The Shadow Booth: Vol. 3 out now – FREE launch event on 11 April!

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…

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SMALL & BEAUTIFUL flash fiction, Tue 10 April (Liars’ League’s 11th birthday bash)

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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. 

WINNING STORIES for SMALL & BEAUTIFUL
  • 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
London
W1G 0PP
(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 Shadow Booth: Vol. 1 – Free Launch Event in London with Unsung Live

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.)

Deadline Day is Coming! London Independent Story Prize

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.

Check out the 2018 Calendar from here LISP.

LISP judges are looking for strong and unique voices, check out the interviews with the judges on the website.

‘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.

Open Pen LIVE at the Jamboree, London

This Wednesday, August 19th, Open Pen Magazine is LIVE at the Jamboree, Limehouse.

Tickets are £5 (available here or on the door), and doors open at 7pm (the show will start at 8pm, and finish around 10pm).

Open Pen February Jamboree

LIVE FICTION

Ben Byrne and his short fiction have appeared in Litro magazine and Writer’s Hub, and now on the cover of Open Pen Magazine. His first novel, ‘Fire Flowers’ was published by Europa Editions in the UK & US in February 2015.

Offbeat Tasmanian writer Tadhg Muller is finding his unique style of writing in high demand. He has been published in several literary journals, and in the short fiction collection Transportation: Islands and Cities.

Darren Lee is a storytelling stalwart. He has been published twice in Open Pen, and has had his short stories published in several books, including FUGUE (Siren Press).

There are few spoken word performers as jarring and amusing as Mat Woolfenden. His fiction is often performed live, and a taster can be viewed here.

LIVE MUSIC 

Henry & the Hoorays play a mix of folk and humorous songs, some self-composed and quite a few covers, including ‘The Mary Ellen Carter’ by Stan Rogers, a fabulous tale of ships, storms and the strength of men with a common goal.

Plus the Open Pen Beat Jazz Duo (piano and spoken word) will be in attendance, as per usual.