Spread the Word, London’s writer development agency, has a brilliantly wide-ranging programme of 65 writers and 27 events on offer for the second London Short Story Festival , from 18 to 21 June 2015.
Following its success last year, the festival returns to Europe’s biggest bookstore Waterstones Piccadilly for four days of talks, readings, Q&As, discussions and insights into writing short stories and getting them published.
Headlining this year’s festival are some fantastic writers including Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri, chair of Man Booker International Prize 2015 Marina Warner, and multi-award winner Kevin Barry.
The festival is also about offering new and emerging voices an opportunity to showcase their work. Ben Okri wanted to share his bill with an emerging writer, and together with Spread the Word handpicked Irenosen Okojie (a contributor to Words of Colour online) to read alongside him.
Ben Okri and Irenosen Okojie. Ben Okri photo credit: David Hartley, REX Shutterstock
Guardian First Book Award shortlisted May-Lan Tan and Ghana’s ACRAG award for poetry and literary advocacy winner Nii Ayikwei Parkes will delight audiences with their stories and share some insights into their writing process.
The Caine Prize for African Writing , presents a special event at this year’s festival, bringing together excellent writers and editors including Caine Prize-winning Henrietta Rose-Innes, editor and literary critic Ellah Allfrey and Commonwealth Prize shortlisted, Caine Prize-winning Segun Afolabi.
The festival is for readers and writers alike, as it draws together people from across the world of publishing and writing to offer advice and share their expertise on what they look for in a short story, what writing course have to offer and how to get published. Part of the festival is the London Short Story Prize, a short fiction writing competition which this year is open nationally. The judges are Kevin Barry, Jon McGregor and Elise Dillsworth.
Writers are also being encouraged to post a photo of where they write and post it to Twitter or Instagram using #deskie and tagging @lssfest and @heals_furniture for the chance to win one of three lovely Heal’s lamps.
Free tickets and places for all events will be on offer to those on low income and on Saturday 20 June in the Writers’ Space at Waterstones Piccadilly, there is a programme of free activities.
The London Short Story Festival is supported by Waterstones, Heals, Book Trust, English Pen, Salt Publishing, The Caine Prize for African Writing, Word Factory, Comma Press, Wales Art review, Ambit Magazine, BBC National Short Story Award, Unthank Books, & Other Stories Publishing, The Asian Writer, Birkbeck University.