Call for songsters

We are short listing the songs received for Dusk, and because of the geographical element we are short of songs for the following areas: Inverness, Birmingham, Lancaster, Rossendale, Nottingham, Redruth, possibly London, possibly Barnstaple.

So if anyone is, or knows a singer/songwriter, or a folk singer or a community choir, in those areas who might have a suitable traditional or original song in their repertoire, please alert them to our need!

Submit here

Sponsor Solstice Shorts Festival 2017: Dusk

Now into its 4th year, Solstice Shorts Festival champions new writing, bringing short stories and poems read live by actors together with live music, to celebrate the Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year, and Short Story Day.
Solstice Shorts is run by Arachne Press.
Because of that link to the shortest day, the theme of the event has always been time, and this year we are branching out from our Greenwich base (on the Prime Meridian) to hold Dusk events on twelve sites across the UK.

Scotland: Ellon (near Aberdeen), Inverness
North West: Carlisle, Lancaster, Rossendale
Midlands and Wales: Birmingham, Nottingham, Holyhead
South East: Greenwich
South West: Kelston (near Bristol), Warkleigh (near Barnstaple), Redruth
Venues vary from libraries and bookshops through arts centres and museums to cafes and pubs.

Solstice Shorts on facebook
Arachne Press on facebook

arachnepress on twitter
solshorts on twitter

The live events will be entry by donation, and held exactly as astronomical Dusk occurs, starting in Ellon, 17:07 to 17:54, and finishing in Redruth 17:40 to 18:20. Each site will live stream video of their event creating a murmuration of voices on the internet. These videos will subsequently be edited and made available indefinitely. All the (unpublished) stories, poems and lyrics will be published in a print anthology initially available for sale only to attendees and through Arachne Press’ website, but from June 2018 through normal book retailers and as an e-book.


How Solstice Shorts can help you

Association with an imaginative and far-reaching community event.
Promote your organisation to 12+ communities in the run up to Christmas.
Appear on 6000 fliers 1000 programmes 300 books 60 posters 12 banners
Reach more than 60,000 people through social media, our email campaigns and video links.
Build brand recognition with a diverse collection of people across the UK.

We offer a range of sponsorship and advertising packages. All advertisers and sponsors receive coverage on our website, e-bulletins, Facebook and Twitter pages. Please read on for details and then Contact us to discuss the best ways to show your business’ support for this year’s Solstice Shorts Festival.

Our Partners:


plus Carlisle Patchwork Opera, and Unbroken Cocoon

Literary sponsor £1,500
An opportunity for you to promote your company as a major sponsor of Solstice Shorts Festival and to be listed on all festival editorial as supporting the writers

Full-page advert in Solstice Shorts programme
Solstice Shorts Festival announced as
‘supported by your company’
Logo on all banners, event posters and fliers
Logo on the cover of the anthology and credit inside and in the ebook.
Logo Solstice Shorts 2017 page and Dusk Book Page on Arachne Press website
Credit on all (edited) video links

Major Festival Sponsor £1,000
An opportunity for you to promote your company as a major sponsor of Solstice Shorts Festival and to be listed on all festival editorial

Full-page advert in Solstice Shorts programme
Solstice Shorts Festival announced as
‘supported by your company’

Logo on all banners, event posters and fliers
Logo Solstice Shorts 2017 page on Arachne Press website
Credit on all (edited) video links

Regional Festival Sponsor £500
Half-page advert in Solstice Shorts programme
Logo on banners, event posters and fliers in your region
Logo Solstice Shorts 2017 page on Arachne Press website

Local Festival Sponsor £250
Quarter-page advert in Solstice Shorts programme
Logo on Solstice Shorts banners, event posters & fliers for a single site of your choice
Logo Solstice Shorts 2017 page on Arachne Press website

Our Venues:

Plus Better Read Books, Ellon; The Goose, Birmingham

Programme Advert Specs

Full Page Advert (bleed/non-bleed)

Half Page Advert (horizontal/vertical)

Quarter Page Advert (vertical) 60x95mm

Please supply a high-resolution PDF image containing the completed artwork for your advert.

Booking deadline 10th November 2017
Artwork & copy deadline: 21st November 2017

Contact us

Just want to advertise in the programme?
Full Page Advert £450
Half Page Advert (horizontal/vertical) £250
Quarter Page Advert (vertical) £140

Contact us


CALL OUT Stories Poems and Songs for Solstice Shorts 2017 DUSK

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:
almost definitely BARNSTAPLE, REDRUTH
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
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 & Poetry
Submissions 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.

Word/ PDF
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.