Solstice Shorts Festival SHORTLIST for NOON

Here is the shortlist for Solstice Shorts Festival:


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


#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.

final Liberty Tales tour date Greenstead – Video

The last of the Liberty Tales events: Greenstead Library

Stories and poems inspired by Magna Carta
Cliff Chapman reading David Guy‘s The King and the Light, and three poems by Jeremy Dixon, Carrie Cohen (aka Carolyn Eden) reading her own Free White Towel  and Sarah EvansBothered, Jim Cogan reading his own story, Lag and Helen Morris reading her story, The Poppies.

SOLD OUT: Solstice Shorts Poetry at 6pm 21-12-2016

We have ‘sold’ out of tickets for the Poetry part of the Solstice Shorts Festival tomorrow. There are a handful of tickets left for the Stories at 7.30 at West Greenwich Library

and 8 tickets left for the Write Through the Night event 10-midnight at Made in Greenwich Gallery.

The Story Sessions Freedom Tales

Story Sessions logo copyThe first of the new season of The Story Sessions is getting close now, as is the launch and tour of Liberty Tales, and we are going to have to practice ‘power napping’ in the afternoon to cope with all the late nights.

So what can you expect from The Story Sessions, and Freedom Tales in particular?

Stories! the food and drink of the evening, although there is of course food and drink too – we are in a Deli.

Before the interval: a song from resident actor/singer Annalie Wilson, followed by a story from David Steward and a poem from Andrew McCallum Liberty  read by Annalie, and a short TestBed story from Cherry Potts, Morality for Simple Girls (mainly so that people get an idea of what that’s for.)

INTERVAL – replenish your glasses/plates, write us 100 words on freedom, give written feedback on the TestBed session.

After the interval: another song from Annalie, then FLASH FROM THE FLOOR, your chance to wow us with 100 words on theme.

Followed by a story from Jim Cogan, Lag, a poem from Brian Johnstone  The Branded Hand read by Annalie, and finally a story from Liam Hogan,Stalemate

Freedom is never out of fashion. Wednesday 16th November 2016 7pm Brockley Deli 14a Brockley Cross SE4 1BE.

Closest station Brockley (Southern, Overground), and on bus routes: 171, 172, 484.


Shortest Day writers chosen

When better than the autumn equinox to announce the writers we are working with for the third Solstice Shorts Festival, Shortest Day. As we asked for SHORT work, there are quite a lot of them!

Some we have worked with before, for others it’s the first time. Work by all these people will be performed by actors at the Solstice Shorts Festival on 21st December 2016 in Greenwich, and will join the work from last year’s Longest Night event in the anthology Shortest Day, Longest Night


(early evening at Made in Greenwich Gallery):

A.J. Akoto
Alison Craig
Frank Rubino
Jill Sharp
Joan Leotta
Karen Bovenmyer
Karina Lutz
Laura Page
Lisa Kelly
Mario Duarte
Marlee Cox
Megan E. Freeman
Moira Quinn
Pat Tompkins
Peter Branson
Scott-Patrick Mitchell
Steph Thompson
Tim Cremin
Vanessa Owen

and prose writers (A bit later, at West Greenwich Library):

C.B. Droege
David Mathews
David Steward
Jamie Wahls
Katy Darby
Lee Nash
Liam Hogan
Pippa Gladhill
Polly Hall
Roger Hecht
Rosalind Stopps
Sarah Evans
Sarah James
Tom McKay

This year the process was to collect music and stories in advance and then ask people to respond to them, so several of these pieces are responding to music from Zav Gvi, which will be played at the Festival, and Juliet Desailly has written a song based on Joan Leotta‘s poem. Rumour has it that Vocal Chords MD Melanie Harrold is working on something in response to a poem too.

Honorable mentions – long-listed writers who didn’t quite make it onto the ‘yes’ list:

Dennis Mombauer, Ruth Bennett, Oscar Windsor-Smith, Adrienne Silcock, Andrew Lucas, Wendy Gill, Carolyn Eden, Kim Russell, Timothy Hudenburg.

Underground fiction

I was chatting with Robert Hulse the Director of the excellent Brunel Museum the other day about Stations, and mentioned Barbara Vine’s King Solomon’s Carpet which got me on to thinking about how the London Underground turns up all sorts of places.  Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere being an obvious example. So I did an idle search (the way you do, and found this: Wikipedia list of fiction on the underground. 

I don’t suppose this list is in any way complete, and for a start, I remember a story set on the Piccadilly line I read on-line last year which involved spectacles left at Cockfosters and lost luggage offices which was very entertaining which isn’t on here (Can’t remember who it was by, can anyone help?). And I met Sarah Butler at a NAWE workshop a couple of weeks ago, and she produced The Central Line Stories with London Underground a couple of years ago – so, with next year the 150th Anniversary of the Underground, maybe its time to read some London Transport fiction?  You could start with Stations, which will be gracing the bookshops and not a few railway carriages, I shouldn’t wonder in only a months time!