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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Short Stories and Arvon

Before working for Arvon (a charity that runs residential creative writing courses and retreats), my knowledge of short stories was mainly informed by my love of the Gothic; particularly the work of Edgar Allan Poe, and of course Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper. I didn’t necessarily realise that brilliant people were still writing such exciting short stories today (silly me). This ignorance was disastrously tied to a general inability post-English degree to read or understand anything that was written after 1900.

Enter my saviours, Tania Hershman and Adam Marek, who Totleigh Barton were fortunate enough to have as tutors for a short story course in 2012 (Totleigh Barton is Arvon’s original centre – a 16th century manor house located near the village of Sheepwash, Devon…yes, that really is a place).

 

Totleigh Barton

 

Luckily for me, Tania and Adam are both ‘short-storyphiles’ and were more than willing to stay up late educating me about the exciting world of short stories. Lucky too (despite the number) for the thirteen course participants inhabiting Totleigh Barton for the week. The nervous group that had arrived on Monday afternoon and huddled self-consciously around their cream teas, were effervescent with confidence and joy by the time they left on Saturday morning. They had experienced an intense week away from all the distractions of their home life to focus on short stories and it was a week that buzzed with energy. You could almost feel the creativity and friendship building and filling the house and no-one wanted to leave on Saturday morning. Despite being on the peripheries, I felt enlightened and excited to have found a new genre of contemporary writing and a group of such lovely people.

I thought this ‘short story buzz’ must have been unique to that week; special because of that specific group of people and those wonderful tutors. However, Arvon ran a number of short story courses (besides courses in a number of other genres) at all four of their centres last year; all of which by many accounts possessed a similarly positive feel. Partly, this was because of the talented tutors that ran courses in 2013, including Claire Massey, Claire Keegan, Alexander MacLeod, Nicholas Royle, Alison MacLeod and Robert Shearman. However, I have come to realise that writers who write short stories are just generally excellent human beings.

Arvon is just as excited by short stories as its course participants. This year we will be hosting more short story courses than ever before, with the introduction of a Starting to Write Short Stories course for beginners. At Totleigh, we are very much looking forward to welcoming back Adam Marek to tutor a short story course in May with the wonderful Jane Feaver, lecturer in Creative Writing at Exeter University. There are still places available so if you are interested please visit http://www.arvon.org/course/short-story

Short stories and Arvon seem to go together beautifully. There is something about Arvon’s ethos for giving people the ‘time and space’ to write, paired with the enthusiasm and open mindedness of writers of short fiction that seems to go hand in hand, like the pit and the pendulum… without the gory bits.

Eliza Squire, Centre Assistant at Totleigh Barton

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For more information about Arvon and its work, please visit http://www.arvon.org or phone 020 7324 2554. Or to reach Totleigh Barton directly please ring 01409231338.