Wednesday, 10 April 2019

PodcastsTickets now on sale for Incendiary! our 19 May eventThe Ten Stories and Authors announced


From 12 April to 17 May we are releasing weekly podcasts of stories from the last two years SSS events. These are being read by their authors - Melanie Golding, Katie Witcombe, Emma Kernahan, Geoff Mead, Chloe Turner and Nastasya Parker.
Listen here

Our 18th event, Incendiary!, takes place on Sunday 19 May at 8pm (doors 7,30) at our new venue, the spacious and comfortable Cotswold Playhouse, Parliament Street, Stroud GL5 1LW. Ten authors (see below) will be reading the stories specially selected for the event.

Tickets, priced as usual at £8, are now on sale on the Cotswold 
Playhouse website -


https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/638976


You can also order tickets by phone - 0333 666 3366. The Playhouse charges a £1.75 booking fee for telephone bookings.

Please note that Stroud Short Stories does not sell tickets.

Unlike our former venue, the SVA, the Cotswold Playhouse uses allocated seating (tickets with seat numbers so you can choose your seat when you book). 

The seating is raked/tiered so the seats even at the back offer excellent views - and are very comfortable.

The Playhouse is a four minute uphill walk from the car park on Parliament Street opposite Stroud Police Station (car park post code  GL5 2HL). The car park is free in the evening. I know it's four minutes because I walked it last Monday - and believe me I am not a fast walker these days. The alternative is street parking.

Do please come along, but do not tarry in buying your tickets. The last twelve events all sold out well in advance (the last one in just six hours!), although that was at the SVA which has half the capacity of the Playhouse! Nevertheless I expect there to be plenty of interest in ticket sales.

The Cotswold Playhouse has a bar!


Authors/Stories for 19 May event Incendiary!


Thank you to everyone who submitted stories for Incendiary!, our 18th event on Sunday 19 May at our new venue, the Cotswold Playhouse. The total of 89 Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire writers who submitted 113 stories is a record.

Believe me, my co-judge, Ali Bacon, and I had our work cut out. We really enjoyed the vast majority of the stories, and produced a Long List of 46 and a Short List of 21 stories before deciding the Final Ten. All these lists have been shared with the writers who submitted.

These are the stories you will hear on the night (not in this order) -

Aurora and the Book Trolley - Joanna Campbell (Bisley)

Burning the Stubble - Steve Wheeler (aka Steven John) (Sheepscombe, Stroud)


Echoes - Alwin Wiederhold (Hucclecote, Gloucester)


Fat Man in Neon - Jason Jackson (Kingswood, South Gloucs)


Is it my Hammered Heart? - Chloe Turner (Minchinhampton)


Marcie - Robin Booth (Brimscombe, Stroud)


Mobbed - Michael Hurst (Prestbury, Cheltenham)


Raku - Geoff Mead (Kingscote, Tetbury)


The Slip - Emma Kernahan (Stroud)


Something about me - Louise Elliman (Cirencester)


It's always exciting to welcome new writers, in this case, Alwin, Louise and Robin who will be the 106th, 107th and 108th authors to read at SSS.

Huge congratulations to these ten authors who will be reading/performing. The competition was incredibly intense, and the overall standard of submission extremely high. Commiserations especially to those on the Short List, the stories on which were so excellent.

The evening will be brilliant. The authors of the stories we have chosen each create their own individual fictional universe. There will be death, love, ornithology, sex, anger, pottery, rebellion, fudge shops and of course, there will be a library book trolley. But most of all there will be FIRE!

Thank you again to EVERYONE who submitted. It's going to be an amazing evening.


NB This event will not be videoed.


John 


Monday, 1 April 2019

Incendiary! - Submissions are now closed + It's a record + Ticket info


Submissions are now closed for our 19 May 2019 event 'Incendiary!'. A huge thank you to all 89 Gloucestershire/S.Gloucs authors - the highest ever number - who submitted 113 stories - the highest ever number for a themed event.

My co-judge, author/novelist Ali Bacon and I will select ten stories to be read by their authors on Sunday 19 May at The Cotswold Playhouse in Parliament Street, Stroud, GL5 1LW. Doors open at 7.30. It starts at 8.00. 

The announcement of the ten stories and their authors for our 19 May event will be made by Thursday 11 April at the latest.


Tickets


From Friday 12 April, tickets, priced as usual at £8, will be on sale on the Cotswold Playhouse website -


https://www.cotswoldplayhouse.co.uk/ 


You can also order tickets by phone - 0333 666 3366.

Unlike our former venue, the SVA, the Cotswold Playhouse uses allocated seating (tickets with seat numbers). The authors of the ten selected stories will be provided with a free allocated seat in the auditorium. Family and friends will need to buy tickets.

Do please come along, but do not tarry. The last twelve events all sold out well in advance (the last one in just six hours!), but that was at the SVA which has half the capacity of the Playhouse. Nevertheless I expect there to be plenty of interest in ticket sales.


There is a bar!

John 


Tuesday, 22 January 2019

We are open for your submissions until Sunday 31 March at 23.59


The 18th Stroud Short Stories event will take place on Sunday 19 May 2019 at 8pm (doors 7.30) at the Cotswold Playhouse, Parliament Street, Stroud, GL5 1LW.

We are still open for your submissions but close at 23.59 (one minute to midnight) on Sunday 31 March.


We have a theme this time. It's Incendiary! - in line with the exciting exhibitions and events taking place in Stroud this year. So we are looking for stories about fire, heat, passion, anger, burning, incineration, insurrection, revolution, large or small acts of rebellion, explosions, inflaming the senses.

Please think of these themes as widely as possible - both metaphorically/emotionally as well as literally/actually. 

We are looking for well-crafted and engaging short stories, which will entertain, excite and inspire our audience. As ever, the dark, the ironic and the funny are very welcome.

And, of course, it's free to submit.

Rules and How to Submit here

My co-judge (for the third time) will be brilliant short story author/novelist Ali Bacon. We will select ten stories to be read by their authors on Sunday 19 May at The Cotswold Playhouse in Parliament Street, Stroud, GL5 1LW. Doors open at 7.30. It starts at 8.00. There is a bar!

We are delighted to be holding our event at this brilliant venue. As you may know, we were asked to leave the SVA after seven years because we had "outgrown" it. So having completely sold-out the SVA's 70-seater room in advance twelve times in succession (in May in less than six hours), we are hopeful that the Cotswold Playhouse's 150 seat auditorium will allow everyone who wants to attend to be there. 

TICKETS, priced as usual at £8, will be on sale on the Cotswold Playhouse website - https://www.cotswoldplayhouse.co.uk/ - from Friday 12 April.

Ali and I are really looking forward to reading your stories. So if you want up to 150 short story lovers to hear your story you know what to do...

Rules and How to Submit here

Subscribe to Stroud Short Stories newsletters and emails, so you don't miss a thing, here

More info about the judges here

How to buy our new anthology 2015-18 here

Watch/listen the authors at past events read their stories here


John



Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Stroud Short Stories Event 'What Makes a Monster & Other Stories' held on Sunday 11 November


Thank you to everyone (70 people) who came along to a packed SVA on Sunday 11 November for our 17th event 'What makes a Monster & Other Stories'.

Special thanks to the ten brilliant authors (see snaps below) whose work we selected and who read/performed so wonderfully. Although, of course, I'd read all the stories before, some of the performances took my breath away.

The theme of the spring 2019 event will be INCENDIARY! so we'll be looking for stories about fire, heat, smoke, burning, passion, inflaming, rebellion, revolution, insurrection, bombs, subversion - both literally and metaphorically. We will open for submissions in January or February.

The SVA say we have 'outgrown' their venue so our next event will be elsewhere - venue yet to be decided. 

Some copies of our new 2015-18 Anthology are still available. Info here.

If you don't want to miss out on ticket sales or submission opportunities please subscribe to SSS emails. (It's easy to unsubscribe if you change your mind).

Here are Sunday's ten authors - in the order in which they read/performed.

Thank you, Angela & Ken Fitch for the images -
https://www.angelafitchphotography.co.uk/

Ali Bacon reads 'In Loco Parentis' 


Zara Wick reads 'Animate!'


Clive Singleton reads 'In Clear Air'


Andrew Stevenson reads 'The Bread-Toast Continuum'
Amanda Staples reads 'The Pewter Thimble'


Ken Popple reads 'On Llamas and Feng Shui'
Sophie Flynn reads 'What Makes a Monster'


Stephen Connolly reads 'Cargo'
Katie Witcombe reads 'The Dress'
Sarah Hitchcock reads 'The Misty Aisle'



Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Debbie Young on Judging our sold-out 11 November event 'What Makes a Monster & Other Stories'


I was delighted to be asked back by SSS organiser John Holland this autumn to co-judge the latest Stroud Short Stories submissions. John's well-honed system, underpinned by Christiane Holland's efficiency, makes the process a pleasure, allowing the judges to focus entirely on the stories rather than the admin. It is exactly how a good short story event or competition should be run.

With no set theme this time, it was anyone's guess as to what kind of stories might come in. Tantalising titles whetted my appetite to the unfolding array. When we opened the envelope containing the names of the authors, after choosing our Final Ten, there were plenty of surprises, including the appearance of a number of names new to SSS. That respected authors whose stories had previously been chosen did not make the final cut demonstrates the high standard of the submissions.

I'm always pleased when we select entries from writers still learning their craft. That SSS welcomes all-comers (and is free to enter) is part of its charm - and part of its power in nurturing local writing talent.

I particularly like the fact that SSS does not rely on the opinion of one judge, as having two results in more balanced decisions. If either John or I - or anyone else - had been sole judge, the final list may have looked quite different.

So if you submitted but your story wasn't chosen, keep going - because at the end of the day what matters most is that you keep writing, that you keep refining your craft and keep putting your best stories out into the world.

Debbie Young

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

SOLD OUT! IN 6 HOURS!


I have been informed by our venue, the SVA, that all tickets for our 11 November event 'What Makes A Monster & Other Stories' have sold. 


This happened in less than 6 hours from when they went on sale on Tuesday 24 Oct at 3.30pm. They had all sold by about 9.00pm!

Thank you to everyone who bought tickets. Apologies to those who couldn't.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

The Ten Stories and Authors for our 11 November 2018 event + Ticket Information


Thank you to everyone who submitted stories for our 17th event on 11 November. The total of 112 submissions from 85 Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire writers is the third highest in our history. Believe me, my co-judge, Debbie Young, and I had our work cut out. We really enjoyed the vast majority of the stories, and produced a Long List of 40 and a Short List of 18 before deciding on the Final Ten. All these lists have already been shared with the writers who submitted.

The competition was incredibly intense and the decisions did not come easily. In the end, the Ten we have chosen are possibly, in terms of contents/story lines, the most diverse range of SSS stories ever.

These are the stories you will hear on the night (in librarians' alphabetical order) -

Animate! - Zara Wick (Ruscombe, Stroud)
The Bread-Toast Continuum - Andrew Stevenson (Nailsworth)
Cargo - Stephen Connolly (Cirencester)
The Dress - Katie Witcombe (Cheltenham)
In Loco Parentis - Ali Bacon (Emersons Green, South Gloucs)
In the Clear Air - Clive Singleton (Nailsworth)
The Misty Aisle - Sarah Hitchcock (Stroud)
On Llamas and Feng Shui - Ken Popple (Stroud)
The Pewter Thimble - Amanda Staples (Staple Hill, Stapleshire)
What makes a Monster? - Sophie Flynn (Moreton-in-Marsh)

Huge congratulations to these authors. They will read their stories to what will be a packed house at the SVA (Stroud Valleys Artspace) on Sunday 11 November at 8pm (doors 7.30).

As always, the Ten includes authors new to SSS. This time there will be five! We welcome and congratulate Zara, Katie, Clive, Amanda and Sophie. Only two of the ten authors (Ali and Andrew) have read at SSS on more than one occasion.

The event is now called 'What Makes A Monster And Other Stroud Short Stories'. 


Ticket Information


The event is on Sunday 11 November at 8pm (doors at 7.30) at the SVA (Stroud Valleys Artspace), John Street, Stroud, GL5 2HA. There is a bar.

This event is part of the Stroud Book Festival. It will also be our last event at the SVA.

Tickets, priced at £8 (including the SVA's booking fee), are NOW on sale only in advance and only from the SVA website

Please note that some of the early tickets sold by the SVA say the event starts at 7.30. This is WRONG. In fact it starts at 8.00. 

Tickets always sell out in advance. Do not tarry. 

PLEASE NOTE - SSS does not sell tickets. All ticket enquiries to the SVA. 


Thank you again to everyone who submitted stories.

I hope to see you there.

John