Friday 21 December 2018 • 12 noon
Blackwell’s University Bookshop • 99 High Street • ABERDEEN • AB24 3EN
Poem by Ness Owen read by Marka Rifat
On the First Calculation of the Circumference of the Earth
Poem by Alison Gerhard read by Haworth Hodgkinson
Poem written and read by Catriona Yule
Story written and read by Marka Rifat
Poem by Graham Burchell read by Haworth Hodgkinson
Sun Beats over New Orleans
Poem by Natalie Gasper read by Catriona Yule
Arthur Streeton Advises his Students
Poem by Mandy Macdonald read by Marka Rifat
Story by Karen Ankers read by Catriona Yule
Poem by Paul Foy read by Marka Rifat
An Autumn Noon
Poem by Ian Grosz read by Haworth Hodgkinson
I am not Beautiful at Noon
Poem by Elinor Brooks read by Catriona Yule
The poems and stories will be interspersed with intuitive music in response to the Solstice Mode from Dundee Ambient, Part 1: Winter Solstice by Haworth Hodgkinson, played by the ensemble Intuitive Music Aberdeen.
Having published the long list, and while we work on the shortlist we thought it was time for a bit more info about the festival itself.
Solstice Shorts has been going since 2014 in a variety of guises including last year’s epic UK wide Dusk celebration.
There’s something about the dark time of the year that lends itself to storytelling, and because we are celebrating the shortest day of the year, short fiction is a given. We’ve always had music, and have subsequently introduced poetry (partly because the poets were feeling left out!).
So this year, Noon: the highest the sun gets, which in December, isn’t very far, depending on where you are. In Greenwich, home to Solstice Shorts and the accurate measurement of time, Noon on 21st December will be at 11.58. So I guess we’ll be starting a bit before twelve to make sure we mark it appropriately, although of course, in Aberdeen noon isn’t until 12:06, and Cork 12.31!
Aberdeen: Blackwells 99 High St, Aberdeen AB24 3EN
This year’s Solstice Shorts Festival (21st December 2018) will again be a multi-site affair, and again will last only 45 minutes. But this time will happen at exactly the same time – Noon.
At the moment we are looking at events in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Carlisle, Ynys Mon (Anglesey), and London.
We are looking for SHORT stories no more than 1000 words, shorter is better, (think flash not vignette – something needs to happen!) and poems, also short – up to 40 lines, in English, Welsh or Scots/Gaelic (with a translation please!) On the Theme of Noon – deadlines, midday meals, heat and light – whatever it means to you (We are strict though- afternoon is not noon!) These works are for performance. Other sites may be added.
We are starting this process with no funding, but hope we may have some in time to allow us to pay actors to perform, but if not, we’ll need you to be able to get to one of these sites to read.
Celebrate the shortest day of the year by sending us a story or poem on the theme of NOON.
DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 7TH OCTOBER!
A pamphlet (or a very slender book!) of the stories and poems chosen for performance will be produced. Royalties will be paid, together with at least one copy of the book to each successful writer.
Writers who are successful in being included in a performance/ anthology are subsequently invited to submit a collection/novel for consideration.
submission via Submittable only (this is so we don’t lose your submission, and so multiple people can review your work as simply as possible.)
This year’s Solstice Shorts Festival (21st December) is running at (Astronomical) DUSK once the sun has gone down but there’s still some light, until it’s good and gone. On 21st December Dusk starts in the UK in the far NE (Shetland) at 16:53 and finishes in the far South West (Cornwall) at 18:21, taking between 40 and 50 minutes depending where you are. We want the performances to match this exactly, and to have a live link up (Facebook, Youtube…I’m going on a course!) – so that Cornwall wouldn’t start reading until Shetland had almost finished (supposing we can get someone in Shetland interested) and all the other performances will overlap, so that somewhere in the ether we are all reading/singing together, like a murmuration of starlings… with (probably) one or two each of songs, stories and poems at each venue.
So that’s between 20 and 26 stories/poems/songs in total to be chosen.
We now have several sites confirmed, and we will be celebrating the end of the shortest day of the year in:
ELLON (near ABERDEEN), INVERNESS, CARLISLE, LANCASTER, ROSSENDALE, ANGLESEY, BIRMINGHAM, NOTTINGHAM, GREENWICH
almost definitely BARNSTAPLE, REDRUTH
possibly STOKE, HARTLEPOOL,
We are talking to people in BRISTOL, and still looking for someone in SHETLAND or ORKNEY and it would be great if someone in EAST ANGLIA would offer. Much more information at https://arachnepress.com/solstice-shorts/dusk-solstice-shorts-2017/
All of this is subject to our getting our funding application approved. We are crowd funding now (closes 2nd October), and have just had a very positive meeting with the Arts Council and have started the funding applicationfor that immediately (this will take at least 8 weeks for a decision to come through).
Story & PoetrySubmissions will be long-listed anonymously by up to 5 of the organisers, and then shortlisted using where people are geographically, to help balance the material across sites. SO DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME ON YOUR ACTUAL STORY/POEM/SONG, only on the form/ cover letter. If your name is visible we will not consider your work.
Please Note – We would be VERY grateful if you could submit early – we need some confirmed writers to be able to fill in the arts council application WELL, and as we are now planning to try to get the anthology out in a pre-publication version for the event, we will have to move at the speed of light, and that means we will longlist as things come in.
Submissions from writers and musicians of short pieces on the theme of DUSK. You can interpret that how you like, but if we don’t recognise a connection your work won’t be chosen.- Plus a covering letter, saying who you are, what you’ve written/had published/performed/ recorded before, and MOST importantly, where you are.
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 please no death or dementia stories we’ve read SO many of those (and been offended by inaccuracy in the dementia ones) that no matter how wonderful, it’s a case of ‘not another one!’ Songs: Traditional or original please! (We aren’t interested in covers of work still in copyright) And… Relevant to Dusk.
Between 3 and 5 minutes for preference, absolute maximum 10 minutes. We would prefer the musicians among you to be able to perform at your most local venue yourselves (wherever that ultimately is). Musicians: we aren’t a recording company so we can’t offer anything on those lines, but if anyone knows someone who can, put us in touch. We will publish original lyrics alongside the poems and stories, and we have a cunning plan for audio books which if it comes off will need some occasional music so there may be future opportunities.
Stories: No more than 1500 words please, we are tight for time. No minimum. Poems: We like a narrative, but hate the rhythms that often go with them. (Haiwatha- aargh!) Surprise us. You can go long with this, but don’t exceed 1000 words. No minimum.
Successful stories & poems will be performed by actors, and will go forward to next year’s Dusk anthology (provisional publication date 21st June, for the Summer Solstice), for which 2 copies of the book plus royalties will be paid. (option to take royalty in books, with this many contributors it will be a very small royalty unless the book really takes off.)
All Entries in English (or BSL for a story/poem) or Welsh/Gaelic/Kernewek (with a translation as well please) and your own unaided original and UNPUBLISHED work.
We welcome stories/ poems from Deaf writers. If you want to submit in BSL you can send us a video. AVI, MP4, WMA, MOV. Musicians and blind writers. You can submit using audio files. MP3 or WAV.