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.
Stroud Short Stories is open until the end of Sunday 29 September for submissions from Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire writers.
It’s free to submit and we will select ten stories to be read by their authors at our 19th event on Sunday 10 November at the 150-seater Cotswold Playhouse. Our last 13 events have all sold out.
The event is part of the 2019 Stroud Book Festival.
It’s an open theme this time so any subject matter, any style so long as it’s a short story of no more than 1,500 words.
Information about our rules and how to submit is on the SSS website.
Tickets, priced at £8, go on sale on the Playhouse website on 11 October.
Old technology – we all used it, and it’s still there: cassette tapes, floppy discs, videos, 35mm slides, overhead projectors, Ansaphones, games consoles, View-Masters, faxes, Dictaphones, reel to reel, Ceefax… How did we function with these ancient machines, these relics of the future?
Hopefully these six writers hold the answer: Writer-in-Residence at Manchester’s Victoria Baths Sarah-Clare Conlon, Sawn-off Tales author David Gaffney, John Rylands Library Writer-in-Residence Rosie Garland, Creative Writing lecturer Valerie O’Riordan, Bad Language host Fat Roland and Nicholas Royle, series editor of Best British Short Stories.
In FaxFiction, six brand-new short stories will focus on old technologies, and will each be performed using artefacts gathered especially for the event. Made uniquely for the Refract:19 festival, which takes place annually at Greater Manchester arts centre Waterside, this unique show on Saturday 27 July will also feature the live premiere of an installation commissioned from sound artist Gary Fisher.
Tickets cost £8 (£6 concessions) – book here.
WE HAVE LIFT-OFF! Liars’ League‘s sci-fi-flavoured special to commemorate 50 years since the moon landings features five forward-looking stories exploring the ultimate theme. Teleport into The Phoenix, Cavendish Square on Tuesday 11th June to experience deep space, time-travel tourism, cryogenics gone wrong, vanishing clones, astronautical ambitions and a terrifying game of Murder in the Dark …
INFINITY & BEYOND WINNING STORIES
London 2025 by Wan Shinfah NEW AUTHOR, read by Cliff Chapman
Proxima Centauri by Oliver Parkes NEW AUTHOR, read by Greg Page
How to be an Astronaut by Alice Franklin, read by Gloria Sanders
The Martlet by Abigail Lee, read by Lois Tucker
Frozen Futures by Rhys Timson, read by Tony Bell
Usual NASA rules apply: doors open at 7pm for a 7.30 start and tickets are £5 on the door (currently cash only, sorry, but there’s a cashpoint 2 minutes away). Entry includes a programme, participation in our infamous book quiz where fantastic science fiction can be won, and of course all the Flying Saucers you can eat. 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
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
Jared can feel the tower blocks looming overhead, three concrete sentinels watching as he runs. He knows he has less than a minute before his pursuers are on him, but as he rounds the corner into the alley he stops, dead. There’s a strange canvas structure propped against the wall, a hand-made sign scrawled on a scrap of cardboard. Enter the Shadow Booth, it says, and you will never be the same again.
The Shadow Booth is back for its third volume, available now from our online store. An international journal of weird and uncanny fiction, The Shadow Booth is dedicated to publishing emerging and established writers of the strange, exploring that dark, murky hinterland between mainstream horror and literary fiction. Stories from Vols. 1 & 2 have been selected for The Best Horror of the Year (ed. Ellen Datlow), The Year’s Best Weird Fiction (eds. Michael Kelly & Robert Shearman) and Best British Horror (ed. Johnny Mains).
Volume 3 includes new weird and uncanny fiction by:
- Nick Adams
- Judy Birkbeck
- Raquel Castro
- Armel Dagorn
- Jill Hand
- Richard V. Hirst
- Verity Holloway
- Tim Major
- Annie Neugebauer
- Robert Shearman
- Gregory J. Wolos
Paperbacks and ebooks are available here.
We’re also holding a FREE launch event in London on Thursday 11 April, with readings from Robert Shearman, Judy Birkbeck and Tim Major. The event starts at 7pm at The North by Northwest, a Hitchcock-themed pub in Islington. You can find full details and RSVP here.
Enter the Shadow Booth and you will never be the same again…
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.
Best invitation ever? Worst??
Story Friday in March has the theme Invitation… to the ball, to the party, to the pub, to the moon, to the wedding, to heaven, to hell? What is more intriguing than the perfect – or imperfect – invitation? We are inviting writers to write their favourite invitation story for a glorious story-party in March.
Story Friday Invitation will be on 22nd March, deadline for submissions is 11th March. 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.
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.
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.
The next Story Friday has the theme of ‘Stolen’: stolen hearts, stolen kisses, stolen jewels, stolen lives… who is the thief in your story? Will you go all Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or are your robber’s deeds more domestic? We can’t wait to read your stolen stories! 2,000 words maximum, no minimum, deadline Monday April 30th. Story Friday Stolen is on Friday 11th May – please ensure you are available to come to the event before submitting. We have fine actors who are happy to read your story for you if you’d like them to – please let us know when you submit. For more information about Story Fridays, to listen to stories that we’ve recorded, for full submission details and to submit your story click here.
From action heroes to Irish farmers, murderers to museum guards, via cuckolds, crosswords, “relationship wine” and a man who starts growing balloons all over his body, we at Liars’ League have ten wild, weird and wonderful flash fiction stories for you in our birthday special* on Tuesday 10th April (click for Facebook event link).
Tickets to this terrific tasting menu of tiny tales are just £5 on the door (cash only) which adds up to 50p per story: probably the biggest entertainment bargain in the West End. Your £5 will also get you a programme, birthday cake, entry to our literary quiz (win books!), and of course all the small and beautiful sweets you can eat.
- Action by William Conway & Chiaroscuro by Richard A. Shury, read by Rich Keeble
- Lighter than Air by Anton Rose & Mugged by Stephen Baily, read by Miranda Harrison
- Wine Frame of Mind by Joseph Francis & The Last Real Thing by MFC Feeley, read by James Price
- Losers by Nicolas Ridley, read by Will Goodhand
- 24 Tiny Tales by Andreas Paraskevaides, read by Claire Lacey & Will Goodhand
- Decluttering by Sue Smith, read by Claire Lacey
- Mandatory Meeting for Museum Guards Before The VIP + Members’ Exhibition Opening Reception by Rachel Karyo, read by Keleigh Wolf
As always, doors open at 7pm and the show begins at 7.30. Drinks and food will be available at the bar, and the infamous interval quiz will feature fabulous free books to be won! There’s no pre-booking, but tables for four or more can be reserved by calling 07808 939535. And finally, if for whatever unimaginable reasons you can’t make the show, performances are recorded for podcast and videoed in HD for our YouTube channel.
The venue is the downstairs bar at:
The Phoenix pub
37 Cavendish Square
(The Phoenix is 5 minutes’ walk from Oxford Circus tube station, which is on the Victoria, Bakerloo and Central lines. Map here)
*we’re 11 this year, since you ask …
The Anthology of Authors returns! Following our postponed event (March 1st) at The Stagey Fox Leamington, we are pleased to announce – YAY! – (that’s us being pleased) that we will be back to entertain you with shorts, poems, flashes, flishes and most likely flushes on THURSDAY 22nd MARCH at The Stagey Fox, Regent Street Leamington Spa. Free to enter, free to listen, free to applaud and do feel free to flatter. First sentence 7.15pm, closing paragraph 9pm. Come one, come all!
is seeking four emerging writers to be individually mentored by leading authors, for FREE* as part of our renowned Word Factory Apprentice Award. The chosen writers will be talented, supportive of our inclusive ethos and willing to give their time to participating in our activities. They will have access to the Word Factory events and masterclasses – a programme offering creative inspiration, writer development and a unique community of supportive writers. They will also be invited to read their work with their mentor at a special Word Factory event. They will also be given a year long membership of the Society of Authors with alll the benefits and support of that organisation.
Our apprentice alumnae have achieved industry recognition including publication with independent and mainstream publishers such as Salt and Faber; awards and shortlistings including the Guardian BAME prize, Bath Flash Fiction Prize and Wasafiri prize; reviewing for journals and publications including the TLS, Economist and New Statesman.
The award is offered to talented authors on the way to their first collection of short stories or beginning to send work out for publication. We are committed to the development of our apprentices in the long-term. In exchange, we look for individuals willing to support other writers and be part of the growing team.
Our 2018/19 mentors bring a vast range of experience to the award – plus a passionate commitment to the literary and social values of the Word Factory. We are delighted to announce that they are: BBC National Short Story Award-winner KJ Orr, Courttia Newland, Tom Lee and for the Northern Apprentice, Jenn Ashworth.
The Word Factory is London based but this is no barrier to working with writers from across the UK. We are committed to opening the award to writers with no access to literary mentorship and from communities who are often excluded.
At least one place a year is held open for talented BAME writers.
Please Note: the scheme is not suitable for anyone with novels or collections already published or under contract (self-published and non-fiction books may apply). Also, application is only open to residents of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Application is simple:
If you DO NOT live in the north of England— you will need to send us two files: your best 2,000 word story (or part of a story) and 500 words explaining both how the scheme will benefit you and what skills and commitment you will bring to the Word Factory. In the past, our apprentices have offered some of the following: social media skills; helping us run events; creating a flash fiction prize; supporting festivals. In your letter please tell us where you live and whether you have a BAME background.
What you do:
Use the link below to apply and pay a £20 admin fee.
Full details on how to send us your files will be included in your receipt.
Lastly, email us your story and supporting letter.
*Unwaged applicants can still apply. Please send your story, covering letter and short explanation of your circumstances direct to Paul McVeigh at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you live in the North of England:
Follow this link: http://www.northernwritersawards.com
Applications CLOSE on February 1st 2018.
WINNERS INFORMED May 2018.
Announcements at the Word Factory and Northern Writers’ Awards June 2018.
Mentorship completes March 2019.
Due to the high numbers of applications expected, we will not be contacting you if your application has been unsuccessful. Good luck! Look forward to seeing you in 2018.
Contact for Information.
This coming Tuesday, 16th January 2018, we’re holding the London launch event for The Shadow Booth: Vol. 1, in partnership with Unsung Live! The event is FREE, but please RSVP using the link at the bottom of this post if you’d like to come along.
The evening will feature readings by RICHARD V. HIRST and GARY BUDDEN, both featured in Volume 1. There will also be readings by Unsung guests JAMES MILLER and STEPHEN ORAM – so prepare yourself for an evening of speculative readings, heated discussion, and the weird and wonderful. The event starts at 7pm on Tuesday 16th, and runs until about 9.30pm. It takes place at The Star of Kings, 126 York Way, London (near King’s Cross).
Reading this evening, we have:
JAMES MILLER: James Miller is the author of the novels LOST BOYS (Little, Brown 2008) SUNSHINE STATE (Little, Brown 2010) and most recently UNAMERICAN ACTIVITIES (Dodo Ink 2017) as well as numerous short stories and articles. He is senior lecturer in Creative Writing at Kingston University where he runs the MA in creative writing.
GARY BUDDEN: Gary Budden writes fiction and creative non-fiction about the intersections of British sub-culture, landscape, psychogeography, hidden history, nature, horror, weird fiction and more. A lot of it falls under the banner ‘landscape punk’. His work has appeared in The Shadow Booth: Vol. 1, Black Static, Unthology, Year’s Best Weird Fiction, The Lonely Crowd, Litro, Structo, The Quietus and many more. He was shortlisted for the 2015 London Short Story Award, and his story ‘Greenteeth’ was nominated for a 2017 British Fantasy Award and adapted into a short film by the filmmaker Adam Scovell. He also co-runs the indie publisher Influx Press. His debut fiction collection, HOLLOW SHORES, was published by Dead Ink Books in October 2017. He might also be part of the Eden Book Society.
RICHARD V. HIRST: Richard V. Hirst is from Manchester. His writing has appeared in The Shadow Booth: Vol. 1, The Guardian, The Big Issue and Time Out. His latest book is THE NIGHT VISITORS, an award-winning ghost story co-written with Jenn Ashworth and told entirely via emails.
STEPHEN ORAM: Stephen Oram writes science fiction and is lead curator for near-future fiction at Virtual Futures. Currently, he’s the cultural partner in a collaborative project with scientists at King’s College, London – they do the science he does the fiction. He’s been a hippie-punk, religious-squatter and an anarchist-bureaucrat; he thrives on contradictions. He is published in several anthologies, has two published novels, QUANTUM CONFESSIONS and FLUENCE. His recent collection of sci-fi shorts, EATING ROBOTS and Other Stories, was described by the Morning Star as one of the top radical works of fiction in 2017.
All are welcome, so please come along for an evening of free speculative fiction and good company!
If you’re interested in coming, please RSVP via the Meetup link here. See you at the Star!
(Note: If you can’t make it along, but would like to read The Shadow Booth, we now have paperbacks and ebooks available via our online store. Volume 1 includes stories by Alison Moore, Paul Tremblay, Gary Budden, Malcolm Devlin, Annie Neugebauer, Richard V. Hirst and many more.)
Grab your hats, coats, shoes and socks and be sure to wipe your calendars clean for the evening of Friday 26th January 2018.
Because on that night ‘The Squat Pen Rests’ Short Story Spoken Word Event will be barrelling into the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, with a freshly sharpened pencil clamped between its teeth, and brandishing a proper-fancy gaggle of fabulous stories for anyone brave enough to pitch up and listen.
Six super-fine short story writers will duke it out in front of a live audience to find out who will be crowned the very first ever ‘The Squat Pen Rests’ Writing Competition Champion of the World!
There will be prizes, live music, a bar, some occasional bawdiness and, of course, those six spoken word performers who will have travelled from far and wide (maybe even further) in pursuit of the Holy Grail that is ‘The Squat Pen Rests’ Writing Competition Champion of the World title.
The game’s afoot: and upon this charge (just £5.50 per ticket), cry ‘gimme one!’ (or maybe two) to secure your seats.
‘The Squat Pen Rests’ is actively seeking writer-performers. So, if you’d like to be in with a chance of performing your story on the night (and winning fifty smackers, to boot) then we’d love to hear from you. All you have to do is follow the link for further details. The Squat Pen Rests Writing Competition
And when does this glorious event take place, I hear you roar. Well, because you’ve roared so nicely, I’ll tell you.
The date is Friday 28th January 2018. Doors will open at 7.30pm and the readings will commence around 8pm. Closing time is ‘late’.
And Where, pray tell, doth this event take place?
All right Shakespeare, keep your hair on. I’ll tell you where:
The Place – Wyvern Theatre,
Swindon SN1 1QN
For all other enquiries please email: email@example.com
In November Cameryn Moore brings even more Smut Slam to the UK
where sex and storytelling collide
You know what a poetry slam is, and maybe you know about story slams, too. Now it’s time for SMUT SLAM, a fast-paced storytelling open mic based on real life, real lust, real sex. The Smut Slam features real-life, first-person sex stories, guest stories from our panel of celebrity judges, and also THE FUCKBUCKET, a convenient and funnily named receptacle for all your anonymous questions and confessions!
Things are changing a bit for Smut Slam UK. Cameryn is leaving us for a little while due to visa complications, but there will be amazing guest hosts filling her shoes till she gets back.
Wednesday 8th November: Stand Up Tragedy Presents SMUT SLAM London: “Big Bangs” at the Dogstar (389 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8LQ ) This night will be hosted by guest host Miranda Kane who will be filling in for Cameryn in London for Autumn 2017.
For the next SMUT SLAM Edinburgh and SMUT SLAM Glasgow keep an eye on the Smut Slam Scotland facebook page.
For the next SMUT SLAM Brighton keep an eye on the Smut Slam Brighton facebook page.
SMUT SLAMMERS sign up on the night to tell a 5-minute dirty story, based on their real lives, and a lucky eight to ten names will be drawn at random.
NOT A SMUT SLAMMER? Don’t worry. The audience is in for a good time at SMUT SLAM! Sit back and enjoy. All we ask is: – No interrupting. – No heckling. – No necking in the front row. Doors open at 8pm, and the smut starts slamming at 8:30. Admission is only £10 at the door, 18 and over please!
SMUT SLAM is CREATED by Cameryn Moore, an award-winning playwright/performer, sex activist and educator, and, oh yeah: a phone sex operator. She is super excited to introduce London and Smut Slam to each other! When not performing, taking calls, or actually having sex herself, Cameryn writes Sidewalk Smut: custom type-written pornography as street performance and literary art.
The Smut Slam originated in Boston in 2011, became thoroughly established in Montreal that same year, and has since traveled all over the world, with standing-room-only shows in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a whopping 100+ crowd in Atlanta last November, and a sold-out show in Boston in 2016.
Missing Halloween already? Been inspired by ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night? Story Fridays wants your stories on the theme of HAUNTING. This is our firstly ghostly themed Story Fridays in five years, so we’re really excited and just a little bit scared already! Stories should be 2,000 words or fewer, deadline for submissions is coming up fast on 13th November, and the date of Story Friday Haunting is 24th November in Bath. Please ensure you are available to come along before you submit. If you don’t want to read your story, and would like one of our wonderful actors to read it for you, please let us know when you send in your story. We can’t wait to read them! For more information, to listen to the kind of stories we like, and to submit your story, click here.