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

27 Mar, Mairtín Crawford Award: Preparing Short Stories For Submission (Online)

Date Saturday 27 March 2021

Time 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Price Free. Book NowMairtín Crawford Award: Preparing Short Stories for Submission

workshop

Join 2021 Short Story Judges Lucy Caldwell and Paul McVeigh in a lively conversation about submitting your work to Awards. Lucy and Paul will speak about their own experience of Awards – as writers and judges; the specificities of the Mairtín Crawford Award and practical approaches to assembling and presenting work for Submission. 

Lucy and Paul will be in conversation for about 45 minutes, then spend 30 minutes responding to your questions.

Please note that questions must be submitted in advance. To submit a question please email BBFSubmissions@CrescentArts.org by 5pm on Wednesday 24th March. Please include in the email that the question is for the Short Story Workshop. 

Can’t make the 27th? This workshop will be recorded and available to stream online afterwards. 

This event is free to attend and registration is essential. 

Lucy Caldwell is the author of four novels, including the forthcoming These Days (Faber, Spring 2022), two short story collections, including Intimacies, out this May, and several stage plays and radio dramas. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, her awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright, a Fiction Uncovered Award and a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. In 2019, she edited Being Various, the latest volume in the ongoing Faber series of New Irish Short Stories.

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 appeared in Faber’s Being Various, Kit de Waal’s Common PeopleThe Art of the Glimpse and have been read on Radio 4 and Sky Arts. He is associate director of Word Factory ‘the national organisation for excellence in the short story’ The Guardian, and he co-founded London Short Story Festival. Paul has edited Belfast StoriesQueer Love: Anthology of Irish Fiction and The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working Class Voices.

More Queer Love – Books Ireland Review

“Ireland is more than one voice and in Queer Love, edited by Paul McVeigh, we see more than one Ireland. Love is a beautiful thing—especially in the hands of familiar writers like John BoyneEmma Donoghue and Colm Tóbín—but in this anthology of short stories are new writers and new voices; it’s this combination which lends the collection its charm. Paul McVeigh steers the collection through our history, from a time of secrecy to the new freedoms of growing up gay in an era of the Yes vote.”

Delighted with this review in Books Ireland and you can it read it in full here.

You can buy the book here.

Judging Word Factory Apprentice Award

THE WORD FACTORY APPRENTICE AWARD 2021

NATIONAL MENTORING SCHEME FOR SHORT STORY WRITERS

Word Factory is open for applications to the Word Factory Apprentice Award 2021 in partnership with the Northern Writers’ Awards and the Society of Authors. Applicants must be over 18, of any nationality or descent but permanently resident in England, serious about developing their short story writing and passionate about working with the Word Factory team. 

The judges will select two award winners, one of whom must be based in the north. We are delighted that this year our mentors are Toby Litt and Catherine Menon. The award will be judged by co-founders Cathy Galvin and Paul McVeigh, joined this year by writer Leone Ross and New Writing North’s Will Mackie.

This is your opportunity to join the distinguished Word Factory Apprentice Award alumnae. Previous winners of our mentoring award have achieved industry recognition – including publication with independent and mainstream publishers such as Salt and Faber and awards and shortlistings including the Guardian BAME prize, Bath Flash Fiction Prize, Wasafiri and McKitterick Prize.

Apprentice Award winners will:

* Have one-on-one mentorship over a six to nine month period with a leading author + a bursary. 

* Be invited to read with their mentor at a Word Factory event, online or at a venue to be decided.

* Be offered additional support from Word Factory director Cathy Galvin.

* Have free admission to our salons and a selection of masterclasses. Our northern winner will benefit from writer-development activities offered by our partner, New Writing North. 

* Receive free membership to the writer’s union, the Society of Authors.

* Be promoted by us on our website and on social media.

In exchange, we expect dedication to the craft and ethos of the Word Factory. We are looking for writers who will contribute their time in helping us run and promote events, work with us online and offer their skills to the team.

How To Apply:

Please apply if you are working seriously on your writing and would benefit from our scheme at this stage of your career. You may have already had stories published or be at the stage of thinking about sending work out for publication. We will be looking for dedication and understanding of the art and craft of the form and for individuals willing to work within our team. Please Note: the scheme is not suitable for anyone with novels or collections already published or under contract (writers of self-published and non-fiction books may apply).

Writers living in the North of England, should apply via the Northern Writers’ Award and do not need to use this Eventbrite portal. If you live in the north, go direct to http://www.northernwritersawards.com where you will find the entry portal for the Word Factory Northern Apprentice Award. The northern application process deadline is February 18th 2021. 

To clarify what is defined as “the north” for the purposes of this award, please refer to this map: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/download-file/Map_area_boundaries.pdf

Everyone else living in England should apply here:

* Use this Eventbrite page to buy your ticket. The £10 fee covers administration and goes towards supporting our not-for-profit work. 

* After you have purchased your ticket, you will receive an email confirmation with an order number. Keep that number safe.

* Prepare your application: we need you to send us two things: a 400 word letter explaining how you will benefit from the award and how you will contribute to our work as a team. You will also need to enclose a sample of your work – a story or extract from a story no longer than 2000 words long. 

* Send your letter and your work to us at wfaward@thewordfactory.tvwith your Eventbrite ticket order number in the subject header and body of the email. Please also tell us where you live and it’s useful to know how you like to identify yourself. We are keen to support marginalised writers.

* Please note: it is a requirement of entry that the Eventbrite ticket order number is included in your application. 

* Applications OPEN: November 26th 2020.

* Applications (other than the north) CLOSE: February 28th 2021

* Winners are announced in June 2021 via the Word Factory and the Northern Writers’ Awards. 

Due to the high numbers of applications expected, we will not be contacting you if your application has been unsuccessful. 

If you can’t afford the £10 fee, write in confidence to us at wfaward@thewordfactory.tv and we may be able to offer you a free application or concession.