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workshops and events

We hold lots of events throughout the year, including masterclasses with leading authors such as Adam Marek and Vanessa Gebbie, themed workshops like our popular Food and Flavour class, and our Short Story Pub Crawl, a unique night of literary japery. Information about upcoming events will be sent out first to our mailing list - events always sell out quickly so it's worth putting your name down. 

We are thrilled to partner Small Wonder Festival at Charleston each year, hosting events and reading groups in celebration of all things short fiction.

We are also involved in the local community and will soon be starting reading groups at Lewes Prison. Get in touch if you have an idea for how we can work together. 

orlando reading groups at charleston
18 November / 16 December

We have partnered with Charleston for their Orlando programme of exhibitions and events,
celebrating the 90th anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s seminal book. We have two more
reading and discussion groups before the end of the year on Sun 18 November & Sun 16 December.
We read extracts of Orlando, Virginia Woolf's letters and diaries and other texts, with lively discussion.
The November theme is 'Love', exploring Virginia and Vita's relationship.
In December we will finish with 'The Self'.

No need to have read the book - simply come along! More info and booking here:  https://www.charleston.org.uk/event/orlando-reading-group/

Small wonder festival 2018

Join us at Small Wonder for our programme of free Reading Groups,
exploring stories by Small Wonder authors.

Sat 29 / Sun 30 Sept 10.15-11.30am
FREE - booking essential (email us to book)

We are also excited to be hosting Courtyard Readings throughout the festival,
where you can read your short fiction aloud in open mic style slots.
More information here.

orlando reawakened
charleston Sept-Dec 2018

We are delighted to be working with Charleston this autumn as part of their programme celebrating Virginia Woolf’s masterpiece, Orlando, on the 90th anniversary of its publication. Our founder Holly Dawson is reader in residence at Charleston throughout the programme.

We are running monthly reading and discussion groups on themes such as Time, Identity, Love, Gender and The Self. There is also a marathon live read of the entire book on 11 October (‘Orlando Day’) hosted by Jeanette Winterson. We’d love to see you there!
Find out more here.

That Killer First Page: Masterclass with Paul McVeigh

* * * * SOLD OUT * * * * 
Saturday 17 March 2pm-4pm
Lewes Quaker Meeting House


We are thrilled to have award-winning novel and short story writer Paul McVeigh join us on Saturday 17 March in Lewes for a two-hour session exploring 'that killer first page'. Many of you will know Paul from his novel 'The Good Son', from his hugely popular website sharing writing advice and opportunities, and from his work with organisations like London Short Story Festival and Word Factory. There are a few spots left for the class - book your ticket here.

About the Session
We will explore what goes into writing that perfect first page to keep readers (and judges, agents and editors) hooked. How can we create emotional impact? What works and what doesn't? We’ll find out what competition judges and journal editors look for in a short story. How can we keep their attention and avoid the rejection pile? We will look at editing techniques, from how to know where to begin your story to taking it to the depths it needs. Finally, the session will also look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your work.

Note: Paul's masterclass starts at 2pm, but we are opening the room from 1pm for anyone who would like an hour working on their first pages (or any other work) in preparation for the session.

About Paul
Paul McVeigh’s short fiction has appeared in journals, anthologies and on BBC Radio 3, 4 & 5. 'Hollow' was shortlisted for Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2017. Paul’s short story blog, which shares writing opportunities and advice, is about to reach 2 million visits. His debut novel, The Good Son, has won 2 awards in the UK and his writing has been translated into 7 languages. He is the co-founder of London Short Story Festival, associate director at Word Factory, the UK’s national organisation for excellence in the short story, and he judges international short story competitions. Paul interviews short story writers such as Kevin Barry and George Saunders for The Irish Times.

The masterclass will be held in the Quaker Meeting House in Lewes, by the Library. Some of you will know this from our Thursday writing sessions. There is a kitchen in the room and refreshments will be available. The venue is a short 5-10 min walk from both Lewes Train Station and Bus Station. You can park for two hours in the car park behind Premier Inn, or three hours for free in Tesco (10 min walk). There are plenty of cafes and shops around if you need anything before we begin. The room has wheelchair access - let us know in advance so we can make sure the ramp is down.