Cyber Smut – call for submissions

Guts Publishing wants to know how the internet has impacted your life. We are seeking short stories and poetry for our next anthology Cyber Smut. Closing date for submissions is 29 February 2020.


This is wide open in terms of interpretation, and anything goes – poetry, memoir, erotica, literary fiction, sci fi, essays, etc – as long as it aligns with the theme. Things to consider: our daily lives are saturated with the internet, impacting our minds and behavior. Miscommunications and mishaps. Lust and desire for fame and money. Hilarity and tragedy with Tinder or Grindr. This is rich and fertile ground, and surely there are countless ways to approach this theme. We are thrilled about our next anthology and hope you are too.


• Closing date for submissions – 29 February 2020.
• Short stories (fiction & nonfiction) – 1000-5000 words.
• Poetry – up to 5 pages.
• UK & Ireland – seeking submissions from anyone living or born in the UK or Ireland.
• Unpublished work only please. We are not able to accept previously published work, print or online.

Visit gutpublishing.com for more info, or submit your work on Submittable: gutspublishing.submittable.com/submit

Stroud Short Stories is Open for Submissions until 8 March 2020

Stroud Short Stories is currently open for submissions for its special 20th event which is dedicated to Stroud writer Rick Vick who sadly died at the end of November. There were obituaries for Rick in The Times and The GuardianHere is the latter.
 
The event is for all Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire writers. The theme this time is DISRUPTION. Submissions are free and you may submit unpublished or published stories. Ten stories will be selected and their authors will read/perform them at our event.
The deadline is the end of Sunday 8 March and the event is on Sunday 19 April at the 150-seater Cotswold Playhouse. Tickets will go on sale on 20 March.
 
All information about submitting is on the Stroud Short Stories website.

Call for Submissions – Short Stories & Poetry

Stories About Cyber Lives

Guts Publishing. Ballsy books about life. An independent publisher in London specializing in short story anthologies, fiction & nonfiction, and often with poetry. We also publish full-length memoirs. Our goal is to support exceptional writers to ensure that readers can find bold life stories (and that other stuff they call fiction) in the marketplace.

On 28 November 2019 we released our debut anthology Stories About Penises, a collection of 21 poems and short stories about, well exactly what it sounds like. We have some nice reviews on our website, and also on Goodreads.

We are thrilled to announce that we are open for submissions for our next anthology Stories About Cyber Lives. Seeking poetry and short stories (fiction & nonfiction) by UK writers. Which means anyone currently living in the UK, or anyone who was born in the UK. Closing date is 15 February 2020. This is wide open and anything goes (poetry, memoir, erotica, literary fiction, sci fi, lgbt, etc) as long as it aligns with the theme.

For details visit gutspublishing.com/submissions and our Submittable page.

We can’t wait to read your stories! xx Guts

Story Friday LEAP! Call for submissions

Story Friday in February has the theme LEAP! in celebration of 2020 as a leap year. Story Friday is on 28th February, the day before the leaping day, and we want to revel in the glory of this springing theme! Whether your stories feature proposals or boxing hares, Christmas lords or death defying jumps, we are so looking forward to reading what you come up with!

Story Friday LEAP! will be on 28th February, deadline for submissions is 17th February. We’re looking for stories that are 2,000 words or fewer.  (Full submission details are here).  Writers must be available to come to Bath for the event.  If you’d rather not read, we have wonderful actors who can read your story for you.

For more information about Story Friday, to listen to stories that we have recorded at our events over the years, and/or to submit your story please visit A Word In Your Ear.

Residential Writing Weekend with Claire Keegan

Teach Bhride Holistic Centre, Tullow, Co. Carlow, Ireland 3 to 5 January 2020

This residential weekend will see all participants arriving at Teach Bhride on Friday afternoon before dinner. The next two mornings will be spent writing in any genre in well lighted, quiet spaces without mobile phones.

Lectures and discussions will be held in the afternoons and evenings on the following:

  • Letters by Anton Chekhov & others

  • Paris Review/Writers at Work Interviews

  • Essays by Eudora Welty, Frank O’Connor and Flannery O’Connor

  • Hemingway’s advice on writing

  • Some poems on writing and creativity

  • Viewing of A Private World, a documentary on John McGahern

Tuition includes all meals and two nights’ accommodation, with everyone arriving before dinner on Friday, helping themselves to breakfast both mornings, and leaving before dinner on Sunday evening. This course will suit anyone interested in a quiet weekend of writing. None of what is written will be read aloud. It’s a chance to engage with the intricacies of the creative process and use your imagination.

To book your place, contact ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com Tuition is 400 Euro. A 50% deposit secures. See CKFictionClinic for more information.

KEEGAN ClaireClaire Keegan’s portrait taken in the offices of Sabine Wespieser, Publisher, Paris

Claire Keegan’s story collections include Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster (Faber & Faber). These stories, translated into 17 languages, have won numerous awards. Her debut, Antarctica, was a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. “These stories are among the finest stories recently written in English,” wrote the Observer. Walk the Blue Fields, her second collection, was Richard Ford’s Book of the Year in 2010, and won the Edge Hill Prize, awarded to the strongest collection published in the British Isles. Foster won the Davy Byrne’s Award, the then world’s richest prize for a single story. New Yorker readers chose Foster as their story of the year. It was also published in Best American Stories and is now on the school syllabus in Ireland. Keegan has earned an international reputation as a teacher of fiction, having taught workshops on four continents.

Every line seems to be a lesson in the perfect deployment of both style and emotion.” Hilary Mantel

The best stories are so textured and so moving, so universal but utterly distinctive, that it’s easy to imagine readers savoring them many years from now and to imagine critics, far in the future, deploying new lofty terms to explain what it is that makes Keegan’s fiction work.” The New York Times

Every single word in the right place and pregnant with double meaning.” Jeffrey Eugenides, The New York Times

Keegan is a rarity, someone I will always want to read.” Richard Ford

Writing Short Stories with Cynan Jones

Write and edit a complete short story and learn essential fiction-writing techniques on Curtis Brown Creative’s brand new six-week online course, Writing Short Stories led by award-winning short story writer Cynan Jones. Cynan won the Betty Trask award for his novel The Long Dry and he won BBC National Short Story Award in 2017, for which he was on the 2019 judging panel . His short stories have appeared in a variety of anthologies and in journals and magazines including Granta and the New Yorker.

We interviewed Cynan to find out more about his love of short fiction…

You won the BBC National Short Story Prize for your story The Edge of the Shoal in 2017 and now you’re on this year’s judging panel for the prize. How does it feel to come full circle? And what do you look for when reading short stories for competitions?

Judging the competition has certainly pointed out what an extraordinary thing it was to win. Ultimately, all a writer can do is write as strongly as he or she can, and work on a story until it’s the best possible piece they can produce. What happens to that story is a product of the work and attention put in. If nothing else, I know I’ve really worked hard to write strongly. In many ways then, it feels less of a circle and more of a starting point! What next? I’m always aiming to challenge myself.

The sense a writer has challenged him or herself is in the best stories too. You read great pieces and think, ‘How!? How did they write that?’ Such stories feel both totally impossible to write, but as if they couldn’t be written better.

When reading stories for competitions I look for that. Stories that take narrative risks and show the technical ability to make those risks pay off. That’s much rarer than you think.

What initially inspired you to start writing in short fiction?

I think several elements led me to shorter forms. Firstly, the thing of reading a story from start to finish in one sitting. I loved that as a reader and – as most of us are copyists when we first start writing – wanted to replicate that experience.

I also think that, even in my initial attempts at serious writing, the way my prose hit the page lent itself to shorter form. I aimed always to put a picture down as simply and powerfully as I could and relied on the reader to think and feel in response. That meant I didn’t write a great deal of explanation or back story, or direct a reader how to react. In itself, that makes for fewer words.

In retrospect, perhaps too there were constraints as to how long I could really dedicate to the process of writing when I first started. I usually had about three months for writing at the beginning of the year before the freelance work I did at the time really got going. Perhaps that made me feel I needed to write something I could start and finish in one block. (Which loops back to the first thing I mentioned here, about the immersive experience of starting and finishing something in one go.)

We’re thrilled to have you on board as the teacher of our brand-new Writing Short Stories course. What’s your favourite part of teaching?

Probably how teaching makes you dig into your own process and really work to understand it so you can pass what you know on.

Other than the help of the world-class authors I read, I taught myself to write. Because of that, it’s only since teaching that I’ve really dissected exactly what it is I do, and that’s helped me take things further.

Could you share your top three tips for writers who want to start writing short stories?

Read.

Work at the craft.

Don’t write to be published.

Read the full interview with Cynan over on the Curtis Brown Creative blog.

Curtis Brown Creative’s brand new Writing Short Stories course led by Cynan Jones is open now for enrolment. It starts on October 17th 2019.

Short Stops readers can get an exclusive 10% off by using code: SHORTSTOPSCBC

 

Story Friday Chemistry – we want your stories!

After a lovely long summer and story walks in the sun, Story Fridays is back inside, at Burdall’s Yard in Bath.  Our next event in November has the theme Chemistry. Are you thinking of bunsen burners, or eyes meeting across a crowded room? Whatever you choose, chemistry is all about reactions, explosive or otherwise. We can’t wait to see where our latest theme takes you!

Story Friday Chemistry will be on 8th November, deadline for submissions is 28th October. We’re looking for stories that are 2,000 words or fewer.  (Full submission details are here).  Writers must be available to come to Bath for the event.  If you’d rather not read, we have wonderful actors who can read your story for you.

For more information about Story Friday, to listen to stories that we have recorded at our events over the years, and/or to submit your story please visit A Word In Your Ear.