Trip to Turkey with The British Council

I’ve been invited to Turkey in February to represent the UK in the field of short stories. Last year I was lucky enough to travel to Mexico thanks to the British Council. I read at events, went on TV and radio and met Mexican authors like Monica Lavin (we did an interview for The Irish Times).

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Monica Lavin


I also wrote an article for The British Council’s Voices blog “Is it better to be a short story writer or a novelist?”.

I’m a big lover of the short story and set up a blog a few years ago sharing articles, interviews and submission opportunities. I joined the wonderful Word Factory which has become the UK’s leading short story salon and am now the Associate Director. I went on to be the co-founder of the London Short Story Festival with Spread the Word in 2014.

Me, Deb Levy, SJ Naude, Marina Warner, Cathy Galvin

Me, Deborah Levy, SJ Naude, Marina Warner and Cathy Galvin at London Short Story Festival


I love meeting other writers and working with authors from different countries. I’ve always wanted to go the Istanbul too – I hope I get to visit there on my trip. A great piece of news to start the year. Hope yours is starting well too!

My Q&A with bestselling Mexican author Monica Lavin in The Irish Times

I met Monica Lavin on a trip to Mexico recently with The British Council. A huge star over there she is also a beautiful person. It was a pleasure to do this Q&A with her.

Q&A with bestselling Mexican author Monica Lavin about turtle dung, short stories versus novels, memory and migration

(Here’s just a little snippet…. head over to The Irish Times to read more.)

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Why the love for short story writing?

Because I read wonderful stories as a teenager: Chekhov, Bradbury, Hemingway, Cortazar, Borges, Rulfo. Latin American writers’ books were fresh, the writers were alive. That gave another dimension to what I had read before. When I was a child I thought all writers were dead people. Maybe that is one of the reasons I could not picture myself as one, even though I had been writing stories since I was 13 years old. I did not how to become a writer.

Does your writing have anything to do with your scientific background?

I think science and writing have to do with the desire to know. Science deals with objective truth, literature with relative truth. El Quijote taught us that. The short story aesthetic has more to do with mathematical equations – they have to be balanced: nothing extra, nothing missing. I love the silence of the short story.

Why did you started writing novels?

I always felt there was a question behind each short story – what if…? Now I know it is more than that, and what I thought would be a short story commanded several questions. I was dealing with multidimensional characters, several situations. I was in the grounds of the novel, and I plunged in. Now I write both. Short story writing is a way of thinking, so I always write them. I love the risk of both.

Don’t forget to check out the rest…. here.