With Great Power… a BSL translation

For No Spider Harmed in the Making of this Book, regular contributor to Arachne anthologies, Helen Morris, takes the Spiderman origin myth and gives it a spin. BSL translation by Marcel Hirshman.

Helen was one of the first winners of the Solstice Shorts Competition. We are currently crowdfunding for this year’s festival and anthology, Tymes goe by Turnes. We have some lovely unusual rewards, and some nice standard T shirt/ Book/ Badge type things, If you felt like supporting us you can do so over on Pay it Forward.

Music for Solstice Shorts

It isn’t ALL stories and poems, we have music too. here is a little taster from Kevan Taplin one of three muscians we will be working with at the Festival.

For Solstice Shorts 2020, Singer-Songwriter Kevan Taplin responds to our source poem for this year’s festival, Tymes goe by Turnes by Robert Southwell, with a song that takes the poem as a springboard. This is just an extract from the demo Kevan sent us. We are crowdfunding – help us reach our target and hear the rest of the song on 21st December!

Video for crowdfunding DUSK

Video

We got a more comprehensive video about our plans for DUSK and the crowdfund,

We’re Crowdfunding!

Help us raise our Arts Council match funding, to finish what we’ve started with Solstice Shorts and our first two books of this batch. We are out on Tour, doing two more books, and hosting the Story Sessions. If those are things you want to support, we’d LOVE you to help! Go to KICKSTARTER and explore what’s on offer

Update on Midsummer Night…

Keeping fingers firmly crossed for delicious weather, the banner is up and we only need to raise another £15 to be able to pay our performers, so if anyone would like to contribute to the crowd fund, the link is here. While I was looking for the link to copy, we hit our target! We could still do with more as we now have 2 more performers…

midsummer banner in situ2 midsummer banner in situWe have a late addition to the programme, Carolyn Eden (whose work we featured in Liberty Tales) has offered us an award-winning sketch based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Crown Versus Crown in which the dispute between Oberon & Titania reaches court, where arguments are put in doggerel. With very little persuasion we’ve roped in Cliff Chapman (another long-time collaborator) and Mike Eden to fill out our cast to sufficient numbers.

We are thinking about strawberries on the lawn… whatever the weather it will be a lot of fun.

 

Stretching the #Outcome Crowd Fund target

6 days to go and already we’ve reached our crowd fund target. Tom (our photographer) and I have had a conversation about what we can reasonably stretch to.

SO feeling rather cheeky, but we’ve costed out printing up and mounting A1 copies of 80  for the launch exhibition, many of which would be reused in the touring exhibition.

Shockingly wide variation depending on how we approach it, but we are confident we can do it to the quality we need for £840.

Rather than just sit back we would like go all out to see if we can reach this additional target in the next 6 days!

If you would like to help us reach this further target the crowdfund is here.

Lots of treats available.

Exhibiting Outcome at Student Pride (A2)
Exhibiting Outcome at Student Pride (A2)

Outcome Kickstarter crowdfund live

Want to help create a little bit of LGBT history?

We are fundraising for the money to produce our first photographic book, Outcome.

9781909208261 

If you would like to help, go to our Kickstarter campaign and pledge us some money.

If you haven’t any money, but you have a studio space we can use, an exhibition space we can exhibit in, or you are LGBT yourself and would like to be involved in the project, that all helps too.

The most immediately obvious thing is to pre-order a copy of the book, you can ONLY do this via the crowd fund, as, if we don’t raise the money we can’t do the book, and that’s that.

However we are also offering photo shoots with photographer Tom Dingley, signed copies of Tom’s brilliant shot of Peter Tatchell

Peter Tatchell

invitations to the launch, and an array of Arachne Press’ other titles. We hope to have other options available soon to entice you. The crowd fund ends on March 17th.

 

Thanks!

tickticktick into the final hours of the Solstice Shorts Crowd Fund

TWELVE AND A HALF hours to go. and thanks to 31 incredibly generous backers, and some equally generous supporters giving their time and skills for free, we are at £977.50 … we only need £22.50 to hit that target.

That would take:

12 liars badges

5 supporters badges

3 sets of Devilskein badges

2 T-shirts, or 2 signed copies of Devilskein & Dearlove, or Mosaic of Air, or 2 VIP invitations to the launch of The Other Side of Sleep.

1 read-aloud workshop, or 1 professional story edit, or 1 bespoke flash fiction, or 1 hand-lettered poem.

Of course you can have ALL of those and more, but only if you press the button before 23:59 tonight, any later and the coach turns back into a pumpkin.So be our fairy godmother, and we can all go to the ball!

Arthur Rackham Illustration from Cinderella

(Now there’s a story that hinges on time…)

 

Solstice Shorts Festival – why we are doing BSL interpretation

When planning a festival (she says like she does it regularly) there are some obvious things you need – somewhere to hold it, people to perform, marketing to make sure there’s an audience, that kind of thing. What is often ignored, forgotten or rejected as too expensive, is making the event properly accessible.

Solstice Shorts is going to be quite a small festival. It will last just under eight hours, and the rooms we are using (apart from West Greenwich Library) hold a maximum of 40 people (although we are using two!)

So having a significant part of the budget allocated to allowing Deaf people to enjoy and participate is quite challenging.

I first started thinking about accessibility for Deaf people when I was working for a council housing department back in the early 1980’s. I had a brief placement in housing benefits, and met a member of staff who was constantly on call interpreting sign language. it wasn’t her job, she just happened to come from a Deaf family, so she could do it. I signed up for a course immediately, but being young and flighty (and a long cold dark bus ride away from the course) dropped out.

I came back to it when I was studying Neurolingustic Programming, which relies heavily on metaphors based on the senses in use of language, and no one could tell me what the implication were if not all your senses were available to you. So I did a BSL (British Sign Language) level 1 course, and learnt a huge, huge amount about communication in general.

Level 1 is pretty unsophisticated but you can bumble through a conversation spelling words you don’t know the sign for, and making up approximations so you can be corrected (I well remember discussing apartheid with an amalgam of signs – black-white-separate – it served it’s purpose!). One of the useful tools I found for increasing and practicing my vocabulary was signed music. Channel 4 had a music programme that went out at about four in the morning and everything was signed. Popular music being a bit repetitive in its lyrics made sure I got the signs right eventually! Along the way I became beguiled by the beauty and expressiveness of sign language, and its power in story telling. Oh, and my elementary knowledge helped me get a job working with Deaf and disabled entrepreneurs (initially on the phone – Skype proved handy). I quickly found my signing wholly inadequate to the task, even after 1:1 coaching on business terms, but I had fun trying, and everyone was very patient with me.

So you could say it’s on my radar. It helps that I have contacts in BSL interpreting services, and that I have had protracted, wide-ranging discussions (through interpreters, life’s too short for me to make up everything and be told how to sign what I was trying to say) with a wide range of Deaf people about all sorts of things (depreciation, and what harmony is, for example!). So, for me, it goes without saying that Solstice Shorts will be signed: stories, workshops, and the music.

Only funding makes this possible. I’d love for every event we do to be signed, but that isn’t doable without outside funding.

If you want to support our efforts to make Solstice Shorts accessible, you can back our crowdfunding campaign.

 

 

Read your Work Aloud Workshop with Katy Darby

MORE Katy Darby Writers’ Read Aloud Workshop spaces now available

The incredibly generous Ms Darby informs me I have misunderstood her, and she is offering a WHOLE workshop, ie TEN places, for our crowd fund campaign for Solstice Shorts: our one day, short story and folk music festival on 21st December. Stories read and songs sung, from sunrise to sunset on the shortest day of the year, on the Greenwich Meridian.

So all you writers who want to wow a live audience, there are nine places left… put down you pens, clear your throats and learn how to really get your story across live – appropriate for the festival! An absolute bargain at £50 per person.

If you are wondering why Katy is your go to gal on this, she is a writer and actor, and founder of Liars’ League, the world-spanning award-winning live literature event where actors read your stories – started when Katy heard one too many authors mumbling into their books. She knows her stuff, and will impart her wisdom to you!

Here’s a bit of video of Katy reading her own work, The Horror, the Horror from Stations, to give you an idea what you might be capable of after the workshop.