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!
This year the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award celebrates its tenth year as one of the world’s most significant prizes for short fiction.
Over the last decade, we’ve not only helped champion the form, but also, particularly because we read stories anonymously, discovered many fresh new writers who had not previously been given a platform – everyone from Roshi Fernando and Rebecca F John to Sally Rooney, who got her first shortlisting from the award.
Now we want to expand our commitment, with regular digital posts about everything to do with the short story under the banner of I Heart Short Stories. On our website over the next months you will find monthly news and views about short story writing and writers, interviews with authors, features on the short story landscape, and guest slots written by those with things to say about short story writing.
Already we have had news round ups, a long feature on short stories in the south west of England plus interviews with our prestigious winners such as Yiyun Li and C.K. Stead.
We have just announced our judges for the award – Sarah Churchwell, Kit de Waal, Carys Davies and Blake Morrison – and we’re hoping to have a piece from one of them to fill you in on the judging process. Also we would be delighted to hear about blogs from anyone with something to say about the short story. If you have any ideas please email firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with us via Twitter.
This is all part of our determination, with the help of our sponsor Audible, to help make the short story a more central part of the literary landscape.
You’ll see everything we do under the “I Heart Short Stories” banner and #IHeartShortStories. And there’ll be more to see on Twitter at @shortstoryaward.
Sarah Hall, prize-winning novelist and short story writer, has been shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University for the third time for ‘Sudden Traveller’. She won the award in 2013 for ‘Mrs Fox’ and was shortlisted for the first time in 2010 for ‘Butcher’s Perfume’. Both stories appeared in her debut collection, The Beautiful Indifference.
Hall is joined on the shortlist by composer and debut novelist Kerry Andrew for ‘To Belong To’, Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner and debut novelist Ingrid Persaud for ‘The Sweet Sop’, rising talent Kiare Ladner for ‘Van Rensburg’s Card’ and creative writing lecturer and novelist Nell Stevens for ‘The Minutes’. The shortlist of five stories was announced this evening, Friday 14 September 2018, during BBC Radio 4’s Front Row.
Selected from nearly 800 entries (an increase of 28% on 2017), this year’s shortlist is the fifth all-female shortlist in the BBC National Short Story Award’s history. The shortlist is:
• ‘To Belong To’ by Kerry Andrew
• ‘Sudden Traveller’ by Sarah Hall
• ‘Van Rensburg’s Card’ by Kiare Ladner
• ‘The Sweet Sop’ by Ingrid Persaud
• ‘The Minutes’ by Nell Stevens
Now celebrating its thirteenth year, the Award is one of the most prestigious for a single short story, with the winning author receiving £15,000, and the four further shortlisted authors £600 each. The stories are also broadcast on air and the writers interviewed on Front Row, as part of BBC Radio 4’s short story season in September.
Simple acts of kindness and the meaning of home and community are key themes this year. Resilience and the impact of the political on the personal underpin a list unified by the power of each character’s voice to convey experience both private and universal. Loss, whether of life or community, and renewal are central themes with many of the stories inspired by world events: Brexit, immigration and urban gentrification. Diverse in tone and setting, whether it be Kerry Andrew’s remote Scottish Isle, Ingrid Persaud’s Trinidad, Kiare Ladner’s South African shopping mall or Nell Steven’s South London housing estate – this year’s shortlist is a powerful meditation on a world where displacement and loss are paramount but where renewal and hope are infinite.
From the gently unfurling landscape of a man’s renewal as he moves from suicidal despair to new hope saved by the beauty of the land and sea and the community that embraces him in Kerry Andrew’s ‘To Belong To’; to the experimental form of the pretentious world of hapless art student activists as they protest the demolition of a South London tower block with art in ‘The Minutes’ by Nell Stevens; to the unique voice of Ingrid Persaud’s ‘The Sweet Sop’ where the parent/child relationship is inverted as a young Trinidadian man is united with his absent father via the power of chocolate; to the haunting and tender evocation of loss as Sarah Hall creates a complete world in a moment as a woman nurses her child while her father and brother clear the cemetery ready to bury her mother in ‘Sudden Traveller’; to Kiare Ladner’s ‘Van Rensburg’s Card’, the poignant story of a grumpy widow, fuelled by sadness and loneliness who discovers a way back to life and an acceptance of the inevitability of change via a condolence card sent 18 months before – these are beautifully told stories that show what it is to be human amidst the politics of our age and artfully reveal the power of the short story to convey a world in just a few pages.
Stig Abell, Editor of the TLS and Chair of Judges for the BBC National Short Story Award 2018, says:
“We spent a long, hot summer immersed in stories, and then many happy hours debating their
merits. My fellow judges were fierce and forensic in their reading, and we ended up with a shortlist
of tales that – I think – are arresting, moving and sometimes surprising. It was a pleasure to bear
witness to this talent.”
Stig Abell is joined on this year’s judging panel by short story writer and 2016 BBC NSSA winner, K J Orr; Granta’s ’20 under 40’ novelist and one of last year’s shortlisted writers, Benjamin Markovits; returning judge; Di Speirs, Books Editor at BBC Radio; and multi award-winning poet, Sarah Howe.
The announcement of the winner will be broadcast live from the Award ceremony in Cambridge on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row from 7.15pm on Tuesday 2nd October 2018.
Inside The Brutal Issue, you will find the work of sixty writers and artists from all around the world. As well as short stories/flash fiction, we publish poetry, creative non-fiction and artwork.
New features include: more pages than ever before, better quality paper and a perfect-bound spine, so the A5 magazine will feel at home on your bookshelves. It’s a bargain at only £5 (plus p&p).
Our next issue will be The Tomorrow Issue. Submissions don’t open until 1st February, but the new theme will be space/science/technology. So start thinking…
The Fractured Nuance issue #3 was aptly released on National Handwriting Day and is entirely handwritten/ illustrated by contributors from around the world.
Each piece is unique in form and content; handwriting ranges from immaculate to bordering on illegible!
Read, enjoy, and decode it by purchasing here:
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Arkbound is a new Bristol-based social enterprise that provides a range of innovative services to aspiring authors, writers and journalists. Some of you may be aware of the term ‘social enterprise’, but for those who don’t it is a business that reinvests its profits back into the community. Our aims are to promote social inclusion, community development and artistic talent. We can sponsor disadvantaged authors (getting them published), as well as provide a platform for marginalised groups and community organisations.
On October 1st we are proud to be launching the very first edition of Boundless, a magazine that includes contributions from local artists and writers, as well as investigative journalism and literary reviews. To coincide with national ‘Social Saturday’, we are also having a launch event from 9th-11th October at 123 Arts Space in Stokes Croft (just next to ‘The Little Shop’). Everyone is cordially invited to this event, and there will be opportunities to meet other writers whilst chatting over free refreshments.
There are many opportunities for writers with Arkbound. We welcome new contributions to Boundless, and each year run a competition for ‘Best Short Story’, ‘Best Visual Art’ and ‘Best Article’. Everyone featured in Boundless is entered freely into one of the relevant categories (the entry deadline this year is 1st November). Writers from disadvantaged backgrounds (who have faced long-term employment, disability, imprisonment or other impediments) will also be considered for full sponsorship, and we are currently considering submissions for new manuscripts. As a publisher, Arkbound is particularly keen on literary works that address – or at least touch upon – environmental or social issues. At the same time, we always consider contemporary fiction, whether it be a debut thriller novel or a fantasy trilogy.
If you would like to find out more about what we do, please visit http://arkbound.com/ .
Here at PAPER AND INK LITERARY ZINE we love to hear what our readers think of the zine, good or bad, all feedback is helpful (Well, most of it). Steve Nash of Sabotage Reviews recently got hold of our fifth issue and had some very kind words to say about it (I promise, we did not bribe or blackmail him into saying such things). Check out the review here.
We would love to know what you thought of the zine, too, so if you’d like to sing our praises or tell us why you hated it, drop us an email at email@example.com
Hello story lovers,
As February continues wetter and windier, here are some glimmers of light as we strain towards spring…!
Lit Mags, Competitions and Workshops
We welcome a new lit mag to the list, Valve, an annual journal dedicated to “the very best new experimental literature”. We have ShortStops’ first lit mag review – Rosalind Minette gives us her impression of The Grind Issue #1! (If you fancy reviewing a lit mag, drop me a line).
Talking of reviews, Bare Fiction is looking for contributors to its Features and Reviews section. It’s last Call for submissions to Tube-Flash – you have until Feb 28th! The Siren journal is calling for submissions for its first short story anthology.
A brand new issue of Flash magazine, issue 6.2, has arrived, with new short short stories, reviews and a flash essay. And the February edition of Long Story, Short is ‘Hand Me Downs’ by Kelly Creighton – read an excerpt.
Brittle Star magazine is holding an Open Writing Competition, judged by the excellent David Constantine, deadline March 12th, and The Edge Hill Prize for published short story collections is now accepting entries, until the first week of March. Short Fiction’s 2014 short story prize is still open for entries, deadline March 31st, and you have until June 30th to submit to the Moth International Short Story Prize.
Live Lit & Short Story Events
For small short story fans, White Rabbit is presenting its new storytelling show for children, The Secret Garden, at the South Bank in London Feb 21- 32rd. White Rabbit is back on Feb 28th with Are You Sitting Comfortably? Science Fiction (for grown-ups!) in London.
On March 1st Myths of the Near Future will be holding a launch event for Issue 5: The Revolution Issue in Worcester. The next Hubbub is on March 10th in London and features Zoe Pilger and Liane Strauss. Telltales wants your submissions by March 17th on the theme of ‘Unhinged’ to be read at their next event in Falmouth on March 25th.
You missed Open Pen’s launch event on Feb 13th – keep an eye out for the next one! But don’t miss In Praise Of Short Stories at the Daunt Books Festival on March 27th in London, where KJ Orr will be talking to AL Kennedy, David Constantine and Helen Simpson.
Last Minutes & Gentle Reminders
The National Flash Fiction Youth competition is open for entries til Feb 21st. Smoke, the London Peculiar, is calling for submissions until end February for their London water-themed short story anthology, Smoke on the Water. Riptide Journal is open for submissions for Volume 10, on the theme of ‘Imaging the Suburbs’, deadline March 1. Also open til March 1st are submissions to Neon Magazine of tiny fictions for a new project, Battery Pack.
Writing, Publishing & Workshops
The creators of On The Same Page have launched a crowdfunding campaign to finish development of the app which will allow you to publish your own creative work as an app. And check out the Writers’ Centre Norwich’s upcoming short story workshops.
Roll on spring!