A pop star comes back from the dead, in Jay Barnett's story. Mandy Alyss Brown details the life of a family and the trials of the woman trying to hold it together. Sam Jay is broke as hell and Rijn Collins paints a picture of a barmaid with a blooming violet tattoo. Alice Ash hits the club in a search for the right man, Caitlin Barasch dreams of unrequited love and Pauline Masurel has an idle fantasy about a particular TV science presenter. Nanette L Avery gives us a portrait of the thief at work.H Anthony Hildebrand gets inside the cut-throat world of sales while Ruby Cowling takes the long way home. And Amanda Davidson thinks that maybe the older you get, the tougher those bad habits are to kick. The summer of 2013.
Rhuar Dean set sail on the Nile. Bren Gosling took a walk in the park and got a sudden surprise. Paul Beckman watched, was being watched, watched. Olyn Ozbick saw a stranger walk into a diner, and get hit with a big fat story. In the depths of winter, Lisa Lebduska remembered a cure for summer boredom. Nina Hart gave us a warning about the fun ones. And Mark Berry set out to find the lure of the open road. That's 2013 off and running.
A M Ringwalt took a trip from Chicago to all points east, west, north and south, while D S Maolalai reported on a murder. We heard of a deal made possible by a traffic jam and abstract thoughts leading anywhere - Craig Fishbane and Gerald Fleming. John Brantingham gave us the story of a boy's haircut and Lisel Joseph one of faraway wars and casualties at home. Sanchari Sur shared The Scar and Jessica Garrison drank some Krug. Also Robert Graham told a story about a beautiful stranger who, unfortunately, has a boyfriend. All here, from last half of 2012.
60 SECOND STORY CONTEST 2012
We challenged writers to send us their best short short shorts - of one minute or less. And many did. Here are the ones our editorial board liked the best. Claire Noble recorded us a story of suburban war ... Tom McColl gave us a surreal mystery minute ... and J Adamthwaite took our advice to keep it short to heart. Winners and results.
In early 2012 Lana Citron read from her breathtaking book, we posted the recording from our first big night out, Allyson Stack shared her new work in the desert, and Matthew Clair told of a relationship that changed with the seasons. Caleb True took us to the trenches and Cath Barton shipped us off to Alaska. Brian Canty continued the chilly theme and Stephen Moran talked of a chilling accident. Peter Schwartz gave us a short dark funny tale of murder and policing gone wrong, and James Claffey dug up old loves through the eyes of a child.
4'33 LIVE - NOVEMBER 2011
In late 2011 we held the first of our occasional series of live nights at the Betsey Trottwood in Clerkenwell, London. It was a cold, clear night, and our friends turned up to hear a bevy of our favourite writers read their work. The recorder was running all the time and so even if you weren't there with us, sipping ale and mulled wine, you can turn the lights down low and imagine you were - listen here.
In Autumn 2011 Chelsea Anne Blackburn gave us a short sharp tale of a bright flat and new beginnings. Katy Darby took us to the seaside and into the mind of an ageing musician, while Dominic Perry cut through a memory to find a recollection. C J Spataro told a story of a boy and a fishing hole. Lane Ashfeldt sent us a story about city folk heading out into the country - not always a good idea. And Pauline Masurel told of a seasonal art project gone all right.
A.L. Michael takes a ride on a dirty bus and post-it notes, cigarettes, and rumpled sheets trace Lindsay Parnell's story. Gregg Williard fires off word rockets while Nora Nadjarian gazes out at no man's land. Penn Stewart on a different kind of frontal assault and Brian Mihok delves into the neural world. Late in August Thomas Demary brought us his story of memories and family wounds in a very real and struggling America. Read them all here.
Gavin James Bower has a weeping fit. Eley Williams reads the Shipping Forecast in one of our classic maritime stories (one of our only maritime story actually, but still classic). Tom Ryan traces out a life in cakes and we heard more than just clever wordplay from Marcus Speh and David Feela. Also: Dulcie Few and Paul Blaney read us two dark but very different tales. Interesting stories for interesting times.
Here's what started 2011. Shaylen Maxwell gave us a short burst of unconsciousness. Grace Andreacchi brought someone back from the dead. In Place de la Revolution, Kate Brown saw two immigrant children and Jesse Bradley rapped with the finest investment bankers around. Our editor celebrated Valentine's Day and Gavin James Bower took someone out for a romantic meal, alone.
Bahar Brunton shows us a particular kind of love, we switch gears for a harrowing war story from Thomas Legendre, Richard House writes extraordinarily about an ordinary demise and Lynsey May on the secret tales of body art. This is December. A great end to a great year.
Norman Hadley finds terror in the rearview mirror and Sam Parker gives us a hilarious sad and scary future. Pauline Masurel spies on those spying on the neighbours and Sally O jumps to wild, imaginative conclusions. Hear them all on this page.
In October 2010, Tom Dearden gave us a story of life and death in India, Tania Hershman told us of wasted hours and shared half-points, we heard Becca Bland's story of hopping planes and countries, Viccy Adams introduced us to a perpetual wedding guest and Kirsty Logan took us inside the creepy world of a bartender with a secret. Check them out.
Nicholas Hogg writes of a kidnapping in Afghanistan, Emer O'Toole paints Paris a sort-of blue, Rosie Adams on a small supermarket stranger, Mark Piggott's narrator meets a guy you really don't want to meet yourself, and Gavin Inglis on the seedier side of online shopping. All right here.