And now for some GOOD News

We could all do with some cheer in the bleak days of January, especially this year, so courtesy of Arts Council England, we are here to do just that.

We are the proud and happy recipients of a £45,000 grant from Arts Council England

This will pay for our next ten books, and (drum roll) audio books! Which means we can smack Covid on the nose by providing another way to enjoy our books without leaving home, and provide some work to actors who aren’t allowed into a theatre just now. I’m anticipating it will also be huge fun. Putting the plans together now with our audiobook partner Listening Books

Thanks to everyone who gave us their thoughts on whether this was the right way to go. It’s one of the fastest growing sectors in literature, but it’s tough to get right, and harder still to market, so the funding will also pay for …

A part-time marketing person, and a (separate) part-time admin person for a few months, so that I can concentrate on finding and supporting new writers and guest editors. We will be advertising these posts very soon. They will be remote working, so if you think that could be you, start polishing your CV, but don’t send anything until you see the advertisment please!

The Books

The books that are being supported by the ACE grant are:

This Poem Here – Poetry collection by Rob Walton (Just the audio book, as we’ve already done the rest)

Zed and the Cormorants -YA Novel by Clare Owen, illustrated by Sally Atkins. We are talking to Sophie Aldred about reading the audio book)

100neHundred -100 x 100 word stories by Laura Besley

Incorcisms -short, strange tales by David Hartley

Accidental Flowers -Novel in short stories by Lily Peters

Strange Waters -Short Story Collection by Jackie Taylor

Jackie

A Voice Coming from Then – Poetry collection (illustrated with collages) by Jeremy Dixon

An Anthology of poems and short fiction from UK based Deaf writers (no title yet) edited by Lisa Kelly and A N Other

Lisa

An Anthology of poems and short stories from UK based Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Writers (no title yet) edited by Laila Sumpton and Sandra A. Agard

Solstice Shorts 2021 Anthology (provisional theme: time is running out but we’ll come up with a better title!)

Solshorts Crowdfund reward: personalised birthday poem from Laila Sumpton

We love our authors, they are such a talented and generous crew, not just brilliant at writing but offering their writing for the crowd fund too!

Such as bespoke poems from Laila Sumpton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personalised birthday poem

pledge £25 and Poet Laila Sumpton will write a short personalised poem. This can be for a family or friends birthday – she’ll just need you to answer 4-6 questions over email. she will then send you the text as a PDF for you to print out however you like, and a film of her performing it. Incredibly generously, Laila has offered FIVE of these rewards!

Select reward £25 or more

 

 

 

IWD video Laila Sumpton

 

On 8th March we held an International Women’s Day of readings from female authors and poets, surrounded by the  Tatty Divine exhibition at the Stephen Lawrence Gallery. Many thanks to Greenwich University Gallleries for hosting.

Here is Laila Sumpton reading her  poem from Dusk, (Solstice Shorts Festival 2017)  Starling Time.

You can buy the latest Solstice Shorts Festival anthology Time and Tide in two different editions from us, the standard one, available in the shops (from 21st March) or theillustrated limited edition.

We will be doing a VIRTUAL launch on 21st March, via our Facebook page, as we think it wise not to encourage people to congregate, but still want to celebrate our lovely book! We hope to just delay our event at Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, but we’ll see how it goes!

 

#IWD2020- Photos

Until I get round to editing the video files, here are some photos from Sunday’s event, where we launched Emma Lee‘s new collection, The Significance of a Dress, and thoroughly celebrated International Women’s Day with poems and flash from Laila Sumpton, Claire Booker, Sarah Lawson, Jenny Mitchell, Julie Easley, Cherry Potts, Michelle Penn, Shamini Sriskandarajah, and Emma Lee!

Women on the Move: Poetry and Flash for International Women’s Day

To celebrate the launch of Emma Lee‘s new poetry collection The Significance of a Dress, we are holding an event at the Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich, 10 Stockwell Street, Greenwich SE10 9BD on the actual day SUNDAY 8TH MARCH 2pm.

Emma will be joined by Jenny Mitchell (Time and Tide, whose idea it was). Michelle Penn (Dusk, Noon, Time and Tide), Shamini Sriskandarajah (Story Cities), Claire Booker (Time and Tide), Laila Sumpton (Dusk, Noon) and Sarah Lawson (The Other Side of Sleep, Vindication, Departures), and there will be an open mic session, and very possibly cake.

The notional theme is women on the move, but this is being widely interpreted.

If you would like to take part in the open mic with on-theme poetry or flash fiction, please contact us, or sign up on arrival, there are a maximum of 6 500-word-limit slots.

Tickets by donation to cover travel expenses for the readers.

Brockley Max 2019 Noon and Knots

We are involved in Brockley Max Festival again this year, with readings in a church, and a brewery!

Sunday 2nd June 7pm

St Hilda’s Church Courtrai Road SE23 1PL

Math Jones will be reading from his new poetry-collection-as-novel, The Knotsman

The Knotsman does not exist, you will not find him in history books or collections of ‘bygone’ skills. But there he is, going from house to house, village to village, poem to poem, battlefield to gallows, unravelling knots and problems, physical, emotional and psychological; a new kind of cunning man, not always welcome, not always quite as clever as his fingers and picks would have him believe.

copyright Tyrone Lewis

Wednesday 5th June 7pm

We will be at the lovely Brockley Brewery, 31 Harcourt Road London SE4 2AJ

for NOON

Readings of poetry and short stories on the theme of Noon from the Solstice Shorts Anthology of the same name

Everyone thinks of noon as being a split second as the clock’s hands draw together, the bell tolls twelve times – but there is so much more to it than that.

with

Stuart McKenzie, Michelle Penn, Laila Sumpton, Marika Joseph, Liam Hogan

Solstice Shorts Line up for Carlisle

Carlisle

NOON – Carlisle The Old Firestation

Poems
After Hours, Stuart McKenzie
An Autumn Noon, Ian Grosz
Arthur Streeton Advises his Students, Mandy Macdonald
By the Obelisk Sundial Drummond Castle, Jane Aldous
Farewell My Father, Anne Elizabeth Bevan
Fire at Midday, Susan Cartwright-Smith
I am not Beautiful at Noon, Elinor Brooks
Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Laila Sumpton
Moon Jellyfish, Ness Owen
Noon Son, Alison Lock
Noon Talk, Graham Burchell
Still No Name, Marika Josef
Sun Beats over New Orleans, Natalie Gasper
Unleashed, Paul Foy

Stories

#Noon, Su Yin Yap
Mother And Child, Barbara Renel
Noon Child Unknown, Diana Powell
On Kings And Falling, Roppotucha Greenberg
Up On The Roof, Lily Peters

Performers

Barbara Renel and Susan Cartwright-Smith will read their own work and Alex Morrison, Becca Roberts, Esther Ridgway and Owain Lewis will read the work of writers who can’t get there.

 

 

Solstice Shorts line up for London

Our London line up:

 Stories

A Vampire at Noon, Patience Mackarness
High Noon, Marka Rifat
Toast Crumbs, Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier
Under the L, Liam Hogan

Poems
An Autumn Noon, Ian Grosz
Arthur Streeton Advises his Students, Mandy Macdonald
I am not Beautiful at Noon, Elinor Brooks
Mad Dogs and English Men, Laila Sumpton
Noon Son, Alison Lock
Precarious, Michelle Penn
Still No Name, Marika Josef

FREE TICKETS from Eventbrite

Performers Marika Josef and Michelle Penn will read their  own poems, and the excellent Carrie Cohen and Grace Cookey-Gam will be helping us out with work by authors who can’t be there in person.

Music will be provided by regular Solstice collaborators Ian Kennedy and Sarah Lloyd.

Dusk Publication Day

Happy Summer Solstice to all our Dusk Book authors and poets,

David Hartley, David Mathews, Rob Schofield, Samuel Wright, Rosalind Stopps, Penny Pepper, Rob Walton, Helen Slavin, Lucy Grace, Jackie Taylor, Sherry Morris, Pippa Gladhill, Alex Reece Abbott, Fiona Salter, Cath Bore, Kirsty Fox, Katerina Watson,
Math Jones, Mandy Macdonald, Katie Evans, Joy Howard, Jane Aldous, Alice Tarbuck, Gabrielle Choo, Kate Wise, Alannah Egan, Alison Lock, Aziz Dixon, Ness Owen, Jeremy Dixon, Lindsay Reid, Sue Birchenough, Nigel Hutchinson, Sue Johnson, John Bevan, John Richardson, Kelly Davis, Katy Lee, Laila Sumpton, Michelle Penn, Bridie Toft, Nicholas McGaughey, Lisa Kelly, Martyn Crucefix, Elizabeth Parker, Carl Griffin.

We are celebrating this evening, with readings and cake and stuff at 7pm at The Stephen Lawrence Gallery, Stockwell Street, Greenwich SE10. Everyone welcome, don’t be shy, although there is an unspoken expectation that you WILL buy a book!

Here’s a taster, from yesterday’s pre-publication event at St John’s Festival Downham. Laila Sumpton (who can’t join us tonight) reading Starling Time.

Bellingham St John’s Church Festival preview for DUSK

A handful of authors and poets will be previewing DUSK (the book of the latest Solstice Shorts  Festival), at Bellingham Festival, lunchtime on Wednesday 20th June.

Laila Sumpton, Michelle Penn , festival director Cherry Potts and possibly Katerina Watson will read poems and stories from the book which is published the following day.

Join us at

St John’s Church
353 Bromley Road
London
SE6 2RP

at 12 noon prompt!

Free, but bring money to buy a book – you know you’ll want one.

The book of the event

Patrick Gale called Dusk

One of the most imaginative, forward-thinking festivals in recent history: a nation’s length celebration of the dying of the light at the turning point of winter. 

Come and get shivers in the middle of summer…