The Northern Short Story Festival Academy is delighted to announce that a further 6 promising Yorkshire writers are to join its now well-established Academy programme in 2022. Since its inception in 2018 the Academy has been supporting and championing writers in Yorkshire, helping them to hone their craft through monthly workshops where they have the chance to read and critique each other’s short stories. The academicians work under the expert guidance of writer and creative writing tutor Anna Chilvers. At the end of the 6-month programme they will have the opportunity to showcase their work at a special event.
Festival Director Fiona Gell says: “It’s so exciting to be able to introduce our 6 writers from all over Yorkshire for 2022. We’ve always known that the region has fantastic writing talent and we prove that each year that the Academy scheme runs. This is our opportunity to help 6 more writers hone their skills and develop their voices bringing the best of Yorkshire short story writing to the world. All applications are read anonymously so that it’s a completely fair and unbiased process. It’s a totally free scheme for those who get through, generously supported by Arts@Leeds and Leeds City Council and the Walter Swan Trust. “
This year’s intake is only the fourth to be accepted into the Academy. They include writers whose work has previously won the Lunate 500 competition, the Tiny Owl Workshop’s Halloween flash fiction competition, been shortlisted for The Bath Short Story Award, and long-longlisted for the Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize. Previous years’ candidates have gone on to have their work widely published, including in the short story anthology This New North (2021, Valley Press) edited by S.J Bradley and Anna Chilvers which was shortlisted for Best Anthology at the 2021 Saboteur Awards.
S.K Perry, a former academician who graduated from the programme in 2021 says: “Being part of the Academy has been amazing, gifting me focussed time to grow my short fiction skills and body of work, and incisive feedback from a community of brilliant short story writers. I’m excited to continue working with our cohort to develop our craft and practices further, and build on the supportive relationships the Academy fostered between us. I’m so grateful such a thing exists and that I was able to be a part of it.”
Our 6 writers for 2022 are:
John Biglands (Shipley) is a writer of speculative fiction. His scribblings are usually born in the early hours of the morning when the mystical mind-hamsters tickle his brain until he gets up and tells them stories. He doesn’t really mind. He likes how quiet it is in the mornings and the hamsters are really quite sweet. His stories have been published in Every Day Fiction, Havok and Cranked Anvil.
Lucy Brighton (Barnsley) has previously written short fiction and has appeared online, on air and in various publications including Henshaw Press and Writers Forum. She has been placed in several writing competitions. She also co-edited Journeys: A Space for Words. Lucy has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and is currently working on her debut novel.
Vicky Pointing (Leeds) writes flash fiction, short stories, and novels. She was one of the winners of the Tiny Owl Workshop’s Halloween flash fiction competition, curated the UK leg of the Krampus Crackers project, and is currently working on a dystopian novel for young adults. She has been published online by Postcard Shorts, 101 Words, and Expanded Horizons.
Lyn Towers’ (Harrogate) recent successes include a short story published locally, and a flash fiction story published in The Scottish Arts Trust Story Awards. Her short scripts have been performed at local theatres including the Leeds Playhouse, and also filmed for radio and through the Leeds Film School. She is a member of Script Yorkshire. She is currently working on a collection of short stories, flash fiction and poetry.
Kate Vine (York) is a writer and copy editor who recently returned to York after a decade in London. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Her work has been published in various anthologies, and her short fiction won the Lunate 500 competition and was shortlisted for the Bath Short Story Award. She is currently putting the final touches to her first novel.
Emily Walker (Tadcaster) has had short fiction and poetry published in the York Literary Review, Sink Magazine, Ellipsis Zine and the Beyond the Walls 2021 Anthology, published by Valley Press. She has also recently been long-longlisted for the Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize. Alongside working, she is in her second year of studying for a Masters in Creative Writing.
Image: left to right: Emily Walker, Lucy Brighton, John Biglands, Vicky Pointing, Lyn Towers, Kate Vine.