Solstice Shorts Video: In the Gloaming

In the Gloaming, short story by David Mathews, read by Patsy Prince, and accompanied by Sarah Lloyd. BSL interpretation by Paul Michaels. The tunes played by Sarah are Neil Gow’s Lament and Bella Napoli.

This, and all the other stories and poems performed at the Solstice Shorts Festival are available in the book Shortest Day, Longest Night

A Lovely Review of London Lies from Sabotage

We have another, excellent, review from Sabotage.

Hilights include:

As someone who was born and brought up in London, and has lived there for the best part of 26 years, it would have been easy to take it somewhat personally if this collection had in any way failed to deliver. Luckily, this is one of the most enjoyable story collections I’ve had the pleasure of reading in several years

In some ways, the consistently high quality of London Lies makes it difficult to review. Every time I have sat down to start writing, I’ve wanted to highlight different stories…

you can read the whole thing here

Incidentally, the reviewer quibbles gently about diversity, but she seems not to have read Cherry Potts’ Leaving which does redress the balance somewhat. Also, David Bausor’s story, O Happy Day! is confused with Katy Darby’s Keep Calm and Carry On; but we’re very happy that Sabotage liked our London stories so much.

Forest Hill Library Cityread – the video

A well attended event, about a dozen enthusiastic folk, only one of whom we already knew! thank you to Alan and Paolo for their excellent marketing.

Appropriately for a Forest Hill gig, we started the evening with Peter Morgan’s Mr Forest Hill Station, about an eccentric and seemingly eternally youthful man only ever seen in the station’s environs.

Moving one stop north we encountered Rosalind Stopps’ story of aging romantic angst in How to Grow Old in Brockley.

Over (or should it be under) the river we stopped off at Shoreditch for Katy Darby’s drug-and-ego fuelled tale of Bafta wannabe’s The Horror, the Horror.

And our furthest point north, Hoxton brought us Caroline Hardman’s story of a vampire completely out of his depth.

Submit to Arachne Press

Ok, we’ve had enough with the enquiries. We weren’t going to open submissions until the end of the month, but due to popular demand they are now open, but only until the end of MAY. So that’s your window – or possibly letterbox?

Read the GUIDELINES and get in touch, we are really interested, and excited, wondering what you have in store for us.

Writing on the Move Writing Workshop

the

old vinyl

factory

1st June 1-4 pm. A walk and site-specific workshop for writers of all levels of experience. Come and explore The Old Vinyl Factory site in Hayes
Blyth Road
Hayes
UB3 1HA

The factory was home to EMI from the 1900’s right through to the 1970’s, though most of the buildings date from the 20’s: everything from Caruso to The Beatles was pressed here.

Compare old and new, derelict and refurbished, crowded and empty, sound and silence. Use the site as inspiration for writing. Work with all your senses to develop atmosphere, character and plot – we might even throw in some music.

There will be a brief introduction  in the  Vinyl Lounge:vinyl

Followed by a guided walk (roughly 45 minutes) around the interior of the refurbished Shipping building (including archive exhibition)  and the currently derelict Cabinet building; and the exterior of the power house (if weather fair). Followed by a two-hour writing workshop back in the colourful Vinyl Lounge.

Workshop run by Cherry Potts, author of Mosaic of Air and Tales Told Before Cockcrow, editor of Stations, co-editor of London Lies and Lovers’ Lies, and owner of Arachne Press.

Bring a notebook suitable for make notes in on the move, and pens. More technically advanced writing gear is welcome once we settle in for the workshop, but might not be suitable while we are walking.

cabinet interior 2Caution: Some walking surfaces in the derelict areas are very uneven with varying surface materials, and there are one or two steps and thresholds to get over, and other potential tripping hazards. Sensible shoes essential! If you have mobility issues please get in touch before booking.

Part of the Hillingdon ArtsWeek. Booking essential as places are limited. £14. tickets from: Compass Theatre

Ample parking on site, Hayes & Harlington Station 10-15min walk. Buses locally.

London Lies Flash Fiction Winner

Firstly, thank you to our three authors for taking part, and thanks also to the more than 500 people who voted.

And the results are (in reverse order)

Runners Up:
Chris House (untitled, but refered to here as Shaggy Dog) 1.09%
Janis Pegrum Smith (Claim to Fame)  35.4%

And the clear winner:
Viv Cooper (Screaming)  63.5%

Congratulations Viv. If you would all like to contact us with your addresses we will post your copy of London Lies or your London Liar badge to you.

the winning entry is repeated here for those of you who missed it.

Screaming

The boy was spoilt. You could tell that straight away. His dad told everyone how bored he got, how bright he seemed, how gifted he was.

He was unbearable. At the riverside café where we sat, he was noisily re-enacting the Iraq War. When the food was finally brought, he shouted for bigger burgers, fizzier pop.

He was running down the stone steps to the Thames. He’d tired of planning the Third World War and was now splashing into the water, calling out to his parents to look, look, look!

And he was screaming, probably because there was no one now he could pretend to bomb.

Then the screams became words.

“There’s a shark! Mom, there’s a shark in here!”

He screamed with the full force of his lungs. He screamed to make the sky echo. He screamed to make the clouds shiver. Heads turned to look at the child-rippled water; tongues clicked in disapproval at the irresponsible parents.

“What a liar!” people muttered. “There are no sharks in the Thames.”

Oblivious, the loving mother brought her camera to the water’s edge and filmed her brave son.

Oblivious, the loving father smirked proudly.

The boy screamed. He screamed to make the river cower. He screamed to make the birds cry.

Still the mother filmed. Still the father smirked.

The dark water was the first warning. From up in the café, onlookers could see the change in the colours, hear the difference in his screams. Through a viewfinder though, sounds that should terrify seem entertaining; colours that should alarm look artistic.

Only a sudden silence could pierce the proud parental insouciance, could make the mother stop filming.

It was only then that they realised that their lovely, clever, noisy son had not just been screaming but, weed-mangled and reed-pinioned, drowning.
© Viv Cooper

Stations Advanced Copies have Arrived!

 

Twitter competition now closed

OK! stop tweeting. The competition is now closed. Thanks to those who contributed. I will post the results thus far later today, and voting will commence. Voting closes 4pm on Halloween.

Stations Reading at Deptford Lounge

Stations Cover. Image copyright Gail Brodholt

Our second reading for Stations, in honour of New Cross, will be at the Library at Deptford Lounge, a short walk from New Cross Station.

Library
9 Deptford Lounge,
Giffin Street
SE8 4RW

Thursday 29th November 2012 7-8.30pm

(Although free, you need to book via the Albany 020 8692 4446)

As this is on actual publication day it is in effect our Local Launch so we are aiming at quite a few writers, all reading shorter snippets, so the line up is:

David Bausor (New Cross)
Rosalind Stopps (Brockley)
Paula Read (Honor Oak)
Joan Taylor-Rowan (Anerley)
Adrian Gantlope (Surrey Quays) Getting Adrian to speak in public is a major event, you won’t want to miss it!

Ellie Stewart (Wapping)
Bartle Sawbridge (Shadwell)
Katy Darby (Shoreditch High Street)

Join us for a whirlwind tour of the Overground by way of a foreign student’s first taste of South London, a brief encounter at Brockley, homelessness and homebaking, a lesson the birds and bees, transience by the Thames, failing to learn from beetles and film makers in East London.

Stations Reading at Canvas and Cream

Stations Cover. Image copyright Gail Brodholt

Our first readings are getting booked for Stations.  As a response to the 23 stations that inspired the book, we are trying to organise a reading as close to each station as we can get. Will this ambition be achieved? If you run a venue close to one of the featured stations or know someone who does, please get in touch!

So: the Forest Hill reading is at
Canvas & Cream,
18 London Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3HF
on Wednesday 28th November 2012, 7-9pm which is technically before the book is published, but they are busy folk and its when they could fit us in.

Featured writers:

Peter Morgan (Forest Hill)
Jacqueline Downs (Crystal Palace)
Paula Read (Honor Oak)
Joan Taylor-Rowan (Anerley)
Andrew Blackman (Sydeham) Read by Cherry Potts

Join us for stories of a strange don-like creature haunting a station, a local museum that houses more than exhibits, homelessness and home baking, a lesson on the birds and bees, and a missed chance at love.