Solstice Shorts 2016: Shortest Day


The Solstice Shorts Festival celebrates the winter Solstice, (21st December, the shortest day of the year) and Short Story Day with Time themed short stories, poems and music.

2016’s Shortest Day theme mirrored 2015’s Longest Night and kept it short with flash fiction and poetry and song. Writers and musicians were asked to provide work to theme and then were invited to respond to each other and we started with a Pre-solstice ‘Advent’ event, learning winter folk songs with Lester Simpson on 26th November.

In addition to the all new poetry and fiction, and the folk songs, we had two newly written songs with music supplied in response to the words, one set of new words set to a traditional tune, and a traditional tune for a story too.

We started at Made in Greenwich on Creek Road, at 6pm; with Katy Darby hosting and Patsy Prince and Ray Newe reading poetry by

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A.J. AkotoFrank Rubino, Jill Sharp, Joan Leotta, Karen Bovenmyer, Karina Lutz, Laura Page, Lisa Kelly, Mario Duarte, Marlee Cox, Megan E. Freeman, Pat Tompkins, Scott-Patrick Mitchell, Steph Thompson, Tim Cremin, Ness Owen,

with music written by Zachary Gvirtzman and performed by Peter Thomas and Piotr Jordan, and a specially written song from Juliet Desailly.

Watch the videos

At 7pm a Wassail procession led by Vocal Chords Choir collect the audience from Made in Greenwich and escorts them to West Greenwich Library. (no photos, walking and singing is hard enough without taking pictures in the dark as well!)

At West Greenwich Library  Sophie Aldred  hosted music from Vocal Chords Choir, Melanie Harrold, and Ian Kennedy & Sarah Lloyd, including settings of words written for the occasion from Alison Craig, and Moira Quinn;and stories from

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David MathewsSarah Evans, Sarah James,  CB Droege, David Steward, Jamie der Wahls, Katy Darby, Lee Nash, Liam Hogan, Pippa Gladhill, Polly Hall, Roger W. Hecht, Rosalind Stopps, Tom McKay.

Read by Katy Darby, Patsy Prince and Ray Newe.

Then from 10-12 midnight we were back to Made in Greenwich for a Night Writing Session, Write Through the Night with poet Ruth Steadman.

THIS YEAR there is once more a book: Shortest Day, Longest Night whichcombines the stories and poems from last year’s Longest Night event and this year’s Shortest Day! Thanks to the ACE funding, this year’s festival was once again be BSL signed, by the excellent Paul Michaels and Martin Fox-Roberts.

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