Call for expressions of interest – Dusk for Solstice Shorts 2017

It’s the summer solstice, and it’s National Writing Day, so as it is the longest day of the year you should absolutely be writing until at least 10pm tonight. With that in mind here is something to whet your appetite.

All of this is subject to our getting funding. We won’t know that for a while. We’ve been successful before, though.
This year’s Solstice Shorts Festival (21st December) once again falls on a weekday, so we are taking that SHORT thing and running the event between sunset (when the sun starts going down, and dusk when it’s good and gone. that’s a really short time frame, so we want to do multiple sites around the UK, starting wherever the sun goes down earliest and finishing where it disappears at the latest moment. with (probably) one song one story one poem at each venue, we hope with a live link up via live streaming of some kind.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR RIGHT NOW
Expressions of interest from writers, musicians AND venues – so essentially just a covering letter, saying who you are, what you’ve written/had published before, and what you might like to write in response to the theme, and MOST importantly, where you are.

submit

This will be a UK only call out this time because of the structure of what we have planned.

For absolute clarity, these are works suitable for performance: story, poem or song, and  as we often have submissions which are off theme, your work should in some way address DUSK. Interpret how you will, but if we can’t recognise a link to DUSK, your  work won’t get chosen… and please no death or dementia stories we’ve read SO many of those that no matter how wonderful, it’s a case of ‘not another one!’ Bleak is fine, just not those particularl kinds of bleak.

Starling Flock Dumfries Shutterstock/Erni

Successful stories & poems will be performed by actors, and will go forward to next year’s Dawn & Dusk anthology, for which royalties will be paid.
Musicians: we aren’t a recording company so we can’t offer anything on those lines, but if anyone who knows someone who can, put us in touch.
All Entries in English (or BSL for a story/poem) and your own unaided original and UNPUBLISHED work.
Songs: we would prefer the musicians among you to be able to perform at your most local venue yourselves (wherever that ultimately is).
ADDITIONAL heads up! We welcome stories/ poems from Deaf writers. If you want to submit in BSL you can send us a video. AVI, MP4, WMA, MOV. We also welcome entries from blind writers. You can submit using audio files. MP3 or WAV, as can musicians, when the time comes.

Send your expression of interest via SUBMITTABLE, communications received by any other route are likely to get lost, that’s why we pay submittable to manage these things. Thanks!

submit

The Old Woman & Brat at Deptford Lounge

Carrie Cohen is reprising her readings of The Old Woman From Friuli & BRAT at

Deptford Lounge, 5 Giffin Street, SE8 4RQ on 1st July at 11am

For younger readers (5-9, and up to 90 really) Bad tempered dukes, clever counsellors, and really stuborn old women.

For young adults (11-16 plus) outlaws, missing fathers and beggar children in a fantasy novel which is the first of a trilogy.

Ghillian Potts cutting launch cake

Image

The Old Woman From Friuli‘s house, in gingerbread form. Author Ghillian Potts cuts the launch cake.

copyright Russell Potts

Deliver Me at Urban Myth for Brockley Max

The last of the outings for Shortest Day, Longest Night, Rosalind Stopps reads Deliver Me  at WooA’s Urban Myths evening at Brockley Max

 

Happy Ending in Oxford

I don’t know how it happened but I didn’t post the videos from our Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed tour date at Albion Beatnik  in Oxford! Liam Hogan did a great job without any actorly support.

I will just remedy that…

 

There we go. A reminder of what a lot of fun we had choosing locality appropriate stories.

You can by a copy of Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed direct and post free here, of if you are in Oxford I expect Dennis still has a couple in stock, or if you are going to Liars’ League tonight, Liam will be there with a handful of books a pen for signing, and a hopeful expression.

Reading the Old Woman From Friuli at Brockley Max

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Katy Darby channelling bad-tempered Duke, clever councillor and stubborn old woman!

Reading Ghillian PottsThe Old Woman From Friuli for Brockley Max in the Storytelling tent at Art in the Park. Just some little bits of video because there was so much background noise!

 

Launching the Old Woman From Friuli and Brat at Eltham Library – video

I can’t tell you what a buzz it is to launch books in the Library where I spent great chunks of my childhood. Although there is an enormous centre out the back and the main body of the library is unrecognisable, the space we were reading in is the actual children’s library that I worked my way round book by book possibly three times before getting access to the adult books several years before I was entitled to. Thank you Eltham Library! (for then and now).

Brat cover by Gordy Wright

 

Carrie Cohen did us proud, reading from both books, Ghillian Potts talked to the children from Holy Family School, who asked really interesting questions about writing, and Gordy Wright, the cover designer for BRAT came all the way from Bristol to help us celebrate.

Here are some pictures of Carrie, and Ghillian, with a rapt audience.

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Video of Carrie reading the opening of BRAT

And some video snippets from The Old Woman From Friuli (Children kept popping up indentifiably so we couldn’t use all the video!)

and just for fun, a ringing endorsement from Carrie

Carrie is reading for us again at Deptford Lounge 1st July at 11am, and Lisa Rose will read at Stanmore Library 8th July 2pm.

 

Songs of Protest and Liberty Tales

A taster of what we got up to at St Hilda’s for Brockley Max – (there would be more but I forgot to turn the recorder back on after the interval for a while)

A barnstorming performance by both our readers, and an exciting mix of traditional and modern protest songs from Vocal Chords.

Silas Hawkins reads Liberty by Andrew McCallum, followed by We Raise the Watch Word Liberty, and Bread and Roses sung by Vocal Chords.

Silas reads The Branded Hand by Brian Johnstone after Vocal Chords singing Dougie Maclean’s Ready for the Storm and finishing with Erile

Carrie Cohen reads Wigtown Bay 1685 by Elinor Brooks with Senzenina before it, and Give Me Wings to finish.

Silas again, reading Tabernacle Lane by Jeremy Dixon followed by Labi Sifre’s Something Inside So Strong

Feedback from the tour

I’m just getting to grips with the report for the Arts Council who kindly assisted us with the costs of the last few books and associated book tour, plus Solstice Shorts Festival 2016: Shortest Day, and The Story Sessions, so I’ve been looking back through the feedback – 136 people went to the trouble of giving us written feedback, for which we are VERY grateful! We invited people to describe themselves in 3 words (some used more, but really it doesn’t matter) and tell us what they thought of the event.

Here’s what some of them had to say – these are just my out-and-out favourite comments, there were many more. Eclectic was the favourite adjective!

Foraging/ WITH PAPER FOR FEET launch 2 excellent poets, 2 different styles, and evening of magical words. Long live poems and their publishers! Fairly succinct really
Foraging/ WITH PAPER FOR FEET launch Narrative weave of Jennifer McGowan’s poems, succinct beauty in the smallness of Joy Howard’s Life-swept poet therapist
Foraging/ WITH PAPER FOR FEET launch I delighted in Jennifer’s spirited and evocative readings of her work. She brings new life to words. I’d never heard Chinese spoken while reading the phonetic version before. Middle-aged stressed editor
Foraging/ WITH PAPER FOR FEET launch Stories as poetry, poetry as stories, in a spiritual home of poets (Keats House Library) Necessarily evil author
Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed burley F The informality was initially relaxing, followed by a well-rehearsed & performed reading. Very personal and enjoyable way to spend the evening – like being in a living room full of engaging and inspirational minds Under-worked London writer
Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed burley F Beautifully dark and comedic frivolity Undervalued London actor
HAPPY ENDING NOT GUARANTEED Greenwich Very interesting evening writer/actor great and well-spoken you should continue your good work of bringing up and coming authors together and giving them a voice Maybe upcoming writer
HAPPY ENDING NOT GUARANTEED Greenwich Good variety of style in the stories, actor interpretation was excellent, dynamic energetic author reading Fascinated fiction fan
HAPPY ENDING NOT GUARANTEED Greenwich Makes me think when passing statues in the streets … what if …? Energetic, creative, idealistic
HAPPY ENDING NOT GUARANTEED launch Very well organised enjoyable program with diversified activities. I really appreciated all the marketing material New horizon explorer
Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed launch It’s events like these that make me think that maybe there IS a point to North London Hairy bee enthusiast
Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed launch Nothing’s sacred, great venue, great writer, great narrative Travelled, gypsy, overheated
Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed Lewisham Enjoyably hanging darkly in a cloud of suspense Overthinking underpaid scientist
Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed Lewisham Made me tingly, a bit like the Dr Who theme did when I was a kid. Hide behind my hands, but can’t wait for more Dreaming London lady
Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed Lewisham Not heard of Arachne Press before, but will look out for them from now on. A fascinating assortment of short stories brimming with otherworldliness and simmering spasms of evil blessed with reliving streaks of humour. Full of weird and wonderful reverberations as it should be. Bebop jazz poet
Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed Oxford Intimate, salon-like. As if I’d stumbled into an invitation only séance peopled by the spirits of Victorian huckster and exotic beasts earnest, quotidian, boring

 

Liberty Greenstead The ay the storytellers involved us, brought us into the atmosphere of their narration Quietly persistent
Liberty Greenstead A joyous evening to delight

the listeners on this Burns’ night

with ne’er a haggis no’ dram in sight

a joyous evening to enthrall all right.

pernickety political poet
Liberty Greenstead Exciting expedition into previously uncharted area of poetry and short story reading ‘poetry to the ears!’ retired bored housefrau
Liberty Housmans 1st time experiencing, so didn’t know what to expect, but enjoyed the live experience of an author reading their own work Lover of Ares
night write such a new and beautiful experience, who would have thought that writing in darkness revealed such gifts Restless London photographer
SHORTEST DAY, LONGEST NIGHT Bath Live, loud & varied, an eclectic mix of poems & prose that veered from tragic to whimsical. Bath writer in need of sleep
SHORTEST DAY, LONGEST NIGHT Bath Bookish whirlwind of tales & poems that provide thought-provoking insight into the writers minds Intensely formidable critic
SHORTEST DAY, LONGEST NIGHT Bath Entertaining varied & imaginative programme ranged from contemporary issues to timeless stories and poems vividly performed, Evoked a warm response from the audience M&M
SHORTEST DAY, LONGEST NIGHT Bath Completely gripping, never thought such a mix could be entertaining. The very high quality of the writing made it so Barmy Bath Bivalve
SHORTEST DAY, LONGEST NIGHT Bath An excellent evening with an inspiring mix of poems & Stories. Poignant, witty, intelligent work supported by the incomparable Cherry Potts who does such crucial work in supporting and developing opportunities for writers. A big shout out for Arachne Press!! Enthusiastic Bathite
SHORTEST DAY, LONGEST NIGHT Lewisham beautiful eclectic mixture of styles completely inspiring if slightly unsettling at times, in a good way Londoner by choice
SHORTEST DAY, LONGEST NIGHT Lewisham A thrilling eclectic mix of humour dark reality and myth Arbitrator/writer
Solstice Shorts Festival Excellent evening of song & Storytelling. Intriguing short stories that made you wonder laugh & Cry Definitely an experience to savour and repeat. Next Summer Maybe? Hopeful mother of twins
Solstice Shorts Festival Huge variety of work, great introduction to an international set of writers. Loved the music and actors great work. Wassailing was such a wonderful touch! Poetry loving librarian
Solstice Shorts Festival Wonderful variety of writing and composition suitably short to match the daylight today. Always a joy to hear new writing performed Broken armed poet
With Paper for Feet Lewisham Quality and humour of stories and poems, engaging performance, erudite, clever, lighthearted, accessible fun, quirky. Thank you! Frantically busy fan
With Paper for Feet Lewisham Witchy, feisty, a brilliant way to celebrate International Women’s Day Inspired every time!
WITH PAPER FOR FEET Oxford Compelling narratives from a poet who gives her work and her audience the respect and pleasure of a lively direct performance. Poetry reading regular
WITH PAPER FOR FEET Oxford Fine writing well-read and artistically presented Reader engineer listener
WITH PAPER FOR FEET Oxford The poet is not only a fantastic poet, but a first class performer of her work. Very worth going out on a rainy night P.S.
WITH PAPER FOR FEET Oxford Visual, curious, mythical, resonant Poetical psychologist
Story Sessions A place to hear good fiction and more, practice with other writers, It’s always good to perform your work to an audience I encourage you to go along and listen, or perform Ever learning writer
Story Sessions Relaxing entertaining and intense in the best way Fox loving optimist

The Old Woman from Friuli Launch, Tour and author interview

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with author Ghillian Potts

Events

A very informal launch reading at Eltham Centre Library, Archery Road, Eltham SE9 1HA on 7th June at  3.45  read by Carrie Cohen.

Further readings are at

Art In The Park Story-telling tent on Hilly Fields, on Saturday 10th June at 2.30, when Arachne stalwart Katy Darby will be reading

Stanmore Library, 8 Stanmore Hill, Stanmore, HA7 3BQ on 8th July 2017 2pm read by Lisa Rose)

Osterley Library, St Mary’s Crescent, TW7 4NB on 22nd July 2017 at 2.30pm (Old Woman From Friuli and BRAT read by Carrie Cohen)

(Illustrations Ed Boxall)