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).

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: Or join in the conversation on social media: #SmallWonderFest.



Northern Lights Writers’ Conference welcomes Will Self

Creative Industries Trafford (CIT), in partnership with Manchester Literature Festival and supported by Arts Council England, is running a second Northern Lights Writers’ Conference on Saturday 25 October, 10.15am-4.30pm, at Waterside Arts Centre in Sale. The one-day event for emerging and established writers features talks, workshops and panel discussions with award-winning authors, acclaimed publicists and leading literary agents.

Following 2013’s successful Northern Lights – described by Chris Hamilton-Emery of Salt Publishing as “A brilliant writers’ conference” and by The Art of Fiction blog as “A fascinating and stimulating day” – the theme of this year’s event is “making writing pay”. Hear how Orange Award for New Writers winner Joanna Kavenna and Canal Laureate Jo Bell make a living; get advice on fundraising from flash fiction writer David Gaffney; learn the secrets of marketing with Louise Rhind-Tutt (LRT Publicity), and join literary agents Juliet Pickering (Blake Friedmann) and Louise Lamont (LBA Books) for tips on finding representation. Northern Lights closes with a networking session when delegates can meet the speakers and writers, and this year’s keynote speech will be delivered by author and journalist Will Self.

Creative Industries Trafford Coordinator Richard Evans says: “We’re delighted to have such a great selection of speakers from the worlds of writing and publishing for this year’s conference, with support from our partners at Manchester Literature Festival. We’re building on the great success we had with the inaugural Northern Lights in 2013 and look forward to welcoming delegates to the newly refurbished Waterside Arts Centre which, alongside CIT, is celebrating its tenth year of operation in 2014.”

Tickets cost £30 for the day (£25 concessions), with an optional bagged lunch available for an extra £5, and can be booked in advance by calling the Waterside box office on 0161 912 5616 or by emailing Full details of the Northern Lights Writers’ Conference can be found on the CIT website:

Will Self and Maglorian credit ChrisClose

(Photo: Chris Close)