Solstice Shorts Festival 2021 call for submissions

It’s that time of year again, the Spring equinox, (technically last week, but this got stuck in drafts!) when writers start to creep from their burrows and look hopefully for signs of regrowth and renewal; and we start the process of chosing material for Solstice Shorts.

But what if…

What if there are no signs of regrowth?

What if there are no signs of renewal?

What if we have pushed nature too far?


We don’t have a final title yet for this year, but we do have a theme.

We would like you to address the climate crisis before it becomes a climate catastrophe.

Current possible titles are:

For a Future / For the Future

What are We Waiting for?

Time is Running Out

No Time Left

What Next? (or even, What NOW?)

The Weather the Cuckoo Likes (It’s a quotation from Hardy)

You can see where we are going here. We like a time concept, because that’s the overarching theme of Solstice Shorts, but it needs to address the sense of anxiety about, and responsibility for, climate change.

You can help influence that title by sending us not only stunningly good poems and stories, but also giving them startling and appropriate titles.

You can also send us your ideas for a good title, but please do that straight away! We might even give you a book* as a thank you.

Poetry and Short Fiction: Maximum 2000 words, your own work, in English, not previously published.

Songs: maximum 5 minutes, traditional or your own work, (ie NOT someone else’s copyright) in any language but please provide a translation if not in English, and you need to be available to perform** it yourself, or teach it to someone who can.

Deadline 21st June 2021 23:59 (Summer Solstice)

By the way, we want to see actual stories and poems, not thinly-disguised polemic please; and, equally, there has to be more to it than a description of nature. Are we demanding? Yes, we are!

Submit via Submittable

The Solstice Shorts Festival is recorded for posterity, and all chosen material is included in the anthology, which will be published in time for the festival. We pay royalties. Sometimes, depending on funding, we pay a performance licence for use of your work at the event as well.

*On the subject of books, we’ve had a World Poetry Day offer running this weekend which includes most of the Solstice Shorts anthologies. Head over to our poetry pages on our webshop, and apply the code IPD2021 at the checkout. The code expires on Monday.

**We usually hire actors to read the stories and poems so that there is no limit on where people can submit from, usually we expect songsmiths to sing their own work, but things being as they are, we are open to suggestions.

We don’t yet know where exactly the festival will be held this year, whether on the ground or online, so it’s still a bit fluid. If on the ground, we’ll definitely be somewhere in Greenwich, London – possibly elsewhere as well. We will keep you posted!

Thanks to Barbara, Jane and Margaret for sharing ideas for titles.


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