Word Factory Short Story Competition: DEADLINE EXTENDED

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Don’t miss the chance to win a year of entry to the Word Factory salon as well as online publication!

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Word Factory will publish ten stories inspired by these opening lines, penned for us by Neil Gaiman. Along with publication, the winners can attend salons for a year for free. Stories will be published online and may be included in a future anthology. The competition will be judged by Toby Litt and Cathy Galvin.

Rules: Please use the opening sentence in full or as a springboard (i.e. use the fable as the platform to launch your ideas from, using your own interpretation of the fable) for an inspiring fable of 3000 words maximum.
Submissions deadline has been extended to 31st July. UK entry only.
You may send more than one story but the entry fee of £5 must be purchased for each story.
The stories will be judged anonymously so please ensure only the title and page numbers are included on your submission.
Submissions will be accepted in Word (.doc/.docx) or PDF (.pdf) format.

Submissions: Once you have paid your entry fee via eventbrite, the instructions for entry will be emailed to you.
The ten winning short stories will be announced at the September Word Factory Salon, and the winners will be contacted before the salon.

If you have any queries, please contact Alison via alison@thewordfactory.tv

ENTER YOUR STORY HERE

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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) .

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.

March Fortnightly Round-Up II

Dear short story lovers,
Here’s what’s been happening on our blog over the past fortnight or so…

Tania x

Lit Mags

Trafika Europe has published Issue 3, Latvian Sojourn, and Don’t Do It Issue 8, Noise, is now live. Flash: The Short Short Story magazine has launched issue 7.2. Trafika Europe also invites you to visit their radio campaign!

Jotters United celebrates its first birthday with a call for submissions for its anniversary issue. Octavius magazine has relaunched – and is now open to submissions. Shooter Literary Magazine is calling for submissions for Issue #2, on the theme of ‘Union’, by April 1st. Neon Magazine has opened submissions for Battery Pack II, its second anthology of tiny stories, deadline April 15.

Competitions & Festivals
The Felixtstowe Book Festival’s 2015 short story competition is accepting entries until May 16th, and The Moth’s International Short Story Prize is open, deadline June 30th. Holland Park Press is running a short story competition, I Is Another, deadline 31 August.

Workshops and Courses
Write Around Town, who are behind Writing Maps, are holding a series of writing workshops in London in April.

Live Lit
The Word Factory #31 and masterclass is on March 28th in London. Fictions Of Every Kind’s next event, with the theme of ‘Relativity’ is on April 14th in Leeds.

Last Minutes and Gentle Reminders
The deadline for Mslexia’s 2015 short story competition (women only) has been extended to March 23rd. Submissions are open til March 31st for The Manchester Review  and Brain Of Forgetting’s 2nd issue, on the theme of ‘Poppies’.  The Short FICTION short story prize closes on March 31st.

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! If you’d like to review an event or a publication, drop me a line.

Happy reading, writing, listening and performing!
Tania x

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.

February Round-Up I

Greetings, short story lovers!
Here’s what’s been on a packed ShortStops blog over the past few weeks…

Tania x

Live Lit

The Word Factory #30 is in London on Feb 14th, with live lit, a short story reading group and masterclass. White Rabbit want your short stories for their Curioser and Curioser storytelling tea party on Feb 20th in London. Stand-Up Tragedy’s next event, Tragic Winter, is in London on Feb 28th and they are calling for submissionsfor the SUT blog.

Lit Mags

February is ‘Otherworldly Originals Month’ over at Short Story Sunday! Jotters United’s Isssue 10 is now out and they’re calling for submissions. Bunbury Magazine has unveiled Issue Seven: The Unexplained. Shooter Literary Magazine is  calling for submissions for Issue #2, on the theme of ‘Union.’ On the theme of themes, Brain of Forgetting’s first issue, Stones, is now available, and submissions for Issue 2 open shortly. Neon Magazine has opened submissions for Battery Pack II, its second anthology of tiny stories.  Other mags still want your stories too: The Manchester Review has is calling for your submissions.

Anthologies
Freight Books wants short story submissons for an anthology inspired by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

Competitions & Festivals
Mslexia’s 2015 short story competition is now open for entries (women only), deadline March 16th. The Short FICTION short story prize is open for entries, deadline March 31st, as are the Felixtstowe Book Festival’s 2015 short story competition, deadline May 16th and The Moth’s International Short Story Prize, deadline June 30th. Words and Women have announced the winners of their writing competition.

Workshops and Courses
Berko Writers is holding a night to talk about sex and writing, Turn Me On, in Berkhamstead, Feb 10th. Alison Clayborn is running a Flash Fiction workshop  on Feb 18th at the Brunel Museum in London.

And Ireland has a new national residential writing centre – The Story House in County Waterford, which is running a short story course from Mar 23-28th.

Writing Advice
Bruce Harris introduces us to Writing Short Fiction, ‘a site for sore eyes’.

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! If you’d like to review an event or a publication, drop me a line.

Happy reading, writing, listening and performing!
Tania x

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.