Oxford and Lewisham Liberties

copx4938 dzwp9631 hhjs1295 rkcd9549 urch7729 Here we all are having a rollicking good time at Albion Beatnik in Oxford. There was a bit of discussion about the correct pronunciation of ‘C’ in Latin , and there was apparently a bona fide Classics teacher in the audience, so only one author was brave enough to read their Magna Carta clause in the original.

Here’s some snippets of video (yay! got the video to work!) to whet your appetite for TONIGHT’s event in Lewisham.

Liberty Tales Tour Starts Today in Oxford

Here’s a quick snippet of Cliff Chapman reading Jeremy Dixon‘s Poem Tabernacle Lane, last night at the Liberty Tales Launch in Greenwich.

Had a problem with the camera again, so it will only be sound files for this evening. FRUSTRATING!

Thanks to everyone who read last night: Bernie Howley, Alison Lock, Katy Darby, Carolyn Eden, and to Carrie Cohen and Cliff Chapman for reading on behalf of Jeremy, David Guy and Anna Fodorova

You can hear Jeremy read Tabernacle Lane, and two others himself TONIGHT 7.30 at Albion Beatnik, 34 Walton Street Oxford OX2 6AA, alongside stories from Jim CoganCarolyn Eden, Nick RawlinsonKaty Darby and more poems from  Elinor Brooks and Bernie Howley,.

Explore an unusual Gaudy Night, fish weirs, walking out, when it safer to appear witless, finding yourself in San Francisco, religious intolerance, and exactly what the value of a passport really is.

Special offers for Short Story Week

To celebrate Short Story Week,  we are discounting some of our SHORT STORY Anthologies and Collections, when you buy our newer books for THIS WEEK ONLY. You have til Sunday to grab a bargain, including the perfect Christmas present for the pagan in your life, The Solstice  Shorts duo of pre-publication copy of Shortest Day, Longest Night, and Half Price Solstice Shorts Sixteen Stories about TIME.

2016-11-12-09-25-10

Get Solstice Shorts Sixteen Stories about time half price with Shortest Day, Longest Night

2016-11-12-11-31-37

Buy Liberty Tales and get one of Weird Lies, Lovers’ Lies or London Lies half price

2016-11-12-12-13-07

Buy Stations and get London Lies Half Price

Other offers on the shop site – take a look! Before you head off to bigger retailers to get your ‘Black Friday’ bargains, try us first!

Available on-line at our shop until Sunday, or at our events tonight and tomorrow

Shortest Day Longest Night has arrived!

sdln

Well, here they are – in the flesh/paper, shiny fresh and smelling of ink. We have a special offer on for Short Story week 14-20th November, order Shortest Day, Longest Night and get Solstice Shorts Sixteen Stories about Time half price. Take a look at our shop. Very exciting!

Liberty Tales at the printers

It’s all go at Arachne Towers, we’ve just finalised the choice of stories and poems for the Shortest Day part of Shortest Day, Longest Night; Outcome will be at the distributors on Monday, we’ve got writers workshops today and tomorrow, and Liberty Tales, our response to all things Magna Carta shaped, has just gone to the printers, ready for launch in Short Story Week on 17th November.

The complete line up for Liberty Tales (and an exciting, eccentric and eclectic thing it is too) is:

Lag: Jim CoganCotton Augustus II.106
Free White Towel: Carolyn Eden
Bothered: Sarah Evans
The Poppies: Helen Morris
Stopped by a Busker: Owen Townend
Into The Blue: Nick Rawlinson
The King’s Computer: Liam Hogan
Jail Break: Kate Foley
Cena: Peter DeVille
Girl in a Suitcase: Cassandra Passarelli
The King and The Light: David Guy
Dog’s Life: Alison Lock
Border Country: David Mathews
Knitting for Demons: Cherry Potts
Liberty: Andrew Callum
Wigtown Bay 1685: Elinor Brooks
The Fool’s Tale: Katy Darby
Tabernacle Lane: Jeremy Dixon
Flax, San Francisco: Jeremy Dixon
Pearls Over Shanghai: Jeremy Dixon
Character Study: Katy Darby
Fruit of the Sea: Anna Fodorova
Witchburning: Richard Smyth
The Branded Hand: Brian Johnstone
Black & White: Brian Johnstone
The Privilege of Departure: Bernie Howley

NEW lottery_Logo_White RGBlottery_logo_black-rgb

Bespoke flash short story greeting cards

We try to be imaginative with our crowd fund rewards. Here’s an idea: Cherry has been creating ridiculous cards for friends for years made from found images and single sentence or flash stories; and for a while sold them. You can have your (or a friend’s) name(s) inserted into the silliness that is a ‘daft dyke’ card. Lots to choose from, which will be printed individually for you for a paltry fiver.

IMG_8639

you can find more information here.

What are we crowd funding for? Solstice Shorts 2015, Longest Night, of course!

You can order your card(s) here.

And the Winners Are…

To celebrate National Short Story Week, the winners of the Solstice Shorts Festival Short Story Competition were announced last night at the Story Sessions

COMPWINNER email

(Trumpets, drum roll, searchlights… you know, that sort of thing)

Congratulations to:

Andrew Gepp
Cindy George
David Mathews
David Turnbull
Deschaney Tate
Emma Timpany
Helen Morris
Jayne Pickering
Pippa Gladhill
Sarah Evans
Tannith Perry
William Davidson

We are delighted to congratulate our twelve winners, who will receive various prizes including a surprisingly untacky trophy, and whose stories will be read at the festival, and published alongside a story from each of the judges in the forthcoming anthology, Solstice Shorts: 16 stories about time.

Five Judges Special Recommendations will be announced at the festival at SUNSET.

Thanks to everyone who took part (all 106 of you), we appreciate your interest in our festival which we hope is the first of many, so there will be other opportunities in the future.

Short-listed writers will receive brief feedback sometime next week.

The Story Sessions: Short Story Week

Osos story sessions flyerSHORT STORY WEEK: Wednesday 19th November 7.30pm South London:
The Story Sessions, Cafe of Good Hope, 216 Hither Green Lane, SE13 6RT £3

Yes, we know its short story week – so why are we reading poetry? – because this is narrative poetry – it tells stories!
Readings from Arachne Poets featured in The Other Side of Sleep: Anne Macaulay, Inua Ellams Jennifer A McGowan, Bernie Howley.
Also reading but not in the book: Anny Knight and Gloria Sanders and hopefully a couple more poets,including you? Join in with flash from the floor.
PLUS! We will be announcing the WINNERS of the SOLSTICE SHORTS FESTIVAL SHORT STORY COMPETITION.

NSSW celebration competition Result

Stop voting. Your time is up.

The Winner is Story 5, by Viv Cooper.

Thanks also to Kate Murray, James Holden, Calum Kerr, Ann Macaulay, David Gullen, Audrey Morgan, Ronnie Lloyd and ‘Lizard Yoga’ for your contributions, and to everyone who voted.

Vote for National Short Story Week Flash Competition

We asked for stories of exactly 100 words, and here are the submissions.  We are posting them anonymously, in order of receipt. You can vote for as many stories as you like, but only vote once, please!

Voting closed on Sunday at 5pm the winner was announced as Story 5.

Story 1

How can you not know your season?

Last year you were so bitingly cold that I spent sixty two pounds on warm slippers.

This year you blame October. Oh yes, we know it started cold but it quickly warmed. The wasps buzzed and grew flabbily indolent and seriously argumentative.

Now we rely on you to freeze them, to seal them in their many layered homes.

I had no use for my slippers in the spring, nor in the summer. Now November, you decide. Are you autumn or are you winter? When can I brush the dust from the Harris Tweed?

Story 2

Cervelaf sprawled on his mossy woodland throne. An empty tankard dangled from one finger, his great antlered head lolled.

The doe-woman, Devnet, emerged from the forest edge, bow in hand. Graceful as ever, she crossed the clearing and bowed before Cervelaf. ‘The Marasmus has returned.’

Blood surged through Cervelaf’s heart. At last! He leapt to his feet, seized his hunting horn and gave three blasts.

Echoes of the horn faded among the trees. Cervelaf drove his fist into his palm and paced the clearing.  Finally, the seasons turned. Boar-warriors, fox-people and collared men gathered around.

It was time to hunt.

Story 3

“Penny for the Guy,” I called from the doorway of the laundrette.

10p would get us a Wham bar. 20p would get a Texan. Anything else would get cola bottles or gummy bears in triplicate.

“You going to burn it, then?” asked a man in a leather jacket, pointing with his cigarette at the bundle by my feet.

I nodded, feeling shy.

“Do it now and I’ll give you a tenner,” he said, pulling a half-full can of lighter fluid from his pocket.

I just hoped my little brother would stay still long enough for me to get the money.

Story 4

It was night in the countryside; there was no light, not from moon or house. Reaching out a hand I switched on the lamp. It gave a dull click but nothing happened.

A power cut.

Across the ceiling an unearthly light painted a geometric and random pattern. Its very nature made me afraid. Quietly, as if there were company in the room, I went to the window and peered out. On the hill opposite a light danced.

I huddled awaiting my fate, but nothing happened. All night I sat until the morning revealed the truth; a harvester on the hill.

Story 5

What is the late November doing? Spring was disturbed; the summer was hot; November terrifies.

The shining woods with their gold-brown light have tempted me out, against my better judgement. Perhaps this time it won’t happen.

And then it hoves into view: a ghastly half-rotten face with staring holes for eyes and a jagged, open mouth. It is laughing at me!

Charred twigs form a sinister circle at my feet; footprints in the mud remind me of a teasing, jeering mob.

The remains of a spiked wheel hang forlornly on a fence. It’s the 25th and my name is Catherine.

Story 6

Every month has its own flavour : February – chocolate, July  – raspberry, October – apple; November is treacle. Burnt sugar, molasses, toffee  it doesn’t matter how I come by it, so long as there’s that bitter dark sweetness – toffee apple, parkin, stir-up Sunday; the air is constantly full of that scent, sticky with the feel of winter: dead leaves, fireworks and fires. My earliest memory is of sticking my baby-teeth together with treacle toffee, wielding the little hammer that was meant to break the slab apart. I hit more than the toffee, and ever since, treacle has been the flavour of guilt.

Story 7

For the past three years, Anna had tried to imagine that November wasn’t going to happen. The kitchen wall calendar remained stuck on October until the 1st of December, when she would turn two pages at once. Guy Fawkes and St Andrews Day were passed over, and she pretended that the birthdays and anniversaries that she would have previously penned in didn’t exist. But every time she dated a document, or picked up a newspaper, or checked an email she couldn’t avoid the countdown to the only important date in November – the anniversary to her husband’s death on 30 November.

Story 8

That Friday was our first taste, although not the expected exotic Spaghetti Bolognese.  We’d giggled, anticipating our big sister’s bubbling pot, the whole sixty mile bumpy bus journey, but were met by Bobby unsmiling at the bus stop, “Quick, into the van.”

Margaret tensely smiled as we whirled to Foresterhill.  Bobby paced outside, “Your dinner? Here.” We raced into the dark but, no chipper, only an offlicence offering us the new flavour, roast chicken crisps, with liquorice Toffos for dessert. Sated, we returned to Bobby’s mixed delight and denial at “It’s ANOTHER girl”, much too young to be our dad.

Story 9

My father was a cross in a field, with a red flower in the centre, like his heart was pinned there.  It was cold and damp so I wrapped him in my jumper; but my mother told me off and I put it on again.  We left my father standing there, one cross among hundreds; a tree in a forest of stumps.

My father had fallen, they said: I wondered how far he’d fallen and how he had turned into this tiny wooden fork with a heart pinned to it.

My father was a cross in a field.