December Round-Up II

Hello short story lovers,
In our final pre-holiday dispatch, here’s what’s been going on on our blog over the past 2 weeks.

Lit Mags
Another new publication’s just joined our list – welcome to Taylz: “a free website for short story writers to test and develop their work”.

There’s loads to read and many places to send your stories: The Manchester Review has just published Issue 13 and is calling for your submissions. Short Story Sunday gives us a round-up and a festive special.

Firewords Three is here, Jotters United has a new issue out and is calling for submissions, and the second issue of Confingo is now on sale. The Emma Press is calling for prose pamphlet submissions.  Issue 4 of Holdfast Magazine is live and they are calling for submissions, as is Bunbury magazine, while giving us a peek at what’s been going on over there. Short Fiction journal also wants your short stories.

Anthologies

Queen’s Ferry Press is calling for submissions – from lit mag editors – for the first Best Small Fictions anthology.  Freight Books wants short story submissons for an anthology inspired by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. To celebrate National Short Story Week, 32 young writers have been published in an anthology, on sale now.

Competitions & Festivals
The Solstice Shorts Festival is approaching. Felixtstowe Book Festival has launched its 2015 short story competition, deadline May 16th.

Live Lit
White Rabbit has a new family story-telling show at Knole in December. Story Fridays is calling for submissions on the theme of The 1980s for its January event in Bath.

If you are eager for even more short-story-related news, do follow ShortStops on Twitter where, when we should be writing, we spend (far too) much time passing on news from lit mags, live lit events, short story workshops and festivals! If you’d like to review an event or a publication, drop me a line.

Happy reading, writing, listening and performing!
Tania x

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December Fortnightly Round-Up I

Hello short story lovers,
The final month of 2014 has arrived, happy December! A good time for short stories… (isn’t it always?) Here’s what’s been going on on our blog over the past 2 weeks.

Tania x

Lit Mags
We’re delighted to welcome a new lit mag, Hotel, to our lit mags list which “seeks to accommodate fiction, poetry and contemporary thought”. Go and visit!

There’s loads to read and many places to send your stories: Firewords Three is here, Jotters United has a new issue out and is calling for submissions, and the second issue of Confingo is now on sale.

The Emma Press is calling for prose pamphlet submissions Holdfast Magazinelaunched Issue 4, Diverse Reflections and is also calling for submissions. Bunbury magazine is also calling for submissions and giving us a peek at what’s been going on over there. Short Story Sunday, which has just launched its first issue, is calling for submissions and Short Fiction journal also wants your short stories.

Anthologies

Queen’s Ferry Press is calling for nominations for the first Best Small Fictions anthology.  Freight Books wants short story submissons for an anthology inspired by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. To celebrate National Short Story Week, 32 young writers have been published in an anthology, on sale now.

Competitions
Felixtstowe Book Festival has launched its 2015 short story competition, deadline May 16th.

Live Lit
Fictions Of Every Kind is holding its next event, Help Yourself, tomorrow Dec 2nd in Leeds, including an open mic. Word Factory is having its free Christmas Party Dec 13th, in London.

If you are eager for even more short-story-related news, do follow ShortStops on Twitter where, when we should be writing, we spend (far too) much time passing on news from lit mags, live lit events, short story workshops and festivals! If you’d like to review an event or a publication, drop me a line.

Happy reading, writing, listening and performing!
Tania x

Firewords Issue 3 is here!

Firewords Issue 3

Hi there ShortStops! Hot off the press, the newest issue of Firewords features stories about life, love and letting go, as well as the usual striking visuals created by an array of talented illustrators, photographers and designers.

The new look of Issue 2 gained a wonderful reaction and this has encouraged us to retain the perfect-bound format which really does maximize the impact of the artistry inside. We are learning alongside the growth of the magazine, and are sure that Issue 3 is our best one yet! Get yourself a copy and let us know if you agree.

Also available in our brand new shop: The much requested subscriptions are back and we have special Christmas bundles for sale – only £11 with free UK delivery! Stocking filler anyone?

P.S. Submissions for Issue 4 will be opening in early December, so keep your eyes peeled!

Firewords Christmas Bundles

Firewords Issue 3

Firewords Issue 3

Review of Firewords Quarterly Issue 2

firewords

Firewords Quarterly accomplishes the extraordinary feat of gathering a cacophony of original voices under one title. Each writer featured is very different from the next. This is especially impressive when you consider they have been able to piece these voices together, like some kind of literary jigsaw, into a refreshing little magazine. Even the feel of the booklet lets you know that it’s something special. Inside the magazine, the carefully plotted layouts instantly grab your attention. The illustrations (some hand-drawn some produced digitally) are as varied as the writer’s voices.

Reading Firewords is an education in the types of stories that are up-and-coming right now. Like any literary magazine its aim is to update readers on the state of current and emerging writers. Firewords achieves this with a lively mixture of short stories, flash fiction and poetry.

The short stories form the focus of the magazine, with other pieces fitted around them. There doesn’t seem to be any one uniting theme, which is part of the magazine’s charm- refusing to adhere to the current obsession with themes that many literary publications hold dear.

The two stories given the most space are: Five Seasons by Malene Huse Eikrem and The Man of Harim Province by: Peter Davison. They are both enjoyable, but I preferred the grim descriptive passages of Five Seasons; to the Murakamiesque The Man of Harim Province. The latter story is an ironic look at a bizarre ideal world, but it is quite difficult to feel a connection with. Maybe I’m just a pessimist but I preferred the outright Nordic Noir atmosphere found in Five Seasons. Five Seasons is a fascinating and piercing look at real life, though through fairly surreal glasses. However The Man of Harim Province does have some great one liners.

The other highlight of the magazine is the “Short Short Stories” section. This section does have a theme, in the form of a writing prompt (the prompt was: “As the lights went out everything changed”). The short short stories have their intensity multiplied by their brevity. The idea behind short shorts comes from the current craze for flash fiction. Flash fiction tends to borrow features from poetry, quotations and short stories. It has also been linked to twitter and other social networking sites where brevity is essential, and has become a huge part of our daily lives. In the Short Short Stories section of Firewords I especially enjoyed the story My Evil Twin by Alison Wassel. Wassel writes with a mythical slight on the modern world. Her short short is powerful enough to get her imagery stuck in your brain for several days after reading it.

Overall the design and content of Firewords Quarterly is engaging and in parts even beautiful. I look forward to the next issue, which will hopefully maintain the wide, but eclectic, range of fiction in this issue. Buy yourself a copy here.

SARAH GONNET

Sarah is a self-educated journalist, writer and artist, who creates from her shed in a northern village of the UK. Sarah has been experimenting with various forms of writing over the last few years. Recently she has been writing a lot of arts-orientated journalism for The Guardian, The Journal, Luna Luna, Sabotage Reviews, Screenjabber and essays on female artists for The Bubble. She is also working with Survivors Poetry and one of her poems was chosen as their ‘Poem of the Month’ in July. Under the pseudonym Azra Page, Sarah has published two collections of autobiographical pieces: Catharsis and Dull Eyes; Scarred Faces. Carolyn Jess Cooke published several of Sarah’s poems for her blog “On Depression”. Sarah also writes plays which are going through the development process of being performed at scratch nights.

Firewords Quarterly Issue 3 – Submissions open until 3rd Oct

Would you love to see your writing shine among the pages of Firewords Quarterly? Submissions for our Autumn edition are open until the start of October – so don’t delay if you want to get your short story or poem in for consideration.

Remember, we work with the best artists, illustrators, photographers, hand-letterers and designers to bring each piece of writing we publish to life – so what are you waiting for?

  • Deadline: 3rd October
  • Word Count: Under 2000
  • Theme: Autumn / Fall (this is optional and we would recommend not taking the theme too literally)
  • How to submit: Click here!

We’re also running our flash fiction challenge again and the best ones will  be published in Issue 3. All the  flash fiction stories must be under 400 words, and must include / be inspired by the following prompt: “She regretted it instantly,
but it was too late.”

Check out our submission guidelines for more details. We can’t wait to read (and hopefully publish) your work!

Firewords Quarterly Issue 2 – Out now!

Firewords Issue 2

Like the long-awaited first rays of summer sun, the ‘Summer’ themed edition of Firewords Quarterly has arrived with a bang and, if we do say so ourselves, it’s a real literary and visual treat.

The call for submissions for Issue 2 was hugely successful, in both quantity and quality. In fact, we have increased the page count from 32 to 48 to accommodate as much exceptional writing as possible. As well as having much more content, we have moved away from the newsprint and embraced a perfect-bound, paperback format. This is to ensure the amazing writing and stunning artwork inside are shown to their full potential.

While implementing these changes, we have worked hard to ensure that the essence of Firewords Quarterly has remained unaltered. We pride ourselves in creating a publication that is full of powerful short fiction and poetry that is enhanced by artwork and illustrations by some amazing artistic talent. So slap on some sun cream, grab your sunglasses and feast your eyes on Issue 2.

Firewords Issue 2 - Marbles