Solstice Shorts Goes West – the videos

We had a cracking night at Oldfield Park Bookshop in Bath, reading stories by (mainly) local authors featured in Solstice Shorts.

Huge thanks to Abigail Moore and Nick Rawlinson for reading so magnificently, and authors Pippa Gladhill and David Mathews (Bath) Tannith Perry (Bristol) and William Davidson (York!) for writing such lovely stories.  And thanks to Harry of Oldfield Park Bookshop for hosting, and to our audience for choosing to come to the reading when apparently there were dozens of other events on…

Here are videos and a few pictures.

Call Out for submissions – Liberty Tales UPDATED

However we didn’t get a vast number of stories so we shelved the idea of an anthology. But it’s still a good idea, so we’ve reopened the call out

You can see video of the event here and here.

The CALL OUT:

Stories or poems, which can either be to the general theme of Liberty, or can address a specific clause of the Magna Carta. Find out what they are here. There are plenty of weird ones to play with as well as the more obvious.

  • We do NOT want stories about the opposites of Liberty, it’s a celebration, so no matter how tempted you are by dwelling on the iniquity of false imprisonment, restrain yourself. Light & Shade, you know?
  • Story Length: 800-2000 words.
  • any fiction genre (except erotica or horror. We don’t publish it and don’t want to read it), although we’d enjoy some convincing historical stuff.
  • Yes, it can be a poem. (hello Kate).
  • No, it can’t be an essay, memoir or other non-fiction.
  • Your own original work, UNPUBLISHED* and in English please. Submissions welcome from anywhere in the world.

*If it has been performed that may be ok, also if it is out of print, so long as you retain the rights.

Deadline 21st December 2015.

Entry via our Submittable Account Sharpen you quills.

LGBTHM Richmond Library

We have a great fondness for LGBT history month at Arachne Press, and we are also exceptionally fond of libraries. As a result the combination definitely works!

Our last outing for February was to Richmond lending library, one of the oldest public libraries in London (lovely building, glass roof, unfortunately on the flight path for Heathrow…)

Here are some readings from that evening, mainly from Cherry Potts, but with assistance from Alix Adams on the first one. The sound isn’t wonderful (those planes…) but it’s better than what we managed on the video camera.

In order of appearance:

Arachne’s Daughters from Mosaic of Air (Cherry Potts)

Death & Other Rituals from Solstice Shorts: Sixteen Stories about Time (Tannith Perry)

A Place of Departures from Stations (Cherry Potts)

The Other Side of Sleep from the anthology of the same name (Kate Foley)

Tasting Flight from Lovers’ Lies (Catherine Sharpe)

 

 

Devilskein & Dearlove Lewisham reading with Peter Noble

Video

The last of the readings before we hear whether we’ve been long-listed for the Carnegie Medal (announcement will be on Tuesday)…

Cape Town born Peter Noble takes up the Devilskein challenge, at Lewisham Library. Peter it turns out went (we think!) to the high school Erin is forced to attend, a little later into the book than this extract.

Solstice Shorts audio file ‘Duration (4)’ by Andrew Gepp read by Tony Bell

Helping an elderly woman with the crossword – Andrew Gepp‘s touching meditation on age and memory, read at Solstice Shorts Festival by Tony Bell who got so into the story the camera couldn’t keep up with him, hence the recording.

We had a lot of stories about old age and memory for the competition, this one stood out.

This story is one of 16 read at the festival and featured in the book Solstice Shorts: Sixteen Stories about Time 

If You Were a Train – Solstice Shorts Festival Video

Video

The first video of a story from Solstice Shorts Festival

William Davidson‘s story If You Were A Train brought to life by Sean Patterson.

Joe ‘gets to know’ his best friend Sophie’s husband-to-be Gary… they don’t have much in common apart from an interest in trains, and Sophie of course.

You can read the story for yourself in Solstice Shorts: Sixteen Stories about Time.

Devilskein & Dearlove goes on tour

mr devilskeinWell, very nearly – do three dates constitute a tour?

We are doing readings of our CILIP Carnegie Medal Nominated young adult novel Devilskein & Dearlove by Alex Smith at:

Brentwood Theatre 15 Shenfield Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM15 8AG (in partnership with Chicken & Frog Bookshop)
Wednesday 21st January 2015 13:30, with Greg Page (who voices Mr Devilskein on our animated trailer) reading. We will show the trailer,  together with a video of author Alex Smith answering questions from Cape Town, South Africa) and Cherry Potts, Arachne Press owner will talk a little about publishing.
£10 including a copy of the book

The Gate Library 6-8 Woodgrange Road, Forest Gate, London E7 0QH
Thursday22nd January 2015, 11am with Greg Page taking the reader’s role. We will show the trailer,  together with a video of author Alex Smith answering questions from Cape Town, South Africa) Free.

Lewisham Library, 199-201 Lewisham High Street SE13 6LG
Thursday 5th February 2015 8pm with Peter Noble reading. Free.

erin dearlove

Ask Alex some questions about writing, Devilskein & Dearlove, or secret gardens…

We have actors to read because author Alex Smith is in South Africa. We have tried doing live video link-ups but there are too many variables, and it tends not to work, so we are doing some filming in advance, and we need your questions!

If you are coming to any of these events (or even if you aren’t) and would like to ask Alex a question, please use the form below, or tweet us at @Devilskein, BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Then Alex will record her answers and we can play them at the events, and put the video up on the website afterwards. (At the moment this will only happen at Brentwood Theatre, but we will see whether the libraries have the facilities to do the same.)

Solstice Shorts Shortlisted authors – some detail

We asked all the shortlisted authors to provide us with a short biography – here’s what they have to say for themselves:

Alex Bruty has always lived in Swansea and doubts she will ever escape. She consoles herself by living in her imagination where unspeakable things are prone to happening. She has a MLitt in Creative Writing and focuses on writing short stories and flash fiction. Stories tend to arrive whilst she’s walking Mr Blueberry the whippet and Coconuts the lurcher; they have started to badger her for their share of royalties. She is currently mentoring with the Womentoring project and plans to keep doing so until they discover she’s an impostor.
List of Publications (all short stories)
‘The Cold Fire’  In Creative Writing Journal ‘From Glasgow to Saturn’
‘The Box’ In an Ink Pantry anthology.
‘You Me and The Moon’ Extract in ‘Glitterwolf’ magazine.
‘You Me and The Moon’ Published in full in ‘Chase the Moon’ magazine.
‘The Elephant’ due out on ‘Ink Tears’ in December

Andrew Gepp is a writer; he lives in North London.

Angela Graham speaks Welsh with a strong Ulster accent. She is a tv producer and writer. She is an award-winning feature film producer and has just made her first radio documentary, about Welsh war memorials, for BBC Radio Wales. She loves writing short stories and last year received a bursary from Literature Wales towards a collection. She recently had the pleasure of sharing a gig as a poet with Jasmine Donahaye, Gillian Clarke and Christine De Luca and has just finished five years of teaching documentary-making at Cardiff University.  She is currently producing a tv series about the ancestral DNA of Wales.

Bartle Sawbridge was born in Bath, and has lived in SE London for 30 years. He has had short stories performed on BBC Radio 4 and published by Arachne Press.
He has completed one novel, ‘A Piece of String’, and has a sequel in progress.

Cindy George is a writer and teacher based in Coventry. She has done many jobs, from advertising copywriter to music journalist, to teacher of academic English for foreign students.  She now mainly writes fiction and poetry. She has an MA in Writing from Warwick University, and two unappreciative cats.

For 35 years David Mathews  was a work psychologist. That gave him a license to mind other people’s business. He comes from Wales and lives in Bath and SW France. Recently his collection of short stories was shortlisted for the Impress Prize, Brittle Star magazine published his story ‘Florence, who made mustard’, and Audio Arcadia are currently recording ‘Removed’ about a man who looks for stones.

David Turnbull is a member of Clockhouse London Writers. His recent short fiction has appeared in Best British Fantasy 2014 (Salt Publishing), Life is a Roller Coaster (Kind of Hurricane Press) and Horror Uncut (Gray Friar Press). His story ‘He Slashed Some Lines For Wiskers’ featured in the October Liars’ League ‘Slash & Burn’ themed event.

Dizz Tate is a recent graduate, with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Goldsmiths University. She writes poems, plays, and stories. She lives in London.  @dizzdizzdizz

Eamonn Griffin  sometimes writes short stories.
http://www.eamonngriffin.co.uk and @eamonngriffin

Emma Timpany was born and grew up in the far south of New Zealand. A pamphlet of her stories is forthcoming from Red Squirrel Press in April 2015 and a collection will be published by Cultured Llama Press in September 2015. Her most recent stories have appeared in Dream Catcher, The Interpreter’s House and takahē. She is one of the organisers of Falmouth-based live literature event, Telltales (www.telltales.org.uk).
www.emmatimpany.wordpress.com

Frances Gapper’s story collection Absent Kisses was published by Diva Books in 2002 and a flash fiction booklet The Tiny Key by Sylph Editions in 2009. Stories  have appeared in Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, a Penguin anthology edited by Ali Smith, Sarah Wood and Kasia Boddy, the London Magazine online, the Reader’s Digest, Ireland-based magazine The Moth and Plymouth University’s Short Fiction.

Helen Morris lives and works in Essex. Her distinguishing features are the amount of washing she does (3 sons) and the amount of time she spends swimming. she has just started writing after a life spent reading and drinking. This is the second story she has written.

Jayne Pickering enjoys creative writing, especially experimental pieces, and reading literature of all genres. She is naturally curious and her life has been spent predominantly in academia (firstly reading Philosophy and English Literature and then undertaking degrees in Psychology).

Jodie Ashdown is studying an MA in Creative Writing at Cardiff University, focusing on science fiction, horror and post humanism through prose. She is an avid surfer, has backpacked all over the world and really enjoys a nice glass of red. She has just started to hold her own creative writing workshops in and around Cardiff, and has previously had a poem published in ‘Furies: An Anthology for Women Warriors’.

Lada Redley is an emerging writer living in London, she is doing MA English Language and Creative Writing at University of Westminster. Lada’s flash fiction piece ‘A Stranger with no Agenda’ has been recently published in  online magazine The Wells Street Journal. Lada loves travelling and enjoys her life in London.

Max Dunbar was born in London in 1981. He recently finished a full-length novel and his short fiction has appeared in various print and web journals. He also writes criticism for 3:AM and Butterflies and Wheels. He blogs at http://maxdunbar.wordpress.com/ and tweets at http://twitter.com/MaxDunbar1.

Paul B Cohen is a native of Manchester, He read English at the University of Leeds, took a Master of Arts in English at Vanderbilt University, and gained a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. His plays have been produced in LA, Miami, Orlando, and New York City. He is now focused on writing literary fiction. Recent short stories have appeared, or are forthcoming, in ‘Poetica Magazine’ and ‘Conclave: A Journal of Character’.  His tale ‘Lecha Dodi’ has just won the Moment-Karma Foundation Short Story Competition for 2014. http://www.paulbcohen.com

Pauline Walker was commissioned to write a short story by StrongBack Productions and a sonnet celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a Dream’ speech for Tangle International’s tour of south west England.
Her short story ‘Always Smiling’ was read at Are You Sitting Comfortably by White Rabbit.  And she has had a poem published by Forward Poetry.
Pauline is currently writing a novel.

Peter Adkins is a writer based in Canterbury. His writing has previously been published in magazines, anthologies and journals – and on one occasion, on the inside of a bus. He is also the director of Bookmarks Festival in Northamptonshire.

Pippa Gladhill‘s work has been supported by Arts Council bursaries, her stories have won awards, been broadcast on Radio 4, Radio 3, and been read at spoken word events in Bristol and Bath. She have recently begun writing plays which have received script in hand performances at the Ustinov Studio, ( Theatre Royal, Bath) Rondo Theatre (Bath) and  Marlowe Studio (Canterbury).

Rebecca J Payne is a science fiction author from Cambridge. She has previously had work published in Interzone, Ethereal Tales, Dark Currents, Looking Landwards and Weird Lies.

Rhiannon Jones has loved stories for as long as she can remember and having worked in a Story Museum and as an oral storyteller, is now developing the courage to write herself.

Rory McCarthy is a recent university graduate and is, so far, completely unpublished. He is mainly influenced by modernist novels and poetry, and recent writers that hark back to them, such Teju Cole and Lydia Davis.

Rosalind Stopps has had several short stories published, and several performed at Liars’ League in London and New York.  She has recently completed a novel set in a shoe shop.

Sarah Evans has had dozens of stories published in magazines and anthologies. Highlights include: appearing in the 2008 Bridport anthology; having several stories published in the acclaimed Unthology series (Unthank Books); recently winning the inaugural Winston Fletcher Prize with her story ‘Acclimatising.’ She’s had work published by (amongst others) Bloomsbury, Writers’ Forum, Earlyworks Press and Rubery Press, and performed at live events in Faversham, Leicester, Hong Kong and New York.

Scott Lewis started to write fiction in 2012, having previously been a journalist in the UK and China. There he wrote his first book, a travel guide. He is currently working on his first novel and has had short stories published in several anthologies including Wizard Tower Press’s Airship Shape and Bristol Fashion. In his spare time he enjoys playing sport, gaming, hiking, fencing, and collecting both Lego and pith helmets.

Sheila Scott has recently returned to writing after thirty years varied employment as a chambermaid, barmaid, floor-cleaner, waitress, vet, bookseller and environmentalist.  However, she enjoys sitting with pen and paper turning idle thoughts into text and doodles most of all.  She was born and has lived in Glasgow most of her life with one happy decade in Yorkshire.  Her husband is first proof reader for all her work.

Tannith Perry is an American living in Bristol. She has lived in all kinds of places including West Africa, New York City and Sidmouth, England. She currently teaches ballroom dancing in order to earn enough money to enter competitions and buy books. Her short story All is Music was shortlisted in the Bristol Short Story Prize and published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Vol. 7. She is working on her second novel.

Tim Bancroft began writing as soon as he could hold a pencil, creating fantastic worlds and stories that bemused his family. He has written numerous articles, shorts and a few books on SF, fantasy and historical gaming and is now writing fiction.

Wendy Gill lives in Hertfordshire. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Middlesex University. Her first short story Moving Mike was published in Stations by Arachne Press. Her story, The Deal, was selected for an inaugural anthology, Words and Women One, published by Unthank Books. She has written the libretto for a musical That Man which previewed this year and is working on a collection of stories, entitled The Female Condition.

William Davidson lives in York and works as an English tutor for deaf students. His stories have been published in Synaesthesia Magazine and The Puffin Review.

A Short Story about Time – nominate your favourite

It’s all about time. That’s what we are going to be celebrating at Solstice Shorts Festival, along with the Short Story, and folk music obviously. But the Theme is TIME, that’s why we are holding it on the shortest day of the year, and on the Greenwich Meridian.

timewords copySo, why don’t you tell us about your favourite short story with Time as its theme, or its key player? Use the comments box, so that your suggestions are visible to everyone, and  In the run up to the festival (funding permitting) we’ll showcase the best and most nominated time stories of all time. Actually we might just do it regardless.

They must be published to be eligible, and ideally easily found on t’internet – If you think it might be out of print, try Project Gutenberg…

Claude at Harfleur – The Story Sessions video

A second video from July’s The Story Sessions.

Alix Adams reads from Marjorie Phillips‘ historical adventure young adult novel, Claude at Harfleur. Set during Henry V’s campaign in Northern France and featuring 12-year-old tearaway Claude. Originally written in the 1950s, and published posthumously by Curved Air Press (curvedairpress(at)ntlworld(dot)com). We have a few copies available at Arachne, if you’d like a copy, get in touch.