Chairing Wendy Erskine & Bernie McGill at JHISS ’22

Celebrating the Short Story with Wendy Erskine & Bernie McGill

in conversation with …Paul McVeigh

Wednesday 27th July at 1.30pm Market Theatre, Armagh.

Wendy Erskine’s first collection, Sweet Home, (2018) was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize, and won the 2020 Butler Literary Award. In her new collection, Dance Move, we meet characters who are looking to wrest control of their lives, only to find themselves defined by moments in their past. In these stories – as in real life – the funny, the tender and the devastating go hand in hand.

“Truly magnificent. These stories buzz with life and verve and humour. A collection that reminds us how glorious the short story can be.” Danielle McLaughlin

Bernie McGill

Bernie McGill has written two novels, The Butterfly Cabinet and The Watch House, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Irish/European Union Prize for Literature, a collection of short stories, Sleepwalkers, and two plays, The Weather Watchers, and The Haunting of Helena Blunden. Her short fiction has been shortlisted for numerous awards and is anthologised widely. Her latest collection of short stories is This Train is For, published by
No Alibis, June 2022.

“[Bernie] McGill writes about life, love and telegraphy with a poet’s clarity.” The Sunday Times

For the full festival programme go here.

You can still listen to my short story ‘Dady Christmas’ on BBC Radio 4 here.

The Good Son 3rd Editon
You can buy here

Winner of The Polari First Novel Prize

‘A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.’ Donal Ryan

Raw, funny and endlessly entertaining’. Jonathan Coe

Teaching at Listowel

3 Day Workshop: Short Story with Paul McVeigh


Date and time

Thu, 2 June – Sat, 4 June 2022

09:00 – 12:30 IST

You can check out the website here and ticket link below.

‘Paul will share what first readers, editors and judges look for in a short story and discuss how to get your story published.

Paul will discuss how to get your story onto that shortlist and how to avoid the rejection pile. Paul will take you behind the scenes of anthologies, competitions and journals, explaining the psychology of the decision-making process and the importance of ‘That Killer First Page’. He will highlight the essential ingredients to create that crucial story opening. In a form and genre where every word counts, you will get tips on staying focused on your story and where to start the action; you will also get clues on when to stop. You will write an opening and get feedback on that. You will look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.

Paul McVeigh’s short stories have been read on BBC Radio 3, 4 & 5 and performed on Sky Arts TV. They have also appeared in many publications including Faber’s ‘Being Various: New Irish Short Stories’, ‘The Art of the Glimpse’, The Irish Times, The London Magazine and The Stinging Fly. ‘Hollow’ was shortlisted for Irish Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards in 2017 and he was longlisted in 2021.’

His debut novel ‘The Good Son’ won The Polari First Novel Prize and his work has been translated into seven languages. He reviews for The Irish Times and the TLS. 

Paul has edited the Southword Journal, the ‘Belfast Stories’ anthology from Doire Press (2019) and is the editor of ‘Queer Love’ and ‘The 32′, which includes new work from Roddy Doyle, Kevin Barry and Danielle McLaughlin.

He is associate director of Word Factory ‘the UK’s national organisation for excellence in the short story The Guardian and is co-founder and Director of the London Short Story Festival. Paul has judged many international literary competitions including The Dylan Thomas Prize, The Edge Hill Short Story Prize, The Sean O’Faolin Short Story Prize and currently the V. S. Pritchard Prize for the Royal Society of Literature. He is presently head of Literature for the Arts Council of NI.

This workshop has sold out in Adelaide, Armagh, Bath, Belfast, Brighton, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kuala Lumpur, Lancaster, Listowel, London, Melbourne, Salisbury, Singapore, Ubud and West Cork.’

You can listen to one of my stories on BBC Sounds for all of 2022 – ‘Daddy Christmas’

Chairing Lucy Caldwell & Jan Carson at Cork Short Story Festival

Lucy Caldwell & Jan Carson in conversation with Paul McVeigh

caldwell

Oct 16th 7pm   Book Ticket

Lucy Caldwell is the author of two short story collections, several stage plays and radio dramas, and four novels, including the forthcoming These Days (Faber, March 2022). She is also the editor of Being Various: New Irish Short Stories (Faber, 2019). A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a former Fellow of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University, Belfast, awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright, and a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Her most recent collection Intimacies was described by Kevin Barry as “A tremendous collection. Precise and beautifully controlled fictions but with strange, wild energies pulsing along just below their surface,” and by Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee as “Heart-stoppingly good.” She was named by the Sunday Times as “one of Ireland’s most essential writers.”

Buy Intimacies (Faber and Faber) and visit the writer’s website.

carson

Jan Carson is a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast. Her first novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears, was published in 2014 to critical acclaim, followed by a short-story collection, Children’s Children(2016), and two flash fiction anthologies, Postcard Stories (2017) and Postcard Stories 2 (2020). Her second novel, The Fire Starters (2019), won the EU Prize for Literature and was shortlisted for the Dalkey Novel of the Year Award. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and on BBC Radio 3 and 4. She has won the Harper’s Bazaar short-story competition and has been shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award and the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize. She specializes in running arts projects and events with older people, especially those living with dementia.

Buy The Last Resort (Doubleday Ireland) and visit the writer’s website.

mcveigh

Paul McVeigh‘s debut novel, The Good Son, won The Polari First Novel Prize and The McCrea Literary Award and was shortlisted for many others including the Prix du Roman Cezam in France. His short stories have been read on BBC Radio 3, 4 & 5 and on Sky Arts. They have appeared in print in journals such as The Stinging Fly, and numerous anthologies including Faber’s Being Various: New Irish Short Stories and The Art of the Glimpse. He is associate director of Word Factory, ‘the UK’s national organisation for excellence in the short story’ (The Guardian), and he co-founded the London Short Story Festival. He was co-editor of the Belfast Storiesanthology and was fiction editor at Southword Journal. He edited The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working Class Writers, which includes new work by Kevin Barry, Roddy Doyle and Lisa McInerney.

Buy The Good Son from Salt Publishing and visit the writer’s website.

DELIVERING KEYNOTE AT SHORT STORY SEPTEMBER FESTIVAL

Join us for a jam-packed programme of events and classes on writing and publishing short stories.

Taking place on Zoom and hosted by Dahlia Books’ founder Farhana Shaikh, our Short Story September Festival is the ultimate retreat for anyone looking to master writing short stories. All attendees will be sent recordings and a copy of the chat following the event. Recordings will be available to playback for up to 90 days.

FESTIVAL PROGRAMME (subject to change)

Saturday 25th September 

10.30 AM Registration & Warm-up workshop

In this warm-up workshop, we will begin to think about using our own life as a springboard for generating new ideas for fiction. Through a series of writing games and prompts we will begin to write fragments and set them free in our shared online writing journal.

11.00 – Morning Keynote with Paul McVeigh

Paul’s debut novel, The Good Son, won The Polari First Novel Prize and The McCrea Literary Award, and was shortlisted for many others including The Prix du Roman Cezam. Paul began his writing career as a playwright and comedy writer. His short stories have been in numerous anthologies, journals and newspapers, as well as, on BBC Radio 3,4 & 5, and Sky Arts. He co-founded the London Short Story Festival and is associate director of Word Factory, London; ‘the UK’s national organisation for excellence in the short story’ The Guardian. He co-edited the anthology Belfast Stories, and edited Queer Love & The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working Class Voices. He has judged numerous literary prizes, including The Edge Hill Short Story Prize, The Dylan Thomas Prize and, currently The V. S. Pritchett Short Story Prize for the Royal Society of Literature. He is writing has been translated into seven languages.

11.30 – 12 PM Breakout groups

12 PM –  Publishing your Short Story Collection with Reshma Ruia and Mona Dash 

How can short story writers develop their writing skills and how do they navigate the publication journey? In this session, Dahlia Books 2021 authors Reshma Ruia and Mona Dash share their experiences of writing their first collection, finding their voice, and getting published. This event will be pre-recorded. 

12.15 – 1.15 PM Lunch

1.30 – 2.45 PM A Brief Pause Showcase: Developing your practice

Earlier this year, twenty writers from across the UK were selected to take part in our short story development programme, A Brief Pause. In this showcase event, writers will share their work and discuss how the scheme has helped them to take the next step in their career.

3 – 5 PM Writing Workshop with Kathy Fish

Embracing Your Inner Wild: Creating Untamed Flash Fiction

Creative breakthroughs occur when we stretch our writerly muscles. This session is aimed at working outside your comfort zone to more vibrant, risk-taking writing. What happens when we unbind ourselves from the constraints of tame, domesticated realism and let our imaginations run wild? We will explore playfulness of language and structure as well as trying our hands at writing flash of a more surrealistic bent. Come ready to write and expect to surprise yourself!

Kathy Fish has published five collections of short fiction, most recently Wild Life: Collected Works from 2003-2018. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, Copper Nickel, Washington Square Review, and numerous other journals, textbooks, and anthologies. Fish’s “Collective Nouns for Humans in the Wild,” was selected for Best American Nonrequired Reading 2018 and the current edition of The Norton Reader. She is the recipient of a Ragdale Foundation Fellowship and a Copper Nickel Editors’ Prize. Her free monthly newsletter, The Art of Flash Fiction, includes a craft article and writing prompt. Subscribe at artofflashfiction.com

5 – 5.15 PM – virtual tea break with chai and brownies

5.30 – 6.30 PM – Leicester Writes Short Story Prize Ceremony

The Leicester Writes Short Story Prize was set up in 2017 to recognise and reward the best short story writing talent. Join us to celebrate this year’s fantastic long-listed writers and listen to the short stories that made it to our top 20 from more than 310 entries! Our prize anthology featuring all 20 short stories will be launched on the day. Readers on the night tba.

Bursaries are available for writers on a low income*

Please email Farhana at f.shaikh@dahliapublishing.co.uk to apply for a bursary place demonstrating your commitment to your creative practice and a brief statement on your current circumstances. Please email by 10th September at the latest.

*Household income threshold of less than £28,500.

TICKETS

Queer Love: Emma Donoghue, Declan Toohey & Shannon Yee in conversation with Paul McVeigh

Cork International Short Story Festival 2021

Thursday October 14th 9pm – Book Ticket

Queer Love: An Anthology of Irish Fiction is a new publication from Southword Editions which seeks to go some way to redress the lack of acknowledgement of the LGBTQI+ community in Irish literary anthologies, with a mixture of established writers of international standing, writers who have been making a splash in recent years and new emerging writers. The anthology has a mixture of previously published stories, newly commissioned work and those entered through our call out. Featuring stories by John Boyne, Emma Donoghue, Mary Dorcey, Neil Hegarty, James Hudson, Emer Lyons, Jamie O’Connell, Colm Tóibín, Declan Toohey, and Shannon Yee.

donoghue

Emma Donoghue, born in Dublin in 1969, is an award- winning novelist, playwright and screenwriter, living in Canada with her family. Her novel The Pull of the Stars became a bestseller in the US (New York Times), Canada, Ireland and Britain on publication in July 2020. Room was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes and has sold over two million copies. She adapted the novel into her first feature film, Room, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, which was nominated for four Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Actress (won by Brie Larson). Her short-story collections include Astray, Three and a Half Deaths (UK ebook), Touchy Subjects, The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, and Kissing the Witch.

toohey

Declan Toohey is from County Kildare. His writing has appeared in Soft Punk, The Dublin Review of Books, The Blue Nib, Stone of Madness Press, and the anthologies Queer Love and Brevity is the Soul, among other outlets. Earlier this year, he was a co-winner of the IWC Novel Fair, and his debut novel, Perpetual Comedown, is forthcoming with New Island Books.

yee

Shannon Yee is an award-winning writer and producer. Her perspectives as an immigrant, ethnic minority, queer artist-parent with a disability living in NI are deeply embedded in her work. Shannon has received a number of awards and grants, including the ACNI Major Individual Artist Award (2017). Her Reassembled, Slightly Askew sonically immerses audiences in her autobiographical experience of nearly dying and subsequent acquired brain injury (www.reassembled.co.uk) , touring locally, nationally and internationally in arts festivals and medical training settings since 2015. Shannon’s published short stories are ‘The Brightening Up Side’( Belfast Stories; Doire Press, 2019), and ‘Thumbnails’ (Queer Love: An Anthology of Irish Fiction; Southword Editions, 2020). Her first dance film, Pandemic Parenting: Pandemonium, will be aired this autumn on BBC as part of the Culture in Quarantine commissions.

mcveigh

Paul McVeigh‘s debut novel, The Good Son, won The Polari First Novel Prize and The McCrea Literary Award and was shortlisted for many others including the Prix du Roman Cezam in France. His short stories have been read on BBC Radio 3, 4 & 5 and on Sky Arts. They have appeared in print in journals such as The Stinging Fly, and numerous anthologies including Faber’s Being Various: New Irish Short Stories and The Art of the Glimpse. He is associate director of Word Factory, ‘the UK’s national organisation for excellence in the short story’ (The Guardian), and he co-founded the London Short Story Festival. He was co-editor of the Belfast Storiesanthology and was fiction editor at Southword Journal. He edited The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working Class Writers, which includes new work by Kevin Barry, Roddy Doyle and Lisa McInerney.

Image credits: Paul McVeigh photographed by John Minihan

Teaching at John Hewitt Summer School

Short Story Workshop: Write Short Stories that Stand Out

3 x two-hour workshop sessions

Workshop Description

In this course you will find out what competition judges, anthology and journal editors look for in a short story. You will get tips on where to start the action and how to grab the reader. You will also look at submission opportunities, how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.

Workshop Dates

This workshop will be hosted in the Marketplace Theatre, Armagh on the following dates. Your £66 fee covers all three workshop sessions.

  • Monday 26th July 2021, 1430hrs to 1630hrs
  • Tuesday 27th July 2021, 1430hrs to 1630hrs
  • Thursday 29th July 2021, 1430hrs to 1630hrs

The Good Son: Won The Polari Prize & The McCrea Literary Award

“The Good Son is a work of genius from a splendid writer.”

Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Olen Butler

“A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.” Donal Ryan