Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Our 5 November event sold out in just 6 days! For an event nearly 5 weeks away.


Thank you to everyone who has bought tickets for our 15th event 'All you need is love. Or is it? on 5 November at the SVA in Stroud. It's going to be a great evening. The SVA has now SOLD OUT. No more tickets will be available.

However, if you do have a ticket and decide, at any point, that you are unable to attend, please do let me know on stroudshortstories@gmail.com as I may be able to re-sell your ticket.

All the details of authors and stories for 5 November are below.

Friday, 29 September 2017

5th November 2017 Event - 10 Stories and Authors Selected + Ticket Info + Judge's Statement



A huge thank you to everyone who submitted stories for our 15th event 'All you need is love. Or is it?'. We received easily the highest number of stories we have ever received for a themed event - 75 Gloucestershire authors submitted 101 stories! The quality of submission was also tremendous, so the task of selection was made very difficult.

I am indebted to my co-judge Debbie Young for her wisdom, energy and conscientiousness in the task of selecting ten stories from such an outstanding field.


These are the ten stories we have chosen to be read at our event. (They are in librarians' alphabetical order).

Ashes and knee pins - Tais Brias Avila (Stonehouse)
Baby love - Mary Flood (Cheltenham)
From Newcastle with love - Nastasya Parker (Dursley)
Goodnight Irene - Simon Piney (Eastcombe)
I've lost my child - Lania Knight (Cheltenham)
The One - Martin Spice (Nailsworth)
Show me what you're made of - Chloe Turner (Stroud)
Still for sale - Emma Kernahan (Stroud)
The Wassailers' Wedding - Kim Lakin-Smith (Stroud)
When the night comes - Mel Golding (Stroud)

Congratulations to these authors. These are beautifully-crafted, memorable tales which will make a brilliant evening of short stories.

This event is part of the Stroud Book Festival.

TICKETS - 'All you need is love.Or is it?' takes place on Sunday 5 November at 8pm (doors 7.30) at the SVA in John Street, Stroud, GL5 2HA. Tickets are now on sale on the SVA's website. Click on the SSS info on the page then scroll down for ticket sales. Including the SVA's new booking fee, tickets are £7.75 each. This event will not be videoed.

Debbie has kindly provided this judge's statement -

'It has been a pleasure to work with John Holland again to curate the content for what promises to be another terrific evening of Stroud Short Stories on 5th November.

To read and digest over 100 stories requires mental gymnastics on the part of the judges, plunging us into so many worlds for a few minutes in quick succession. As I finished the last one, I felt as if I'd just watched the complete adventures of Dr Who, with all 13 doctors, played on fast forward, except with slightly fewer monsters. It's a tribute to the writers of the submissions that I landed safely in one piece.

Alongside clusters of stories with familiar themes - and familiarity is no failing when a tale is well executed - were some startlingly original outside-the-box submissions. Two particular features leapt out at me this time: the number of references to local landmarks and the quantity of genitals. Don't take this as hint to make for your next submission a tale of group sex with Daleks on Hetty Pegler's Tump, but I've got first dibs on Rodborough's Tingle Stone with the Cybermen.

The variety in the length of submission was interesting. SSS allows a range from 500 to 1500 and that's what we received. Top tip; if you're paring a story down to match the rules, don't stop just because you've reached the maximum. Keep editing till you've eliminated all surplus words, and your story will be stronger. Succinct shorter stories will impress us more than flabby full-length ones, so to speak.

SSS has a track record of discovering gifted novices, and putting them on stage with familiar faces already on the circuit. But when we judge the stories, we have no idea who has submitted. Whatever your level of experience, if your story's made the final ten, you can be sure it's there on merit. And if it didn't make it, take heart - because it may well have been a near miss, and unlike the ten chosen authors, you'll be very welcome to submit again for the spring SSS. (Authors who read can only appear at alternate events, to give more writers a chance to share the spotlight.)

However you interpreted the theme 'All you need is love. Or is it?', it has been gratifying for me as a judge to see the outpouring of affection and respect for SSS in the form of so many carefully honed submissions, and I am proud to have been able to play a part in sharing the SSS love.'

Sunday, 24 September 2017

We are now closed for submissions for our 5 November 2017 event entitled 'All you need is love. Or is it?'


Thank you for everyone who sent us their stories. We're having a great time reading them. More news will follow soon.

Friday, 4 August 2017

We are currently open for submissions for our THEMED November 5th 2017 event. Submissions close on September 23rd at 23.59.



The theme this time is 'All You Need Is Love. Or Is It?'. This is to reflect the Stroud Short Stories wedding this autumn.

Think of the theme as widely and flexibly as possible. Not only romantic love but stories of obsession and relationships of all kinds are welcome. And not necessarily just relationships between people. Other obsessions too. The style can be straight or funny, cynical, ironic or dark.

Rules and How to Submit here





The 5 November event will be our 15th, and is part of the Stroud Book Festival. It will take place as usual at the SVA in John Street, Stroud, GL2 5HA at 8pm (doors 7.30). Because we sell out, tickets will only be available in advance from the SVA website.

The ten authors, who read to a packed 70-strong audience at our event on 5 November, will also be offered publication of their stories in our next anthology due 2018.


Submissions close at the end of Saturday 23 September. Please note that the window for submissions is shorter than usual, and the waiting time until the event far longer. My apologies for this. It is because of the wedding. 

Remember that it's free to submit. And that we are happy to consider published or unpublished work.

I am delighted to say that short story author, novelist, self-publishing guru and Hawkesbury Upton LitFest organiser Debbie Young will be judging with me this time. More info about the judges here.

Please send us your stories. Debbie and I can't wait to read them.

Rules and How to Submit here

John 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

On August 5th we open for submissions for our THEMED November 5th event. We close on September 23rd.


The theme this time is 'All You Need Is Love. Or Is It?'. This is to reflect the big Stroud Short Stories wedding this autumn.

The theme should be viewed as widely as possible. Not just romantic love but stories of obsession and relationships of all kind are welcome. And not necessarily just relationships between people. The writing can be straight or funny, cynical, ironic or dark.

The ten authors who read at our event on 5 November will be offered publication of their stories in our next anthology due 2018.

I am delighted to say that short story author Debbie Young will be judging with me this time. More info about the judges here.

Rules and How to Submit here

Thursday, 25 May 2017

A Ship Called Crazy And Other Stories 21 May 2017 + News of the next SSS event


Here are our brilliant authors last Sunday - 21 May 2017 - in the order in which they read. (Snaps by Tim Byford)

Videos are now on our YouTube channel.

The next SSS event will be on Sunday 5 November (pop that in your diary) at the SVA in Stroud as usual. It will be part of the Stroud Book Festival. The theme will be 'All you need is love. Or is it?' Submissions will open in August. More details to follow.


Pam Keevil reads Platform 2
Jan Petrie reads Keeping Time


Jason Jackson reads #truebeauty
Michael Hurst reads Stolen Orange


Katherine Hunter reads A Ship Called Crazy
Joanna Campbell reads Paper Sails
David Jay reads Dream Noir
Philip Douch reads Journeys


Sian Breeze reads Spring Clean
Claire Morris reads Bodgers


Monday, 22 May 2017

A Ship Called Crazy And Other Stories 21 May 2017


Thank you to everyone who attended last night's Stroud Short Stories event. The ten authors - Pam Keevil, Jan Petrie, Jason Jackson, Michael Hurst, Katherine Hunter, Joanna Campbell, David Jay, Philip Douch, Sian Breeze and Claire Morris - read wonderfully. And the sell-out audience was really appreciative and supportive - as ever.

Snaps and videos of the evening will follow.

The next SSS event will be on Sunday 5 November (pop that in your diary) at the SVA in Stroud as usual. It will be part of the Stroud Book Festival. There will be a theme for the stories this time. The theme will be 'All you need is love. Or is it?'

Submissions will open in August. More details to follow.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

THE TEN STORIES/AUTHORS ANNOUNCED + JUDGE'S STATEMENT -
A Ship Called Crazy And Other Stories 21 May 2017


In total 82 Gloucestershire writers submitted 109 stories - the second highest number of submissions ever - for the now sold-out 21 May event at the SVA, John Street, Stroud. All 82 authors have now been contacted. Below is a statement from my co-judge on this occasion, short story author, Ali Bacon. In my view, this was the highest quality batch of stories ever received for a SSS event. Reducing the final 20 brilliant pieces to 10 was particularly hard.


Here are the 10 we have chosen for the event (in librarians' alphabetical order by title) -

Bodgers - Claire Morris (Cirencester)

Dream Noir - David Jay (Stroud)
Journeys - Philip Douch (Stroud)
Keeping Time - Jan Petrie (Sheepscombe)
Paper Sails - Joanna Campbell (Bisley)
Platform 2 - Pam Keevil (Ruscombe)

A Ship Called Crazy - Katherine Hunter (Stroud)
Spring Clean - Sian Breeze (Chalford)
Stolen Orange - Michael Hurst (Cheltenham)
#truebeauty - Jason Jackson (Kingswood, South Gloucestershire)


Congratulations to these authors. I can't wait to hear them read their brilliant stories on 21 May. They will also be offered publication in our next anthology due in 2018. Four have read at SSS before, but six will be making their debuts. It's worth bearing in mind, if your story is not in the ten, that at least three of the writers making their debuts have submitted to SSS previously.

It's really important to me that writers who submitted should not conclude that these are the only outstanding stories to be submitted. That's far from being the case. 

Here is Ali Bacon's statement as co-judge -

As a long-time fan of Stroud Short Stories, and as someone who has submitted several times (not always successfully!) I was thrilled to be asked to act as John's co-judge. It's been an absolute joy to see the range of imagination and creativity on display in the stories submitted, and an absolute headache choosing 10 stories out of the 109 we received. Of these, nearly all were worth considering and a high proportion ranked as possible contenders straight away. Even after some serious sifting, those we judged to be ‘outstanding’ were double the number we needed.  
 
If you were not successful this time I think it’s important to reassure you that the judging is fair and rigourous - every single story is read by both judges. And your submissions are anonymised so we do not know the identity of the author. 
 
In reading your stories, you have made me think harder about what actually makes a good story. A few weeks ago I would have said that a good (i.e. satisfying) ending was paramount, but then what is a good ending if the start or the middle fall short? A story has only a short time to grab our attention - all of it has to work for the reader. And since we have only listeners (with no time to mull over or flick back) at the SSS event, it all has to work straight away.

That’s a tall order, so I thought you might like to know what, for me, separated the outstanding stories from the simply good.

 
I wanted to feel the writer was in absolute control, that as a reader I was in safe hands as the story unfolds, which I think comes from a mastery of language and style. It’s a kind of technical merit, I suppose, but without it the artistry fails. Linked to this is the issue of clarity. I wanted to be clear about what was happening - not in the sense of knowing where the story was going, but being able to follow every step without hesitation. I want to be intrigued but not mystified or hoodwinked.


With the more technical criteria satisfied, I looked for interest and originality. Which brings me to the last and most subjective part of the selection process - the impact on the audience - the entertainment value to the reader/listener.  Will it get a reaction and stick in the audience’s minds? For this a satisfying ending is crucial of course - which brings me back to where I began!
 

These are my own views, and not necessarily John’s, but I’m glad to say that when it came to putting forward our own favourites for inclusion in the final ten, the overlap was gratifyingly high. A final thanks to you all - the writers of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire - who have taken part. You are all amazing, and if you didn’t make it this time, keep trying.
Ali Bacon http://alibacon.com


Thank you, Ali, for being such a brilliant judge.

NB If anyone has a spare ticket for the event (which has sold out), or wants to join the waiting list for returns that come my way, please email me at stroudshortstories@gmail.com

I hope to see many of you at 'A Ship Called Crazy And Other Stories'. 


John

John Holland
Organiser, Stroud Short Stories
Email stroudshortstories@gmail.com
Twitter @StroudStories

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The Stroud Short Stories event on Sunday 21 May has sold out


All tickets are now sold for the next SSS event on Sunday 21 May 2017 at the SVA, John Street, Stroud, GL5 2HA at 8pm (doors 7.30). Thank you to every one who has bought tickets. This is our eighth event in a row to sell out.

The ten as yet unnamed authors will read to an audience of 70. 

If you have bought tickets and realise that you cannot make it, or if you want to be added to a waiting list for any returns that come my way, please email me on stroudshortstories@gmail.com


We will be naming the authors and stories for our event very soon (we haven't chosen them yet!), and definitely before 12 May.

Writers, please be aware that we use Mailchimp for our email newsletters so if you have a gmail account our emails will arrive in your Promotions inbox.

John

John Holland
Organiser, Stroud Short Stories
Email  stroudshortstories@gmail.com

Sunday, 23 April 2017

21 May Event 2017 - 100+ Submissions and Ticket Information


We have now closed for submissions for the 21 May 2017 event. Sincere thanks if you submitted your story or stories. It's a bumper crop. In fact it's the second time, in 14 events, that we have received over 100 submissions. The total this time is 109 stories submitted by 82 writers. Wonderful. 

If you submitted you will hear from us about the ten stories chosen by 12 May at the very latest. 

Please be aware that we use Mailchimp for our emails so if you have a gmail account our emails will arrive in your Promotions inbox.


TICKETS

TICKETS for the next Stroud Short Stories event on Sunday 21 May 2017 at 8pm (doors 7.30) are now on sale on the website of our venue, the SVA (Stroud Valleys Artspace). They are £7 each.

Because of demand, tickets are only available in advance and online. These days, we always sell out.

Buy your ticket here

If you buy tickets and then are unable to attend just email me on stroudshortstories@gmail.com as demand is such that I can usually re-sell for you.

I'd better get on with my reading!

I hope to see you on 21 May.

John

WE HAVE NOW CLOSED FOR SUBMISSIONS - BUT TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE


Sincere thanks to everyone who submitted their story or stories for our Sunday 21 May 2017 event. It's a bumper crop - and might even be a new record! We are still counting! Authors will hear from us about the stories chosen by 12 May at the very latest.

Remember - we have to use Mailchimp for our emails so if you have a gmail account our emails will arrive in your Promotions Inbox.

TICKETS

TICKETS for the next Stroud Short Stories event on Sunday 21 May 2017 at 8pm (doors 7.30) are now on sale on the website of our venue, the SVA (Stroud Valleys Artspace). They are £7 each.


Because of demand, tickets are only available in advance and online.

Buy your tickets here


If you buy tickets and then are unable to attend just email me on stroudshortstories@gmail.com as demand is such that I can usually re-sell for you.

John

Saturday, 15 April 2017

TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE AND WE ARE STILL OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS!


Tickets for the next Stroud Short Stories event on Sunday 21 May 2017 at 8pm (doors 7.30) are now on sale on the website of our venue, the SVA (Stroud Valleys Artspace). They are £7 each.


Because of demand, tickets are only available in advance and online.

Book your tickets here


If you buy tickets and then are unable to attend just email me on stroudshortstories@gmail.com as demand is such that I can usually re-sell for you.



We are still open for short story submissions for this event. Our deadline is the end of Saturday 22 April. 


Rules and How to Submit here

As normal, ten stories will be chosen by the judges from those submitted. The authors will read at our event at the SVA on 21 May. And will be invited to have their stories published in our 2018 anthology.





Stroud Short Stories is being featured as part of Stroud's Site Festival on the SVA's Resound Radio


I chose three of my favourite stories from SSS's history to be read by their authors on Resound Radio. These are now, or will soon be, available online

Saturday 15 April
Martin Spice reads 'Le Fromager' (first read at SSS in April 2015)

Friday 21 April
Katherine Hunter reads 'Holding On' (from SSS in May 2014)

Saturday 22 April
Rachel Levay reads 'I Thought I was a Lion' (from SSS in May 2012)

I also read my non-SSS story 'Da'.

They are, or will soon be, featured for your listening pleasure here on the SVA's Resound Radio website (NB not all available yet!).

John

Thursday, 23 March 2017

We are open for your short story submissions for our next event on Sunday 21 May 2017


We close for submissions at the end of Saturday 22 April.

It's an open theme. Any genre or no genre.

The event - our 14th - takes place on Sunday 21 May 2017 at 8pm (Doors 7.30) at the Stroud Valleys Artspace (SVA), John Street, Stroud, GL5 2HA. 

Ten stories will be selected. The authors read to a large, supportive and friendly audience. It's free to submit. The aim of Stroud Short Stories is to showcase and promote Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire writers.

There's a new judge this time in the form of brilliant short story writer Ali Bacon. She will co-judge with me. Info about judges here


Rules and How to Submit here

Check out the videos of our last event here

Tickets are sold only in advance and only from the SVA website. We will, of course, post on this website as soon as we know that tickets are for sale.

John 

Monday, 6 March 2017

Congratulations, John


We interrupt the promotion of the 21 May 2017 Stroud Short Stories event just to congratulate SSS organiser, John Holland, on his recent First Prize in the prestigious InkTears International Short Story Contest for his story 'Da'. The prize is publication (link below) and £1,000. Well done, that man.

http://www.inktears.com/home-i/#home


See the post below for everything you need to know about submitting to our next event.

Christiane
Administrator, Stroud Short Stories

Saturday, 25 February 2017

We are now open for your short story submissions for our next event on Sunday 21 May 2017


We close for submissions at the end of Saturday 22 April.

It's an open theme. Any genre or no genre.

The event - our 14th - takes place on Sunday 21 May 2017 at 8pm (Doors 7.30) at the Stroud Valleys Artspace (SVA), John Street, Stroud, GL5 2HA. 

Ten stories will be selected. The authors read to a large, supportive and friendly audience. It's free to submit. The aim of Stroud Short Stories is to showcase and promote Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire writers.

There's a new judge this time in the form of brilliant short story writer Ali Bacon. She will co-judge with me. Info about judges here


Rules and How to Submit here

Check out the videos of our last event here

Ali and I are really looking forward to reading your stories. Can't wait!

John 

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The next Stroud Short Stories event will be on Sunday 21 May 2017


We are open for submissions from Sunday 26 February 2017.

We close for submissions at the end of Saturday 22 April.

It will be an open theme. Any genre or no genre.

The event takes place on Sunday 21 May 2017 at 8pm (Doors 7.30) at the SVA, John Street, Stroud, GL5 2HA. Ten stories will be selected. The authors read to a large, supportive and friendly audience.


Rules and How to Submit here

There's a new judge this time in the form of brilliant short story writer Ali Bacon. She will co-judge with SSS organiser John Holland. Info about judges here

Check out the videos of our last event here