Performing at the Barbican

Barbican OpenFest: Art 50

Presented with Sky Arts

I’ll reading/performing a short story, commissioned especially for this incredible project, at the Barbican, London on Feb 23rd.

It will be part of the Postcards From the Future event – ’50 years from now what will the UK look like? Four respected wordsmiths Paul McVeigh, Dreda Say Mitchell, Tony Mason and A. L. Kennedy write and perform a monologue sending us a postcard from 2069.’

Here’s some more about the project…

“Free and open to all, the day will showcase works from Sky Arts’ Art 50 which invited artists of all kinds, from all walks of life, from all artistic genres, to create a piece of work which says something important about national identity in 2019. Come celebrate the diversity and creativity of a nation through dance, music, photography and film. Highlights of the performances, shows and activities throughout the day will be the chance to see brand new work from contemporary dance group Boy Blue and Ivor Novello award winner, Nitin Sawhney with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain – all for free.”

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Being Various: Cover Reveal

Ain’t she pretty?

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My short story ‘The Swimmers’ is in here alongside these wonderful writers – Darren Anderson, Kevin Barry, Jan Carson, Jill Crawford, Wendy Erskine, Nicole Flattery, Yan Ge, Sinead Gleeson, David Hayden, Arja Kajermo, Eimear McBride, Lisa McInerney,  Belinda McKeon, Adrian McKinty, Danielle McLaughlin, Peter Murphy,  Stuart Neville, Louise O’Neill, Sheila Purdy, Elske Rahill, Sally Rooney and Kit de Waal.

Edited by Lucy Caldwell, published by Faber.

Out May 1.

My Christmas Story in The Irish Times

A very short story from me for Christmas in The Irish Times today – ‘Malibu Barbie Christmas’. I hope you enjoy it.

“Síofra wiggles, which is not a good sign as she’s started to wet the bed since the night she told them all to call her Baby Síofra again. Fintain sticks his hand under her bum. Dry as a bone.

“Good girl,” he says, like he’s proper Daddy.

“I’m holding it in for Santa,” says she.”

Head over for a 5 minute read.

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Proofs of ‘Being Various’

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Well, it’s getting close. You can get your hands on this in May 2019.

Lucy Caldwell has edited an anthology of Irish short stories, Being Various, and I was commisioned to take part.

Just look at the line-up!

 

Mine is the second story and I’ve been sent it to proof. Now, I’ve got a couple of little changes – a word here and there – time can bring to the surface some stumbling sentences or words that stand out and tenses that shifted. But I’ve also had second thoughts about the title. Not sure if I can change but I’ll find out soon enough.

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I’m excited because I think it’s one of the best stories I’ve written. I would need to feel that being alongside – Darren Anderson, Kevin Barry, Jan Carson, Jill Crawford, Wendy Erskin, Nicole Flattery, Yan Ge, Sinead Gleeson, David Hayden, Arja Kajermo, Eimear McBride, Lisa McInerney,  Belinda McKeon, Adrian McKinty, Danielle McLaughlin, Peter Murphy,  Stuart Neville, Louise O’Neill, Sheila Purdy, Elske Rahill, Sally Rooney and Kit de Waal.

I’ll let you know more news as I find out.

Interview w/ BBC National Short Story Award

On the day of the ceremony on BBC Radio 4 Front Row I go behind the scenes of the BBC National Short Story Award with one of its founders and BBC Radio Books Editor Di Speirs. Find out all you need to know about the judging process in Irish Times Culture.

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/behind-the-scenes-at-the-bbc-national-short-story-award-1.3644969

“Over the last few years I’ve worked with a number of literary awards and prizes, and it’s been an education. The behind-the-scenes processes have varied quite significantly. To illustrate with one example; for the £30,000 International Dylan Thomas Prize we read the longlist of twelve books then re-read our chosen shortlist of six, for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize we didn’t read the longlist only the five collections on the shortlist, for the Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Prize I was the only judge and reader, tackling around 750 short stories.

This year I was asked to be an ambassador for the BBC National Short Story Award. I first worked with the award a few years back for an event at the London Short Story Festival, which I co-founded and programmed. Now in its 13th year, the award has become a landmark on the short story landscape in the UK and internationally. I have long been a fan of their excellent website, for podcasts and recordings of previous winners and specially commissioned short stories from the best writers in the form. On that note, a little known astonishing fact, BBC Radio 4 is the world’s biggest single commissioner of short stories, attracting audiences of over a million listeners to short fiction.

Due to its unique and powerful position, at times, questions are asked about access to the BBC’s short story feast. As I watched the twitter reaction to the news of the fifth all-female shortlist and the issues raised re its selection process, I realised there were some questions even I had about the way the award worked.

I used my role as ambassador to gain an interview with Di Speirs, founding judge of the award and BBC’s editor of books, who has gone into detail about every step of the judging process, and shares her love for the short story form.”

Head here to read the interview. image.jpg

14 Sept, Interviewing Chris Power

Chris Power in conversation with Paul McVeigh

10pm, Firkin Crane Theatre (€5)

Chris Power lives and works in London. His ‘Brief Survey of the Short Story’ has appeared in the Guardian since 2007. His fiction has been published in The Stinging FlyThe Dublin Review and The White ReviewMothers is his first book.

The Good Son, Paul McVeigh’s debut novel, won The Polari Prize and The McCrea Literary Award. It was shortlisted for The Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award, the Prix du Roman Cezam in France and a finalist for The People’s Book Prize. The Good Sonwas chosen as Brighton’s City Reads 2016 and was given out as part of World Book Night 2017. Paul has written comedy, essays, flash fiction, a novel, plays and short stories, and his work has been performed on stage and radio, and published in seven languages.