Inspired by Lady Hale – a Spider anthology for our eighth anniversary

Inspired by Lady Hale I’ve been buying spider brooches (and that T-shirt that’s also supporting Shelter), like a mad thing, and then I thought…

Next August (8th Month) is Arachne Press’s 8th anniversary. What about an eight-legged arachnid inspired anthology?

Get writing, I’ll put a proper call out later in the week but maybe 2000 words-ish, deadline January-ish.

I’m going to make it difficult for you – NO Horror, NO spiders to be killed.

Think Charlotte’s Web for adults, not Arachnophobia. Some sort of homeless connection too? More when I’ve had time to consider properly.

I’ve resisted the temptation to use a close-up photo of a spider here. Imagine one.

 

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.

We are crowdfunding for Solstice Shorts Noon

I hate asking people for money, but at least Crowd funding can be fun, and the generosity of our authors in coming up with novel rewards is a constant pleasure.

We hope to announce our final line up of stories and poems tomorrow, but in the mean time…

This is a fast crowd fund, less than a fortnight to go already, so please, if you are thinking of supporting this year’s Solstice Shorts, Noon, don’t dawdle! We didn’t try to get arts council funding this year (to be honest still recovering from last year’s epic fundraising) so the festival is modest, locally funded as far as possible, and short – Noon, after all, despite how long it takes a clock to strike 12, is only a second long, blink and you missed it. So please don’t blink!

Because we are on 6 sites (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Carlisle, Ynys Mon, London and Cork) there will still be a book, which will be published on 21st March – for the spring equinox, and this is one of the rewards:

If you would like to preorder a copy of this book, or buy one of the previous solstice shorts books

head over to the crowd fund on kickstarter.

Solstice Shorts Festival SHORTLIST for NOON

Here is the shortlist for Solstice Shorts Festival:

Poems

A Change in the Weather, Colin Dardis
After Hours, Stuart McKenzie
An Autumn Noon, Ian Grosz
Angelus At Noon, Patricia McCaw
Arthur Streeton Advises his Students, Mandy Macdonald
By the Obelisk Sundial Drummond Castle, Jane Aldous
Farewell My Father, Anne Bevan
Fire at Midday, Susan Cartwright-Smith
High Summer at Fionnphort Bay, Seth Crook
I am not Beautiful at Noon, Elinor Brooks
Mad Dogs and English Men, Laila Sumpton
Moon Jellyfish, Vanessa OwenNoon Son, Alison Lock
Noon Talk, Graham Burchell
On the First Calculation of the Circumference of the Earth, Alison Gerhard
Pocket Watch, Catriona Yule
Precarious, Michelle Penn
Ravens At Noon, Paul Waring
Still No Name, Marika Josef
Sun Beats over New Orleans, Natalie Gasper
The Mind is Made to Drink the Sun, Edward Venning
The Sun Suspended, Derek Crook
Twelve o’Clock From The House, Nicholas McGaughey
Unleashed, Paul Foy
Winter Ritual, Sara Elgerot
Winter Solstice, Gareth Culshaw

Stories

#Noon, Su Yin Yap
A Vampire At Noon, Patience Mackarness
Always Noon, James Woolf
And The Phone Went Tick Tock, Ian Richardson
Dinnertime Dance, Cindy George
High Noon, Marka Rifat
Mother And Child, Barbara Renel
Mother Hand, Karen Ankers
Jackdaw, Elaine Hughes
Noon Child Unknown, Diana Powell
On Kings And Falling, Roppotucha Greenberg
Toast Crumbs, Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier
Under The L, Liam Hogan
Up On The Roof, Lily Peters
Veranda, Clare Shaw

Our regional organisers are now picking their set lists which will create our finalists. There is always the possibility, with some venues having performers to read on behalf of the writer, that some work could be performed at more than event on 21st December. We hope to be able to announce the final list of stories and poems soon, but definitely within the next fortnight.

Solstice Shorts 2018 submissions open

This year’s Solstice Shorts Festival (21st December 2018) will again be a multi-site affair, and again will last only 45 minutes. But this time will happen at exactly the same time – Noon.

At the moment we are looking at events in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Carlisle, Ynys Mon (Anglesey), and London.

We are looking for SHORT stories no more than 1000 words, shorter is better, (think flash not vignette – something needs to happen!) and poems, also short – up to 40 lines, in English, Welsh or Scots/Gaelic (with a translation please!) On the Theme of Noon – deadlines, midday meals, heat and light – whatever it means to you (We are strict though- afternoon is not noon!) These works are for performance. Other sites may be added.

We are starting this process with no funding, but hope we may have some in time to allow us to pay actors to perform, but if not, we’ll need you to be able to get to one of these sites to read.

Celebrate the shortest day of the year by sending us a story or poem on the theme of NOON.

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 7TH OCTOBER!

A pamphlet (or a very slender book!) of the stories and poems chosen for performance will be produced. Royalties will be paid, together with at least one copy of the book to each successful writer.

Writers who are successful in being included in a performance/ anthology are subsequently invited to submit a collection/novel for consideration.

submission via Submittable only (this is so we don’t lose your submission, and so multiple people can review your work as simply as possible.)

Mental Health Awareness Week

In case you wondered, our writers and other collaborators are always welcome to talk about their mental health or lack of it with us at Arachne. Mental Health is an important issue too readily ignored. (An organisation I once worked for were doing risk assessments, and put ‘stress’ on the list because
people might make mistakes if they are stressed.
The head of HR and I both rose up and said very loudly, more or less in chorus,
no, stress is a risk in itself.
We didn’t win that one, I like to think that these days we would.

This week we are publishing Erratics a collection of poems by Cathy Bryant, who has several disabilities including ones that affect her mental health.

Here’s a suitable poem for this week that addresses an old chestnut:

Seeing the Glass as Half-full or Half-empty
Cathy Bryant

There are many other possibilities.
The busy homeworker sees more washing up to do.
The cat sees something to knock over.
The lovers see something to share.
The conspiracy theorist sees that the water was drugged,
and the glass had a gun and was on the grassy knoll.
The racist believes that the glass will be stolen by immigrants.
The tv presenter sees (whether it’s there or not) his reflection.
We depressives see something
that we’ll no doubt drop, spill and break.
The musician flicks the note E. Ping!
The child sees a drink, or water for paintbrushes.
The surrealist sees that the glass is made of political bananas.

copyright Cathy Bryant/ Arachne Press 2018

An Outbreak of Peace contributors announced

Subject to confirmation from the writers, issuing of contracts and so on, we have the line-up for An Outbreak of Peace, our anthology responding to the centenary of the ending of WWI, which will be published in November.

They are:

Ellery Akers
Karen Ankers
Annelise Balsamo
Valerie Bence
Anne Bevan
Elinor Brooks
Katy Darby
Peter DeVille
Sarah Deckro
CB Droege
Ken Farrell
Corie Feiner
Norman Franke
David Guy
Chantal Heaven
Anwar jaber
Steven Jackson
Peter Kenny
Peter Shaver
Julie Laing
Katy Lee
Gerald McCarthy
Nicholas McGaughey
Nina Murray
Ness Owen
Clare Owen
Lily Peters
Nick Rawlinson
Rebecca Skipwith
Lucy Smith
Sarah Tait
James Toupin
Rob Walton
Nick Westerman
Martin Willitts, Jr
Mantz Yorke

We have an eclectic mix of poems and short stories some of which deal with WWI, some with the ending of other wars, and some not about war at all, as such, which is as it should be.

ANNOUNCEMENT: all material for DUSK, Solstice Shorts Festival 2017

A complete list of the final choices for performance at DUSK, a wave of words across the UK, at 12 sites, at DUSK on 21st December 2017

Some pieces are being performed at more than one site.

Stories

 

 

 

 

 

David Hartley, Daylight Savings, Lancaster, Redruth
David Mathews, Flick’ring Shadows, Nottingham
Rob Schofield, Four Beaches, Lancaster
Samuel Wright, Here, Carlisle, Rossendale
Rosalind Stopps, One Two Three, One Two Three, Lancaster, Rossendale
Penny Pepper, Wolf’s Head, Nottingham
Rob Walton, Words On Paper, Carlisle
Helen Slavin, At Sky’s Edge, Bristol
Lucy Grace, Breadcrumbs, Inverness, Nottingham, Rossendale
Jackie Taylor, Cape Cornwall, Warkleigh
Sherry Morris, Granda’s Plan, Birmingham, Bristol, Inverness
Pippa Gladhill, In-Between Dog, Inverness, Warkleigh
Alex Reece Abbott, MacFarquhar’s Bed, Ellon, Inverness
Fiona Salter, On The Evening Train, Birmingham
Patrick Gale, Sleep Tight, Ellon, Redruth
Cath Bore, The Dusk Runner, Warkleigh, Ynys Mon
Kirsty Fox, They Said There Were Pirates, Greenwich, Nottingham, Rossendale
Katerina Watson, Threshold, Ynys Mon, Warkleigh
Math Jones, Yes, Twilight, Greenwich

Poems

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mandy Macdonald, Gloaming, Ellon
Jill Sharp, The Dogs Of Delhi, Ynys Mon
Katie Evans, 16:30, Carlisle
Joy Howard, Factory, Carlisle, Ellon, Lancaster
Jane Aldous, After The Sun, Before The Stars, Ellon, Inverness
Eileen Carney Hulme, Blue Hour, Ellon, Inverness
Alice Tarbuck, Decoration Of A Fermented Season, Ellon, Inverness
Gabrielle Choo, Sundown Breath, Warkleigh
K Wise, Tempus Erat, Greenwich
Alannah Egan, I Am Dusk, Redruth
Alison Lock, Crow Haibun, Carlisle, Ellon, Rossendale
Aziz Dixon, A Calligraphy Of Starlings, Carlisle, Rossendale
Ness Owen, Female Blackbird Sings, Ynys Mon
Jeremy Dixon, Driving To Blackpool To Visit My Sister, Ynys Mon
L. Reid, Summer Evening, Carlisle
Sue Birchenough, Roost, Nottingham
Nigel Hutchinson, Sometimes A Black Cloud, Birmingham, Warkleigh
Sue Johnson, The Shortest Day, Birmingham, Ellon
Paul Deaton, Brunel’s Bridge, Bristol
John Bevan, Afterglow, Lancaster
John Richardson, All This, Greenwich
Kelly Davis, Calling Them In, Carlisle, Nottingham, Warkleigh
Roselle Angwin, The Standstill, Redruth
Katy Lee, Red Coat, Wolf, Etc, Nottingham, Warkleigh
Laila Sumpton, Starling Time, Greenwich
Michelle Penn, End of Ramadan, Ellon
Bridie Toft, Arrival, Redruth
Nicholas McGaughey, Magic Hour, Ynys Mon
Stevie Krayer, Sleeping Out, Nottingham, Ynys Mon
Lisa Kelly, Match Girl, Greenwich
Martyn Crucefix, Summers Ended In Sweetness, Greenwich
Lizzie Parker, Dhusarah, Bristol
Carl Griffin, Sea Wedding, Ynys Mon

Music*

 

 

 

 

 

 

ICHI, Magic Hour, Bristol
Anna Kissell, Oh, The Dark!, Bristol
John Chambers, Balcony, Carlisle
Nicola Reed, Witching Hour, Carlisle
Intuitive Music Aberdeen Intuitive music based on the Winter Solstice mode from Haworth Hodgkinson’s Dundee Ambient, Ellon
Caroline Watsham, Sundown, Greenwich
3 Bucket Jones, Light Another Candle, Greenwich
Ed Bentley, Dusk In The Gers, Inverness
James Bryce, Dusk Song, Inverness
The Story Republicans, The Farewell Shanty, collected by Merv Vincent & Dusk is Dark, poem by Andrew Lanyon, set to music by Katie Kirk, Redruth
Sarah Grundy, Night & Day (3 Songs), Rossendale
Sharon Lazibyrd, Time Has Its Own Song & After Dark There’s Sun Warkleigh
Tom Norden, Crepscule, Warkleigh
Fiona & Gorwel Owen, Y Gwydd, Releasing Birds, Ynys Mon

* We haven’t quite finalised the music for Birmingham, and Nottingham and Lancaster decided not to have music as they were so excited by all those words.

We will be profiling all the writers over the coming days, just as soon as we’ve got up-to-date biographies and photos from everyone… Watch this space.

Announcement: SHORTLISTED POEMS for DUSK

In alphabetical order by poet’s first name…

Alannah Egan, I Am Dusk
Alice Tarbuck, Decoration of a Fermented Season
Alison Lock, Crow Haibun
Aziz Dixon, A Calligraphy Of Starlings
Bridie Toft, Arrival
Carl Griffin, Sea Wedding
Eileen Carney Hulme, Blue Hour
Elinor Brooks, Spelling the Dusk
Gabrielle Choo, Sundown Breath
Jane Aldous, After the Sun, Before the Stars
Jeremy Dixon, Driving To Blackpool to Visit My Sister
Jill Sharp, The Dogs Of Delhi
John Bevan, Afterglow
Joy Howard, Factory
K Wise, Tempus Erat
Katie Evans, 16:30
Katy Lee,  Red Coat, Wolf, etc
Kelly Davis, Calling Them In
L Reid, Summer Evening
Laila Sumpton, Starling Time
Lisa Kelly, Match Girl
Lizzie Parker, Dhusarah
Mandy Macdonald, The Gloaming
Martyn Crucefix, Summers Ended In Sweetness
Michelle Penn, End Of Ramadan
Ness Owen, Female Blackbird Sings
Nicholas McGaughey, Magic Hour
Nigel Hutchinson, Sometimes a Black Cloud
Paul Deaton, Brunel’s Bridge
Roselle Angwin, The Standstill
Rosemary Appleton, Going Out
Stevie Krayer, Sleeping out
Sue Birchenough, Roost
Sue Johnson, The Shortest Day

What does short listing mean?
Every regional organiser has read everything, and chosen a long list that they would have performed at their site, if there were enough time.
Sadly that isn’t going to be possible, we’d need twice as long, so they will be picking their final performance list (where they haven’t already) based on timing and not having poems that are too similar in tone; there were quite a few thematic things going on, particularly with birds.

We are aiming to announce the final line up on 1st December.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Longlisted Poems for DUSK

Finally, after much discussion and re-reading we have a long list of poems.

(Thank you, Ness Owen, Phil Baarda and Yvonne Battle-Felton for the hours of work.)

Alphabetically by poem title:

16:30, Katie Evans
A Calligraphy of Starlings, Aziz Dixon
A Fatality at Wandsworth, Jill Sharp
After the Sun, Before the Stars, Jane Aldous
Afterglow, John Bevan
All This, John Richardson
Arrival, Bridie Toft
Between, Lindsay Reid
Blue Hour, Eileen Carney Hulme
Brunel’s Bridge, Paul Deaton
Calling Them In, Kelly Davis
Corn Dolly, Steven Jackson
Crow Haibun, Alison Lock
Decoration of a Fermented Season, Alice Tarbuck
Dhusarah, Lizzie Parker
Driving to Blackpool to Visit my Sister, Jeremy Dixon
Dusk in Drury Lane, Sarah James
End Of Ramadan, Michelle Penn
Factory, Joy Howard
Fall, Julian Bishop
Female Blackbird Sings, Vanessa Owen
Going Out, Rosemary Appleton
I Am Dusk, Alannah Egan
In-Between Light, Christine Webb
l’Heure Bleue, Angela Kirby
Lingering Light, Bethan Rees
Magic Hour, Nicholas McGaughey
Match Girl, Lisa Kelly
Red Coat, Wolf, etc., Katy Lee
Roost, Sue Birchenough
Sleeping Out, Stevie Krayer
Sometimes a Black Cloud, Nigel Hutchinson
Sleeping Out Stevie Krayer
Spelling the Dusk, Elinor Brooks
Starling Time, Laila Sumpton
Summer Evening L Reid
Summers Ended In Sweetness, Martyn Crucefix
Sundown Breath, Gabrielle Choo
Tempus Erat, K Wise
The Dogs of Delhi, Jill Sharp
The Gloaming, Mandy Macdonald
The Sea’s Wedding, Carl Griffin
The Shortest Day, Sue Johnson
The Standstill, Roselle Angwin
Walking Home on the Shortest Day of the Year, Janice Dempsey

We will short-list as fast as we can!