We’re thrilled to be celebrating this year’s Short Story September campaign with a one-day festival.

Join us for a jam-packed programme of events and classes on writing and publishing short stories.

Taking place on Zoom and hosted by Dahlia Books’ founder Farhana Shaikh, our Short Story September Festival is the ultimate retreat for anyone looking to master writing short stories. All attendees will be sent recordings and a copy of the chat following the event. Recordings will be available to playback for up to 90 days.

Book your ticket via the Eventbrite box office.

FESTIVAL PROGRAMME (subject to change)

Saturday 25th September 2021

10.30 AM Registration & Warm-up workshop

In this warm-up workshop, we will begin to think about using our own life as a springboard for generating new ideas for fiction. Through a series of writing games and prompts we will begin to write fragments and set them free in our shared online writing journal.

11.00 – Morning Keynote with Paul McVeigh

11.30 – 12 PM Breakout groups

12 PM – Publishing your Short Story Collection with Reshma Ruia and Mona Dash

How can short story writers develop their writing skills and how do they navigate the publication journey? In this session, Dahlia Books 2021 authors Reshma Ruia and Mona Dash share their experiences of writing their first collection, finding their voice, and getting published. This event will be pre-recorded.

12.15 – 1.15 PM Lunch

1.30 – 2.45 PM A Brief Pause Showcase: Developing your practice

Earlier this year, twenty writers from across the UK were selected to take part in our short story development programme, A Brief Pause. In this showcase event, writers will share their work and discuss how the scheme has helped them to take the next step in their career.

3 – 5 PM Writing Workshop with Kathy Fish

Embracing Your Inner Wild: Creating Untamed Flash Fiction

Creative breakthroughs occur when we stretch our writerly muscles. This session is aimed at working outside your comfort zone to more vibrant, risk-taking writing. What happens when we unbind ourselves from the constraints of tame, domesticated realism and let our imaginations run wild? We will explore playfulness of language and structure as well as trying our hands at writing flash of a more surrealistic bent. Come ready to write and expect to surprise yourself!

5 – 5.15 PM – virtual tea break with chai and brownies

5.30 – 6.30 PM – Leicester Writes Short Story Prize Ceremony

The Leicester Writes Short Story Prize was set up in 2017 to recognise and reward the best short story writing talent. Join us to celebrate this year’s fantastic long-listed writers and listen to the short stories that made it to our top 20 from more than 310 entries! Our prize anthology featuring all 20 short stories will be launched on the day. Readers on the night tba.

Bursaries are available for writers on a low income*

Please email Farhana at f.shaikh@dahliapublishing.co.uk to apply for a bursary place demonstrating your commitment to your creative practice and a brief statement on your current circumstances. Please email by 10th September at the latest.

*Household income threshold of less than £28,500.