Northern Short Story Festival at the Carriageworks Theatre, 11.30am – 6.45pm, Saturday 4th June 2016

Date & Time

04/06/2016 @ 11:30 am - 6:45 pm

Ticket Price

£4.00 - £20.00

This is an event for



We are delighted to announce the the first ever Northern Short Story Festival, part of the Leeds Big Bookend Festival 2016, funded by Northern Accent, and in partnership with the Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds. Tickets ranging from £4.00-£8.00  are available from the Carriageworks or by phoning 0113 376 0318. Full-day tickets at £20.00 are available by phoning 0113 376 0318. 

Follow the Northern Short Story Festival on Twitter: Northern Short Story @NoShoSto 

Download the Festival Programme – click here


Our Afterparty will take place at the Hyde Park Book Club at 8pm, entry will be £3.00 on the door.

Programme – Saturday 4th June 2016

11:30am – 1:30pm – THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW SOLD OUT

The Art of Murder, Crime Writing Workshop with Alison Taft and Anna Chilvers.

This interactive, practical workshop is designed to help you commit murder within the framework of a short story. Learn how to structure a story, create mystery and suspense, and believable characters with believable motives! Whether you’re an experienced writer wanting to try something new, or a first-time writer exploring fiction for the first time, this workshop is suitable for you.

Tickets: £5. Click here to book.

AJ Taft (photo by Richard Wilcocks)Alison Taft writes as AJ Taft. Her first novel, Our Father Who Art Out There, Somewhere, was published by Caffeine Nights in 2011 and unintentionally launched a crime series. Shallow Be Thy Grave was published in 2013 and My Time Has Come followed last year. Alison also works as a creative writing tutor and an editor for the Cornerstones Literary Consultancy.
Anna Chilvers’ first novel Falling Through Clouds was published in 2010 by Bluemoose Books. Legging It (Pennine Prospects, 2012) is a collection of short stories inspired by movement through the landscape. Her second novel Tainted Love has just been published by Bluemoose Books. You can read more here. Anna is a writing tutor for the WEA.Anna Chilvers

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Independent Press Panel – Comma Press, Valley Press and Tartarus Press. 

Theses three specialist presses from the North of England will talk about the present health of the short story in the UK, and new and innovative approaches to publishing short stories. Come and meet the publishers and pitch your questions to them, with James Nash.

Tickets: £4. Click here to book.

Our panellists are Jim Hinks, an editor at Comma Press, an independent publishing house specialising in short fiction from the UK and overseas. Jim has worked in the publishing industry for over ten years, and taught publishing and creative writing at UCLAN, Edge Hill University, and the University of Leeds. He’s also the creator of MacGuffin, a digital platform for fiction and poetry in text and audio form; Jamie McGarryValley Press, the home of independent literary publishing in Scarborough with a list that includes poetry, fiction and non-fiction with close to a hundred titles in print. Valley Press was founded by Jamie whilst an undergraduate English Literature student which he continues to run to this day; Ray Russell, from Tartarus Press, a small, British independent press founded in 1990. They specialise in collectable, hardback, limited editions of literary supernatural/strange/horror fiction, and also publish paperbacks and ebooks.

2:00pm – 3:00pm

Headliner: Carys Bray, Reading & Q&A, with Richard Smyth

Tickets: £8/£6 concession. Click here to book.

carysbrayCarys Bray is a short story writer and novelist. Her collection Sweet Home won the Scott Prize and her debut novel A Song for Issy Bradley was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and broadcast on BBC Radio. Her second novel The Museum of You will be published in June 2016. Carys lives in Southport with her husband and children.


3:15pm – 4:15pm

Bluemoose Books Reading Event with Michael Stewart (winner of the Not the Booker Prize) and Anna Chilvers.

Join authors Michael Stewart and Anna Chilvers as they read some of their short fiction and take your questions.

Tickets: £4. Click here to book.

Michael StewartMichael Stewart is an award winning playwright and author. His debut novel King Crow, published by Bluemoose Books, won The Guardian’s Not the Booker in 2011 and was a recommended read for World Book Night in 2012. His second novel Cafe Assassin was also published by Bluemoose Books in 2015. His books have been translated into several languages. Michael is senior lecturer in Creative Writing at Huddersfield University.

Anna Chilvers is a writer based in Hebden Bridge. Bluemoose Books published her debut Falling Through Clouds in January 2010. It has been translated into Russian by Centerpolygraph of Moscow. Bluemoose Books has just published Anna’s second novel Tainted Love. You can read more here. Anna teaches creative writing for the WEA. Anna Chilvers

Bluemoose Books is a multi-award winning independent publisher based in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.


Success in Short Story Competitions Workshop with Avril Joy (winner of the Costa Prize).

Avril Joy will guide you in developing your short story writing – from finding contests to enter, to developing, shaping and polishing your story into something that can make the shortlist! This workshop is suitable for writers at all stages – whether beginner or experienced. 

You can read more about Avril’s workshop here.

Tickets: £5. Click here to book.

Avril Joy is an award winning short story writer, novelist and occasional poet. In 2012 she won the inaugural Costa Short Story Prize. Her work has also been shortlisted in a wide variety of competitions including the Manchester Prize for Fiction, the Bridport, and the Raymond Carver Short Story Competition.

4:30pm – 5.30pm

The Dark Side of the North. Reading and Discussion Event with Barney Walsh and David Martin.

Join acclaimed short story writers Barney Walsh and David Martin as they read their work, and discuss the North’s unique literary culture, with SJ Bradley.

Tickets: £4. Click here to book.

bwalsh3Barney Walsh is a graduate of the University of Manchester’s MA in creative writing. He reads and selects stories for Litro Online’s StorySunday slot, and his own fiction has appeared in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 7, The Big Issue in the North: Award for Short Fiction 2013, Unthology 4, The Warwick Review, Unthology 7, Litro Magazine, Shooter Literary Magazine, and The Manchester Review.

David Martin was shortlisted for the Big Issue in the North prize and his stories have been published by The London Magazine, Valley Press and Dead Ink Books. His collection of short stories, Only Shadows Move, is available now, and he tweets @lordsludge.


Flashbulb Flash Fiction Workshop with Clare Sita Fisher

Join novelist and short story writer Clare Sita Fisher for an interactive workshop in flash (or very short) fiction. You’ll read and discuss some of the best contemporary examples of this fast-growing form before getting the chance to create your own piece of very short fiction. A playful and exploratory workshop open to writers of all abilities.

Tickets: £5. Click here to book.

Version 2Clare Sita Fisher was born in Tooting, South London in 1987. Her first novel will be published by Viking, Penguin in 2017, followed shortly by her first collection of short fiction, How the Light Gets In, with Influx Press. She has an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths College, University of London and a BA in History from the University of Oxford. She now lives in Leeds with her partner. Chat to her on Twitter @claresitafisher.


5:45pm – 6:45pm

Open Mic Event. Hosted by Jenna Isherwood of Fictions of Every Kind.

We’ll be offering 5-minute slots for people to read their stories. Priority for those slots will go to people who have attended & written things at the workshops during the festival. Any remaining slots will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis on the day. We look forward to hearing your stories!

Free event, just turn up.

5:45pm – 6:45pm

Stories from the Forests of Leeds with Daniel Ingram-Brown and Local Writers. Readings and Book Launch.

Tickets: £4. Click here to book.

new_clarence_in_the_docksIn Stories, the forest is a place of transformation. It’s a place people venture into, away from the established order, to confront the problems that face them. Join author and theatre producer Daniel Ingram-Brown, who has been working with the Leeds Big Bookend Festival, the Leeds Church Institute and local writers, to imagine Leeds as a forest – a complex, diverse place with no wide landscape, where roads thread between buildings, connecting people and communities. Through a series of workshops, characters and stories have been created that will form a treasury of tales and artwork from the Forests of Leeds.

Contributors in the book range from an 11 year old, to the Professor of English at Leeds Trinity University. The major theme that has emerged is that of the divide between the haves and have-nots. The book tells the story of those who live on the fringes of the Forests through the eyes of Clarence the Water Rat. It is illustrated by Simon Smith, who has developed a series of illustrations that base his vision of The Forests of Leeds on the real life of the city.



The finale of the first ever Northern Short Story Festival, join us as we party the night away in the intimate setting of the Hyde Park Book Club, with flash fiction master Benjamin Judge, and the world-famous ukulele troupe, The Three Amigos.

me with glassBenjamin Judge is a writer/performer/editor/artist/idiot from Manchester. Some of the things he has written have won awards. His favourite small orange is the satsuma. He exists on twitter as @benjaminjudge.

The Three Amigos are world-famous ukulele masters bringing you the finest in pop, rock and punk awesomeness. Available for gigs, weddings, bar mitzvahs, christenings and office parties.

Pay on the door – £3.00. Proceeds to the performers. 10549287_765020320228287_5819138642897183745_o crop