The Short Story Festival

A 1-day online festival celebrating all things short story

25th June 2022 — 10.00 – 17.30 UK Time

Join us for a day of workshops focused on sharpening your short story writing skills. Hosted by Amanda Saint and Gaynor Jones who are joined by contemporary short story writers and publishers.

All sessions are run on Zoom and will be recorded so everyone who buys a tickets gets to keep the sessions to watch again as often as they like. Or if you’re in a different time zone, or just busy that day, you can get a bargain Recordings Only ticket!


10.00 – 10.45 – Welcome and Keynote: Anna Vaught – The Intense Snapshot

‘A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.

Lorrie Moore


As someone who writes both novels and short stories, Anna will talk about the pleasure derived from this short form She will explore the idea of the snapshot, the short-lived and intense experience and look at story structure in the light of that, coming to the end, without which your story is lost.

Anna is a novelist, essayist, short fiction writer, editor, secondary English teacher, mentor, campaigner and author of four books, including 2020’s Saving Lucia and Famished. Her work is published in journals, anthologies and the national press and she has been a monthly columnist for The Bookseller. New novel, The Zebra and Lord Jones, is on agency submission, while a book on writing, The Alchemy, is launching with Unbound. Anna’s second story collection, Ravished, is published by Reflex Press this autumn and her memoir, These Envoys of Beauty, in spring 2023. Anna also speaks as a guest university lecturer, at events on a community and national level, and is a tutor for Jericho Writers.


Masterclass 11.00 – 12.30: The Art of the Short Story with Sam Jordison

Picture of Sam Jordison

Sam Jordison will explain the power and importance of short stories and why they can do things that novels can’t. He will also look at their sometimes precarious place within the UK publishing industry, the importance of competitions and what he looks out for in stories as an editor.

Sam Jordison is a co-director of the award winning publisher Galley Beggar Press, which hosts an annual Short Story Prize. He has worked on editorial for books like Alex Pheby’s Mordew, Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks Newburyport, Eimear McBride’s A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing and Sleby Wynn Schwartz’s After Sappho. He is also the author of several works of non-fiction and a journalist and book reviewer.


12.30 – 13.00 Social Event

Chat with other writers attending the festival in the Zoom breakout rooms.

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch


Masterclass 14.00 – 15.30: Fresh Approaches to the Short Story with Sarah Schofield

This workshop will give you the opportunity to try out new ideas and approaches to refresh your short story writing. You’ll be led through writing activities and have an opportunity to share creatively together. Sarah will look at and discuss some contemporary short story examples to help inspire new writing. It will be an enriching, creative and supportive session that you will leave with a range of story ideas, short story seeds, that are ready to nurture and grow beyond the workshop.

Sarah Schofield is an award-winning writer of short fiction. Her stories have appeared in several Comma Press anthologies, Best British Short Stories 2020 (Salt), Synaesthesia Magazine,  Morning Star, Woman’s Weekly and many others.  Sarah is a Creative Writing lecturer at Edge Hill University. Her debut collection Safely Gathered In was published by Comma Press in November 2021. She is judge of the Short Story category in the 2022 Retreat West Prize.


Workshop 15.45 -16.45: Unsettling your Reader with Joanna Campbell

Joanna Campbell will deconstruct short stories in which the characters lead
apparently ordinary lives. She will explain how you can find different ways of introducing hints of the extraordinary — the small shifts of tone and language which warn the reader something is not right — and how to capture the crucial moment the status quo is interrupted.

Joanna is a full-time writer from the Cotswolds. Her short story collection, When Planets Slip Their Tracks, was shortlisted for the Rubery International Book Award and longlisted for the Edge Hill University Prize. Her novel, Instructions for the Working Day, will be published in August 2022 by
Fairlight Books. Her novella-in-flash, Sybilla, won the inaugural National Flash Fiction Day Novella-in- Flash Award and will be published in June 2022. Her novella-in-flash, A Safer Way to Fall, was a runner-up in the inaugural Bath Novella-in-Flash Award and published in the anthology, How To Make A Window Snake, by Ad Hoc Fiction. Joanna’s short stories have won first place in the Exeter Writers competition, the Bath
Short Story Award Local Prize, the London Short Story Prize, the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize and the Retreat West Short Story Prize. Her flash-fiction won second place in the 2017 Bridport Prize, for which her
short stories have been shortlisted many times.
Twitter: @joannacampbell_


Festival Close 17.00 – 17.30

With readings from the winning writers in the 2021 RW Short Story Prize.


Festival Costs

We have a reduced rate price for our Community Members so if you want to join first, you can do that here. Otherwise use the Non-Members or Recordings Only buttons below.

Low Income Writers

We have a small number of free or half-price tickets for low-income writers. Email us to get one.

If you’d like to donate a ticket for a writer, you can do that here.