I’ll be posting gradually…
the powerful love poem Love Knot
Solstice Shorts Festival 2019
Now in its 6th Year, Solstice Shorts Festival is once again being held on 21st December – and this year it’s a weekend, so we’ll be looking to fill an entire day (or at least noon to dusk) with short stories, poems and song.
It’s always about time – in the past we’ve done, Longest Night, Shortest Day, Dusk, Noon and just ‘Time’; but this year we are looking back, and picking up on a suggestion from the feedback from the very first festival.
This year our theme is
We are looking for organisers and venues in port cities and towns – either on coasts or on tidal rivers. We already have organisers in London, Our Holyhead collaborators Cybi Poets are on board and we hope our Aberdeen collaborators Intuitive Music Aberdeen will be game for another year of Solstice activity too, but we would also like to look beyond our own shores and go international, we are in discussion with people in Lisbon, Portugal – let’s see how far we can take the festival this year. [Don’t be shy – it doesn’t need to be a huge complicated thing – if the idea excites you, get in touch and we’ll talk you through it. Nor do you have to keep going all day!]
We are looking for stories poems and songs of making a living on or beside the water, and making new lives over the water so a particular interest in immigration, emigration, diaspora. We would like everything to have an historical slant (though that can be fairly recent history). There is a risk that this could develop a decidedly male voice so we would also like to pick up on the use of Time and Tide [wait for no man] as the title of the Suffragette magazine in the UK, and want to see lots of strong female characters and voices. We also want to see lots of strong BAME characters and voices, so spread the word to your female and BAME writing friends.
Your story/poem/song will be performed live by an actor (or you) at the festival – possibly on multiple sites. We try to live stream to Facebook (technology permitting). Subsequent publication in the anthology with royalties paid (this may include the lyrics of songs if appropriate.)
Maximum 2000 words regardless of fiction/poetry. Songs maximum 5 mins
Closing date 21st June 2019
Songs can be traditional or original, and in any language, provided you send us an English translation so we can tell if it’s appropriate, and need to be performed by their proposer/writer (unless you have someone who can do it for you), so songwriters/musicians need to be able to attend one of the venues.
Story/Poem writers can be from anywhere but your story must be in English or BSL.
We will only accept non-English works if they are linked to a confirmed venue, so hold fire on those until we’ve tied up that side of things, and they must be accompanied by an English translation. Deaf writers can submit a video, blind writers can submit audio files.
No horror/erotica/gratuitous or sexual violence. We mean it, don’t send it.
21ST JUNE 2019
I got so caught up in Solstice shorts, I forgot to post these! Thought I’d done it because I’d done snippets on Twitter.
A very successful outing to Manchester Blackwells, with authors travelling in from Newcastle, London and Ynys Mon, and some locals!
Thanks to everyone at Blackwells for making us so welcome (good luck with the move!)
and to the audience for making it such an excellent evening, and buying books!
It’s Twelfth Night, the official end to the festive season, so to mark the occasion here are all the videos from the London session of the Solstice Shorts Festival
Ian Kennedy & Sarah Lloyd, Herald the Noon
Precarious, by Michelle Penn
Still No Name by Marika Josef
High Noon by Marka Rifat read by Carrie Cohen
Noon Son by Alison Lock read by Grace Cookey-Gam
A Vampire at Noon by Patience Mackarness read by Marika Josef
Ian Grosz An Autumn Noon, read by Michelle Penn
Ian Kennedy & Sarah Lloyd Green Broom
Toast Crumbs by Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier read by Marika Joseph
Arthur Streeton Advises his Students by Mandy Macdonald, read by Michelle Penn
I am Not Beautiful at Noon by Elinor Brooks read by Grace Cookey-Gam
Under the L by Liam Hogan read by Carrie Cohen
Mad Dogs and Englishmen by Laila Sumpton read by Grace Cookey-Gam
A Wave of Words Across the UK, 12 sites, at Dusk on the Shortest Day of the Year.
Tickets: Generally by donation, suggested £3, but there are exceptions where this is part of a bigger event.
A complete list of the final choices for performance at DUSK, a wave of words across the UK, at 12 sites, at DUSK on 21st December 2017
Some pieces are being performed at more than one site.
David Hartley, Daylight Savings, Lancaster, Redruth
David Mathews, Flick’ring Shadows, Nottingham
Rob Schofield, Four Beaches, Lancaster
Samuel Wright, Here, Carlisle, Rossendale
Rosalind Stopps, One Two Three, One Two Three, Lancaster, Rossendale
Penny Pepper, Wolf’s Head, Nottingham
Rob Walton, Words On Paper, Carlisle
Helen Slavin, At Sky’s Edge, Bristol
Lucy Grace, Breadcrumbs, Inverness, Nottingham, Rossendale
Jackie Taylor, Cape Cornwall, Warkleigh
Sherry Morris, Granda’s Plan, Birmingham, Bristol, Inverness
Pippa Gladhill, In-Between Dog, Inverness, Warkleigh
Alex Reece Abbott, MacFarquhar’s Bed, Ellon, Inverness
Fiona Salter, On The Evening Train, Birmingham
Patrick Gale, Sleep Tight, Ellon, Redruth
Cath Bore, The Dusk Runner, Warkleigh, Ynys Mon
Kirsty Fox, They Said There Were Pirates, Greenwich, Nottingham, Rossendale
Katerina Watson, Threshold, Ynys Mon, Warkleigh
Math Jones, Yes, Twilight, Greenwich
Mandy Macdonald, Gloaming, Ellon
Jill Sharp, The Dogs Of Delhi, Ynys Mon
Katie Evans, 16:30, Carlisle
Joy Howard, Factory, Carlisle, Ellon, Lancaster
Jane Aldous, After The Sun, Before The Stars, Ellon, Inverness
Eileen Carney Hulme, Blue Hour, Ellon, Inverness
Alice Tarbuck, Decoration Of A Fermented Season, Ellon, Inverness
Gabrielle Choo, Sundown Breath, Warkleigh
K Wise, Tempus Erat, Greenwich
Alannah Egan, I Am Dusk, Redruth
Alison Lock, Crow Haibun, Carlisle, Ellon, Rossendale
Aziz Dixon, A Calligraphy Of Starlings, Carlisle, Rossendale
Ness Owen, Female Blackbird Sings, Ynys Mon
Jeremy Dixon, Driving To Blackpool To Visit My Sister, Ynys Mon
L. Reid, Summer Evening, Carlisle
Sue Birchenough, Roost, Nottingham
Nigel Hutchinson, Sometimes A Black Cloud, Birmingham, Warkleigh
Sue Johnson, The Shortest Day, Birmingham, Ellon
Paul Deaton, Brunel’s Bridge, Bristol
John Bevan, Afterglow, Lancaster
John Richardson, All This, Greenwich
Kelly Davis, Calling Them In, Carlisle, Nottingham, Warkleigh
Roselle Angwin, The Standstill, Redruth
Katy Lee, Red Coat, Wolf, Etc, Nottingham, Warkleigh
Laila Sumpton, Starling Time, Greenwich
Michelle Penn, End of Ramadan, Ellon
Bridie Toft, Arrival, Redruth
Nicholas McGaughey, Magic Hour, Ynys Mon
Stevie Krayer, Sleeping Out, Nottingham, Ynys Mon
Lisa Kelly, Match Girl, Greenwich
Martyn Crucefix, Summers Ended In Sweetness, Greenwich
Lizzie Parker, Dhusarah, Bristol
Carl Griffin, Sea Wedding, Ynys Mon
ICHI, Magic Hour, Bristol
Anna Kissell, Oh, The Dark!, Bristol
John Chambers, Balcony, Carlisle
Nicola Reed, Witching Hour, Carlisle
Intuitive Music Aberdeen Intuitive music based on the Winter Solstice mode from Haworth Hodgkinson’s Dundee Ambient, Ellon
Caroline Watsham, Sundown, Greenwich
3 Bucket Jones, Light Another Candle, Greenwich
Ed Bentley, Dusk In The Gers, Inverness
James Bryce, Dusk Song, Inverness
The Story Republicans, The Farewell Shanty, collected by Merv Vincent & Dusk is Dark, poem by Andrew Lanyon, set to music by Katie Kirk, Redruth
Sarah Grundy, Night & Day (3 Songs), Rossendale
Sharon Lazibyrd, Time Has Its Own Song & After Dark There’s Sun Warkleigh
Tom Norden, Crepscule, Warkleigh
Fiona & Gorwel Owen, Y Gwydd, Releasing Birds, Ynys Mon
* We haven’t quite finalised the music for Birmingham, and Nottingham and Lancaster decided not to have music as they were so excited by all those words.
We will be profiling all the writers over the coming days, just as soon as we’ve got up-to-date biographies and photos from everyone… Watch this space.
In October we are off to the Shoreham Word Fest with a Liberty Tales/ Songs of Protest evening at the Yacht Club on Thursday 12th at 19.30 (£10) with Elinor Brooks, Greg Page and Carrie Cohen reading poetry and Carolyn Eden Cherry Potts & Liam Hogan reading prose, and some of Vocal Chords singing. We will be teaching two very simple protest songs!
Tickets still available book NOW.
Being busy people we can’t always arrange our own events as regularly as we might like, so we are very happy when we get asked to take part in other people’s.
On Wednesday 27th September 18.15 we are at Archway with Words at Archway Library, Hamlyn House Highgate Hill N19 5PH where Liam is reading again, alongside Katy Darby, Cherry Potts, Carolyn Eden, and Wendy Gill
On Saturday 30th September we are at Free Verse Poetry Book Fair at Conway Hall where we will have a stall all day, and are reading in the Red Lion Square garden cafe at 4.30, with Jeremy Dixon, Lisa Kelly and Sarah James.Experience a flush of openness in San Francisco, a long day on a till, an even longer night in a hotel, and time shifting about the three occupants of a house.
In October we are off to the Shoreham Word Fest with a Liberty Tales/ Songs of Protest evening at the Yacht Club on Thursday 12th at 19.30 (£10) with Elinor Brooks, Greg Page and Carrie Cohen reading poetry and Cherry & Liam reading prose, and Ian Kennedy & Sarah Lloyd and some of Vocal Chords singing. We will be teaching two very simple protest songs!
Followed on the Saturday Morning at 11am with a Children’s event in the Library, (Free) with The Old Woman From Friuli by Ghillian Potts being read by Tash Fairbanks, and a kind of demonstration of woodcut printing from Cherry Potts, because we couldn’t get hold of Ed Boxall, the illustrator of the book, to join us. No sharp objects will be let near children!
This is the hashtag we are using for the 5th birthday celebrations so if you post to Instagram or Tweet anything about our 5th, say #arachne5 as well! Ta.
(Hello all those people saying WHAT? I know, I feel the same, but we have to try to move with the times)
This is where we are having the party. Manor House Library. IN LEE SE13 5SY, not the North London Manor House!
6.30-9.30 8th September, which is the 5th anniversary of the publication of our first book, London Lies
We’ve decided to be INSIDE. No matter how lovely the day, it will be cold and dark by the time we finish!
Current line up (Not in this order):
Jeremy Dixon (The Other Side of Sleep and Liberty Tales), Reading from both titles
Sarah Lawson (The Other Side of Sleep, A Midsummer’s Night in the Garden) reading her poem from the Midsummer event last year
Kate Foley (The Other Side of Sleep, Liberty Tales, The Don’t Touch Garden), reading from The Don’t Touch Garden
Short Stories from
Ghillian Potts (The Old Woman From Friuli, Brat) – OWFF, read by an actor
Carolyn Eden (Liberty Tales) reading from Liberty Tales
Liam Hogan (London Lies, Liberty Tales, Shortest Day Longest Night, Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed) reading from Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed
Nichol Wilmor (London Lies, Lovers’ Lies, Weird Lies), Reading from Weird Lies
Katy Darby (London Lies, Lovers’ Lies’, Liberty Tales, Shortest Day Longest Night.) reading from London Lies
Cherry Potts (London Lies, Lovers’ Lies’, Liberty Tales, Shortest Day Longest Night, Mosaic of Air, The Dowry Blade) reading from Lovers’ Lies
Ian Kennedy & Sarah Lloyd
Summer All Year Long
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