Spooky stories for grown-ups

Fearless folks of Faversham and Folkestone!

Prepare to be scared by some spine-tingling stories and ghoulish (PoundUniverse) prizes this Halloween.

We’ll once again be gathering around the fireplace in the opulent Drawing Room of Folkestone’s famous Grand Hotel to hear spooky tales written especially for Hand of Doom Productions on Friday, October 27 from 8pm. Drinks available from the bar.

Then, on Saturday, October 28, we’ll be chilling The Faversham Society & Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre at 13 Preston Street, ME13 8NS Faversham, Kent from 8pm where you can bring your own bottle of something to steady your nerves.

 

Both events cost £6. For more details for Folkestone, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/359715527786531/?ref=br_rs and for Faversham, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/404655723282887/

Small Wonder Festival at Charleston

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.

let me count the ways

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).
caribbean

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.

 

 

Next Liars’ League event: Women & Girls

women & girls text jpgLiars’ League‘s female-focused September event, Women & Girls (click for Facebook event), is a tasty selection of brand new short fiction by and about women (and girls), for everyone to enjoy. The show is on Tuesday 12th September, starting at 7.30pm (doors open at 7pm), when the winning stories will be performed by our marvellous Liars’ League actresses.
The six chosen pieces feature superhero(in)es, ventriloquists, obsession, depression, Victorian prisoners, charismatic polygamists, West Midlands spiritual healers, and all manner of enticing stuff besides …
WOMEN & GIRLS WINNING STORIES
Summer Season by Sally Syson NEW AUTHOR, read by Charlotte Worthing
Walk a Mile in My Shoes by Olga Wojtas NEW AUTHOR, read by Keleigh Wolf
Limbo by Sue Smith NEW AUTHOR, read by Jennifer Aries
Finding Jezza by Sally Lane NEW AUTHOR, read by Nicky Diss
The Ends of the Earth by Aileen O’Farrell, read by Annalie Wilson
Le Retreat by Fiona Salter, read by Sarah Gain
The night will also feature our infamous book quiz (with female-authored novels as prizes #readwomen) and free sweets, just because. Tickets cost £5 on the door (cash only, no advance booking) and seating is unreserved – so it’s a good idea to get there a bit ahead of time if you want a good table. Accessibility note: access to the basement bar is via stairs – there’s no lift, alas.

The venue is downstairs at:
The Phoenix
37 Cavendish Square
London
W1G 0PP

(The Phoenix is five minutes’ walk from Oxford Circus tube station, which is on the Victoria, Bakerloo and Central lines). Map here.

P.S. We got an amazing number of submissions for this theme – more than double our usual amount – so if we get a good turnout at the event we may make Women & Girls a regular theme. If you think this is a great idea, please do come along, bring your friends and tell everyone you know, of any and every gender, about it. Ta!

Smut Slam: September

In September Cameryn Moore brings even more Smut Slam to the UK

smut slam

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.

Tuesday 12 September: SMUT SLAM Bristol: “Sex Education” at The Brunswick Club (15-16 Brunswick Square, Bristol, BS2 8NX). This night will be hosted by guest host Sam Scott.

Wednesday 13 September:  Stand Up Tragedy Presents SMUT SLAM London: “Sex Education” 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.


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Story Fridays Call for Submissions

We’re looking for your stories!  The next Story Fridays in September has the theme the Speed of Light. Take it literally or metaphorically… Perhaps we’ll go to the dark side of the moon, or the furtherest far away star, or perhaps we’ll get caught up in the state of the nation, and enjoy how political fortunes can change at the speed of..well. You get the idea. Story Friday – The Speed of Light will be on Friday 22nd September at Burdall’s Yard in Bath, deadline for submissions is the 11th September.

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. No poetry, thank you. Please check that you are available to come along to Bath on the 22nd 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 when you submit if you’d like someone else to read your piece.

For more information, or to listen to the kind of stories we like, click here.

Summer Smut Slams (July and August)

In July Cameryn Moore brings even more Smut Slam to the UK

smut slam

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, and when she does there will be amazing guest hosts filling her shoes till she gets back. But before she goes she is stepping up the Smut Slam action and cramming in as many as possible, including the first ever Cardiff Smut Slam and a run of Smut Slam Cabernet at the Edinburgh Fringe!

Wednesday 12th July:  Stand Up Tragedy Presents SMUT SLAM London: “Sex Olympics” 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. After this one Smut Slam London is taking a break, but only for a month, we’ll be back at The Dogstar on the 11th of September.

Wednesday 19th July:  SMUT SLAM Cardiff “Firsts” at the Castle Emporium (Womanby Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BS)

Sunday 23rd July:  SMUT SLAM Brighton: “Pride” at the Caroline of Brunswick ( 39 Ditchling Road, Brighton, BN1 4SB ) With guest host Mathilda Gregory!

Smut Slam Cabaret at the Edinburgh Fringe (Aug 8-24) at the Apex Grassmarket Hotel (31-35 Grassmarket, EH1 2HS Edinburgh) at 11pm. Smut Slam Cabaret is a little different to a general Smut Slam mostly because it isn’t an open mic. Expect finest filth at the Edinburgh Fringe, told by the people who lived it. Hosted by professional touring perv Cameryn Moore, this storytelling cabaret–which is based on the smash circuit of ‘Smut Slam’ open mics–boasts a rotating programme of real-life sex stories from real-life Fringe artists, plus sexy clowns, dirty music, burlesque babes, and sex toy prizes!

Monday 17th August: SMUT SLAM Glasgow: Pride at the Stereo Cafe Bar (20 – 28 Renfield Lane, Glasgow, G2 5 )

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.


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Submit your flashes to National Flash Fiction Day’s Micro Competition and Anthology!

National Flash Fiction Day UK is on Saturday 24th June 2017, and we are open for submissions for our Micro Fiction Competition and our Annual Anthology! Entry for both are free!

Competition: There is no theme for our competition, so feel free to send us up to three of your stories that are 100 words or fewer! Deadline for entries for our Micro Fiction Competition is Friday 31st March 2017. You can find out more information here: http://nationalflashfictionday.co.uk/comp.html

Anthology: Once again we are delighted to open ourselves up to submissions for the annual NFFD anthology. This year the theme is Life As You Know It.

This year’s editors will be the Co-Director of National Flash-Fiction Day, Santino Prinzi, and renowned flash-fiction writer, Meg Pokrass.

We want stories inspired by the lens of your own experiences, stories that navigate life and the world as only your characters know how. Tales of hope, loss, fear, and resilience. Flashes about identity, vulnerability, and triumph. We want you to harness and make use of your own experiences in fiction: What are your secrets? What makes you cry? What keeps you awake? Feel free to interpret “life as you know it” however you like, but your flashes must fit the theme in some way.

However you care to work with our theme, we want to read your stories. The word limit is 500 words, and you can submit up to 3 stories. Please include them in the email as MS Word attachments, and follow all the guidelines below.

All writers who have a story selected for the anthology will receive a free print copy of the book upon publication. Deadline for entries for our Anthology is Friday 14th April 2017.

You can find out more information here: http://nationalflashfictionday.co.uk/anth.html

This year we will be launching the anthology the U.K.’s first ever Flash Fiction Literary Festival, which will be taking place in Bath.

STROUD SHORT STORIES IS OPEN AGAIN FOR SUBMISSIONS

“Probasss_no14_invite_a4_050217_v2-1bly the best short story event in the South West” (Cheltenham LitFest programme), Stroud Short Stories is open again for your story submissions. And will be until 22 April 2017.

Ten stories will be selected to be read by their authors at our event on Sunday 21 May 2017 at the SVA (Stroud Valleys Artspace) in John Street, Stroud, GL5 2HA. Doors 7.30 for an 8.00 start. Tickets only in advance as we sell out each time. Ticket info will appear here when available.

The Rules and How to Submit are here. It’s free to submit, and the stories can be unpublished or previously published. These stories will be in our next anthology – due 2018.

The judges this time are brilliant short story writer Ali Bacon and SSS organiser John Holland. More info on them here.

Check out our website.

Watch/listen to Stroud Short Stories on our YouTube Channel!

The 7 stories read by their authors at our October 2016 ‘Stroud Short Stories Greatest Hits’ event at Cheltenham Literature Festival and the 10 stories read by their authors at our November 2016 event ‘The Apocalypse Alphabet & Other Stories’ are now on the SSS YouTube Channel.

Just click here

Just decide which of these authors you want to watch/listen to – Debbie Young, Philip Douch, Ali Bacon, Andrew Stevenson, Rick Vick, Mel Golding, Bill Jones, Alex Clark, Ken Clements, Steve Wheeler, Nastasya Parker, Chloe Turner, Natalie Lee, Kate O’Grady, Mark Graham or Geoff Mead.

Actually, you can’t go wrong!

http://stroudshortstories.blogspot.co.uk/

 

 

Smut Slam London 2017

Stand Up Tragedy Presents

smut slam

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 London’s first-ever SMUT SLAM, a fast-paced storytelling open mic based on real life, real lust, real sex.

(If you aren’t based in London look out for Smut Slams in Manchester, Bristol and Brighton!)

Join host Cameryn Moore on Wednesday, January 11, at 7:30pm at the Rose & Crown in Kentish Town (71-73 Torriano Ave, London NW5 2SG). The theme for this SMUT SLAM is, appropriately, “FIRSTS.” Mind-blowing? Awkward? Probably both! 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!

CELEBRITY JUDGE PANEL (Including Pandora Blake, Miranda Kane and Vera Chok)

SEXY PRIZES, including special prize packages and an NJOY stainless-steel toy!

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!

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 earlier this year. There are now five monthly branches of Smut Slam in North America alone, with more to come in the UK in 2017.

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.

 

Story Fridays Ice – open for submissions!

Hi everyone.  Any plans for the New Year?  You have now!  Submit a story to Story Friday Ice and you could have the chance to come along to Bath and read it to a lovely warm and friendly audience!  We are teaming up with B&NES Library Service again and part of this Story Friday is a B&NES-wide competition.  So if you live in B&NES and haven’t had a story at Story Fridays before, you might win a thrilling prize as well as the chance to shine on stage!

We’re looking for submissions on the theme of ICE – short stories up to 2,000 words.  Deadline for submissions is 2nd January (plenty of time to get over that New Year’s Eve hangover!), and Story Friday Ice is at Burdall’s Yard in Bath on Friday 13th January.   Please make sure that you can come to the event before you submit.  Submit stories via the website www.awordinyourear.org.uk.

Thank you and we look forward to reading your icy tales!

The Ham – Call for submissions

ham-logo-header

Hello!

Submissions are now open for issue #2 of The Ham.

We’re looking for short-fiction, poetry, art, and photography based around the theme(s) of ‘Change & Stasis’. Please see the submissions page for guidelines and further details.

Copies of issue #1 of The Ham can now be ordered online. This first issue contains work from a whopping 51 contributors, and is free of charge – you will only be charged for the price of postage.

Finally, we are very excited to announce plans for a launch party to celebrate the release of our inaugural issue. The venue is the wonderful community owned Ivy House in Nunhead, the date is Tuesday 13th December, and we’ll be kicking things off from around 7.30pm. There will be live readings from contributors, and music from the amazing Whiskey Moonface. The event is free, open to the public, and there will be lots of copies of issue #1 to take away for free. Come along if you can, the more the merrier, it should be a great way to meet other lovers of short-stories and poetry,  and to hear some wonderful readings and music. Drop me an email to thehamfreepress@gmail.com if you would like to do a reading of your work too!

Thanks!

Ed (Editor)

http://www.thehamfreepress.com/

https://twitter.com/HamFreePress

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Flashers’ Club open mic flash fiction night, 10th November, Cheltenham

Flashers Club will be holding its inaugural open mic night on Thursday 10th November, 7:30-11:00pm, at Smokey Joe’s Coffee Bar, Cheltenham. The mic is open to all writers of short fiction between 300 and 1,000 words. It’s open genre. Published or unpublished, old hand or debut, everyone’s welcome. We aim to be friendly and inclusive, and have a good time! Come along to read, or to hear exciting original writing.

There’ll be around 8 slots for readers, maybe more if time and story length allow. Names will be drawn from a hat if there are more readers than time. After each story we’ll have a short time for Q and A – not a critique, just a chat.

You can book tickets in advance or come along on the night. There’s a small entry fee (£2 + booking fee online, £3 on the door), all of which goes to the charity First Story. First Story places professional writers into schools in deprived areas to encourage children to write.

For lots more details, booking link and FAQs, see our website: www.flashersclub.wordpress.com. You can also find us on Twitter @flashers_club, or on Facebook /flashersclubcheltenham . We’d love to hear from you!

 

Live Spoken Word Flash Fiction Event at Monk’s House

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On the 2nd of September, Writers’ HQ are running a special evening of flash fiction, Moments of Being, at Monk’s House – the beautiful home of Virginia Woolf in Rodmell, East Sussex.

Bring along a story to read at this brand new spoken word event or simply come along to enjoy some fantastic short fiction and meet local authors!

Fri 2nd September: Moments of Being – Live Flash Fiction Event

Moments of Being is a brand new spoken word event hosted by Monk’s House, the home of Virginia Woolf in Rodmell – a literary evening full of bite-sized ‘moments‘ of fiction read aloud by the authors themselves.

Come, fine writers, pull your brave pants right up to your chin and read your words aloud to a room full of expectant ears. We want to hear your story…

Here’s how it works:

  • Bring along a story (no more than 1000 words please).
  • Put your name in the fiction hat and cross your fingers tightly.
  • If you’re picked, leap on stage with verve and pizazz, fill the brains of the audience with the sound of your story and then field their questions and feedback like a true pro. Be rewarded for your efforts with a free beverage.
  • If you’re not picked, then simply enjoy a relaxing evening of original literature, applaud wildly, and put your questions to the chosen authors.

And if you don’t fancy reading, then simply come along to listen to eight stories by eight fabulous writers, quiz them on their methods, techniques and inspiration, and enjoy an intimate evening of literary brilliance at the home of Virginia Woolf.

Booking essential. Visit Writers’ HQ for more details. 

The Elbow Room Prize 2016

The Elbow Room Prize has returned for a second year to celebrate art in all guises. The deadline is Sunday the 14th of August at midnight GMT.

We at Elbow Room a delighted to return with The Elbow Room Prize for a second year. With the deadline fast approaching we want to make sure everyone has had their chance to enter. We love short fiction of every kind at Elbow Room and can think of nothing more enjoyable than poring over well crafted fiction from every genre, style and subject out there.

The prize will culminate in a London based exhibition, reading and anthology publication. We once again look forward to receiving and sharing your gems with the world.

For more details about the event take a look at The Elbow Room Prize 2015.

The Elbow Room Prize 2015 anthology is available for sale in our shop, www.elbow-room.org/shop

Winners will be notified by Wednesday the 30th of September via email and will be publicised on the website soon after.

The event will be held towards the end of October and will be publicised after the winners are announced.

The Judging Panel:

Zelda Chappel grew up in London and the South of England. She is co-curator at Elbow Room. She writes, often on the back of things and never in black ink. Her work has been published in a number of publications both online and in print. in 2014, Zelda won the Battered Moons Poetry Competition. Her debut collection, Girl in the Dog-tooth Coat was published by Bare Fiction in 2015.

Harry Denniston is a short story writer, poet and playwright currently based in London. His work has been published in places such as Elbow RoomInky NeedlesDactyl and Quick Fictions, and his plays have been performed in London, Norwich and Edinburgh. Harry was one of the inaugural Elbow Room Prize winners.

Rosie Sherwood is an artist, scholar and independent publisher. As the heart of Sherwood’s interdisciplinary practise is a fascination with time and a desire to tell stories. In 2012 Sherwood founded As Yet Untitled and started publishing Elbow Room. Sherwood graduated from Camberwell College of Arts with an MA in Book Arts in 2013. She has delivered conference papers and University lectures across the country. Sherwood has taken part in artist book fairs, as well as group and solo exhibition, most recently at the Southbank Centre. Sherwood’s work can be found in special collections including The Poetry Library, Tate Library and Archive and the national libraries of both Victoria and Queensland (Australia).

Categories

For full details on each category and how to enter please visit our website www.elbow-room.org

Poetry

(For full details on submitting your poetry to The Elbow Room Prize click HERE or on POETRY box)

Prose

(For full details on submitting your short fiction to The Elbow Room Prize click HERE or on SHORT FICTION box)

Visual Arts

(For full details on submitting your visual arts to The Elbow Room Prize click HERE or on VISUAL ARTS box)

Prizes

For each category:

First prize in each category: £200

Second and third prizes in each category: £50 each

All winners will be published in a special competition anthology edition of Elbow Room.

All winners will be featured in a London based exhibition and live event.

 

FAQ (for all categories)

You do not have to be a London (or even UK) based artist/writer to enter. If your work is selected and you are unable to attend or transport your work to the event, solutions will be found to ensure you are featured.

All entries will be judged anonymously so it is important that your name does not appear anywhere on the work itself.

Visual Arts include (but are not limited to) Painting, Printmaking, Photography, Drawing, Illustration, Sculpture, Video Arts, Animation, Books Arts and mixed media pieces. If you are unsure if your work qualifies please do not hesitate to contact us.

For the visual arts category we are classifying a piece of work as a single image, video, sculpture or object. This can include a book (or similar) that includes multiple images within it so long at they are contained/bound together. If you are unsure if your work qualifies do not hesitate to contact us for further details.

The visual arts submissions will be being judged as the based on the quality of the original piece of work rather than how it will appear in publication format. If multiple images of the same piece of work are needed to best display it for the judges (eg an installation or sculptor) that is completely acceptable.

We will happily accept work by artists and writers working collaboratively, please simply include all your names and biographical details in the body of your email. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further details if required.

The piece submitted can be from a larger body of work or series. If this is the case please indicate in the description of the work.

Any video art or animation entrees must be no longer than 20 minutes.

If your work is untitled that is fine but please clearly state this.

Any further questions can be sent to elbowroomsubmissions@gmail.com with the subject line Elbow Room Competition Question.

Elbow Room reserves the right to change the judging panel or not to award prizes.

We reserve the right to use your work to promote the event but all copyright remains with the writers/artists.

Call for submissions

Unknown-4Story Friday in June is very near to midsummer so we’ve chosen the theme SOLSTICE.  We’re looking for stories about summer and sun, whether ice-cream or Icarus, and yes, the occasional pagan ritual might go down well…  Maximum word count 2,000, and do make sure your story reads well out loud.  The event is on 17th June at Burdall’s Yard in Bath.  Please make sure you can come along before you submit – but you don’t have to read if you’d rather not, we have some wonderful professional actors who will read your story for you if you prefer.  Deadline is 6th June.  To submit, go to the A Word In Your Ear website here.

The Art of the Short Story at Oxford Literary Festival

At the Oxford Literary Festival on Saturday 9th April 2016 at 2pm, three distinguished panellists will discuss the Art of the Short Story, chaired by Claire Armitstead, Literary Editor of the Guardian. The participants are Helen Simpson, whose latest collection is ‘Cockfosters’, Frances Leviston, whose short story ‘Broderie Anglaise’ was shortlisted for the BBC’s National Short Story Award last September, and Kirsty Gunn, author of ‘My Katherine Mansfield Project’. The venue is Jesus College’s Ship Street Centre, and tickets can be booked here: http://oxfordliteraryfestival.org/literature-events/2016/april-09/the-art-of-the-short-story.
The event is part of the annual St Hilda’s Writers’ Day at the literary festival. All four participants and programme director Nicolette Jones are alumnae of the College.

Story Fridays call for submissions – Fools

Next Story Friday falls on April 1st, so we couldn’t resist.  The theme is Fools and we’re hoping for some wonderful tales of fools and foolishness and maybe some gooseberries.  Please send us your stories on Fools, under 2,000 words, deadline 21st March.  Make sure you can come along on the 1st to Story Friday in Bath before you submit!  There are full details of how to submit and any other stray rules here.  We’re getting great audiences at the moment – we had to turn people away for our last event – so we will pay writers who are successful £10 for their stories.  Enough to buy a pint to celebrate, anyway!  If you can’t make Story Friday Fools, we’ve got another one coming up in June – the theme is Solstice.  Story Friday is on 17th June, deadline for submissions is the 6th.  For more information go to A Word In Your Ear.

Verbose: bringing words to the ‘burbs

Critically acclaimed live literature night Verbose brings more words to the ’burbs on Monday 26 October, with ten open mic acts and headliners Sarah Butler, Kate Feld and David Gaffney.

The three critically acclaimed writers collaborated on the popular Arts Council England-funded Re/Place writing project commissioned by Chorlton Arts Festival earlier this year, along with Verbose host Sarah-Clare Conlon. Sarah Butler’s novels Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love and Before The Fire are out on Picador, Kate Feld is founder of Openstories, which runs The Real Story and the Blog North Awards, and David Gaffney has published four collections of micro fiction and short stories and the novel Never Never, and has just launched graphic novel project The Three Rooms In Valerie’s Head at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

The Re/Place project saw six writers who share an interest in psychogeography and urban exploration pen pieces about ghost places and the re-appropriation of spaces in and around south Manchester suburb Chorlton-cum-Hardy, and at Verbose we’ll go behind the scenes in Longford Cinema, explore Chorltonville, hear about the Chorlton Park paddling pool and get spooked by the Chorlton Green churchyard.

Verbose was recently named by The Skinny as one of the best spoken word nights in Manchester while Manchester Evening News said: “From literary heavyweights to emerging talents, this monthly night has them all.” So far the night has welcomed acclaimed writers including Jenn Ashworth, Elizabeth Baines, John McAuliffe, Nicholas Royle and Emma Jane Unsworth, and Man Booker Prize shortlisted author Alison Moore.

Taking place on the fourth Monday of the month at Fallow café in Fallowfield (2a Landcross Road, Manchester, M14 6NA), Verbose is free entry and doors are at 7.30pm. See http://verbosemcr.wordpress.com. Email verbosemcr@gmail.com.

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(Photo: Ged Camera)

Tragic Autumn is falling: This last of Stand Up Tragedy’s seasonal tragedies

Stand Up Tragedy have  lined up four shows in London for 2015, plus we’ll be taking the tragedy back up to the Edinburgh Fringe in August. Sprinklings of tragic seasoning will spice up the performance calendar, with Tragic Winter, Tragic Spring, Tragic Summer and Tragic Autumn each exploring a different theme. Three acts of tragedy, one of which will be guest-curated by a favourite performer, culminate in a series of tasty shows that feed your appetite for the terrible and the sublime.

This will be the last full SUT show of 2015. We’ll be coming back with more live nights of tragedy next year. We’ll continue putting out tragedy on our podcast. We also have a special Stand Up Tragedy presents… at the Dogstar in Brixton on 19th November.

SUT-Autumn_Poster

This year sprinklings of tragic seasoning have spiced up the Hackney Attic where we have presented Tragic Winter, Tragic Spring, Tragic Summer. Now as the memories of our Edinburgh Festival season wither away on the vine it’s time for our last show of the year: Tragic Autumn.

On October the 16th we will celebrate the melancholy, death and transitions of autumn. We’ll start the night with an act of Tragic Changes featuring Adam Blampied from The Beta Males, brilliant spoken word from Adele Hampton and the always enigmatic Ben Target (“One of very few comics who manage to do something new with the art form while keeping an audience thoroughly entertained”, Guardian). Next we’ll have an act of Tragic Schooling put together by Liz Bailey from LSE; this act will involve academics coming out of their comfort zone and into the spotlight. They’ll be getting personal and sad about the welfare state. And the night will end (as many nights do) with a Tragic Fall featuring comedy and storytelling from James Harris, Jorik Mol and Brydie Lee-Kennedy. At the show’s 10.30pm conclusion, everyone’s invited to join in a cathartic sing-a-long or show off their tragic dancing into the early hours of the morning.

WHAT: Stand Up Tragedy: Tragic Autumn

WHERE: Hackney Attic, Hackney Picture House, 270 Mare St, London E8 1HE

WHEN: 7:30pm-late, Friday 16th October

HOW MUCH: £5 in advance, £7 on the door

Stand Up Tragedy aims to make audiences laugh until they cry and cry until they laugh. It’s a regular live show and podcast where people stand up and tell tragedy. We make you sad; we make you think; we make you smile. Expect music, comedy, fiction, spoken word, true stories and more, all playing up to the tragic form but not always taking it too seriously. The night ends, not with a whimper, not with a bang, but with a cathartic sing-a-long.

At Stand Up Tragedy, we combine established performers like Stewart Lee, Robin Ince, Josie Long, Grace Petrie, Sara Pacoe, Rob Auton and Andy Zaltzman with new and upcoming acts to create long-form evenings of tragic variety. Performers often write new material especially for our nights and relish the opportunity to put a tragic spin on what they do. The nights are recorded and put out as a podcast.

In the press:

“Laugh? I Nearly Died: The Rise of Stand-Up Tragedy” (Independent, July 2012)

“Stand-Up Tragedy” (London Word, January 2013)

One of the Guardian’s “Ten Great Storytelling Nights” (March 2014)

“Stand-up comedy with Sophocles and Justin Bieber during World Cup football” (John Fleming, June 2014)

“Mansplaining Storyteller Dave Pickering” (John Fleming, June 2015)

Hear our origin story here: https://soundcloud.com/standuptragedy/selected-tragedy-vol-1-tragic-origins