“Short stories are where a lot of writers start, and short story competitions are enormously valuable to an emerging writer.
You’ll find out what competition judges and journal editors look for in a short story and how to avoid the rejection pile. In a form where every word counts, get tips on staying focused on your story and where to start the action.
You’ll also look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.
Paul McVeigh is co-founder of London Short Story Festival and Associate Director at Word Factory. He’s been a reader and judge for national and international literary competitions and prizes. He had also edited four anthologies and reviews for the Irish Times and the TLS.”
I will be running a Masterclass on Place at the first ever Being A Writer Festival, hosted by The Literary Consultancy. #BAWFest is all about writing well, and feeling well. I’d love you to come and join me, or you can buy a Festival Pass for access to all sessions: here.
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 People, The 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 Stories, Queer Love: Anthology of Irish Fiction and The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working Class Voices.
“Learn from short story writer and champion, Paul McVeigh.
You’ll find out what competition judges and journal editors look for in a short story and how to avoid the rejection pile. Get tips on where to start the action and how to grab the reader. You’ll also look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.”
Biography: Paul McVeigh’s short fiction has been published in journals and anthologies, and been read on BBC Radio 3,4 & 5. He was shortlisted for Irish Short Story of the Year 2017 at the Irish Book Awards. His short story blog shares writing opportunities and advice has reached 2.5 million views. Paul co-founded London Short Story Festival and is Associate Director at Word Factory, the UK’s national centre for excellence in the short story. He is a reader and judge for national and international short story competitions. He has edited Southword Journal and three anthologies, commissioning work from Kevin Barry, Roddy Doyle and Deborah Levy.
“It is a huge delight to be working with award-winning novelist and short story writer Paul McVeighas 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.
Great to be working with Writers Victoria again. Although unable to visit Melbourne due to Covid, the course will still happen but will be online. One plus is you can be anywhere and join in!
Writing a Character Worth Reading About
How do you create a character that grabs the attention of agents, editors and the all-important book buyer? You will explore the concept that character is story and how to create a character that compels your reader to stay with them until the end of the book. You will look at using behaviour, dialogue, dreams, desires, psychology and relationship dynamics to reveal character, create authentic people and get your reader to emotionally invest in their fate.
Dates for this Course:
Friday 23 October 2020, 6pm-8pm (AEDT)
Saturday 24 October 2020, 6pm-8pm (AEDT)
Included in this course:
4 hours of information, education, industry insider advice, tricks and tips
Writing exercises to help hone your craft and reinforce your new skills
Interactive webinars with space for questions, clarifications, and skills extension
Personalised feedback from Paul on up-to-500 words
You will learn:
• How to create complex characters
• How to create authentic characters
• How to use dialogue to reveal character and further the plot
• How to emotionally engage the reader
• How to get, and keep, the attention of agents, editors and readers
Schedule for the Workshop:
Before the workshop, send 500 words to email@example.com for Paul’s attention
Friday 23 October 2020, 6pm-8pm: First Webinar
Saturday 24 October 2020, 6pm-8pm: Second Webinar
Feedback from Paul returned to participants
About Paul McVeigh
Paul has written for radio, theatre and TV. His debut novel, The Good Son, won The Polari First Novel Prize and The McCrea Literary Award and was shortlisted for many others including The Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and the Prix du Roman Cezam, in France. He judges international literary prizes and his work has been translated into seven languages. He teaches around the world in Australia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Indonesia, Malaysia, Spain and Singapore.
If you’re purchasing a full price workshop at $215, consider a full price one-year membership ($75) plus member-priced workshop ($155) will cost just $230 and give you discounts on all our services plus six free copies of ‘The Victorian Writer’ magazine.
The first batch of world-famous West Cork Literary Festival writing workshops are now on sale. I’m honoured to say I’ll be teaching the novel week long workshops (July 13-17) alongside the incredible Paul Muldoon for poetry and Cynan Jones for short story.
This year the festival will also host Anne Enright, Roxane Gay and Eimear McBride among many others.
The last time I was a West Cork it was wonderful and I met so many amazing writers and did events with Eoin McNamee, Glenn Patterson and Liz Nugent.
“Over the five days you will look at how to grow your story idea into a novel that grips your reader from start to finish. You will look at that crucial opening that hooks the reader, how to keep the narrative momentum going through that difficult middle and lead to a satisfying ‘inevitable surprise’ of an ending. You will look at creating believable complex characters that stand out and stay with your reader, the many uses of dialogue and how to find your voice. You will explore world building, the importance of setting and how it can become another character in your story. If you are happy to you can share your work-in-progress and get constructive problem-solving focused feedback. The course will finish with advice on what every debut novelist needs to know, covering agents, building a readership and an online presence, making industry connections and a behind-the-scenes look at those coveted literary prizes.”
I’ll be teaching for the wonderful TLC. Here’s the info from their site…
TLC is thrilled to announce the tutor for its Guardian-recommended Literary Adventure writing retreat 2020 is the award-winning novelist Paul McVeigh. Paul will be joining us September 5th-12th 2020 at the beautiful Casa Ana in the Alpujarra region of Spain. Groups are limited to a maximum of 12 writers, to allow writers the creative space and freedom to help develop their projects in a focussed and supportive environment. The retreat is open to writers of fiction and memoir with works in progress.
TLC Literary Adventures offers an environment where inspiration and improvisation meet. You will have access to world-class teaching, get a chance to work, read, listen, learn and relax in a stunning setting which will open the mind and senses. The retreat will include morning workshops, free writing time, readings, and optional afternoon sessions including a poetry workshop, a talk about the publishing industry, and a trip to a nearby village offering artisanal products. The week will end with a series of short, focussed one-on-one sessions, and a chance to share work written during the week with your fellow writers. Daily breakfasts, lunches, three 3-course chef cooked dinners at Casa Ana, and accommodation are included in the ticket price. A full programme including details on accommodation, location and booking can be found here, or you can email us directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Paul will share what editors, first readers and judges look for in a short story. He will discuss how to get your story published, 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. For the workshop, you write an opening and get feedback on that. We will look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.