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Litro has gone through many changes in recent months, and I apologise that it’s taken this long for a proper update. First things first:
Litro & IGGY Young Writers Short Story Award
Apologies to our anxious readers and writers for not announcing the longlisted entries on 5 September as promised. We’ve just posted the news this morning—congratulations to all of you who made it! The shortlist will be announced on 14 September.
The Litro Website
We redesigned the website sometime in April, which I hope has improved the experience for you. There are, at the moment, a couple of glitches.
Our online shop is down at the moment so you won’t be able to check out any subscriptions to our print magazine at this time, but we are working on getting it back up and running as soon as possible. I should also note that in transitioning to the new design and layout, some old entries in the archives have ended up with images or links that don’t work; we’re fixing this incrementally, so again, please remain patient. Any other comments or suggestions on how to make the website more user-friendly, please email me.
New Online Sections
- Back Issues: We’re in the process of archiving the back issues of our print magazine, which you can view with Issuu or download as a .pdf file.
- #StorySunday : Because we only publish short stories according to the designated theme in our print magazine, we thought it would be fun to publish open-themed short fiction online every Sunday.
- Litro Lab: This used to be called “Litro Spoken Word”. When before we simply invited submissions from our readers and writers in the form of MP3 readings of their stories, now we are taking charge of Litro Lab as a reincarnated podcast with more direction, though we still welcome submissions. We don’t plan to stick to one particular format or subject; each episode will take on a life of its own as we explore the audio possibilities of short stories, poetry, true storytelling, and interviews with various authors and publishing industry professionals. Emily Cleaver, a long-time contributor to Litro who has had experience of telling stories live at Liars League and Spark London as well as on radio, will be heading Litro Lab, so if you’d like to participate, either as a writer or a reader or if you just have a bright idea, feel free to get in touch at [email protected] or @EmilyCleaver.
- Book Reviews: We’ve restarted the reviews section, and plan to keep this going regularly, covering new as well as old books, hopefully mixing it up with a balance of well known and lesser known authors.
- The Litro Q&A has now been revived with a new series of questions.
Coming Soon Online
- Book Club Reviews: exactly what it says. This occasional series kicks off tomorrow.
- Share a Story: We’ll revive an old series briefly started a long time ago. In a series on Litro Lab, we also ask established authors to share with us a story they love and tell us why they love it, but this section is for readers. Anyone, feel free to email me with a short story recommendation. Tell us why you love it under 1,000 words.
- Well-kept Secret: a series of blog posts in which authors spotlight an underrated author
Changes to the Litro Team
Our team has gone through some reshuffling recently. Most notably, Katy Darby has passed on her position as Editor of the magazine to Alex Goodwin and Mohsen Shah—she remains a contributing editor; Ian Parks is now Poetry Editor; and Cathy Galvin, journalist and Founder of the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award, has joined as Chairman. (See our Team page for more.)
What’s the Litro team up to?
Cathy Galvin, in collaboration with Word Factory, now hosts Story Salon, a night of short story readings, conversation, and wine. This monthly event debuted on 25 August at The Society Club in Soho and featured award-winning writers Evgenia Citkowitz, Alison McLeod, Will Cohu, and Hazel Osmond. Upcoming dates are 29 September, 27 October, and 24 November.
Ian Parks has a new collection of poetry, The Exile’s House, published by Waterloo Press. He is a 2012 writer-in-residence at Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, Flintshire, where you can also catch him at a line-up of readings and workshops. He recently read at The Society Club.
Sophie Lewis, our contributing editor based in Rio, was in London recently to begin Litro‘s partnership with Rio Occupation London with “Endless Poem”, the live poetry event by Ramon Mello, at Clerkenwell on 20 July. Presently, she is back in Rio conceiving and editing the ambitious catalogue that will document and record all the artistic projects that were part of the Occupation. As a result, she has begun to work closely with the whole Occupation project—an ongoing collaboration as there will continue to be a variety of artistic exchanges annually between Rio and London in the years leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics. As such, you can also look forward to another Brazil-focused edition of Litro next year as part of our World Series (the first was published in April 2012), which Sophie will again guest-edit.
Katy Darby‘s debut novel, first published as The Whores’ Asylum, will be released in paperback on 13 September as The Unpierced Heart (read about why the title was changed). Katy will talk about sex, murder and the (neo-)Victorian novel with nineteenth-century expert, biographer and novelist Kate Williams on 21 September at the Sevenoaks Literary Celebration. Otherwise, you can catch her every month at Liars’ League, a short story reading night she runs collectively with other short story lovers. The next meet-up is on Tuesday, 11 September, on the theme of Food & Drink; also see forthcoming dates and themes.
Twenty-three stories that were previously read at Liars’ League have also been recently published in a new anthology, London Lies: Urban Tales from Liars’ League, by Arachne Press, and was launched on 5 September at the London Review Bookshop. Katy Darby and Emily Cleaver both have stories published in this diverse anthology: from 1930s Camden to a Royal Wedding riot, via football fights, office steeplechases and awkward dates in art galleries. You can see video extracts of some of the stories here; buy a copy at Book Depository or Amazon from 8 September onwards, or try to grab one at upcoming readings: 12 Sep in Greenwich, 20 September at Clapham Books, and 27 September at Kilburn Library. Say hi to Katy and Emily if you see them!
Call for Writers/Submissions
We hope you like what we’ve done with Litro over the past few months. Drop us a line to say hello or to offer up any new ideas or suggestions. We want to hear from you, our readers; help us shape Litro Online. Also, we are always looking for new feature writers and book/culture reviewers—so please get in touch if you’re interested with a short bio, samples of written work, and at least three pitches for online features.
Until next time.