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!
Just a few days left until the Deadline! 10th of January!
Polish those 300-word short-short stories and take your chance. Become a part of this wonderful community of writers and storytellers. Take the chance of winning the prize! Give your story a chance to be recognised.
‘Originality must come from other resources: from one’s own voice, personality, character.’ Luis Pizarro, LISP judge.
‘Given that the story can only be 300 words, I am looking for something beyond the ephemeral, a story that will make an impression.’ James Kirchick, LISP judge.
‘LISP is based on creating a great community and, of course, all the writers who attend the competition will definitely be a part of this network. However, winners are winners, and they will have the greatest advantage. First of all, the prize and publication, and when you win a competition, it means that your pen has been recognised, which is a great feature for any writer. Not only while trying to reach agents or publishers, but also the personal satisfaction is priceless. Especially for young writers, it’s a way to build confidence.
As an award winner, I can also say that it helps you to improve. Now you see that you can write things that others appreciate as well, which encourages you to be even bolder.’ Ozge Gozturk, LISP founder.
Small Wonder Festival, Charleston’s annual celebration of short fiction, will take place between 27 September and 1 October 2017. The variety of this year’s programme confirms that although the texts may be compressed, the short form may contain a multitude of subjects, tones and styles. Short stories offer glimpses into the human condition and linger on in the mind, despite, even because of, their brevity and restraint. Don’t miss the shared experience of listening to and telling stories in the atmospheric tents at Small Wonder. During the festival you can listen to engaging speakers, take part in workshops and much more…
The festival kicks off on Wednesday 27 September with ‘Let Me Count the Ways’, an exploration of love in its many contexts and guises. Groundbreaking young writers Rowan Hisayo Buchanan and Gwendoline Riley will discuss their work with journalist Arifa Akbar.
On Thursday 28 September we explore the challenges and advantages of the short story form in our event ‘Novella Perfection’. Novella enthusiasts and practitioners Cynan Jones and Megan Hunter will be in conversation with Alex Clark. “I believe the novella is the perfect form of prose fiction.” – Ian McEwan.
Unmissable on Saturday 30 September is ‘Welcome to the Caribbean’, with Jamaican writer Olive Senior, Trinidadian Anthony Joseph and Bahamian Helen Klonaris (British Council International Writer in Residence at Small Wonder 2017).
A final highlight for any budding writers will be ‘Hitting the Ground Running’ on Sunday 1 October. This event promises a fascinating look at how to begin a career in writing short fiction, with debut authors Julianne Pachico and Jessie Greengrass speaking alongside agent Clare Alexander and publisher Mark Richards. Perfect for aspiring authors, those interested in the publishing process or short fiction fans, it will include an extended Q&A.
Visit the Small Wonder website for more information and many more events: https://www.charleston.org.uk/small-wonder/. Or join in the conversation on social media: #SmallWonderFest.
Words Away is a new series of monthly creative writing salons taking place at the Tea House Theatre Cafe in London. Each month, over tea and cake or a glass of wine, writers Emma Darwin and Kellie Jackson meet up with a different guest author for a focussed discussion on aspects of writing fiction. The audience plays a key part in the evening; exchanging ideas, asking questions and with a chance to socialise after.
We have some great guests lined up for 2017 including, Ruth Ware, Essie Fox, Sara Grant and Francis Spufford.
Our next salon, Writing Short Stories with Stella Duffy, is on Monday 23rd January at 7.30pm. All welcome.
Venue: Tea House Theatre Cafe, 139 Vauxhall Walk, London, SE11 5HL
Cost: £10 to book online or or £12 on the door.
For more info and to book: wordsaway.info
Words Away is a new series of monthly creative writing salons for writers taking place at the Tea House Theatre Cafe in London. Alongside Emma Darwin, each month, Kellie Jackson will be meeting up with a different guest author for a focussed discussion on aspects of writing fiction, be it short or longer form. The salons have been created with the audience as a key part of the evening, to exchange ideas, ask questions and mingle.
Our next salon, Creating Characters In Fiction is on Monday, 17th October and features author Elizabeth Fremantle. We have some great guests lined up this winter including Caroline Green and Essie Fox.
Be inspired. Nurture your craft. Meet other writers.
Elbow Room promised a number of things to the winners of our inaugural competition. Prize money, a London based event and a publication. All of these are important, tempting and impactful in different ways. The prize money is simple, ready and waiting once we have our winners selected. The event planning is well underway, the venue booked, the details being worked out, the flyers and information out and being shared. We hope it will be a wonderful evening and a successful weekend. The prize night will be October 16th from 6.oopm and we would love to see you all there. It’s free, will be a night to remember and we promise cake as well as art, short stories, poetry and live music.
Details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/688853477882644/
Of everything we’ve promise people it is the publication that is the longest lasting, the most impactful. After the prize money is spent and the event a fond memories the publication will remain. Despite not yet knowing exactly what will be between the covers we’ve had long discussions about how we want to make it. The beauty of the object is important to us, the way it looks and the way it feels. We want our first Elbow Room Prize anthology to retain the values that make our quarterly magazine special, to be hand bound, the use the same luxurious paper, to look and feel like an object of value. We want this for two reasons…
Firstly because that’s what As Yet Untitled publishing is all about.
Secondly (and most importantly) because the work that is eventually selected, printed and bound together is valuable and deserves only the best.
We have made our design choices, settled on a binding technique, prepared the cover. The book is going to have a limited first edition, numbered and collectable. We thought, while we finalise our winners, print and bind, that we would put the book up available for pre-order for anyone who is already absolutely certain that they want a copy. It will be release on October 16th and any pre-ordered copies will go in the post that very day. You can order it here: www.elbow-room.org/shop
Now back to the (impossible, enjoyable, enchanting, enthralling, complicated) judging,
Rosie, Zelda and Lauren.
Join the Word Factory for readings, conversation, masterclasses and publication with the most inspiring short fiction writers.
The Word Factory #36 – the intimate short story salon – 6-8pm
Our autumn salon season begins on Sept 19th at Waterstones Piccadilly with Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize winner Carys Davies, the inspirational Toby Litt and two powerful new voices, Tyler Keevil and Diriye Osman. Join us for their readings, and the Q&A afterwards chaired by Word Factory founder Cathy Galvin.
Short Story Club – 4.15-5.15pm
Ernest Hemingway:’Hills Like White Elephants’
Join us in September when we will be reading the classic Ernest Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants – one of the most iconic short stories in the English language. It’s a tale that seems simple and straightforward, but is laden with symbolism and meaning. What will you discover in Hemingway’s words?
Come and discuss this wonderful story with us at the Word Factory Short Story Club in September.
Email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our masterclass with Toby Litt sold out quickly, but you’re now able to book October and November’s masterclasses via our website. Join us for place & atmosphere with Alex Preston and how to beat digital depression with Kristen Harrison.
Also in September…
Word Factory at Small Wonder
Wednesday 23 to Sunday 27 Sept 2015
Word Factory is delighted to partner with the Small Wonder Festival within the autumnal warmth of Charleston in Sussex. Reading at this event will be Kirsty Gunn, Stuart Evers and Janice Galloway, followed by a Q&A with Cathy Galvin.
Unsung Live will feature stories from 4 rather talented authors. First we’ll have two of Unsung’s authors, Aliya Whiteley and Ian Hocking. Aliya is the author of numerous books and short stories, most recently The Beauty which has been shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson, James Tiptree and Saboteur Awards. Ian is the author of Deja Vu and more science fiction books. To keep them company we have Gary Budgen and Daniel Carpenter. Gary is a man with a great fistful of short story publications. Daniel is much the same, with extra ‘seasoned pro’ points for his work with Bad Language in Manchester.
Expect great stories, a friendly atmosphere and like-minded genre fans. The Star of Kings is a few minutes walk from Kings Cross and is already the home of lots of great genre clubs like the Post-Apocalyptic Book Club.
Event details and RSVP details can be found at our Meetup group – www.meetup.com/unsung
Words and Women are delighted to announce that they have been shortlisted for a National Saboteur award in the ‘best one off event’ category. The nomination is for this year’s International Women’s Day celebration held on March 8th at the Forum in Norwich. The literary event with a difference saw not only the launch of Words and Women: Two, a second anthology of contemporary women’s writing from the East of England but also the performance of four newly commissioned texts for ‘About,’ an Arts Council supported project which explores the relationship between women and place.
Words and Women’s trademark warmth, eclecticism and vibrancy was on show in Norwich as organisers Belona Greenwood and Lynne Bryan hosted a range of outstanding women writers from the region, reading their winning entries featured in the anthology. Words were intermingled with live music from Anna Mudeka and Sithabele Dube. There were stunning performances from actresses who took on the roles of 16th century Jane Sellars, found ‘idle at Trowse,’ a woman on a pilgrimage of grief, a railway woman’s quest in wartime Britain and a young prostitute, Anguish, incarcerated in a 19th century lunatic asylum, directed by Adina Levay of Chalk Circle Theatre Company and supported by the Arts Council.
‘The event drew a great audience of men, women and children, a range of ages and people travel from as far away as Peterborough and Cambridge to be with us.’ Said Belona Greenwood.
‘It is a really exciting to be shortlisted for this category. We want to encourage people to vote for us. It’s easy, just click on the link.’ VOTE NOW! http://www.saboteurawards.org
We at The Siren are delighted to invite you to the launch of our first book, FUGUE.
Fugue: A Collection of Contemporary Short Stories, is a modern and eclectic take on a resurgent art form: short fiction. Intelligent, amusing and often rather dark, FUGUE’s authors take a wander into bizarre worlds, visiting situations such as the possibility of romance between man and machine, the unfortunate consequences of living in an adult anxiety dream, and the course of action you must take should you find that your city is beginning to melt around you.
FUGUE’s authors include many prize winners, including writers short listed for the Bath Short Story Award and the National Book Foundation’s 5 under 35 award.
We would be absolutely delighted if the ShortStops family would be able to attend the launch, which will be on the 24th October at 7pm at the London Review Bookshop (nearest tube Holborn).
There will be wine, readings from the authors, and a whole cohort of interesting people to chat with (all of whom have a similar interest in short fiction!!) Please RSVP to email@example.com if you are able to support us there! -The Siren Team
Hello Short Stops.
By now you’ve hopefully seen or heard of the London Short Story Festival, June 20 – 22nd in association with Waterstones Piccadilly that we’ve been putting together with the passion and specialist knowledge of our guest Festival Director, Paul McVeigh. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a bit about how the Festival came to be from Spread the Word’s perspective.
As London’s writer development organisation, we are always in touch with creative writers of all forms. In particular, our offer for short story writers that includes specialist workshops (for example in the past year with Katy Darby and Adam Marek) are always oversubscribed. Last year our short story prize, won by Clare Sita Fisher for her remarkable tale, Living it Edgeways enabled us to publish our first anthology Edgeways through our publishing imprint, Flight Press.
We were asked by our good friends at IdeasTap to provide feedback for short story writers six times a year. The first brief has just closed, and currently we’re loving reading through all the entries.
The short story momentum was really invigorating us as individuals and as a team. What we really wanted to do was to offer something even more invigorating for short story writers everywhere. And there we were, after murmuring about it for a number of months (or really, years), on a dark rainy day in our cosy offices in Deptford, deciding to go forth and make it happen.
Waterstones Piccadilly is a great venue for this, being the biggest bookshop in Europe, and we are delighted to bring the festival to the beating heart of the book industry.
We’re all writers and passionate readers in the Spread the Word team. For example – Paul Sherreard is a poet, Eva is a short story writer and I’m a playwright dabbling in short stories. Lucy reads, it seems to me by the rate she is sat in front of another title, by osmosis. We’ve worked with Paul McVeigh for a number of years – he’s been our Writer at Large, ran workshops for us and attended some of our specialist writing workshops. His role as Festival Director has enabled him to curate a programme of writers that uses his extensive networks and specialist knowledge of the short story world.
One of the first short story writers that came Paul’s mind for his wish list was Claire Keegan and by jove she’s brilliantly doing three events during the weekend. Add Jackie Kay, Helen Simpson, AL Kennedy, Adam Marek, Jacob Ross, Colin Barrett…and so many more. We hope there’s something for every short story newcomer or lover.
There’s a free ‘Writers’ Space’ too. Litro Magazine, Comma Press and English Pen will give mini-workshops and the wonderful Vanessa Gebbie and Lisa Blower will be on hand to run writing exercises with you. You can still catch the UK exclusive lecture and masterclass from Claire Keegan on ‘How Fiction Works’.
Speakers’ Corner sees a brilliant collection of short story writers reading a story for free at the entrance of Waterstones during the Saturday and Sunday. Speakers’ Corner will enable short stories to echo across the whole bookshop and showcase readings from brilliant British and Irish writers.
We’ll launch our London Short Story Prize to give writers something to aim for, judged this year by Jackie Kay and Word Factory’s Cathy Galvin. Salt Publishing will be there to launch their Best of British Short Stories anthology too with a reading from, among others, London Book Award winner, Stuart Evers.
People often ask who are the best short story writers in the world? Who are the best we’ve ever seen? So often the focus is on American authors. Being a London festival, we have been thinking throughout developing the festival programme, not only who may be considered to be the best British short story writers, but what could be the best British short story ever written? I’m really excited by the idea of people voting for something that isn’t political or covered in sequins and advertising. What would you vote for? Maybe take a look at this blog post on The Guardian by Paul McVeigh to see what stories people are nominating.
If you vote you could also win a Spread the Word Laureate Friend membership and see your favourite story read out by writer and actress Stella Duffy at the close of the Festival. Cast your vote here: www.lssf.co.uk
I hope Short Stoppers will be there to help us make it a huge success and light a new torch for Short Story readers and writers.
Laura Kenwright, Audience Development Manager, Spread the Word
To mark the start of our festival season, Litro Live! will be heading to the Stoke Newington Literary Festival this June with a special event: the launch of Litro Represents, our new bespoke literary agency. We’re offering you the chance to join us and meet our writers, talk to our editors, and enjoy one of the UK’s newest literary festivals. Highlights of this year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival include Ray Davies, Jonathan Meades, AL Kennedy, Mark Kermode, Seamus Milne, Tanya Byron, Claudia Roden, Lynn Barber, Ben Watt and Joanne Harris, as well as our own Litro Live! event on Sunday 8 June
For the last ten years Litro has been publishing stories by the most exciting new writers, alongside work by established authors. This one-of-a-kind Litro Live! event brings together three of the most promising young writers from the pages of the magazine, as well as the first authors to be signed up to Litro’s new bespoke literary agency, Litro Represents. Reading from their works-in-progress will be: Maia Jenkins (winner of the GQ/Norman Mailer Prize), Rebecca Swirsky (shortlisted for the Bridport Prize) and Reece Choules (finalist for the Aesthetica Short Fiction Award). The event will be hosted by Litro editor Dan Coxon.
Maia Jenkins: Maia Jenkins grew up in Singapore and France but moved back to the UK in 2009. In October 2013 she won the GQ Norman Mailer Student Writing Prize for her essay ‘To the Weakness of Others’, which will be published in the July 2014 issue of GQ. Her short memoir piece, ‘Lessons’, appeared in Litro #132; her reviews of the stage production of American Psycho and Galveston, by True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto, have appeared in Litro online. She is currently working on her first novel, All a Darkness. Follow Maia on Twitter: @jenksym
Reece Choules: Reece Choules regularly contributes to The Culture Trip with articles on film, literature and music. His short stories have appeared in The Southbank Review, Inkapature, The Dying Goose and Cigale, and his story ‘Staircase‘ appeared in Litro #130. He was Long Listed for the 2013 Fish Publishing Short Story Competition and was a finalist in the Aesthetica Short Story competition. He is currently working on his first novel, The Drift. Follow Reece on Twitter: @ReeceChoules
Rebecca Swirsky: Rebecca Swirsky is currently being mentored by Stella Duffy after winning the Word Factory Apprenticeship. Her fiction is featured in Matter, Ambit, The View From Here, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Pygmy Giant, Stories for Homes anthology for Shelter, Cease, Cows and a number of British anthologies, including the Bridport anthology. Her story ‘Hotline to Almighty‘ appeared in Litro #131. She is currently shaping her debut novel-of-stories, A History of Symmetry.
You can buy tickets to Litro Live! at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival here.
We have two weekend tickets to the Stoke Newington Literary Festival to give away (courtesy of those fine folks in Stokey), to the best piece of flash fiction set in or around Stoke Newington. That’s right: we want you to turn the spotlight on Stokey. Why not imagine Edgar Allen Poe’s time at Manor School, or Daniel Defoe’s childhood on Church Street – or even tackle the area’s history of political radicalism?
Entries can be any genre, any theme, as long as they’re set in you-know-where. Maximum word limit is 800 words, and the winner will be published on the Litro website on Friday 6 June. Further details are available on the Litro website.
You should submit your entry via our Submittable page here.
The closing date for entries is Monday 2 June, 2014, and the winning entry will be chosen by the Litro editors. The winner will receive two weekend tickets to the Stoke Newington Literary Festival 2014, as well as publication on Litro.co.uk.
Weekend tickets allow entry to over 50 events in this year’s festival programme.
For more details of our Litro Live! event at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival, check the Litro blog.
The evening will be a jammed-packed serving of words, music and conversation, taking place on Wednesday 23 April as part of World Book Night Celebrations at Dartmouth House.
As well as giving you an opportunity to meet with like-minded individuals, you can connect with some of London’s hottest emerging literary talent and enjoy some great music.
We’ll be welcoming on the night Glen Duncan, Emma Jane Unsworth, Charlie Hill and Maia Jenkins, with guest musical performances from Lucinda Belle, and Benin City. The night will also welcome Naomi Foyle, who will be hosting her book club read: Astra.
Litro Live! will be welcoming back music from avant-garde harpist and Rockabilly Gypsy Jazz pioneer Lucinda Belle ahead of her latest album release.
We also welcome Benin City (Q Magazine call the band “A sultry piece of afro dub blues”). Named after a Nigerian capital, Benin City is a fused genre band fronted by Joshua Idehen (vocals) – previously collaborated with Hyperdub’s LV – Theo Buckingham (drums) and Tom Leaper (tenor saxophone/synths/samples).
In keeping with the spirit of World Book Night, there will also be plenty of book giveaways on offer – so bring yourself and a bag or two!
Tickets are available now
General Admission £10
ESU and Litro Members £7
For further information email:firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0203 371 9971.