February Round-Up II

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.

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!

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February Fortnightly Round-Up (1)

Hello story lovers,
Welcome to February, which is wet and windy round here. A good excuse to stay in, read and write, right? Here’s a round-up of what’s been happening at ShortStops over the past fortnight.

Lit Mags, Competitions and Workshops
New to the site is The Grind, a “literary and visual arts magazine serving Scotland and its diaspora”. Short Fiction’s 2014 short story prize wants your stories, deadline March 31st. The editor of the Writers’ Hub has blogged some useful advice about How To Get Published On The Writers Hub (And Elsewhere)The Moth International Short Story Prize is now open for entries, deadline June 30. Coming soon – a call for submissions for Transportation, a new Tasmanian/English short story anthology.

Smoke, the London Peculiar, is calling for submissions for their London water-themed short story anthology, Smoke on the Water. And Neon Magazine wants your tiny fictions for a new project, Battery Pack.

If you want some help working on your short stories before sending ’em off, check out the Writers’ Centre Norwich’s upcoming short story workshops.

Live Lit
Stand-Up Tragedy’s February event is Tragic Love, Feb 13th in London – on that same night in Brighton, head down to Rattle Tales – the line-up for the event has just been announced. On Feb 28th White Rabbit presents Are You Sitting Comfortably? Science Fiction in London.

Last Minutes & Gentle Reminders
Today, Feb 3rd, is the deadline to send your stories to the Davy Byrnes short story competition  you are an Irish citizen or resident. The National Flash Fiction Youth competition is open for entries til Feb 21st. Number Eleven mag welcomes submissions, and Riptide Journal is open for submissions for Volume 10, on the theme of ‘Imaging the Suburbs’ (deadline March 1 2014).

Tania x

January Round-Up

Hello short story fans!
There has been so much activity at ShortStops since our last round-up that I’m still trying to catch my breath! First, congrats to Tracy Fells, the winner of a copy of the new Short Fiction journal – read Catherine McNamara’s interview with Short Fiction co -editor Tom Vowler. More interviews and giveaways of lit mags coming soon.

Here’s a round-up of the rest:

Workshops
Want to work on your own short stories? Check out the Writers’ Centre Norwich’s upcoming short story workshops.

Live 
We welcome bi-monthly Falmouth live lit night, Telltales, to our list – their first 2014 event is on Jan 28th. White Rabbit is taking Bernadette Russell’s multimedia story show, 366 Days of Kindness, on tour around the UK from Jan 10th – find out if it’s coming to a theatre near you. Seven of Gill Blow’s short stories have been adapted for the theatre  –  Take 7 will be performed in Sheffield on Jan 24th and 25th. Word Factory #19, featuring David Almond, Stella Duffy and Rebecca Swirsky, is on Jan 25th in London. And Bad Language is back for their first event of the year, on Jan 29th in Manchester.

Lit Mags
New additions to our pages include “surreal/irreal/gritty/realist” print mag Fur-lined GhettoesOctavius, a literary magazine for students in Scotland which is calling for submissions for Issue 3, and fortnightly online journal The Siren,

Tube-flash is back – The Casket of Fictional Delights has new flash stories inspired by the London Underground – and wants yours, too. The January edition of Long Story, Short is ‘Nutella’, by Katie M. Anderson, read an excerpt. Open Pen Issue 10 is now in the shops, get a sneak peak and a hint of upcoming events. Smoke, the London Peculiar, is calling for submissions for their London water-themed short story anthology, Smoke on the Water. And Neon Magazine wants your tiny fictions for a new project, Battery Pack.

Last Minutes & Gentle Reminders
Today, Jan 20th, is the last day to submit to Holdfast for Issue #2, ‘Animals, Beasts and Creatures’, so get your stories in. If you are an Irish citizen or resident, send your stories to the Davy Byrnes short story competition by Feb 3rd. The National Flash Fiction Youth competition is open for entries til Feb 21st. Number Eleven mag welcomes submissions for Issue 4, and Riptide Journal is open for submissions for Volume 10, on the theme of ‘Imaging the Suburbs’ (deadline March 1 2014).

Phew. I told you there was a lot going on. Enjoy! To get this by email every two weeks, glance slightly to your right and click on the link that says Sign Up For Our Email Newsletter.
Tania x

Smoke on the Water

Puddle

Please note that the actual cover/title
will be finalised later!

Water. H20. Adam’s ale. We’ve all seen it, gathering ominously in puddles, bouncing from umbrellas and rolling off the backs of insouciant ducks. Water doesn’t just fall from the sky, though: there’s a whole mucky load of it flowing in a big trench along the northern rim of south London, thankfully steering a course between the buildings on either side. And rather smaller amounts trickling past the bottoms of back gardens out in the suburbs. Some people even believe in such things as lost rivers, underground streams and tadpoles. And let’s not forget the docks, the canals, the broken Victorian water mains.

In short, it’s bloody wet out there. Which is why we’ve decided to produce the Smoke Bumper Book of Water. Although it won’t actually be called that, for obvious reasons. Basically, a compendium of words – fiction, non-fiction, something-in-between – and pictures in which London’s water is the ruling element. If you’ve seen our first book, From the Slopes of Olympus to the Banks of the Lea, you’ll know the sort of approach we’ll be taking; if you haven’t, you’re a fool to yourself, but click on the title and scroll down for a sample pdf.

It’s a deliberately broad topic, and the focus might change slightly, depending on what arrives. There are plenty of other books out there dealing with the history of the Thames, for instance, so we’d prefer to meander more around such things as, say, the Dagenham Brook, the last remaining tidal streets in London, a riverside pub crawl, or the reservoirs at Tottenham. Back in issue 2 of Smoke, we published Seb Brennan’s marvellous London Shipping Forecast – a nightly bulletin to guide and protect those stranded on the city’s streets and lull those safely tucked up in bed – and that’s the sort of thing we’re after. The stuff we really want to avoid, I suppose, is anything too drily informative; if anything, we’re after the exact opposite: something wet and fanciful.

As with all Smoke books, successful submissions will initially also appear on the website as regular posts; towards the end, though, we’ll probably keep them for the printed version.

Deadlines and word counts

People always want to know how many words are needed, and our answer is usually “roughly half as many as you’re thinking of sending us, sunshine – go back and delete all the adjectives”. Basically, though, there are no real rules – just whatever seems appropriate. Bear in mind, though, that the longest pieces in From the Slopes of Olympus were around 3,000 words, and most were a lot lot shorter; shorter is always better. As for a deadline… shall we say the end of February?