Get involved in Solstice Shorts DUSK UK wide

We have a beautiful idea for Solstice Shorts this year but we need help.

UPDATE: We now have several sites confirmed, and we will be celebrating the end of the shortest day of the year in:
almost definitely BARNSTAPLE, REDRUTH

We still need something in Bath or Bristol, and it would be great to get Shetland or Orkney involved.

A Wave of Words across the UK as night falls

We tried going the formal route, approaching regional literature development agencies, but with very little response, particularly from the ones that were critical to the plan, so we’re trying the ‘grass roots’ way instead.


The Plan:

For this year’s Solstice Shorts Festival (21/12/2017), we are exploring the theme of Dusk. We are looking at taking the festival out from its home on the prime meridian in Greenwich, into the furthest reaches of the UK (and points in between) to read live short stories and poems alongside original and traditional music starting as the sun goes down, and ending in darkness,  which, depending on where you are in the UK, takes on average 45 minutes.

Sample times for this on 21st December 2017:

START 16:53 17:08 17:13 17:13 17:16 17:16 17:17 17:18 17:21 17:29 17:31 17:32 17:42
FINISH 17:44 17:50 17:57 17:59 18:01 17:57 17:59 17:59 18:03 18:10 18:15 18:12 18:21
LENGTH MINS 51 42 44 48 45 41 42 41 42 41 44 40 39

So Penzance would not start reading until Lerwick had almost finished, so there would be a wave of words travelling south-west across the UK.

The idea is that the programme is unique in each venue, but there is ONLY time for about two stories/poems/songs at each venue as on average we are looking at 45 minutes.

It doesn’t need to be a BIG venue, a biggish bookshop or a library or a room in a pub would do at a pinch. (Somewhere with good transport links and wheelchair access too, ideally). There have been some suggestions for outdoor venues but remember this is the shortest day of the year, and the event will end in darkness. Health & Safety factors need to be taken into account (And insurance would probalby be either impossible or unaffordable).

Ideally we would like to include somewhere in each of the Arts Council regions, but this depends on many people’s enthusiasm for the idea.

How you can help:

Would you be up for partnering by hosting and/or running the relevant leg? If not, can you suggest people working in literature in the area who you think would be keen – that might be a live lit event organiser or a publisher, or maybe a venue.

If you decide you want to partner, could you help us find (JUST find, initially)

1) a suitable venue

2) someone to co-ordinate the event at the venue (with an excellent sense of time!)

3) volunteers to help promote and steward

4) someone to video/record / manage the live link

5) BSL Interpreters

6) If you know any local musicians and actors that would be useful too (I know you do!).

Whether you can help in any other way or not, could you help spread the word to writers and musicians in your area? There will be a new call out as soon as we’ve tied down what is on offer.

We will be putting together an application for funding to Arts Council England, and we have started crowdfunding- take a look we have some wonderful rewards.

If you have any ideas about local organisations who might help match fund, that would also be extraordinarily helpful.

What’s in it for the writers:

Promotion of their work through performance and video; inclusion in a subsequent anthology, for which they will receive royalties plus 2 free copies, invitation to the book launch (in London), opportunity to read their work on  an expenses paid tour of the anthology to a minimum of 4 venues. Opportunity to submit a complete collection of their work to Arachne Press for consideration for publication, with detailed feedback if it is not taken on.

If you can help or have suggestions please contact us ASAP.

Realistically we need to get this tied up in the next couple of weeks and then get the funding applications together fast as it will take a minimum of six to eight weeks to secure the funding once the application is in.

PLEASE share this call far and wide!

2 thoughts on “Get involved in Solstice Shorts DUSK UK wide

  1. Hi Cherry

    Love the idea for linking up from many venues.

    It was great to be part of Solstice Shorts last year with my poem being read even though I couldn’t get to the event. It would be great to have a more active part this year if possible.I’m a member of Cybi Poets a local group that meets at the Ucheldre Centre, Holyhead, Ynys Mon. ( )We’re meeting tonight so I will ask about the possibility of us linking up on the night.

    Will be in touch

    Ness Owen

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