workshops are included in the price.
To book your ticket please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leicester-writes-short-story-festival-tickets-45782026273
For more information please contact Farhana on firstname.lastname@example.org