It's been a while since the last proper Moment Of Fiction post, and this time round I thought we'd look slightly further afield for our creative fix.
Starting way up north in Lancaster is Litfest, which runs the annual Lancaster Literature Festival (the next taking place 15-24 October) plus various all-year literary events and writing workshops at The Storey Creative Industries Centre. It also publishes the Flax imprint, featuring work by upcoming writers who live or work in the North West. Submission details are on the website here, and previous editions have included pieces by David Gaffney, Tom Fletcher, Pete Wild, Kate Feld, Adrian Slatcher and Katherine Woodfine, all of whom have been mentioned at some point or other on these hallowed pages.
Moving south, Word Soup is The Lancashire Writing Hub (formerly Preston Writing Network)'s live literature night coordinated, latterly, by A Kind Of Intimacy author Jenn Ashworth and held once a month at The Continental in England's newest city, Preston. The next soiree has the silver screen as its theme and takes place tomorrow (21 September).
Jenn Ashworth was also involved in Out On A Limb, the culmination of a four-month geo-writing project based on the Wirral and organised alongside artist Elaine Speight as part of the Liverpool Biennial. You can now submit your own story to create a growing archive of Wirral-set tales: see the website for details and a special online form.
Just down the peninsular and inland slightly is Chester's Alexander's, where the Zest! poetry evening is held monthly on Mondays from 8pm (the next is 18 October). As well as guest readings by the likes of former Cheshire Poet Laureate Andrew Rudd (who told me about the evening; he's my old junior school teacher) and Gill McEvoy, there are open floor slots and you can even have a posh dinner while you watch (call 01244 340005 to book a table and email Caroline Hawkridge for more on the poetry: email@example.com).
Last but not least, Northwest Libraries are inviting North West England-based writers to sumbit stories no longer than 500 words and set pre-1960. Deadline for the Flashback Fiction Competition (flash fiction set in the past - get it?) is 31 October and first prize is £100.