December Fortnightly Round-Up I

Hello short story lovers,
The final month of 2014 has arrived, happy December! A good time for short stories… (isn’t it always?) Here’s what’s been going on on our blog over the past 2 weeks.

Tania x

Lit Mags
We’re delighted to welcome a new lit mag, Hotel, to our lit mags list which “seeks to accommodate fiction, poetry and contemporary thought”. Go and visit!

There’s loads to read and many places to send your stories: Firewords Three is here, Jotters United has a new issue out and is calling for submissions, and the second issue of Confingo is now on sale.

The Emma Press is calling for prose pamphlet submissions Holdfast Magazinelaunched Issue 4, Diverse Reflections and is also calling for submissions. Bunbury magazine is also calling for submissions and giving us a peek at what’s been going on over there. Short Story Sunday, which has just launched its first issue, is calling for submissions and Short Fiction journal also wants your short stories.

Anthologies

Queen’s Ferry Press is calling for nominations for the first Best Small Fictions anthology.  Freight Books wants short story submissons for an anthology inspired by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. To celebrate National Short Story Week, 32 young writers have been published in an anthology, on sale now.

Competitions
Felixtstowe Book Festival has launched its 2015 short story competition, deadline May 16th.

Live Lit
Fictions Of Every Kind is holding its next event, Help Yourself, tomorrow Dec 2nd in Leeds, including an open mic. Word Factory is having its free Christmas Party Dec 13th, in London.

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 #29 – Our FREE Christmas Party – 13th December, London

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It’s been an outstanding year for the Word Factory. Readers in 2014 include AS Byatt, Toby Litt, David Almond, Tessa Hadley, Ben Okri, Evie Wylde – and our masterclasses have been led by truly great talent including David Constantine, Joe Dunthorne, Peter Stothard and David Vann. Join at Waterstones Piccadilly for our final event of the year – our free Christmas party!

Short Story Club – 5-6pm

This month: John Burnside – Slut’s Hair

In December we are reading ‘Slut’s Hair’, by the Scottish writer John Burnside. As a short story writer, Burnside has published two collections Burning Elvis (2000) and Something Like Happy (2013), from which this story is taken. Burnside is unflinching in his bleak portrayal of “unpleasant” subjects – cruelty, domestic violence, outright loneliness – and this spotlight on the darker side of human nature has earned him a reputation as a Scottish Raymond Chandler. ‘Slut’s Hair’ is archetypal Burnside. In it, a woman in Dundee tenement is stuck in an unhappy and unforgiving relationship. Then she reveals she has toothache, and they can’t afford a dentist…

Simply email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story: sophie@thewordfactory.tv

The Word Factory #29 – the intimate short story salon – 6-8pm

Join us for an evening fizzing with  festive fun and celebration. We will be pulling names out of Santa’s hat to read on the night. If you want to take part, bring a story no more than ten minutes long and, as you arrive, give your name and the story’s title to Alexa on the door. We will be listening – and we will be filming!

Register for your FREE tickets here

November Round-Up II

Hello short story lovers,
Happy National Short Story Week! Here’s what’s been going on on our blog over the past 2 weeks!

Cheers!
Tania

National Short Story Week
To celebrate National Short Story Week, 32 young writers have been published in an anthology, on sale now. Find out more about NSSW activities on their website.

Lit Mags
We welcome the Wales Arts Review to our lit mags list, “the critical writing hub for Wales”. Check them out!

The Emma Press has launched a call for prose pamphlet submissions Holdfast Magazine has launched Issue 4, Diverse Reflections and is also calling for submissions. Bunbury magazine is also calling for submissions and giving us a peek at what’s been going on over there. Freight Books is calling for short story submissons for an anthology inspired by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. Short Story Sunday, which has just launched its first issue, is calling for submissions and Short Fiction journal also wants your short stories.

Competitions
Writing Maps has launched its Survival Kit for Writers and its November contest is now open.

Live Lit
Word Factory #28 is this Sat night, November 22, in London, featuring a masterclass, short story reading group and live lit event. Fictions Of Every Kind is holding its next event, Help Yourself, on Dec 2nd in Leeds, including an open mic.

Radio
Ian McMillan, host of BBC Radio 3’s show, The Verb: Cabaret of the Word, dropped by to talk about his favourite short stories.

Last Minutes and Gentle Reminders
Magic Oxygen’s  short story and poetry contest closes on 30th November.

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.

Word Factory #28 & Masterclass – 22nd November, London

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Welcome to winter at the Word Factory: celebrating a second year of brilliant short story readings, classes and the short story club. This month join us for our last salon of the year, back in our home at Waterstone Piccadilly:

It’s All Greek To Me – Masterclass with David Vann – 1.30-4.30pm

We are delighted to welcome the internationally renowned novelist and short story writer David Vann to lead our final masterclass of the year. In this three hour session, David will take a close look at the classical structures that underpin all great writing and ask: why we are still reading and writing according to the ancient Greeks? He will examine dramatic unities, the roles of the protagonist and antagonist; of the chorus; of crisis and catharsis. Drawing on developments in his own work, stories he describes as neo-classical, he will discuss his own inspiration and offer a helpful insight into your own practice.

This masterclass is  for anyone serious about writing short fiction, whether new to the form or published. David will suggest texts to read in advance. No exercises will be set in the class.

Cost: £60 per person with free entrance to the evening reading included. Limited to 20 places. Buy your tickets here.

Short Story Club – 5-6pm

This month: Angela Carter – Peter and the Wolf

At November’s Short Story Club we will be discussing Angela Carter’s Peter and the Wolf. This autumnal story is one of Carter’s many retellings of folk and fairy tales, in which she twists away from the original, riffing on the familiar to satirical and baroque effect. This swiftly told tale is simple in content but rich in language, a style less fashionable in 2014 (it was first published in 1982) but no less powerful for it. Desire, freedom, nature and chaos abide here – an apt story for the turning of the seasons.

Simply 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 our final salon of the year in November with Ben Okri, David Vann (who will be leading our Saturday masterclass), Lisa Blower and Deirdre Shanahan. After their readings they will join in conversation with Cathy Galvin.

Online tickets – £12 | Concessions – £8 | On the door – £15 Buy your tickets here.

Word Factory #27 & Masterclass – 25th October, London

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Join us in the shadow of Nelson’s Column for our inspiring October salon. Join us for Word Factory on 25th October at Waterstones Trafalgar Square:

Masterclass with David Constantine – 1.30-4.30pm

VS Pritchett said that a short story is ‘something glimpsed from the corner of the eye’ but what does that mean – what really defines a short story and how can we write better in a form that demands precision and strong narrative?

We are delighted to explore these questions in an exclusive masterclass with Frank O’Connor International short story award winner David Constantine. The author of four collections of short stories and a renowned poet and translator, David will discuss the art of short story writing with reference to his own writing life and inspiration he has drawn from the works of DH Lawrence and others.

This masterclass is for you if you are already writing short stories as well as for those practiced in other forms of writing but keen to explore the short story form. The class will involve discussion and careful examination of a few texts which will be provided in advance with the aim of encouraging reflection and insight. If possible, we would advise writers to read Morphologies. Short story writers on short story writers from Comma Press in advance. David will not be setting exercises but will be encouraging you to discuss concerns and ideas in your own work with him and other writers in the class.

Cost: £60 per person with free entrance to the evening reading included. Limited to 20 places. Buy your tickets here.

Short Story Club – 5-6pm

This month: Colin Barrett – The Clancy Kid

At October’s Short Story Club, we’ll be discussing ‘The Clancy Kid’ by Colin Barrett. This is the opening story from Barrett’s new collection Young Skins. Hungover Jimmy is in the pub in his Irish home town, in which all the stories are set, listening to his unstable friend Tug talking about a small boy who has gone missing – the Clancy kid. The story evokes the place and the characters Jimmy encounters in confident strokes, blending warmth with the sinister, the modern with the mythic, and hooking the reader whilst leaving us wondering.

Simply email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story: sophie@thewordfactory.tv

The Word Factory #23 – the intimate short story salon – 6-8pm

After David Constantine has led his masterclass on the art of writing the short story, he will be reading alongside Tessa Hadley and Adam Marek. These three award-winning authors will join Cathy Galvin in conversation about their writing lives. Book early to secure your place and a free glass of wine at Waterstones’ flagship store in Piccadilly.

Online tickets – £12 | Concessions – £8 | On the door – £15 Buy your tickets here – Bring a friend for free on all salon tickets.

Sept Fortnightly Round-up II

Hello all,
Here’s what’s been happening on our blog over the past fortnight. As ever, if you’d like to contribute, drop me a line and I’ll explain how it works: shortstopsuk@gmail.com

Lit Mags

We welcome THREE new publications to our Lit Mags list: Winamop: “our content is international and eclectic”;  Short Story Sunday “a new online short story and flash fiction publication launching Nov 2014”, and Brain Of Forgetting: “an online forum for writing and artwork that relates to memory, history and heritage”. Check them out!

Brain of Forgetting got straight in there with a blog post calling for submissions on the theme of stones. And Writing Maps launches its new lit mag, A3, and its September contest. Talking of contests, Structo is celebrating the unveiling of Issue 12 with a Margaret Atwood competition.  And it’s last call for submissions of Christmas stories to the Casket Of Fictional Delights.

Jotters United publishes issue 6 and is calling for submissions for its women-only issue. Short Fiction journal wants your short stories. Holdfast is fundraising for its first ever print anthology. The Manchester Review is also calling for submissions for Issue 13.

Competitions

Words and Women launch 2 great new writing opportunities for women writers in the east of England. The London Magazine’s short story competition is now open, deadline, Oct 31st, and international entries are welcome. Magic Oxygen are running a short story and poetry contest, deadline 30th November. The WriteIdea Prize has unveiled its longlist.

Live Lit

Stand-Up Tragedy is holding its Edinburgh reunion event, Tragic Friends, on Sep 25 in London and is calling for submissions for its new-look blog. The Word Factory is holding its monthly live lit event this Saturday Sep 27th in London, as well as a masterclass and short story reading club. White Rabbit invites you to submit your spooky stories for Are You Sitting Comfortably?’s Halloween party on October 31st in London.

Workshops
Berko Writers is running a course on The Art Of The Short Story with Adam Marekfrom Oct 7 – Nov 18 in Berkhamstead.. The Tavistock Heritage Festival is runningtwo free workshops on historical fiction in October. Alison Clayburn’s autumn fortnightly Focus On Fiction course at the Brunel Museum starts today, Sep 22.

Last Minutes & Gentle Reminders
Last call for submissions of Christmas stories to the Casket Of Fictional Delights. The Historic House Short Story Comp (26 Sep) wants stories inspired by or set in a historic house.

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 #26 & Workshop – 27th September, London

wordfactory-logo-300x88Welcome back to an autumn of intimate salons and inspiring workshops. After our summer holiday, Word Factory is back on the 27th September at Waterstones Piccadilly:

What did they say? – Workshop with Jonathan Taylor – 1.30-4.30pm

An exclusive workshop with Jonathan Taylor on how to make the maximum impact reading your work aloud.

Live readings and literature events are hugely popular and writers need to know how to read out loud and make the maximum impact with their work. It’s vital to understand exactly what’s involved in creating a good group experience while allowing space for listeners to have their own personal response.

In this lively workshop led by an acclaimed teacher and writer, you will explore the characteristics that make a story readable and the keys to good performance. Group and pair work will allow you to maximise your own performance and share with others. The workshop will suit you whether you are already published and wanting to improve your performance and writing skills or have experience as a writer but are not yet published.

Cost: £60 per person with free entrance to the evening reading included. Buy your tickets here.

Short Story Club – 5-6pm

This month: Lucy Wood – Lights in Other People’s Houses

In September we will be exploring the work of the young British writer, Lucy Wood. Diving Belles, her debut collection, was recorded as a series for BBC radio. All the stories are inspired by Cornish folklore, and in ‘Lights in Other People’s Houses’ the ghost of a wrecker appears in Maddy’s house amidst the moving boxes she is refusing to unpack. Gradually the house fills with sand, and shells, and an atmosphere is created that is both dreamlike and unsettling.

Simply email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story: sophie@thewordfactory.tv

The Word Factory #23 – the intimate short story salon – 6-8pm

We begin our autumn season with three very different but brilliant short story writers: Alexei Sayle, Mahesh Rao, and Jonathan Taylor. They will entertain with their stories and join Cathy Galvin in conversation about their writing lives. We will also announce the winners of our 2014 Word Factory Apprentice scheme. Book early to secure your place and a free glass of wine at Waterstones’ flagship store in Piccadilly.

Online tickets – £12 | Concessions – £8 | On the door – £15 Buy your tickets here – Bring a friend for free on all salon tickets.