Write for a Flash Walk

Totterdown coloured houses cr Judy Darley

After a year’s hiatus, the #FlashWalk is set to return as part of the National Flash-Fiction Day UK celebrations on 16th June 2018. Far less seedy than it sounds (depending on the tales submitted), the Flash Walk will take place in Bristol, celebrating fiction in its shortest and most intense form.

The Flash Walk will take place in central Bristol, and your words can be part of it.

To be in with a chance of being included, send us a piece of flash fiction, prompted by some aspect of the theme Urban Landscape. You can take this idea in any direction you choose, using any theme and any genre, providing your tale is between 40 and 400 words in length.

Bristol can be but doesn’t have to be a source of inspiration.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 21st May 2018.

The selected stories will be shared by actors during the walk, so if yours is chosen, all you need to do is come along and enjoy the performance!

The walk begins at 10.30am on 16th June, outside the main entrance to Bristol’s M-Shed on the harbour side. It will finish at the GreenHouse, Hereford Street, BS3 4NA (just under a mile’s stroll away), between an hour and an hour and a half later.

The GreenHouse will also be the venue for the afternoon’s free writing workshops.

To be part of National Flash-Fiction Day‘s #FlashWalk2018, submit your entries to bristolflash@gmail.com before midnight on Monday 21st May 2018. There’s no charge to enter, so why not give it a try?

Open Pen Releases Twentieth Issue

Hitting a handful of London bookshops way back in early 2011, Open Pen has just released its twentieth issue and can be found in bookshops around the country now. The free short fiction journal is stocked in over forty bookshops these days, as well as bars, pubs, cafes, universities and writers’ centres. It even has a stockist in Cuba.

Twenty issues of Open Pen has brought the magazine close to a hundred short stories from almost as many fiction writers. The red and black coloured issue sees Louisa Adjoa Parker, Dan Coxon, Jim Gibson, Jonnie McAloon, Katherine Orton, Simon Pinkerton, Elissa Soave, Dan Ayres, Gary W. Hartley, and Gerard McKeown join the fold. Their fiction is varied and yet bound together by their relevance, as has become a part of the identity of Open Pen. As always, regular contributor N Quentin Woolf is on hand to deliver the killer blow. that just leaves editor Sean Preston to deliver a nutshell report on the thrills and plentiful spills of the first twenty issues.

You can subscribe to Open Pen here, but why pay when you can get to a bookshop and get it for free? As has always been the mag’s hope, why not pick up a book whilst you’re there? Something different, something you wouldn’t usually go for. Something with bite. That’d make Open Pen happiest of all.

Three of the stories from Issue Twenty live online over on the mag’s website. Check out The Thursday Club by Elissa Soave, Handjob by Dan Ayres, and Of Course by Gary W. Hartley.

Here’s hoping there’s another twenty issues ahead.

Try a FREE taster of the Writers’ HQ Short Story course!

The next round of Writers’ HQ’s 6-week online Writing Short Fiction course starts on the 20th of March but you can try out a FREE taster week HERE!

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Writing Short Fiction

6 Week Online Course from Writers’ HQ

Starts 20th March, £140 (Get 10% off when you use promo code SHORTSTOPS10 before the 12th of March!)

Short stories aren’t just easier versions of the novel. They’re a broad, complex and rewarding art form in their own right. Writers’ HQ’s new online writing short story course will help you see the bigger picture and compress it into short stories with real punch.

Short stories have been here since the dawn of time. Based in the oral tradition (stop sniggering at the back), they’re the apocryphal family legends our grandmas/weird uncle used to tell us over Christmas dinner; they’re the school-yard urban myths; the sleepover ghost stories; the soliloquies in our diaries; the wine-soaked rants to that random person you cornered in the kitchen at that party after so-and-so dumped you. Short stories are all around us. <cue X-Files theme>

But super short stories are not super easy for writers, natch. In fact, the shorter your story becomes, the harder it is to distil what really matters onto the page. I would have written a shorter letter, so the famous quote goes, but I didn’t have the time.

So what makes truly great short fiction? The kind that leaves you dribbling, slack-jawed, slap-faced when you finish it. The kind you remember forever, like some weird dream-memory. Well. We can’t write it for you, but we can give you a nudge, a shove, and a poke with a sharp stick (whatever floats your boat) to help you on your way. With the help of writing prompts, advice from award-winning short fiction writers, inspiring exercises, and our awesome little online community, you’ll come out the other side at least one fully formed short story to call your very own.

TRY OUT A FREEBIE WEEK HERE AND BOOK YOUR PLACE! (Don’t forget to use promo code SHORTSTOPS10 to get 10% off when you book before 12th March.)

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England’s Future History announces winners

After many great entries on everything from genetic engineering to England’s football team, we’ve select our three winners.

The three stories are the first to be published on our new site, which aims to create a new vision of the future of our country through short stories.

It’s was hard to choose the winners, but we managed to get it down to three. They are…

Click on the links above to read these stories or go to our site. It also means we’ve updated our future timeline with the events of these brilliant short stories.

And it means we’re now accepting submissions for the June 30th deadline. Anyone wanting to enter should read the stories and check our timeline to make sure their piece fits in with the events now established. More details on how to enter can be found here.

England’s Future History wants your short stories…

A new short story competition has launched giving writers the chance to map out what happens to England in the future.

England’s Future History is seeking stories or poems between 500 and 3,000 words set in the future and based in England. Simple, right?

The twist is that once a story has been accepted and published, the events in that story become canon – they are officially part of England’s Future History. Other stories that follow have to take these historic events into account.

Some tips:

  • Don’t write us into a corner: The selection of stories will be curated so any that write us into a corner (apocalypse scenarios etc) will be rejected no matter how good they are
  • Think small: Not every story has to have a major event. We’re looking for more personal views of the future. Characters are just as important as the events. But the story should reflect the changing times
  • Follow the timeline: As new stories are published the events of these tales will be added to our timeline. Before you submit, read the timeline to make sure you’re not contradicting someone else.
  • Get connected: One of the aims of this project is to create a connected vision of England’s future. So, you’ll get extra brownie points if you make reference to events in other stories. Think of it as the EFHLU – the English Future History’s Literary University.

What do predict for the future?

Will your story be about the day Wales gains independence? Will your character be the last red head in the UK? Or the first Brit to reach 120 years old?

Will it be about a new technological advance that changes everything or a political movement that threatens to send the country into meltdown?

Or maybe you just imagine a future in which Newcastle finally win the Premier League – stranger things have happened.

The rules…

1. All stories should be under 3,000 words, but can be as little as 500 words.

2. All stories should be set in England at some point in the future.

3. New entries must not contradict anything that has gone before. Check the timeline post for key dates and events.

4. I will have final say on what goes in.

5. All submissions should include a future date at the start so I can easily place it on the timeline.

6. We don’t mind if you have published your stories elsewhere previously.

7. We’d prefer not to remove stories once published – so be certain you want your piece online.

8. We’ll edit your piece for typos  and grammar mistakes, so let me know beforehand if there are any intentional mistakes, grammar styles etc that I should know about.

9. We’ll aim to let you know within 3 weeks.

10. Oh, and it’s free to enter.

11. Deadlines are at the end of March, June, September and December. The next one is Thursday, March 31, 2016.

If you want your story to be included, simply email us with your story as an attachment, a bit about yourself and brief intro to your piece.

Call for Submissions: London Journal of Fiction

To celebrate the launch of the London Journal of Fiction, and to make sure we can see as much of your work as possible, we have lifted the reading fee for the month of August. That means it is free to submit to the LJF for the next two weeks!

We print good writing, regardless of style or genre, so feel free to get creative. This includes poetry, short stories and literary essays. You can find our submission guidelines here, or go straight to our submissions portal using the button below.

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Our website will be regularly updated over the coming months with new stories and poems, ahead of the launch of our first issue next year. Submissions will be considered for both the website and the first issue.

Looking forward to reading your work,

The Editors, LJF

Get Issue 1 of Bare Fiction Magazine for FREE

ImageWith Issue 2 of Bare Fiction Magazine just a couple of weeks away, we are rather understandably excited. We think you should be too.

Issue 2 is packed yet again with excellent poetry, fiction and plays from an array of fantastic writers such as Hannah Silva (shortlisted for this year’s Ted Hughes award), David Pollard, Ira Lightman (a regular contributor to the BBC Radio 3 programme The Verb), Siddhartha Bose, Angela Readman (winner of the Costa Short Story Award 2013), Rachel Trezise, Tania Hershman, and Niki Orfanou.

As if all the great content in Issue 2 was not enough, in Issue 3 out in July we’ll have brand new work from J.S. Vilares, Jane Roberts (shortlisted for the Bridport), Martin Malone, and Rebecca Goss (shortlisted for the Forward Prize) to name but a few.

How do I get Issue 1 for FREE?

Click through to our special offer subscription post on the Bare Fiction Magazine website and follow the simple instructions to share this offer with your friends on Twitter or Facebook. Once you have done that, our limited offer subscription button will magically appear and let you place your order.

See below for full contents listings for Issues 1 & 2 of Bare Fiction Magazine.

Full contents list for Issue 1 of Bare Fiction Magazine

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FULL CONTENTS LIST FOR ISSUE 2 OF BARE FICTION MAGAZINE

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