AUTHORS, POETS AND ARTISTS GATHER FOR SMALL WONDER FESTIVAL 2018, CHARLESTON
The line-up for the 15th Small Wonder Festival, the UK’s only festival dedicated to short stories, is announced today. Running from 28 - 30 September in the bucolic landscape of Charleston in Sussex, the festival features a mix of home-grown and international authors, poets and artists.
This year’s Small Wonder hinges on the idea of transformation. Reflecting this theme, the Festival will be housed in Charleston’s newly restored 18th century Hay Barn, opposite a brand new suite of galleries. Highlights include recent works which resonate with dualities and transitions by short story writers Sarah Hall, Eley Williams and Lucy Wood, plus playwright, director and author Neil Bartlett.
Chiming with the unique Charleston history and the anniversary of the first steps towards women’s suffrage, the festival celebrates a diverse troupe of women’s voices, with help from Imogen Hermes Gowar, AL Kennedy, Kate Mosse and more.
The BBC National Short Story Award, the UK’s most prestigious short story award, returns to Small Wonder with exclusive readings from previous winners and some of this year’s shortlisted authors plus insights from former judges into how prize juries really make their decisions.
For the fourth year running, Charleston and the British Council are welcoming an international writer to soak up the inspiration and respond to Small Wonder. This year Layla AlAmmar from Kuwait, whose debut novel The Pact We Made will be published in March 2019, will be joining events and responding to the festival in writing. Layla AlAmmar said: “I'm thrilled and honoured to have been chosen as the 2018 British Council International Writer in Residence at Small Wonder. The world will never stop needing stories, and Small Wonder consistently brings together some of the most scintillating storytellers of our time. I'm eager to share and learn with my fellow writers and readers.”
The Charleston-Bede’s Award for a Lifetime’s Excellence in Short Fiction.
Diana Reich, artist director of Small Wonder said: “As Small Wonder celebrates its 15th birthday, we rejoice in the fact that the short story form is receiving far greater recognition from writers, publishers and readers than when the festival was launched. In order to draw attention to the long-standing creativity of the form, we launched what is now the Charleston-Bede’s Award for a Lifetime’s Excellence in Short Fiction to mark Small Wonder’s 10th anniversary. We are delighted that this year’s recipient is the internationally renowned author Dame Antonia Byatt, whose short stories exemplify the vigour of the form. We are proud that Small Wonder has been in the vanguard of stimulating renewed interest in the history and contemporary impact of the short story.”