Story Sunday in Bristol: call for submissions

sun_wearing_shadesFollowing the success of our Spinetinglers and Love Hangover events, Writers Unchained of Bristol are holding another Story Sunday on

Sunday July 3rd 2016
Southbank Club
Bedminster, Bristol
from 6.30 – 8.30 pm

Expect an audience of forty to fifty hanging on your every word (or come along and hang on theirs!)

If you’re not a Bristolian that’s no problem – last time we had guest readers from Stroud, Newport and Bath – but you do have to be able to get there on the night.

This time the theme is Midsummer Madness.

If you would like to read on the night please submit stories from 500 to 1500 words by June 12th to writersunchained at gmail dot com 

Anyone selected to read will be informed by June 24th.

More details here and on the Writers Unchained website where you’ll also find (simple!) submission guidelines.

 

Tickets for non-readers will be on sale on the evening at £5 each.  A bar is also available.

Hope you can join us!

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Bunbury Magazine here with Crime, Space and World Cup of Authors!

Hello to you all, Bunbury Magazine here! Lovely to see you all again. We are here with some news and updates for your eyes.

First of all, we want to thank all of you that have downloaded Issue Eleven of Bunbury. The response has been absolutely brilliant. If you missed it, then do not hesitate any longer! It is our crime-theme bonanza. Not only that, but we have an epic (we do not use that word lightly!) feature on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015, packed full of interviews with some of the best performers that were up there, including Phil Jupitus, Wil Hodgson, Cormac Friel and Christian Reilly. It really is worth it AND it is Pay-What-You-Like. Click the pick below to get your digi-hands on it today.

Issue 11

We are also on a drive for submissions for issue thirteen. The theme is Space, in memory of David Bowie. We are looking for short stories, poetry, flash fiction, art, photography. Anything really! Here is another picture to click, this time to our submission guidelines!

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At the start of February, we are having a bit of fun. We are running a World Cup of Authors. We have been through the Goodreads lists of best authors from 4 categories – Pre-19th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century and 21st Century (so far!) – and chosen qualifying authors. We want you to vote on who should reach the last 32 from each section. 4 from Pre-19th Century. We have another picture for your eyes now. It is the long lists of each category. Click on it to go to the tweet where you can vote for your favourites. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #worldcupofauthors.

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Other than all that, keep your eyes peeled for a competition we will be running in the coming months. We are also starting our writing group up again. It is run in Bury, just outside of Manchester. It is a very welcoming group where you can share your work in a safe space and get some great feedback on what you are working on at the moment. We also run regular events with brilliant headliners. This year, we are also looking to start a poetry slam so it is well worth coming along if you live in the area. Full details on the group can be found here. (Yes, yes, another wonderful picture for you!

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That’s it for now. Issue Twelve: Self will be out in February. We will speak to you all very soon. Take care and keep scribbling,

Christopher and Keri.

 

Speak Easy 2016… and Tips for Spoken Word First-Timers

SE_PNGA new year, a fresh new look for Speak Easy at The Sip Club in Stretford, Manchester. After a successful first three events in Autumn last year, we’ve gathered our gorged selves and turned to the giddy horizon of 2016 with a bold new poster and a fresh outlook. We’re excited to see how Speak Easy will develop over the next twelve months and we’re starting to formulate some rather thrilling plans behind the scenes.

But first we need readers. We ain’t gonna survive if no-one turns up to read. So pick up, buck up, and sign up: send an email to events@thesipclub.co.uk to bag yourself a slot at one (or indeed more) of our first three 2016 events. Here be the dates:

  • Thursday 14th January
  • Thursday 4th February
  • Thursday 3rd March

As ever, we are especially keen to encourage first timers to the Speak Easy stage. We’re lucky to have a particularly stress-free environment and a delightfully welcoming audience, perfect to calm even the nerviest of nerves. No pressure, no heckling – not even a microphone to make your voice sound all big and scary. Just a quiet room with some warm people and a little nudge of gentle encouragement.

And in the spirit of encouragement, here are my top 5 tips for Spoken Word first-timers:

  1. Slow Down – relax, take your time, tell the story. Read slower than you think you should. Allow time to let people laugh at the funny bits and reflect on the sad bits. Don’t worry about going over time because…
  2. Practice Beforehand – …you will have already practiced. In most cases you’ll know how long you have on stage (usually around 5 minutes), so time yourself so you know you’re hitting the mark. Also, its good to let your mouth get around the words as well as your eyes – so practice out loud!
  3. Look at the Audience – this is often a big fear but looking at the audience can genuinely help you to calm down and it will draw them in. You will get them on-side. You will dominate them, command them, make them tremble at your 5 minutes of glory. So don’t hide behind your paper, don’t look over their heads. Look at them. Into. Their. Eyes
  4. Print your Words Big – do your future self a favour and make the text big. You never know how dimly lit a stage will be and not being able to see the words can derail your momentum at any given moment.
  5. Perform it – Spoken Word is just another form of theatre. Don’t be afraid to get your whole body into the act. Get your hands moving, gesticulate, use props, dress up in costume – everything and anything goes, generally speaking. As long as it entertains the audience, its fair game. So don’t hold back!

For more tips on performing literature, do have a look at my longer blog post on the matter. And if you’ve made a new year’s resolution to read your writing to an audience, do come and join us at Speak Easy.

David Hartley

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Story Sunday in Bristol: call for submissions

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Writers Unchained Story Sunday

Following the success of our Spinetinglers event in November, Writers Unchained of Bristol are holding another Story Sunday on

Sunday February 21st 2016
Southbank Club
Bedminster, Bristol
from 6 – 8 pm

This time the theme is St Valentine’s Day Hangover!

 

Writers who would like to read on the night are invited to submit stories from 500 to 1500 words by January 31st. 

Anyone selected to read will be informed by February 12th.

More details here and on the Writers Unchained website where you’ll also find (simple!) submission guidelines.

Tickets for non-readers will be on sale on the evening at £5 each to include our renowned cakes/canapes. A bar is also available.

Hope you can join us!

 

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)

New Story Sunday event in Bristol

Writers Unchained, a group of writers based in and around Bristol,  are putting on a new event where members and guests will read short stories and flash fiction on the first Sunday of each month. The first Story Sunday is on November 1st from 6 to 8 pm at Southbank Club in Bedminster and the theme is Spine-tinglers.

Writers who can read on the night are invited to submit stories from 500 to 1500 words on this theme by October 21st. (Work published or performed elsewhere will be accepted).
Full details and (simple!) submission guidelines are on the Writers Unchained website.

Please note the special ticket offer for everyone who submits! 

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Short Story Slam in Chorley Inviting Entrants

Would you like to take part in a Short Story Slam? Chorley & District Writers’ Circle are holding one as part of their Write Now event on the afternoon of Saturday 14 November in the upstairs meeting room of Chorley Library.

The Slam will follow a traditional format. We need 12 entrants for a first round consisting of six head-to-head clashes, a second round of three bouts and a three-way final. The winner takes home £100 and runners-up get some good books.

Each entrant must bring three individual super-short stories to read aloud, each one no longer than 200 words. It’s an open theme, but as the event is for a family audience please keep your writing appropriate.

To enter the Slam you need to book a ticket to the event, but there is no other entry fee. Please tell us separately that you want to enter by emailing mail@chorleywriters.org.uk . We’ll confirm there’s a slot available. If you haven’t already, you’ll then need to buy a ticket for the event which costs £10 via Eventbrite on the Circle’s website: www.chorleywriters.org.uk and confirm to us you’ve done so in order to guarantee your place.

Please only enter if you can attend the whole event which runs from 1pm-4.30pm. We have two quality speakers, novelist and scriptwriter Cath Staincliffe and publisher and literary agent Robin Jones in addition to the Slam so it’s well worth your time and your tenner.

 

We ask entrants to encourage their friends to buy tickets and come along to provide support. Order of entry will be drawn on the day and the audience will vote for the winners.

 

Any enquiries: mail@chorleywriters.org.uk

 

 

Critically acclaimed Verbose is back with more words in the ’burbs

“From literary heavyweights to emerging talents, this monthly night has them all” – Manchester Evening News

Live literature night Verbose is back from its summer break on Monday 28 September, with special guests from the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester: Ian McGuire, John McAuliffe and Geoff Ryman – “a stellar line-up”, according to the current issue of The Skinny.

Ian’s much anticipated second novel is out in spring 2016 while John’s fourth collection of poetry is launching at Manchester Literature Festival in October, so this is an opportunity to get a sneak preview of both artists’ new work. The September event will also be celebrating the launch of this year’s edition of The Manchester Anthology, a showcase of the work produced each year by students of the Centre for New Writing’s Creative Writing MA, some of whom will be reading on the open mic.

Now on its seventh outing with its popular new look, Verbose was recently named by The Skinny as one of the best spoken word nights in Manchester. Verbose invites writers who collaborate on projects and publications, and so far the night has welcomed acclaimed writers including Jenn Ashworth, Elizabeth Baines, David Gaffney, 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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Stand Up Tragedy’s Free Festival of Tragedy

Stand Up Tragedy is returning to the Free Fringe with a mini festival celebrating the sadder things in life: 

‘takes in everything from music to comedy and is characterised by an emphasis on truth’ – The Independent

‘an entertaining bunch of melancholic oddballs’ – The London Word 

a ‘wildly diverse show’ – John Fleming

Stand-Up-Tragedy-poster_EDINBURGH-2015Like a Russian doll filled with laughter and tears, the Stand Up Tragedy team is creating a festival within a festival within a festival: inside the Edinburgh Fringe is the PBH Free Fringe, and inside the PBH Free Fringe is Stand Up Tragedy’s Edinburgh line-up. Building on two years of bringing quality tragedy to the fringe and four years of showcasing tragedy across London, we are expanding what we do to include even more diversity and emotions.

As well as putting on 12 hours of tragic variety, we are opening up the stage to include guest hosts and special collaborations. Added to this, we are producing host Dave Pickering’s first solo show and three public interviews with some of our tragic collaborators.

Stand Up Tragedy is more than a live show; it’s also a podcast, and during the festival our podcast feed will become a tragic channel, putting out the amazing array of tragedy recorded on our stages.

The aim of Stand Up Tragedy is to create safe spaces to talk about unsafe things.

Stand Up Tragedy: 8th – 30th August (except Tuesdays), 7:30pm at the Banshee Labyrinth, 29 – 35 Niddry Street, EH1 1LG, Venue 156

Getting Better Acquainted:  11th, 18th,25th August, 7:30pm at the Banshee Labyrinth

What About the Men? Mansplaining Masculinity:  12.05pm 8th-30th August (except Mondays) at Cabaret Voltaire, 36 Blair St, EH1 1QR, Venue 338

12 Hours of Tragedy:

Stand Up Tragedy aims to make audiences laugh until they cry and cry until they laugh. We invite performers from all parts of the arts to 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.

Our August 2015 line-ups include Tiernan Douieb, Shazia Mirza, Rob Auton, Adrienne Truscott, Christian Talbot, BBC Poetry Slam Winner Sophia Walker and Asian Women of the Year Award winner Sajeela Kershi. Every show offers a completely new combination of tragic flavours. Stand SUT shows are happening on 8-9th, 12-14th, 16th, 19th-21st, 26th-27th, 30th August.

The show is hosted and curated by “fiercely intelligent and intelligently fierce storyteller Dave Pickering (Exeunt Magazine), “a man with an obvious and commendable taste for the bizarre.” (John Fleming).

What About the Men? Mansplaining Masculinity:

WATM_poster-2015Dave Pickering takes us on a personal journey through gender as he tries to explain masculinity both to you and to himself. Part true storytelling, part TED talk and part apology, the show looks at how the patriarchy hurts men too, how the patriarchy has hurt him, and how he has hurt people because of patriarchy. Drawing on an anonymous survey of 1000 men, feminist theory, internet memes and his life experience, Dave will explain the conclusions he has come to after 33 years of trying to make peace with being a man.

The #ManSurvey, which was started as research for the show, has become a thing of it’s own. All 1000 responses plus analysis is collected together as an open-source resource at mansplainingmasculinity.co.uk.

Content note: This piece will talk at times about violence, sexual assault and bullying.

Cookie note: Dave will not be accepting your cookies for this show, but he will offer you cookies at the end.

The London preview of the show is at the Dogstar in Brixton on the 23rd July from 7:30pm.

It will also be previewed at Standon Calling on Friday 1st August.

Special Editions:

0003Stand Up Tragedy is dedicated to having multiple voices and approaches to the tragic, and so we have invited some guest hosts and collaborators to help expand what we do. We have eight special editions of the show:

10th August: Tragic Jabba: hosted and curated by Jenni Pascoe from the North East based spoken word night Jibba Jabba.  “showcasing the great and good of the region’s spoken word and poetry scene” Narc Magazine

15th August: Tragedy Fails Better:  Hosted by Varjack and Simpson, this podcast crossover with their Fail Better podcast will look at the tragic failures performers have had on and off stage. “a great rapport and on-stage chemistry and a natural feel for what’s funny and how to engage the crowd.” Sabotage Reviews

17th August: Guest host: Samantha Mann:  hosted and curated by Samantha Mann. “Samantha Mann is a minutely observed comic creation for those who love cringe humour.” Roger Cox, The Scotsman

22nd August: Tragic Violence: a showcase of the most tragic comedy that sketch group Casual Violence! have created.  Casual Violence mix Game of Thrones, the League of Gentlemen and Roald Dahl to create dark, twisted and silly skits… Leading the new wave of sketch comedy” The Sunday Times

23rd August: Other Tragedies:  a special edition of Other Voices spoken word cabaret, where all the tragedy is delivered by people from groups we rarely hear from. ‘A showcase of spoken word at its best… Don’t miss this, it’s wonderful’ Three Weeks

24th August: Guest host: Keith Jarrett:  hosted and curated by London-based serial poetry slam champion Keith Jarrett “his astonishingly practiced delivery and his inclusive manner just invites you into his words” Sabotage Reviews

28th August: Guest host: Lucy Ayrton: hosted and curated by Oxford-based spoken word storyteller Lucy Ayrton “Storytelling as it’s meant to be” Three Weeks

29th August: Guest host: Louise Fazackerley:  hosted and curated by Wigan-based poet Loise Fazackerley. ‘a voice that tingles with promise’ Ian McMillan

Getting Better Acquainted:

Getting Better AcquaintedGetting Better Acquainted is a weekly podcast where we join Dave Pickering on his journey to get better acquainted with the people he knows from his closest friends and family to someone he once met at a party. It’s partly an oral history project, partly an autobiography through conversation, and partly a collection of opinions and experiences recounted by an ever-growing latticework of people. There are lots of shows about famous people; this is a show about the rest of us.

GBA was nominated for a 2012 Radio Production Award, and has aired regularly on Resonance 104.4fm. It has been recommended by Time Out, was featured on the BBC Radio 5 live podcast special, Helen and Olly’s Required Listening, and was picked out as a podcast to listen to in The Guardian in November 2014.

Tuesday 11th August: Getting Better Acquainted with Jenni Pascoe

Tuesday 18th August: Getting Better Acquainted with Samantha Mann

Tuesday 25th August: Getting Better Acquainted with Keith Jarrett

In the press:

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

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

“Ten Great Storytelling Nights” (Guardian, March 2014)

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

“Podcasts to listen to now: from Serial’s true crime to Bullseye’s pop culture” (Guardian, November 2014)

“Guest Blog: What Do Men Think About Patriarchy” (Girl on the Net, May 2015)

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

“Fringe Benefits: Our Pick of the Programme” (Exeunt Magazine, June 2015)

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

 

THE REVIEWS ARE IN!

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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 paperandinkzine@outlook.com

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS – LIARS’ LEAGUE SPECIAL EVENT: PARENT & CHILD. Deadline Sun 31 May

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CALL FOR STORIES – LL SPECIAL EVENT: PARENT & CHILD Deadline Sunday 31 May / Event Tue 23 June

Liars’ League London & Leeds seek short stories themed on PARENT & CHILD for a special simultaneous charity event on Tuesday June 23 at The Peckham Pelican (London) and the Crowd of Favours (Leeds) in aid of The CATS Foundation, which is a charity funding research into the devastating genetic childhood diseases Tay-Sachs & Sandhoff.

We need five brilliant stories for this special theme, and as ever our winning writers will be rewarded with free entry, books and booze. Cheerful tales welcome (but not obligatory) and stories don’t have to be child-friendly, especially since the events are taking place in a pub … However we do ask that you don’t submit stories about incest, child abuse or dead/dying kids please (we know how your morbid writer minds work!)

What we’d love to see is any creative interpretation of the theme, which could include being a parent (or child), adult children, adopted or foster families, people who want kids, people who don’t, same-sex parents, kids rebelling against parents, parents rebelling against children, babysitters, divorced or one-parent families, unusual families (communes, kids raising siblings), substitute children, metaphorical or allegorical takes on the theme, sci-fi, fantasy, magical realism, humour, horror … you get the picture.

Send your 800-2000 word unpublished stories to liars@liarsleague.com by 11.59pm on Sun 31 May, and good luck!

Tragic Summer: come and fly too close to the sun

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.

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The tragic sun will be putting on its hat by the 6th of June when Tragic Summer comes to the Hackney Attic. An evening dedicated to summertimes when the living isn’t easy; when summer lovin’ ends in death; when there’s poison in the last of the summer wine. In the first act, Sajeela Kershi (who recently won the Arts and Culture Award at Asian Women of Achievement 2015), the amazing spoken word artist Bridget Minamore, and the hilarious stand-up comedian Joz Norris share some summer holidays you’re glad not to be going on. Then for Act 2, science writer Alice Bell will guest-host some performers she’s gathered together to talk about climate change. And the final activity of the night will be Tragic Leisure, featuring an unrelaxing mix of true storytelling, comedy and poetry. At 10:30pm, everyone’s invited to join in a cathartic sing-a-long, and if people want to stay, there’ll be tragic dancing into the early hours of the morning.

‘takes in everything from music to comedy and is characterised by an emphasis on truth’ –The Independent

‘an entertaining bunch of melancholic oddballs’ –The London Word

WHAT: Stand Up Tragedy: Tragic Spring

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

WHEN: 7:30pm-late, Saturday 6th June

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)

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

Re/Place – stories that are right up your street

As part of Chorlton Arts Festival 2015, six critically acclaimed and award-winning writers each sharing an interest in psychogeography and urban exploration have penned pieces about ghost places and the re-appropriation of spaces. Sarah Butler, Sarah-Clare Conlon, Claire Dean, Kate Feld, David Gaffney and Nicholas Royle will perform their site-specific short stories and present postcards from the past at this special event, Re/Place. Supported by Arts Council England. The event will also include a screening of private home movies shot in Chorlton in the fifties and sixties, provided by the North West Film Archive.

Proof, Manchester Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 9PH. Wednesday 20 May 2015. Doors 7.30pm. Free entry.

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Word Factory #33 & Masterclass – 30th May – London

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Join the Word Factory for readings, conversation, masterclasses and publication with the most inspiring short fiction writers.

The Only Rule Is Yes with Stella Duffy – 1-4pm – SOLD OUT

Stella Duffy won’t teach you how to write the great British novel, provide you with a step-by-step structure with which to write a bestseller, or spend hours reading aloud the works of others so that you can compare your own writing (unfavourably). She will help you acknowledge your writing fears and enthusiasms, find delight in being brave, take the big steps you’ve been dreading and the small steps that feel even harder, and help you remind yourself why you wanted to write in the first place.

Editor’s note: Unfortunately Stella Duffy’s writing workshop is now sold out, however there is time to book your places for Michèle Roberts and David Almond‘s masterclasses at the Tablet festival in Birmingham on 19th June or experience Word Factory at the London Short Story Festival on 21st, June. Take note to be online at 9am on 15th May when we will make tickets available for Neil Gaiman‘s masterclass Q&A with Cathy Galvin taking place on 27th June.

More information and booking here.

Short Story Club – 4.15-5.15pm
Tessa Hadley: One Saturday Morning

Tessa Hadley is a British writer whose short stories appear regularly in the New Yorker. She has published many novels and two short story collections, and she read at the Word Factory salon in February 2015. Her stories have been described as ‘novels in miniature’ and also as ‘domestic fiction’, conjuring as they often do the minutiae of comfortable lives, where subtle shifts and minor observations can take on huge significance. Her stories may tread comfortable territory, but they leave a long-lasting impression of disquiet with the reader.

In ‘One Saturday Morning’, published in The New Yorker in August 2014, ten-year-old Carrie’s piano practice is interrupted by the arrival of Dom, one of her parents’ bohemian friends. We follow her as she tries to make sense of the adult news and events that define the rest of the day. Is this a story in which nothing really happens, or does it illuminate a pivotal coming-of-age moment? Come and discuss this subtle, affecting story with us.

Email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story: sophie@thewordfactory.tv

The Word Factory #33 – the intimate short story salon – 6-8pm

Book your tickets here.

An unmissable evening of Irish lyricism and fire. Join acclaimed new Irish talent Danielle McLaughlin, recently published in the New Yorker; Belfast-born Word Factory associate director Paul McVeigh; author and power-house Stella Duffy (Ireland via New Zealand) and Dubliner Evelyn Conlon for new work and conversation focused on the enduring strength of the Irish short story. Blarney-free discussion guaranteed, chaired by Cathy Galvin (Ireland via Coventry) .

Tragic Spring has sprung:

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.

 

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Tragic Spring will sprout on the 25th of April at the Hackney Attic. Spring is a time of change and transition: for new shoots to grow, old shoots must die! We’ll start the night with an act of Tragic Beginnings featuring BBC Poetry Slam Champion, Sophia Walker. Next we’ll have an act of Tragic Bodies, guest hosted by comedian, writer and journalist, Mathilda Gregory. And the night will end (as many nights do) with an act of Tragic Sex: stories about clitoris cults, phone sex and more, featuring award-winning playwright/performer, sex activist and educator, Cameryn Moore, who’s stopping off in London as part of her UK tour. 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 Spring

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

WHEN: 7:30pm-late, Saturday 25th April

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

 

Call for Submissions:

Earlier this year we relaunched the SUT blog with an updated look and a new focus. Like its raucous live counterpart, the Stand Up Tragedy blog will be a place find the humour of hurt, the tickle of tragedy and mirth of misfortune. Selected work will posted each Friday beginning 1st August and promoted via the Stand Up Tragedy London monthly events, the podcast and at the Edinburgh Fringe.

What: short stories (fiction and non-fiction), flash fiction, poetry, and experimental form (that can be digitally distributed) that fits with the theme of tragedy. Or tragicomedy. Or comitragedy.  Ideal length is 250-1000 words, though shorter pieces, and longer work that can be serialised, will be considered. Editorial support or feedback can be offered to those who request it.

Format: Word doc or docx – double spaced—name and title on every page and paginated, please.

Deadline: Rolling.

Please email to akshoosmith@gmail.com with “SUT Submission” in the subject line.

 

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)

Word Factory #32 & Masterclass – 25th April – London

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Join the Word Factory for readings, conversation, masterclasses and publication with the most inspiring short fiction writers.

Performance, confidence and voice with A.L. Kennedy – SOLD OUT

Booking for our masterclasses are now available online through to June. Word Factory regulars have already booked their tickets for A.L Kennedy’s April class – but don’t miss the chance to work with Stella Duffy at her workshop in May where the only rule is yes. Our masterclasses are also travelling to Birmingham in June with Michele Roberts and David Almond. Click the links above to book your place.

In June Neil Gaiman will also be giving an exclusive class and reading: details on our website soon.

Short Story Club – 4.30-5.30pm
Italo Calvino: All at One Point

Calvino’s The Complete Cosmicomics is a collection of stories, all narrated by the character Qfwfq, each of which takes a scientific fact as a starting point for a fantastical narrative.The first translated edition (from Italian) won the National Book Award in America, and it is one of Calvino’s best known works alongside If on a Winter’s Night A Traveller and Invisible Cities.

In ‘All at One Point’, Calvino takes the notion of the universe’s matter all being concentrated at one point before it began to expand, and imagines Qfwfq and other characters dealing with this situation. It combines a scientific flight of fancy with a familiar-feeling tale of neighbourly tensions, as at the inhabitants of the point clash over gossip, opinions and shared attractions. This is a story which does not fit contemporary expectations. Do you find it satisfying, silly, or wondrously clever? Come and discuss ‘All at One Point’ at the Word Factory Short Story Club in April.

Email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story: sophie@thewordfactory.tv

The Word Factory #32 – the intimate short story salon – 6.30-8.30pm

Book your tickets here.

Celebrate spring with award-winning authors and fresh talent at The Word Factory. A.L. Kennedy leads our perfomance skills masterclass before joining international star Yiyun Li, our mentor Adam Marek and apprentice Kerstin Twachtmann for readings at the evening salon. The conversation will continue with Director Cathy Galvin, co-founder of the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award.

Word Factory #31 & Masterclass – 28th March – London

wordfactory-logo-300x88Welcome back to an exciting year of readings, conversation, masterclasses and publication with the most inspiring short fiction writers at the Word Factory.

Broadcast News: Winning Stories and Writing for Radio – 3-4.30pm

For over a decade Di Speirs has championed the short story form in Britain. At the BBC, she has commissioned and produced short stories for Radio 4 and 3 and she runs the internationally acclaimed BBC National Short Story Award.

In an exclusive Word Factory Masterclass, Di will guide you through everything you need to know to ensure your work gets noticed and commissioned. What are the key do’s and don’t for submitting work for the award or general broadcast? What does every writer need to know about how an editor thinks? And what new trends do writers need to keep in mind? Our session will allow enough time for Di to talk about her work and take questions.

Cost: £35 per person (please purchase Salon tickets separately). Book your place here.

Short Story Club – 4.30-5.30pm
Shirley Jackson: The Lottery

When The Lottery was first published in The New Yorker in 1948, readers were so horrified they sent hate mail; it has since become one of the most iconic American stories of all time.
Shirley Jackson was born in San Francisco in 1916, and went on to earn a reputation as “one of the 20th century’s most luminous and strange American writers”. She is a master of Gothic suspense (her novel, The Haunting of Hill House, once called “the greatest haunted house story ever written”, was turned into the classic horror film The Haunting). Joyce Carol Oates described her as “one of those highly idiosyncratic, inimitable writers… whose work exerts an enduring spell”. Jackson published six novels before her death, at the age of 48, in 1965.
The Lottery is Jackson’s best-known short story: Jackson draws us in to the dark, unsettling world of a small farming village, who come together for a terrible game of chance…

Email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story: sophie@thewordfactory.tv

The Word Factory #28 – the intimate short story salon – 6-8pm

Join us for an unforgettable evening of readings with Polly Samson and Louise Doughty. Share in the joy of new work from our apprentice Uschi Gatward and her mentor Nicholas Royle. The conversation will continue with Director Cathy Galvin, co-founder of the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award.

Book your tickets here.

Words And Women Celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th

 

Words And Women is celebrating International Women’s Day, Sunday March 8th, with the double launch of their latest showcase collection of short prose by women writers in the East of England and the first public performance of their About new writing commissions.

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The event, held in the heart of Norwich, is traditionally a vibrant and eclectic programme of readings, music, film and theatre.  This year, Words and Women’s competition winner, Lora Stimson will read her story, Cornflake Girl, alongside other writers included in the anthology, Julianne Pachico, Anna Metcalfe and Holly McDede. Singer-songwriter Meg Burrows will bring her rich singing voice.

Words And Women: Two published by Unthank Books, builds on the success of last year’s inaugural competition and anthology, shortlisted for the national Saboteur Awards 2014. It has been praised as “a bold and insightful collection containing much vigorous writing…’’ RM Bond-Webster, Eastern Daily Press.

This year the winning entries embody vivid imagination and ambiguity, delicate and subtle prose coupled with strong images and deep emotions.

The ‘About’ texts, supported by Arts Council England and written by Jenny Ayres, Lillie Ferrari, Tess Little and Thea Smiley, bring to life the voices of Jane Sellars hung in Norwich for being ‘idle at Trowse’, a woman who walks the Bungay Straight on a pilgrimage of grief, 18 year old prostitute ‘Anguish’ locked up in a mental asylum for life and Station Mistress Appleton and her wartime fight for the right to wear a company coat. The extracts are performed by Hetty Rance, Etta Geras, Isabelle King and Jenny Ayres and directed by Adina Levay.

‘The writers, performers and musicians have put their hearts into this year’s event. As always, it is going to be very special,’ said Belona Greenwood, Co-organiser, Words And Women.

The event is between 4 and 6 pm on Sunday, 8th March in Fusion at the Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich. NR2 1TF.  It is free to attend and open to all. Men, women and children.

 

Word Factory #30 & Masterclass – 14th February – London

wordfactory-logo-300x88Welcome back to an exciting year of readings, conversation, masterclasses and publication with the most inspiring short fiction writers at the Word Factory.

Devil in the Detail with Tessa Hadley – 1-4pm

Big ideas and a broad sweep in storytelling are often anchored in the smallest details. Don’t miss an exclusive opportunity to learn from one of the few UK writers regularly published by The New Yorker.
Tessa Hadley, Professor at Bath Spa University, will focus this workshop on observation and detail in the short story form and how it can transform your own writing. Expect to write, be challenged, and to learn from Tessa’s craft and the authors who have inspired her. This workshop is suitable for any writer passionate about the form.

Cost: £60 per person with free entrance to the evening reading included. Limited to 12 places. SOLD OUT

Short Story Club – 4.30-5.30pm

Hilary Mantel: The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher

This month we will be reading the most controversial short story of 2014: Hilary Mantel’s ’The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher’. The story springs from the two-time Man Booker prizewinner’s “boiling detestation” for the politician – Mantel recalls how she once spotted the former Prime Minister standing unguarded near her Windsor flat in 1983 and imagined shooting her. The action begins when a woman in her Windsor flat opens the door expecting a plumber… Have a read and make up your own mind – is this tale as damningly provocative as certain papers would have us believe?

Email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story: sophie@thewordfactory.tv

The Word Factory #28 – the intimate short story salon – 6-8pm

Our Valentine’s salon with stories exploring the joys and perils of love with stories from Tessa Hadley (who will be leading our workshop during the day), Zoe Gilbert and exclusive new work from Jon McGregor. Cathy Galvin will lead a discussion on the craft of short story writing and you’ll have the chance to ask your questions too.

Online tickets – £12 | Concessions – £8 | On the door – £15 Buy your tickets here.

Selected Tragedy, Submissions Call and (Tragic) Winter is Coming

You may be interested in helping the Storylines team create theatre from News on the first Friday of every month and if you are follow @ampersandmedia on twitter and get involved. The next Storylines is on 6th February.

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Stand Up Tragedy has been taking a break from our live shows but over on the podcast we’ve been producing  Selected Tragedy which are themed collections of highlights from three years of tragedy:

 

Our next live show will be Tragic Winter at the Hackney Attic on Saturday 28th February.

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 acts like Stewert Lee, Josie Long, Eddie Pepitone, Grace Petrie, Rob Auton, Sara Pascoe and Andy Zaltzman with new and upcoming acts in an evening of tragic variety based around a theme. Performers often write new material especially for the night and relish the opportunity to put a tragic spin on what they do. The nights are recorded and put out as a weekly podcast.

Call for Submissions:

Earlier this year we relaunched the SUT blog with an updated look and a new focus. Like its raucous live counterpart, the Stand Up Tragedy blog will be a place find the humour of hurt, the tickle of tragedy and mirth of misfortune. Selected work will posted each Friday beginning 1st August and promoted via the Stand Up Tragedy London monthly events, the podcast and at the Edinburgh Fringe.

What: short stories (fiction and non-fiction), flash fiction, poetry, and experimental form (that can be digitally distributed) that fits with the theme of tragedy. Or tragicomedy. Or comitragedy.  Ideal length is 250-1000 words, though shorter pieces, and longer work that can be serialised, will be considered. Editorial support or feedback can be offered to those who request it.

Format: Word doc or docx – double spaced—name and title on every page and paginated, please.

Deadline: Rolling.

Please email to akshoosmith@gmail.com with “SUT Submission” in the subject line.

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)