Tomorrow is 21 December, meaning it's the shortest day of the year. Some clever clogs has had the genius idea of setting aside this date for National Short Story Day "for a celebration of all things short but perfectly formed", and there's a proper good event lined up for Manchester. Hurrah! The main website has full details on all the fabulous short story-related events taking place the length and breadth of this snow-filled land, and if you're really modern there's also a Facebook page where you can make friends with Short Story Day. So forget frantic festive shopping, and get down to MadLab on Edge Street in the NQ at 6.30pm instead for some short story action. Who knows - perhaps you'll even be able to pick up some pressies while you're there.
I picked this picture for featuring The Complete Stories & Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, with The Pit & The Pendulum, which I remember being read at school. The painting is by Jane Mount from her Ideal Bookshelf project, which I heard about through Katherine Woodfine's Manchester Blog Awards Best New Blog 2008, Follow The Yellow Brick Road. Jane paints people's favourite books as commissions (a lovely idea!), or you can buy a picture "off the shelf" (sorry...). There's lots about the project on her blog here and she sells her wares through the wonderful Etsy here.