We had a cracking night at Oldfield Park Bookshop in Bath, reading stories by (mainly) local authors featured in Solstice Shorts.
Huge thanks to Abigail Moore and Nick Rawlinson for reading so magnificently, and authors Pippa Gladhill and David Mathews (Bath) Tannith Perry (Bristol) and William Davidson (York!) for writing such lovely stories. And thanks to Harry of Oldfield Park Bookshop for hosting, and to our audience for choosing to come to the reading when apparently there were dozens of other events on…
We have a great fondness for LGBT history month at Arachne Press, and we are also exceptionally fond of libraries. As a result the combination definitely works!
Our last outing for February was to Richmond lending library, one of the oldest public libraries in London (lovely building, glass roof, unfortunately on the flight path for Heathrow…)
Here are some readings from that evening, mainly from Cherry Potts, but with assistance from Alix Adams on the first one. The sound isn’t wonderful (those planes…) but it’s better than what we managed on the video camera.
In order of appearance:
Arachne’s Daughters from Mosaic of Air (Cherry Potts)
Death & Other Rituals from Solstice Shorts: Sixteen Stories about Time (Tannith Perry)
A Place of Departures from Stations (Cherry Potts)
The Other Side of Sleep from the anthology of the same name (Kate Foley)
Tasting Flight from Lovers’ Lies (Catherine Sharpe)
The theme of Solstice Shorts writing competition was TIME, but we got a lot of entries about DEATH, and you can see why, it is logical – the end of time, toceaseupon the midnight and all that – and the fact that the competition ended on Halloween may have influenced that too. Tannith Perry‘s Death and Other Rituals was one of the liveliest ‘death’ stories, read impeccably by the talented Ms Katy Darby.
Now, then appropriate songs for this story – all that stuff about tradition and rituals leads in a very straight line to two songs from Rosemary Lippard, and two songs that ooze traditional attitudes to death.
The Unquiet Grave (which has the added bonus of the time-themed Twelve Month and a Day trope and a tune by Maz O’Connor)
You get all three of our signers today, so herewith the disclaimer: We should have let them rehearse with the performers. I thnk they all did a splendid job anyway (and yes, I do sign enough to know how accurate they are, but being professionals they wanted to be beautiful and elegant as well as accurate.)
(Trumpets, drum roll, searchlights… you know, that sort of thing)
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.