May Fortnightly Round-Up I

May is National Short Story Month in the US, but it’s always short story month round here… Check out our round-up of what’s been happening on ShortStops’ blog over the past fortnight:

Lit Mags and Competitions
The flurry of new lit mags continues: welcome to The Short Anthology: “each issue uses the work of one photographer as the stimulus for a collection of short stories”, and Storyboard magazine: “every month we have a new theme to base your writing around”. The Short Anthology got straight to it on the blog and introduced its first issue.

The Grind are now open for submissions for Issue 3, and HeadStuff also wants you.  The Cro Magnon wants your writing too, for their website and perhaps for their travelling show. Check out Confingo’s first issue, now on sale, and Structo’s brand new website.

Kingston University have launched two new exciting short story competitions – one judged by Hilary Mantel and one, for stories to be read aloud, judged by Bonnie Greer. Writing Maps has launched a new monthly contest and lit mag and Writeidea announced a new national short story contest, The Writeidea Prize, deadline 31 July. More contests: the 3rd annual A Spot of Hysteria Writing Competition run by the UK Hysterectomy Association is now open for entries (deadline Aug 31), and the Historic House Short Story Comp (26 Sep) wants stories inspired by or set in a historic house. 

Holdfast magazine is still open for submissions for their first print anthology, deadline June 15th, with submissions open til May 31st for their online issue #3. The Moth International Short Story Prize closes June 30th.

Live Lit & Short Story Events
White Rabbit unveiled its new Wonderlands White Rabbit Walks: From Pleasure Gardens to Power Station. Fictions of Every Kind has produced its first podcast with stories and music. 

Last Minutes & Gentle Reminders
Today is the deadline to send Story Fridays your stories on the theme ‘In Focus’ for their May event. The Manchester Review is open to submissions for Issue 12 until mid May, and Myths of the Near Future is calling for submissions from under-25s for the Money issue by May 30th. You have until May 31 to submit to Jotters United’s new short story comp on the theme of ‘Spirit’. 

If you are eager for even more short-story-related news, do follow ShortStops on Twitter where, when we should be writing, we spend (far too) much time passing on news from lit mags, live lit events, short story workshops and festivals! Happy reading, writing, listening and performing!
Tania x

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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!

Review of The Grind Issue #1

grindLogoShortStops is delighted to welcome our first reviewer, Rosalind Minett, reviewing the first issue of new Scottish journal The Grind:

It was enlivening to read the first issue of The Grind, an online magazine showcasing short fiction and visual art from across Scotland. The Grind will give new artists and writers the opportunity to have their work seen by an interested audience. Always ahead in the field of Education, Scotland has its own voice and personality, perhaps insufficiently seen internationally.

Some of the contributors will be completely unknown, others have already won acclaim for their work. I enjoyed all the contributions but can only mention a few in a brief review.

The first issue is certainly as diverse as the parts of that country. Dramatic treescapes from Jamie McFarlane open the magazine. This is followed by some poetic gems. I particularly liked Dreamscape by Seonaid Francis, short but lyrical, and delicately to the point.

The tone is very different for the arresting architectural and life-style statements by Declan Malone. These photographs both appealed to the eye while depressing the spirit, and as spatial configurations, they somehow sum up a visual experience for a significant proportion of the population.

This is a stimulating and exciting magazine.

Also memorable, are the very disturbing psychological portraits by Bryan M Ferguson. Somewhat filmically, he portrays what is happening and has happened to his subjects whom he allows to speak for themselves. His use of black/white contrast add to the effect upon us.

There is flash fiction in this issue, as well as poetry. I would pick out the haunting set of mini ghost stories by David Flood. These are less fantasy than a representation of the living loss for the ordinary person of those departed. The short pieces held together well as a set.

In the same vein, I loved the haunting shadowy photographs of TV Eye, like flickers of memory. Some photographs please as a work of art, some as technique. These appeared to strike some new ground, touching on half formed thoughts or minimally perceived movements.

In strong contrast, the impressive and central work NMDA by CD Shade is an intellectual presentation. It uses text, rhythm and diagram to present a visual representation of the glutamate receptor and its functions. This work really needed larger pages for readers to appreciate the scientific, cognitive, language and life implications it draws attention to. I enlarged each section in order to read it properly. NMDA is in essence a scientific poem, unique in its style. I am sure it will receive the attention it deserves .

This is a stimulating and exciting magazine. I did wonder if a different title would benefit it; a hydrophonics magazine has been using it for some time. Otherwise, only one criticism – the layout sometimes made it difficult to determine whose work I was seeing, so that I had to return to the Contents page. The author’s name, often written very small, hovered between pages. One artist framed his work, and this made for much easier viewing, especially on a tablet.

The talented writers and artists present a range of themes and genres in this first issue of The Grind. If there are to be changes in the later issues, I hope there will be a chosen theme each time. It will be exciting to see how the different individuals respond to this within their own medium and style.

Thank you, Rosalind! We hope this has whet your appetite – you can read Issue 1 of The Grind here. If you would like to review a literary magazine or a live lit event for us, drop us an email shortstopsuk@gmail.com.

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