19 November 2010

A moment of fiction #8

It's high time for another instalment of A Moment Of Fiction, wouldn't you say? So here's the agenda for this round-up of all things writery: first up, submissions; second, readings; third, publications; fourth, AOB.

Unsung, "Manchester's best free literary magazine" which had its very own festival earlier this year, is accepting submissions for a December edition promising to be "its mightiest". I'm not privy to the deadline as I hadn't heard back off Mr Matthew Byrne at the time of going to print, but I'm guessing it's pretty soon. Send your poems / prose / articles / illustrations to: unsung.manchester@gmail.com. Matthew says, "Launch night is TBC but I assure you there will be beer, a mic, a roof and a toilet", so keep your eye on Facebook for details as they become available.

Bewilderbliss is under new management. Having completed (and hopefully passed) their creative writing MAs, Matt and Jon are off to pastures new, and poet Max Wallis (of Talk To Me About Love and Something Every Day) is now in the hotseat. Issue 5 has been provided with a theme by lovely poet Jo Bell, one of the brains behind the Bugged project. Not surprisingly, she has picked "overheard". You can read more here and here, but basically you have until 15 January to send up to four poems, up to 5,000 words prose or a piece of black and white artwork relating to the theme for the cover and interior design.

Also on a poetic tip, poetry quarterly Magma welcomes submissions, as I found out at their recent "roadshow" as part of the Manchester Literature Festival (see my review on the official MLF Blog for more). The deadline for the next issue - the 50th! - is 28 February and edition editor Clare Pollard has chosen "journeys" as the theme, but off-theme poems will also be considered. Full details here.

A gentle reminder too that Ask Ben & Clare are also looking for contributions (nothing too strenuous; just a questionable conundrum for the great minds to solve), along with Roy Keane's Lucky Scarf.

Next week, meanwhile, there are a couple of events where you can be inspired by the work of others or indeed dabble in a reading and try your stuff out on a live (albeit dead drunk) audience. The Bad Language gang (aka Dan, Nici and Joe: blog; website) are having a launch night for their second anthology, Scattered Reds, next Wednesday (24 November). At newly done-up and beautifully betiled The Castle, it's free, kicks off at 7.30pm, with the first performer up at about 8pm - and there's still chance to read! If you wish to partake in the open mic slot, get an email off to events@badlanguagemcr.co.uk. You'll be in good company; I hear some of my Bad Language literature quiz teammates (see pic above, left to right: Mr Hartley, Ms Power, Mrs Conlon, Mr Judge, Mr Roland) will be stepping up to the oche.

Another open mic event next week is on Saturday (27 November), 6-9pm in the 2nd View Restaurant in Waterstone's Deansgate. I am reliably informed by Jon from MLF that this new monthly event is actually back due to popular demand! The Unannounced Poetry Acoustic is "an evening of songs and poems and stories to perform or just to listen. The first drink of the evening is on us and the entertainment is on you!" Did someone say free drinks? See you there.

Experimental poets If P Then Q are busy plugging The Other Room 21, which has a bit of a do on Wednesday 1 December with readings and that, free from 7pm.

Quick update on zines hitting the shelves... Out now is Pantheon issue 2 (featuring a "Beckett-ish piece" by Lil Dave Hartley and now available in Blackwells on Oxford Road, near t'uni, or via the website); Flux Autumn 2010 edition, which features a short story by Chris Killen called Sorry (it's good, but it has suffered a cut'n'paste error in the first par; I've reedited for your delight and delectation below*); Dan Russell's Things Happen Part Deux, which you can look at on Issuu with hard copies about the place soon; the latest B&N Magazine, edited by award-winning mightaswell blogger Sam Bail, is (I am assuming) available in the next month or so, while number 11 of The Shrieking Violet, the "media special", is out now at Good Grief! - which has just this week relocated to the Soup Kitchen in the NQ. My good friend Andrew tells me they sell alcohol, not just soup, so this, and its beautiful art nouveau adornments, gives me a number of reasons to get my arse in gear and visit some time soon.

If you want to gaze back wistfully over previous incarnations of A Moment of Fiction, I've created a magic little widget on the left hand side of this here blog. Look! A Moment Of Fiction archive! Consider it an early Christmas present. Don't say I don't treat you well.

(*Craig has a dream. In the dream he is dead. He has just died. He is in a room, with things in it. The things in the room are: a desk, a bed, a chair, a coffee table, a sofa, a wardrobe, a cup (with some tea in it, gone cold), a computer, a copied CD of Planet Waves by Bob Dylan, a pair of shorts, a sunlounger, a bottle of Daiquiri, a pair of mirrored sunglasses, a coat, a hat, a pair of tweezers, a sheet of writing paper, the lid of a biro, an empty cassette box, a packet of Walkers crisps (prawn cocktail flavour), a poster of Ben Affleck, an empty ice cream tub, a toy car, a toy boat, a miniature ‘gift book’ style copy of War and Peace (6 pt. font), a 50p coin, a cigarette lighter, a cornflake, a wisp of hair, a blank greetings card (‘Best Wishes!’), a pornographic magazine from the seventies, no windows, no door, and the smell of cats... Read the rest here.)

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