Thursday, February 19, 2015

Short Story Evening with Jon McGregor, Eliza Robertson and Lucy Wood

I'm getting excited now about this event I am chairing next Wed - here are the details! Any questions you'd like me to ask them - about permission in writing, in particular?

Short Story Evening with Jon McGregor, Eliza Robertson and Lucy Wood
chaired by Tania Hershman
Date: Wednesday 25th February
Time: 6pm for 6.30pm. Ends 7.45pm
Place: Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP. Click here to book
Tania Hershman delves into the imaginations of three wonderful Bloomsbury short story writers, Jon McGregor, Eliza Robertson and Lucy Wood, asking them about the weird and fabulous worlds they create in their short stories - from underwater husbands and memories entangled with catfish to how to trap hummingbirds, relinquish drams gracefully, feed raccoons without getting bitten, and fenland creations of things buried and unearthed.
Jon, Eliza and Lucy will reflect on the risks they take in their stories and on what and who gives them permission to try new things. They’ll discuss how they write these clever, surreal and minimalist short stories that ask the reader to play a part in their creation, as well as their own personal taboo topics, why they write and what it unravels for them.
 ‘Each time I find a new short story I love, it cracks open a window and lets fresh air into my own writing’ Tania Hershman
‘McGregor is the contemporary master of lives lived in what the Irish call a small way, and the belief, which is literature’s, that we are all poetic’ Linda Grant, Financial Times
alt tag goes hereJon McGregor is the author of the critically acclaimed This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like YouIf Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, So Many Ways to Begin and Even the Dogs. He is the winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Betty Trask Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award, and has been twice longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He was runner-up for the BBC National Short Story Award in both 2010 and 2011, with 'If It Keeps on Raining' and 'Wires' respectively. He was born in Bermuda in 1976. He grew up in Norfolk and now lives in Nottingham. www.jonmcgregor.com @jon_mcgregoralt tag goes here
Eliza Robertson is the author of Wallflowers, her debut short story collection. She was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1987 and grew up on Vancouver Island. She studied creative writing and political science at the University of Victoria and then pursued her MA in prose fiction at the University of East Anglia. While there she received the Man Booker Scholarship and the Curtis Brown Prize for best writer. Robertson is now a highly celebrated short story writer; in 2013, she won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and was a finalist for the Journey and CBC Short Story prizes. She currently lives in Norwich and is working on completing her first novel. @ElizaRoberts0n
 
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Lucy Wood is the author of a critically acclaimed collection of short stories based on Cornish folklore Diving Belles. She has been longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and was a runner-up in the BBC National Short Story Award. She has also been awarded the Holyer an Gof Award and a Somerset Maugham Award. Lucy Wood has a Master’s degree in creative writing from Exeter University. Her debut novel, Weathering, is published this January 2015. She lives in Devon.
Book tickets here >>>

Monday, February 16, 2015

Maps by Susannah Felts in Smokelong Quarterly

It was a great honour to be guest editor for Smokelong Quarterly's Weekly edition and I'm thrilled that the story I chose, 'Maps' by Susannah Felts, has just been published. This story leapt out at me, I love it, I hope you'll feel the same.

Here's a teaser...

Map
by Susannah Felts


I was the girl who climbed in the truck. Who said: I'm in.

You clean up real nice, he said.

My legs, bending into the pickup.

My legs, crossed bare.

Those legs need boots, he said.

*

Now go read the rest: http://www.smokelong.com/flash/susannahfelts47.asp

Friday, February 06, 2015

The Verb - Tonight!

I'm delighted to be one of the guests on tonight's episode of The Verb - Radio 3's Cabaret of the Word! They phoned on Monday and asked whether I could write  a piece of flash fiction inspired by... gasometers! No, I didn't know what they were either.



I wrote it on Tuesday, read it to them on Wednesday, and yesterday went along to the BBC and recorded the program. We had such a laugh! The other guests on the program are Boo Hewerdine, who wrote a song inspired by Susannah Hislop's gorgeous book on the constellations, which Susannah read from, and Chris Prendergast and Paul Georgiou, co-authors of a wonderful grammatical adventure story! It's on BBC Radio 3 tonight at 10pm and then available as a podcast... As the host, Ian McMillan says, it may be a world first for gasometer-inspired-flash fiction ... !

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Making choices - Bare Fiction & Smokelong

I'm thrilled that the winners of the Bare Fiction short story competition - which I co-judged with Rachel Tresize - have now been announced, congrats to:

 
1st Prize (£500):
David McGrath, Ger Sheen and the Satanists (UK)
 
2nd Prize (£200):
Allie Rogers, Trout Quintet (UK)
 
3rd Prize (£100):
Anne Corlett, The Clay Baby (UK)
 
Highly Commended x 2 (£25):
Roy Marshall, Late (UK) chosen by Tania Hershman
Jenni Lawson, The Present (UK) chosen by Rachel Trezise
 
Shortlisted (in no particular order):
Paul Nicholas, The Clock (UK)
Annalisa Crawford, 133 Steps (UK)
Frances Gapper, Broken Thing (UK)
Tamara Jones, Dead Daffodils (UK)
Joanna Walsh, Enzo Ponza (UK)
Hannah Gildea, And Still the Sea is Salt (Portland, OR)
Jack Cooke, Still Life (UK)
Penny Simpson, Winter Solstice (UK)
Melanie Whipman, Dissolving (UK)
Paddy Doherty, The Lonely Gene (Spain)
Rachel Cather, Life of a Wasp (Belgium)

If you're interested in how the process worked, you can read our judges' reports here >> 

Also, I've now picked the flash story that will be published in Smokelong Quarterly under my guest editorship and the author of the story has been informed - there were over 100 submissions, thank you to all those of you who sent your work! I'll let you know when the story is published, I hope you'll like it as much as I do!

Friday, January 02, 2015

And the winner is...

Picked randomly out of the hat, the winner of a copy of Writing Short Stories: A Writers & Artists Companion is Tracey Upchurch! Congratulations, Tracey... and commiserations everyone else, but thank you so much for sharing about what and who gives you permission, and the book is available for purchase at the usual outlets, such as Foyles, Waterstones and the Book Depository. Happy New Year of Writing!