My short interview with George Saunders for Word Factory on ‘A Swim in a Pond in the Rain’.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com and we may be able to offer you a free application or concession.
Follow in the footsteps of AS Byatt, Anne Enright, Neil Gaiman, Sarah Hall, Tobias Wolff and many more, and read at the world famous Word Factory. But a ticket and see if your name gets pulled out of the hat.
All money raised will go directly into supporting our free mentoring award, the Word Factory Apprentice Award.
“It is a huge delight to be working with award-winning novelist and short story writer Paul McVeigh as our inaugural writer-in-residence. At a time of such distance from each other, we wanted to be able of offer you the chance to work either one-to-one or in small groups with one of the most powerful voices in contemporary literature. With just a few places left, don’t miss his workshop on making abandoned ideas work on September 22nd. One-on-one slots are also available over the next few months.”
You can check out all the ways to get involved here.
News Flash: Book one of Word Factory’s Summer events (here: https://bit.ly/2Wjzjc9) and email your booking info to firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll give you a place at our FULLY BOOKED Irish Embassy event in June featuring Eimear McBride, Kit de Waal, Lucy Caldwell and Paul McVeigh. More info about the event here: https://bit.ly/2GHtZbv
Hurry – this offer is limited to 20 tickets!
WORD FACTORY PRESENTS:
Being Various: New Irish Writing at the Irish Embassy
Readings and conversation with Eimear McBride, Kit de Waal, Lucy Caldwell and Paul McVeigh
A fantastic opportunity to share an evening with some of the finest Irish writers of our time.
What distinguishes nationality? Lucy Caldwell addresses this key question as editor of Being Various, New Irish Short Stories(Faber). Her vivid anthology explores a multi-cultural country at a transitional point in history, depicting lives and a sense of belonging in Ireland and also relevant to us all.
Word Factory is delighted to celebrate the anthology at a wine reception hosted by the Irish Ambassador Adrian O’Neill and Cathy Galvin at the Irish Embassy in London on Thursday 27th June 6pm-9pm.
Please note: though the event is free, it is vital to book your place in advance so that your name can be added to our special guest list.
I’m excited to interview Man Booker Prize Winner Anne Enright for the second time, this time on home turf. The first time was in Waterstones Piccadilly for Word Factory earlier this year. We also sat on some panels together whilst at a literature festival in Morges, Switzerland.
Next February 9th, I’ll be interviewing her at the Seamus Heaney Homeplace, here’s the blurb…
‘Booker Prize-winning novelist Anne Enright is one of the most celebrated writers working in Ireland today. Her work is part of a great tradition of Irish writing that explores themes of family life, relationships, love, repression and memory.
Enright won the 2007 Booker Prize for her novel The Gathering, a story about the pull of family and the lure of home. Her first novel was The Wig My Father Wore and subsequent works have included What Are You Like?, The Forgotten Waltz and her most recent The Green Road. Her awards also include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Encore Award and the Irish Novel of the Year.
From 2015 to 2018 she was the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction and we are delighted to welcome her to The Helicon where she will talk about her work and career with Paul McVeigh.’
Come along, it should be a wonderful night.
Last year I had the honour of sharing the stage with Anne Enright at Le Livre Sur les Quais in Switzerland last year. This St Patrick’s Eve I’ll be interviewing her live on stage in London for Word Factory. More info below…
WORD FACTORY PRESENTS:
On the eve of St Patrick’s Day, meet one of the most celebrated literary figures of our age. Man Booker prize winner Anne Enright is the Laureate for Irish Fiction, an acclaimed novelist, short story writer and essayist. Her books include The Wig My Father Wore, The Gathering and The Portable Virgin. In this one-off London event, reading new work commissioned by Word Factory for the Change Maker series, Anne will explore the boundaries of short fiction in new work and her writing life, in conversation with Word Factory associate director Paul McVeigh. Paul, who lives in Belfast, is author of the acclaimed The Good Son, set in the Northern Ireland of the 1970’s.
DON’T MISS THIS MEMORABLE EVENING.
Salon limited to 80 places.
Date and Time
Fri 16 March 2018
19:00 – 20:30 GMT
How Short is a Short Story?
This event was recorded at BBC 3’s Free Thinking Festival last weekend. It is a highlight of my career to share a stage with one of my writing heroes – George Saunders. You can listen to it here for the next 30 days. I also got to interview George after the event so look out for that.
As part of the festival Jenn Ashworth, Kirsty Logan and myself write some (very) short stories and you can listen to them here. The stories were commissioned by New Writing North and Word Factory.
Here’s what BBC3 said:
George Saunders, Kirsty Logan, Jenn Asworth and Paul McVeigh discuss writing fiction short and long with presenter Matthew Sweet.
Acclaimed American short story writer George Saunders talks about travelling in time to explore Abraham Lincoln’s life during the American Civil War when the President’s beloved young son died. These historical events have inspired Saunder’s first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, whilst his short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, McSweeeney’s and GQ.
He compares notes on the art of the short story with Paul McVeigh, Jenn Ashworth and Kirsty Logan, who’ve been commissioned by New Writing North and the Word Factory to write Flash Fiction on this year’s Free Thinking Festival theme of The Speed of Life.
Kirsty Logan is the author of books including The Gracekeepers and The Rental Heart & Other Fairytales and a range of short stories.
Jenn Ashworth’s books include Fell, The Friday Gospels, A Kind of Intimacy and Cold Light and a selection of short stories.
Paul McVeigh has won prizes including the Polari prize for his debut novel The Good Son. Born in Belfast he is co-founder of the London Short Story Festival, writes a blog and has represented the UK at events in Mexico and Turkey.
Recorded in front of an audience as part of Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead.
The stories commissioned for the Festival are available to listen to as an Arts and Ideas podcast available for 30 days.