Me, Kit de Waal, Lucy Caldwell & Eimear McBride

News Flash: Book one of Word Factory’s Summer events (here: https://bit.ly/2Wjzjc9) and email your booking info to cathy@thewordfactory.tv 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.

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Interviewing Anne Enright

Anne Enright in Conversation

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.

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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.

Interviewing Anne Enright in London

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…

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WORD FACTORY PRESENTS:

SPECIAL EVENT – An Evening with Anne Enright

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

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Location

Waterstones

203-206 Piccadilly

London

W1J 9HD

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Interview with Booker Shortlisted George Saunders

George Saunders has been shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize. I was lucky enough to interview George a couple of years ago. It was an amazing experience and a real ‘moment’ in my writing career.
George Saunders

George Saunders (c) Paul McVeigh

Recently I got to sit on a panel with for BBC Radio 3 thanks to New Writing North & Word Factory. We talked about the short story and read some of our work.
George and me BBC 3
George was up for another interview that day which we did thanks to Bloomsbury Books. You can read it over at The Irish Times where George talks about his debut novel, writing, Trump and his wife’s upcoming novel. I hope you enjoy it.

George Saunders & me on BBC Radio 3

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.

George and me BBC 3

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.

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!

Looking Like a Pro – Reading Live

Reading for Word Factory at Waterstones Piccadilly this week was a whole lot of fun. It was great to read alongside friends and colleagues. I can remember only a couple of years ago being so terrified I stopped reading and froze after just a few lines. Now I look like a pro.

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The ceiling was bouncing from the music and dancing above and below there were readings from authors such as Booker Prize-winner Marlon James. Lots to distract and get nervous about.

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I say look like a pro because I never feel like one. I think it’s all a confidence trick. Just pretend you’re a pro and see what happens. Readings can be funny things – a mixture of ‘can’t wait for my turn’ and ‘please let me disappear’. My legs were shaking so badly I had to keep shifting from my front leg to my back leg so they didn’t give way completely. I couldn’t stand still or both legs. On the other hand – or rather, the top half – I was giving it my all. If I’m totally honest I was showing off. I got lots of great feedback from people who had seen me read before and no-one noticed. Not one. That’ll do for me. And I really enjoyed it.

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One great piece of advice you’re given is that when reading you should make an effort to look up from the page. It drives the energy out, the audience see more of your ‘performance’ and with some eye contact they become more engaged. And I just found out – by looking up you could catch some images like this… people really having a good laugh. Strong and genuine reactions to your work.

Thanks to James Lawson for the pics. A video of the reading is coming soon… yikes!