"THE short story festival"
Speaking of Rachel Seiffert (see below)... Not to mention Ian Rankin, William Boyd, Zadie Smith, Grace Paley, many more and the exceptional Irish novelist and short story writer John McGahern, a hero of mine. I've got my tickets.
Charleston was a secluded retreat for the Bloomsbury literary set, very close to the middle of nowhere, which is no bad place at all. As well as a beautiful house, lived in, but open for viewing at set times, with sequestred pond, statues, tea room- it is also a working farm. You can actually stand and watch till the cows come home, heavy, ungainly like primeval creatures migrating, one lame one straggling last behind the herd.
There is a huge barn where the readings take place, an unusual, uneven environment, with eerie sounds of wind and trees by night and the occasional bird twittering and flitting far above in the rafters. One smart bird interrupted Yann Martel. I think the birds are critics there. It works.
I'm going to try and enter the short story slam again this year. My piece from last year is still online, I think, somewhere here. Small Wonder runs from September 15th to 18th. Don't wear your brothel creepers.