Book Club Event: Marc Pastor Brings Barcelona Shadows to London

marc_pastorLitro has always been a keen promoter of outstanding fiction in translation, and we are delighted to have Catalan author Marc Pastor’s Barcelona Shadows as the Litro Book Club read for Autumn 2014.

Marc Pastor will be our special guest author for the Litro Book club get together on Thursday October 16th, at Shutterbug in Shoreditch. Marc will be reading from Barcelona Shadows, followed by a discussion of the book and its themes with Litro magazine editor Dan Coxon. There will also be a chance for audience questions, and Marc will be signing copies of the book once the discussion ends.

Come along and meet the author that Vice compared to Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson and David Peace, as he reads from his darkly thrilling novel and shares some stories from his own career as a crime scene investigator. The evening will also include live music and will close with a DJ set from Miguel Colectivo of Colectivo Futuro.

The Litro Book Club with Marc Pastor takes place on Thursday October 16th, at Shutterbug, 1 Rivington Place, London EC2A 3BA. Doors open at 6.30pm, and the evening ends at 11pm. The event is free and unticketed, but please RSVP here to guarantee a place.

Litro Live! Joins Lineup for the Latitude Festival

Latitude 2014 (02.06.2014)July is turning into a musical month for Litro. Not only do we have our Music issue, guest edited by Kele Okereke of Bloc Party, but we’re also heading to the Latitude Festival later in the month. Latitude takes place 17-20 July in Henham Park, Suffolk, showcasing a vast range of music, theatre, film, comedy and literature. Tickets are available here.

In partnership with Latitude, Litro will be hosting three exciting and enlightening talks at the Shed of Stories, one of the venues at this year’s festival. Joining us in the shed will be editor-turned-writer Luke Brown in a conversation with his contemporary James Miller; Patrick Flanery – author of the dystopian novel Fallen Land – talking with historian and TV presenter Kate Williams; and finally the novelist, editor, publisher and translator Ben Fergusson in discussion with award winning actor and writer Ian Kelly. Topics discussed will range from the secrets of getting your first book published to the impact of social media on modern fiction.

(NOTE: This is a change from the original programme. Rebecca Swirsky will no longer be appearing at this year’s Latitude Festival.)

We’ll also be reporting live from the festival on some of this year’s most exciting and innovative acts, as Litro goes to Latitude.

Here are the authors we’ll be welcoming onto our stage at the Shed of Stories:

Luke Brown sqrLuke Brown previously worked at Tindal Street publishers for over 10 years as an editor of literary fiction, an experience that informs his debut novel, My Biggest Lie. Luke grew up near Blackpool, Lancashire, and now lives in London.

James Miller sqrJames Miller is the author of the acclaimed novels Lost Boys (Little, Brown 2008) and Sunshine State (Little, Brown 2010) as well as numerous short stories. His essay ‘Micro-Narratives of the Everyday‘ appeared in Litro #134. He is currently senior lecturer in English literature and Creative Writing at Kingston.

Patrick FlaneryPatrick Flanery was born in California and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. After earning a B.F.A. in Film from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts he worked for three years in the film industry before moving to the UK, where he completed a doctorate in Twentieth-Century English Literature at the University of Oxford. He has written for the Washington Post, The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, The Daily Telegraph, and The Times Literary Supplement. His first novel, Absolution, was published in 2012, and his second, Fallen Land, in 2013.

Kate WilliamsKate Williams fell in love with the eighteenth century whilst studying for her BA at the University of Oxford. She has an MA from Queen Mary, University of London and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. She is also a lecturer and TV consultant, appearing regularly on BBC and Channel 4 programmes to discuss her work. She lives in London. Her fourth history book, Josephine Bonaparte: Desire, Ambition, Napoleon, was published by Hutchinson to much acclaim in late 2013.

Ben Fergusson, photographed by Charlie Hopkinson, © 2013.Ben Fergusson is a writer, editor and translator and has worked for ten years as an editor and publisher in the art world. His short fiction has appeared in publications in both the UK and the US and has won and been shortlisted for a range of prizes. From 2009-2010 he edited the literary journal Chroma and since 2013 has been the editor of the short story magazine Oval Short Fiction. His story ‘Ewan without Ruby‘ appeared in Litro #95. His debut novel The Spring of Kasper Meier is released in July 2014, and is our Summer Book Club read.

ian_kellyIan Kelly is the author of this autumn’s much anticipated Vivienne Westwood memoir, working with and on the subject of the international fashion icon, but he is also an award winning biographer of amongst others the infamous secret memoirist Casanova. He discusses the issue of unpicking the legend of the notorious lover, the lies that biographers and memoirists tell, and the new world of writing about, and with, a living subject.


UPDATE: We’re excited to announce that the Patrick Flanery and Kate Williams event will be chaired by Anita Sethi.

Anita SethiAnita Sethi is an award-winning journalist, writer and critic who has written for several national and international newspapers and magazines including the Guardian, Observer, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times, Independent, Independent on Sunday, Sydney Morning Herald, New Statesman, Granta, Harpers Bazaar, Times Literary Supplement and BBC Travel among others.  In broadcasting she has appeared as a guest critic and commentator, panellist and presenter on several channels including BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC World Service, and ABC Australia. She has been an International Writer in Residence in Melbourne, Australia, has been published in various anthologies and is currently completing a book. She has appeared as a speaker, presenter and chair at several festivals in the UK and around the world and has interviewed authors including Louis de Bernieres, Zadie Smith and Salman Rushdie. Her website is at and she tweets at

Litro Live! at the London Short Story Festival

LSSFIf 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.

MaiaBWMaia 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 MahfouzSabrina 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.

Litro Live! at Stoke Newington Literary Festival

stokeyfestSummer is almost here, and we’re excited to announce that Litro Live! will be kicking off its festival season this June. We will be at the fifth Stoke Newington Literary Festival on Sunday 8 June, with a very special event: the launch of Litro Represents, our new bespoke literary agency.

For the last ten years Litro has been publishing stories by the most exciting new writers, alongside work by established authors. This one-of-a-kind Litro Live! event brings together three of the most promising young writers from the pages of the magazine, as well as the first authors to be signed up to Litro’s new bespoke literary agency, Litro Represents. Reading from their works-in-progress will be: Maia Jenkins (winner of the GQ/Norman Mailer Prize), Rebecca Swirsky (shortlisted for the Bridport Prize) and Reece Choules (finalist for the Aesthetica Short Fiction Award). The event will be hosted by Litro editor Dan Coxon.

Maia JenkinsMaia 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 will be published in the July 2014 issue of GQ. 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.

Reece ChoulesReece Choules: Reece Choules regularly contributes to The Culture Trip with articles on film, literature and music. His short stories have appeared in The Southbank Review, Inkapature, The Dying Goose and Cigale, and his story ‘Staircase‘ appeared in Litro #130. He was Long Listed for the 2013 Fish Publishing Short Story Competition and was a finalist in the Aesthetica Short Story competition. He is currently working on his first novel, The Drift.

Rebecca SwirskyRebecca Swirsky: Rebecca Swirsky is currently being mentored by Stella Duffy after winning the Word Factory Apprenticeship. Her fiction is featured in Matter, Ambit, The View From Here, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Pygmy Giant, Stories for Homes anthology for Shelter, Cease, Cows and a number of British anthologies, including the Bridport anthology. Her story ‘Hotline to Almighty‘ appeared in Litro #131. She is currently shaping her debut novel-of-stories, A History of Symmetry.

Other highlights of this year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival include Ray Davies, Jonathan Meades, AL Kennedy, Mark Kermode, Seamus Milne, Tanya Byron, Claudia Roden, Lynn Barber, Ben Watt and Joanne Harris. Check out their website for the full programme, as well as tickets for Litro Live! on Sunday 8 June.

We’re also offering you the chance to join us and meet our writers, talk to our editors, and enjoy one of the UK’s newest literary festivals. Visit our Stoke Newington Flash Fiction Competition page to find out how you could win a pair of weekend tickets (worth £120) to the Stoke Newington Literary Festival, and have your story published on the website.

Shakespearean Sonnet Competition: Win Books and Free Tickets!

Photo by UNIRIO (copied from Flickr)
Photo by UNIRIO (copied from Flickr)

As you may already know, this year marks the 450th anniversary of Britain’s most-loved playwright, William Shakespeare. To celebrate, we’ll be publishing a special Shakespeare issue of Litro in April, with contributions from actor, producer and writer Ben Crystal, Shakespearean scholar Pauline Kiernan, and novelist Jenn Ashworth, among others.

You could be part of Litro’s Shakespeare issue too. We’re looking for some Shakespearean sonnets to publish online to accompany our Shakespeare issue, and there are some impressive prizes up for grabs.

We want you to don your Renaissance wig, pick up your quill, and pen a poem in the true Shakespearean tradition. It can be on any theme – we’d love to see a poem on the Bard himself, or a modern take on the traditional love sonnet – but it must follow the rules for the Shakespearean (English) sonnet. You can find more on the form here, but here are the main points to remember:

– 14 lines
– rhyming scheme ababcdcdefefgg
– written in iambic pentameter (accents on every second syllable)

We will pick five winners from the entries received. The winning poems will be published on Litro Online to tie in with our Shakespeare issue mid-April; the winners will each receive a copy of Ben Crystal’s excellent book Shakespeare on Toast: Getting a Taste for the Bard (£7.99 pbk/ebook, published by Icon), and a free ticket to our latest Litro Live! event.

The Litro Live! event will be held at the English Speaking Union in Mayfair on 23rd April, and includes readings by Glen Duncan, Emma Jane Unsworth, Charlie Hill and Maia Jenkins.

Entries must be received by midnight on 10th April at the latest, and must be submitted via our Submittable page here.

NOTE: This competition has now closed.

Shakespeare On Toast PBK


LitroLive! : 2013 St Pancras Take Over

litrolive_poland_bannerThe Litro World Series Goes to Poland

For one night only, Litro is taking over St Pancras International Station for an evening of readings, discussions and live music inspired by Polish Literature.

To celebrate our upcoming June issue, we’re bringing Poland to the heart of London for Litro Live! Join us on the Upper Concourse of London’s iconic St Pancras International Station at The Betjamen Arms for an evening of inspiration (and probably a few drinks). Whether you’re into short stories, spoken word, literary talk or just a jolly good time, it’s going to be a great night, and best of all it’s FREE so bring your friends!

Lucinda Belle
Rockabilly Gypsy Jazz pioneer Lucinda Belle

Speakers include: Grażyna Plebanek, Wioletta Grzegorzewska, A.M. Bakalar, Jacek Dehnel, and 2012’s UK Slam Champion Adam Kammering. Music from avant-garde harpist and Rockabilly Gypsy Jazz pioneer Lucinda Belle and DJ Liminal Londoner.

Unless you’re a member of our Book Club, this could be 2013’s only Litro meet up, don’t miss out! We can’t wait to see you all.

Join us from 6-11pm for Litro Live! on Thursday 20th June at The Betjemen Arms, Unit 53, St Pancras International Station, Pancras Road, London N1C 4QL.



St Pancras logo