Dusk Author: Alex Reece Abbott

Alex Reece Abbott  www.alexreeceabbott.info / @AlexReeceAbbott

ALEX REECE ABBOTT   An Irish Novel Fair winner, and finalist in the Bath Novella-in-Flash Award, Alex enjoys working across forms, genres and hemispheres. Widely published and anthologised around the world, her stories have won the Arvon, HG Wells, Crediton and Northern Crime prizes and featured in the Word Factory’s Citizen season. Among others, her work has shortlisted for the Bridport, Tillie Olsen, Lorian Hemingway, Mslexia, Raven and Sunday Business Post Penguin short story prizes.

Alex’s story for Dusk, MacFarquhar’s Bed is set on a double-arched, open-sided, grass-topped stone outcrop, near to the town of Cromarty on the Moray Firth, in northeast Scotland, and will be performed at Ellon and Inverness at Dusk on 21st December 2017 and published in the Dusk anthology  21st June 2018

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 STORIES for DUSK

In order of author’s first name:

Alex Reece Abbott, MacFarquhar’s Bed
Cath Bore, The Dusk Runner
David Guy, Half-Remembered, Hazy
David Hartley, Daylight Savings
David Mathews, Flick’ring Shadows
Fiona Salter, On The Evening Train
Helen Slavin, At Sky’s Edge
Jackie Taylor, Cape Cornwall
Katerina Watson, Threshold
Kirsty Fox, They Said There Were Pirates
Lucy Grace, Breadcrumbs
Math Jones, Yes, Twilight
Patrick Gayle, Sleep Tight
Penny Pepper, Wolf’s Head
Pippa Gladhill, In-Between Dog
Richard Smyth, Birds
Rob Schofield, Four Beaches
Rob Walton, Words On Paper
Rosalind Stopps, One Two Three, One Two Three
Samuel Wright, Here
Sherry Morris, Granda’s Plan
Stephen Oram, Kept Apart

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 stories that are too similar in tone; there were quite a few thematic things going on, particularly with wolves, and despite all the warnings not to, death.

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

Pre-order DUSK, the book

PRE-ORDER: We had hoped to get this book out to sell at the festival in a unique pre-publication offer to festival attendees but the long/short listing of the contents has been slow and difficult, and as a result, the printers can’t get it done in time.
We were relying on those sales to match fund the arts council. So we are asking for a little trust from people: the book will happen and should be available for the special pre-publication folk by February (Printers shut down over Christmas!) So please pre-order. This is our 19th book, we know what we are doing!
We don’t know exactly what will be in it yet, as final decisions are still being made, but you can expect quite a dark, creepy collection of stories and poems with bleak landscapes and dark deeds, but there is also light relief! We have a lot of starlings, crows and other birds, wolves and some supernatural goings-on – I can be reasonably sure there’ll be at least one of each of those.

Announcement: Long List STORIES for DUSK

It is Short Story Week, when better to announce our long list of Stories?

(If you submitted a poem or song, please be patient, we have a few more to make decisions on.)

A Victory Lap at Dusk, by Sam Meekings

At Sky’s Edge, by Helen Slavin

Birds, by Richard Smyth

And Though Worms Destroy, by Sarah Byrne

Breadcrumbs, by Lucy Grace

Cape Cornwall, by Jackie Taylor

Daylight Savings, by David Hartley

Flick’ring Shadows, by David Mathews

Four Beaches, by Rob Schofield

Granda’s Plan, by Sherry Morris

Half-Remembered, Hazy, by David Guy

Here, by Samuel Wright

In-between Dog, by Pippa Gladhill

Kept Apart, by Stephen Oram

MacFarquhar’s Bed, by Alex Reece Abbott

Mermaid’s Curse, by Helen Chambers

On The Evening Train, by Fiona Salter

One Two Three, One Two Three, by Rosalind Stopps

Sleep Tight, by Patrick Gale

Stone Keepers, by Carolyn Robertson

Sun’s Sanctuary, by Rae Stoltenkamp

The Dusk Runner, by Cath Bore

They Said There Were Pirates, by Kirsty Fox

Threshold, by Katerina Watson

Tiger’s Breath, by Anita Goveas

Wolf’s Head, by Penny Pepper

Words on Paper, by Rob Walton

Yes, Twilight, by Math Jones

Decisions will now be made as to which of the festival sites these stories suit, and the organisers at each site get final say in what is performed. Timing is critical to this, so those final decisions may be complex!

#Arachne5 at Archway With Words video

It has been a busy time, another set of videos I’ve only just had time to edit and post:

We took part in the Archway With Words Festival back in September, reading from a variety of books at Archway Library. (5 books, 5 authors, for our 5th anniversary…)

Carolyn Eden, Free White Towel, Liberty Tales

Cherry Potts, Mirror, Lovers’ Lies

Wendy Gill, A Little Favour, Shortest Day, Longest Night

Katy Darby, The Horror, the Horror, Stations

Liam Hogan, Crossroads, Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed.

Shoreham WordFest: Liberty & Protest videos

We had a lot of fun at Sussex Yacht Club in Shoreham for Shoreham WordFest on Thursday, lovely crowd, great acoustic and though we say it ourselves, some marvellous poems, stories and songs.

Poems by Bernie Howley, Elinor BrooksBrian Johnstone, Jeremy Dixon, Kate Foley and Andrew McCallum; read Carrie Cohen, Elinor Brooks and Greg Page

Stories by Carolyn Eden, Cherry Potts and Liam Hogan read by themselves.

Songs by Sydney Carter, Ali Burns, Albert Nyathi, George Loveless/ Joe Stead and  James Oppenheim; arranged by Melanie Harrold messed around with and sung by a small subset of Vocal Chords Choir, (Cherry Potts, Alix Adams, Bea Jackson, Caroline Dunton, Denise Mueller-Brown and Maria Kirby)

The Privilege of Departure, or Dover Bound, But Delayed by Bernie Howley, read by Carrie Cohen.

 

 

 

Singing We Raise the Watchword Liberty in full with the audience

The second half – stories, and a certain amount of difficulty with the camera cutting out.

Carolyn Eden:

Cherry Potts:

Liam Hogan:

Here’s some feedback from the audience on what they liked (you can hear them joining in on some of the songs)

Well constructed programme, the segues from music into poetry and back again, the variety of interpretations given to the theme of liberty. Bread and Roses, Free White Towel and the promise of a free badge!

Here is an interesting evening, full of fun, wisdom and wit. Hear some moving poems/ stories from those from the past and present combined with our essential liberties.

I love being read to. A very mixed programme which really stimulated my mind and imagination.

relaxed

variety – the spice of life

I enjoyed the flow of the first half

Loved the storytelling

Singing – chance to join in

Celebrating freedom – and keeping socialist history alive – good songs poems and stories too!

Witty and original writing. Very lively material, good singing.

call out for stories and poems for Peace anthology

Call out for stories and poems for an anthology celebrating the centenary of the end of WWI. Publication planned for Nov 2018.

Provisional Title An Outbreak of Peace.

Two free copies of the anthology, and royalties @ 8% divided between all the contributors. e-book royalties @25% of net divided between all contributors.

Open to everyone – unpublished and in English please.
Stories: around 2000 words but anything between 1000 and 2500 accepted.
Poems up to 1000 words.

How you respond to this theme is up to you, and it doesn’t need to be specific to WWI, but we find nothing to celebrate in war, and want a good balance for the book between appropriate commemoration of the dead, relief that it’s over and hope for the future.

Submit via Submittable only, please

Closing date 31st March 2018

submit

#Arachne5 Free Books available to Libraries

Free Books available to Libraries (our first 5 titles available free to bona fide libraries – you just pay for delivery get in touch)

London Lies ISBN: 978-1-909208-00-1 In collaboration with Liars’ League, featuring unlikely tales set in London.

Stations: Short Stories Inspired by the Overground Line  ISBN: 978-1-909208-01-8 A story for every station from New Cross, Crystal Palace, and West Croydon at the Southern extremes of the East London line all the way to Highbury & Islington.

Lovers’ Lies ISBN: 978-1-909208-02-5 A second collaboration with Liars’ League, bringing the freshness, wit, imagination and passion of their authors to stories of love.

Weird Lies  ISBN: 978-1-909208-10-0 WINNER of the Saboteur2014 Best Anthology Award. A third Liars’ League collaboration – more than twenty stories varying in style from tales not out of place in One Thousand and One Nights to the completely bemusing.

Mosaic of Air Cherry Potts ISBN: 978-1-909208-03-2 FANTASY/SCI-FI/ CONTEMPORARY
Sixteen short stories from a lesbian perspective.

We’ve always received a great deal of support from libraries, (Lewisham, Kensington & Chelsea and Greenwich in particular) helping us with venues for readings and more high profile events, like the Solstice Shorts Festival which has been hosted by Better Libraries in Greenwich for three years now, and our Anniversary party being held at Manor House Library in Lewisham (managed by V22), and want to return the compliment. Our only stipulations are that the library pays for the delivery, and that books go into stock, and aren’t sold to raise funds. That way we both benefit, as our authors will receive Public Lending Rights fees.

Our first take-up for this offer has come from Merton Libraries and the books are packed and ready to go!

get in touch

 

 

#Arachne5 Stations

As part of the run up to our celebration of our fifth anniversary we are highlighting our first five books, all available for £5 each from our shop

Also available to bona fide libraries and book charities free please contact us to enquire.

Number Two: Stations short stories inspired by the Overground Line

Stations Cover. Image copyright Gail Brodholt

Stations really was inspired by the Overground. At a meeting of the writing group I belong to, WooA, held in the tiny Broca cafe opposite Brockley Station, a conversation about how brilliant the Overground was, despite MANY personal sleepless nights while the work was carried out, turned into a – let’s write about the Overground, let’s take a station each, which turned into wouldn’t this make a great book, and where can we get the rest of the stories? An open call and many, many stories later, Stations was born.

From tigers in a South London suburb to retired Victorian police inspectors investigating train based thefts, from collectors of poets at Shadwell to life-changing decisions in Canonbury, by way of an art installation that defies the boundaries of a gallery,
Stations takes a sideways look through the windows of the Overground train, at life as it is, or might be, lived beside the rails: quirky, humorous and sometimes horrifying.

Twenty-four new short stories in homage to the East and South London section of the Overground Line: a story for every station from New Cross, Crystal Palace and West Croydon at the Southern extremes of the line, all the way to Highbury & Islington.

Ideal for the commuting reader, Stations makes an excellent souvenir of a visit to London and a perfect gift for lovers of London everywhere.

Londoneer Review  ‘Stations’ is certainly an eclectic group of stories, but I enjoyed every one – well-written and engaging stuff. I imagine that it would be ideal for dipping in and out of while you’re passing the time between Kensal Rise and Clapham Junction…

Londonist review There’s a surprising amount of emotional depth … much of it bittersweet and yearning, particularly the further down the line we go. Sadness shot through with flashes of beauty: perhaps that’s a perfect metaphor for south east London … We’ll never look at Penge West the same way again.

Sabotage Review

…Caroline Hardman’s ‘Bloody Marys and a bowl of Pho’ (Hoxton) is a modern-day, urban take on the vampire narratives so current at the moment. It is well-written and funny. ‘Platform Zero’ (Haggerston) by Michael Trimmer also offers a quirky version of another, familiar theme – that of the parallel universe. ‘The Beetle’ by Ellie Stewart (Wapping) is also well-paced and moving in its portrayal of a broken relationship. Peter Morgan’s ‘Mr Forest Hill Station’ (Forest Hill) also stands out due to its tender depiction of the bond between strangers, meeting occasionally in the big city.

We had such fun planning this one, complete with a photo shoot on the Overground featuring several of the authors and family members

 

 

 

Peter Morgan & Caroline Hardman talk about their stories for Stations

We launched Stations at the Brunel Museum, right beside the tunnel under the Thames used by the Overground, which features in Cherry Potts’ Rotherhithe story, A Place of Departures

Ellie Stewart’s beetle goes for a walk in Wapping. The Beetle (audio)

Our first musical collaboration with Summer all Year Long, a train version of Sweet Thames…

We had technical difficulties at the launch so there isn’t much video for there

Mass Signing at London Transport Museum.

We had an aim  to read at a venue within a mile of at least a third of the stations, we actually (eventually) managed almost all of them, and some much further afield – here are a few snap shots.

Deptford lounge: Adrian, Katy

Norwood: Rosalind, Michael, Cherry, Jackie and Andrew

Shoreditch: Wendy, Katy, Bartle, Caroline Rob

Ilkley fringe: Louise and Peter C
There are many more. shove Stations video into the search at the top of the page to find them!

COME TO THE PARTY! 8th September. We will be reading from Stations