National Short Story Day returns TODAY – 21st December 2013 – the shortest day of the year! Readers and writers all over the UK are taking time out from the pre-xmas chaos for a small moment of literary calm – a chance to enjoy and contemplate the quiet wonder of the short story.
Take a few minutes to explore this site with over 200 recommendations for great short stories (old and new) you may not have read before. (SEE RIGHT >>>)
This year’s theme is great science fiction short stories. A gathering of key players in British and European SF have specially nominated their favourite ever science fiction shorts for your delectation. (SEE RIGHT >>>)
The annual Twitter comp is back!
Tweet a story in 140 characters or less to @shortstoryday using the hashtag #nssd. You can enter as many times as you like with as many different stories as you like. The deadline is midnight on Saturday 21st December (UK time). The top five will be selected and announced through Twitter on Christmas Eve and the winners will each receive a preview copy of Comma’s book of essays on past short story masters, Morphologies
NIGHT OF THE (PHYSICS) DEMONS – THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS AND SHORT FICTION
with Sarah Schofield, Marie Louise Cookson and Dr Robert Appleby.
Friday 20th December
MadLab, 36-40 Edge Street, Manchester M4 1HN
Not a screening of the cult British horror film (starring Dana Andrews), but an evening of short stories about the two demons of physics: Maxwell’s and Laplace’s – two fictional creatures invented by physicists to prove deep theoretical points.
Authors Sarah Schofield and Marie Louise Cookson have been the first to respond to Comma’s new science-into-fiction commission, Thought X, an exploration of science’s own version of the short story – the thought experiment. Tonight’s readings explore two 19th century thought experiments, rooted in two opposing visions of time: the symmetric-time world view, in which time can be scrolled forwards and scrolled back from any, and the asymmetic, Entropic world view, in which everything spreads, untraceably and irreversibly in one direction only.
Supported by the Institute of Physics.
SHORT STORY NIGHT AT THE BROADWAY
Saturday 21st December
Broadway, 14 – 18 Broad Street, Nottingham NG1 3AL
Once more, Nottingham Writers’ Studio are celebrating all things wonderfully short story on the shortest day – the longest night – of the year! They’re back at the marvellous Broadway Cinema in the Studio, everyone is welcome and it’s all absolutely FREE! Come and join award-winning authors Alison Moore, Niki Valentine, Giselle Leeb, D P Watt & Roberta Dewa for totally tantalising tales and a short story swap: pick up short stories for free, or bring your own to exchange.
PLUS! Take part in the brilliant book raffle to win signed copies and raise proper dosh for Book Aid.
RAREBIT LITERARY TOUR AND PARTHIAN FESTIVE DRINKS
Saturday 21st December
Waterstones Cardiff, 2A The Hayes, CF10 1WB (2pm) and NosDa, 53-59 Despenser St, CF11 6AG Cardiff (4.30pm – 6.30pm)
Join us on the shortest day of the year for a brilliant literary tour of Cardiff where a selection of writers from our new short story anthology ‘Rarebit will read their stories. And then carry on celebrating with us in the evening with more readings and Parthian Festive Drinks!
We’ll meet outside Waterstones Cardiff at 2pm, where we’ll go on a reading tour (we’ll have a bad weather plan, fear not) of the city centre. Places will be limited for the tour so please register your interest with email@example.com. Tickets cost 10 pounds but also include a free copy of the book.
“My first success as an author came with the award winning of short story contests. As a reader I loved the elegant short stories of William Trevor and Iain Crichton Smith, and the worlds within worlds produced by Jayne Anne Phillips. Later on I devoured the crime short stories printed in annual collections and in magazines such as Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Most recently, I enjoyed the collection Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by the American writer Wells Tower. He reminds me of Raymond Carver one of the true giants of the form. – Ian RankinRead more…
“I love short stories – reading and writing them. The best short stories distill all the potency of a novel into a small but heady draught. They are perfect reading material for the bus or train or for a lunchtime break. Everything extraneous has been strained off by the author. The best short stories pack the heft of any novel, yet resonate like poetry.” – Ian RankinRead more…
‘For many years I read Thomas Hardy, before turning to Franz Kafka. Kafka continues to amaze. Also, still greatly enjoyable are the stories of ‘Saki.’ They now contain a slightly Edwardian flavour, which suits them well.’ – Brian AldissRead more…
‘One of our best short story writers is undoubtedly William Trevor. One hears little about Trevor in the media. This is because those writers who are not as good by half as Trevor hog the media instead, but William Trevor’s voice, quiet though it is, remains the one that must be heard by anyone with a love of literature.’ – Brian AldissRead more…
‘The short story is as diverse and exciting a form as the novel, offering the condensed satisfaction of a good poem.’ – Sean O’BrienRead more…
‘I love the short story format, and was very much alive when writing four books of them. Classic masters for me are such as Chekhov, Stefan Zweig and Isaac Bashevis Singer. For the moderns there’s the stylish Rose Tremain and the unpredictable Ian McEwan’. – Arnold WeskerRead more…
‘The short story is the most astonishing form: more supple than the novel, because of its length it’s possible to be more experimental, to do away, sometimes, with plot or character or logic. Instead of having to fill in details, to explain itself, to come to a conclusion, a short story can simply throw a thought at the reader, hurl a moment. It’s gemlike. There are no perfect novels, but there are perfect stories, I think.’ – Naomi AldermanRead more…
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