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If you’ve been paying attention to the literary pages recently, you’ll know that short stories are on the rise. George Saunders won the Folio Prize for his collection Tenth of December; writers like Colin Barrett have succeeded in launching careers with short story collections. In this modern age of mobile apps and movies at your fingertips, smaller sometimes can be better.
Litro has always been dedicated to publishing and promoting short fiction, so we’re pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with the first ever London Short Story Festival to bring you a pair of free live events on Saturday 21 June. First up is the Speakers’ Corner at 1pm, where Litro authors Maia Jenkins and Sabrina Mahfouz will read their stories. In keeping with the festival’s dedication to brevity, the reading will be a short pop-up event, so be sure to get there early! It takes place at the dedicated Speakers’ Corner in the entrance of Waterstone’s Piccadilly, and is free and unticketed.
Following the reading, Sabrina Mahfouz will be joining us for a short writing workshop in the festival’s Writers’ Space (also at Waterstone’s Piccadilly). This starts at 2pm, and the exercise will focus on developing your characters. We’ll also be talking about Litro’s forthcoming themed issues, and the best ways to submit to us and grab our attention! This event is free and unticketed, but be certain to turn up early as space will be limited. The Writers’ Space is open throughout the festival for writers to work on their fiction between events.
Maia Jenkins: Maia Jenkins grew up in Singapore and France but moved back to the UK in 2009. In October 2013 she won the GQ Norman Mailer Student Writing Prize for her essay ‘To the Weakness of Others’, which was published in the July 2014 issue of GQ. She also won the Baileys Prize/Grazia First Chapter competition, and was recently published in Grazia magazine. Her short memoir piece, ‘Lessons’, appeared in Litro #132; her reviews of the stage production of American Psycho and Galveston, by True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto, have appeared in Litro online. She is currently working on her first novel, All a Darkness.
Sabrina Mahfouz writes plays, poems, films, articles and stories. She produces workshops, theatre and events with the aims of making the arts more accessible for all and creating awareness of social issues through creative engagement. Her creative work has been recognized with a number of awards. Most recently, these include receiving the 2013 Sky Arts Futures Fund Award; an Old Vic New Voices Underbelly Edinburgh Award; a UK Young Artists Award; The Stage Award for Best Solo Performance; an Old Vic New Voices TS Eliot Award and a Westminster Prize for New Playwrights. Her short story ‘Flat Pack Pirate‘ apeared in Litro #119. Her first book, The Clean Collection, is available from Bloomsbury.
If you’re intrigued by these events and want to know more, the full schedule for the London Short Story Festival can be found here. There are plenty of must-see events on the schedule, including the launch of Salt Publishing’s Best British Short Stories 2014, and events with Colin Barrett, A.L. Kennedy, Jackie Kay and Alison Moore. Amazingly, as we write there are still tickets for Salt Publishing’s Best British Short Stories 2014 launch on Friday 20 June, as well as Colin Barrett’s events at 12.15pm and 5.00pm on Saturday 21 June. Barrett’s debut Young Skins is one of the best collections in recent years, so these events shouldn’t be missed.
As for Litro, we’ll also be taking our live events on the road this summer, as we head to the Latitude Festival in July. Full details of Litro Presents at Latitude can be found here.