New thing: Seats can be reserved by emailing Mollie or contacting her via Facebook. Seats will be reserved until 6.15. (Doors open at 6pm)
Click here to visit the Litfest website and listen to the Flash Mob stories – including Mollie’s ‘Talent Show,’ or you can download the entire anthology for Kindle or iBook.
I’m thrilled to have a flash included in the latest Flax anthology, ‘Flash Mob.’ And there’s to be a party!
Three Flax Launches in One Day
Saturday 11th June, 3pm
Music Room, The Storey, Lancaster LA1 1TH
This bright afternoon sees the launch of three new Flax publications from Litfest. Why not escape town for an hour or so to enjoy some quality entertainment?
Flash Mob, Flax026 is an electric collection of super short stories that will take you through the past to future, from domestic dramas to surreal visitations, and have you swinging between laughter and wistfulness. Featuring new work from Jane Eagland, Claire Massey, Kevin McCann, Norman Hadley, Carla Scarano D’Antonio, Carys Bray, Clare Kirwan, Mollie Baxter, David Hartley, Benjamin Judge and Steve Waling
We’re also launching A Book Tale, Flax027, an ebook of the wonderful contemporary fairy tale by Claire Massey, with another outing for that fabulous dress…
And throughout it all, Flax028 will be running in an inside out garden shed, a new commission from Maya Chowdhry, with help from a few other Flax026ers … a stop-motion haiku … come along to watch the weird wonderfulness of growth.
As usual there’ll be a warm welcome, drinks and nibbles to keep the energy of the afternoon flowing.
More information here
The very first issue of Back&Beyond is almost ready! It’s the culmination of a year’s work by the team (Mollie Baxter, Mick Murphy, Si Hawkesworth, Phil McMillan and Antony Mercer) On Wednesday night, we will not only be hosting readings from the fabulous and varied contributors below, but kicking off the Made in Lancaster showcase, the product of a year’s collaboration between a whole host of Lancaster artists from all disciplines.
This comes at a time when cuts in art funding are biting deep, but the passion is still strong in Lancaster!
Proofs of the magazine will be displayed around the room and we hope you like them as much as we do.
Readers include: Mike Barlow, Carole Coates, Sarah Fiske, Norman Hadley, Martyn Halsall, Kate Horsley, Cath Nichols, Rita Ray, Sarah Schofield, Ron Scowcroft, Iris Woodford, Rebecca Irvine Bilkau and Bryony Rogers.
Special Guest appearance by Trev Meaney from Improv Rejects.
Admission is FREE, but we do have a book stall for donated books – bring one if you can! Let’s make Back&Beyond a going concern!
It’s going to be a great night – hope to see you there!
Really looking forward to this: a night dedicated to the sometimes neglected short story! I’m going to be reading a selection of flash, including The Map, which was recently shortlisted by the Biscuit International Short Story Competition.
WORDSOUP SHORT-STORY NIGHT:
Our regular live lit night Word Soup will be a Short Story Night on
Tuesday 16th November, and we have a fantastic line-up of Short Story
The headline act is short story writer Zoe Lambert, published by Comma
Press, a not-for-profit publishing initiative dedicated to promoting new
fiction and poetry, with an emphasis on the short story.
Joining Zoe for Word Soup’s Short Story Night will be the short-story
talents of Philip Burton, Mollie Baxter, Stephen Jansen, and Catie
The regular Open Mic slot will of course be running – so don’t forget to
bring a 3-minute piece of your own!
Rae Morris (likened to a young Alanis Morissette by Ark Magazine) will
be putting the cherry on the top with a fabulous music set.
Word Soup Short Story Night at The Continental, South Meadow Lane,
Preston on Tuesday 16th November from 8pm, £3.00 on the door for an
evening of priceless entertainment.
Sofie Fowler writes, ‘Mollie Baxter’s Five Rooms is a beautiful comment on domestic life. Mollie skillfully utilises repetition to express tedium but also explores the theme of security in routine. The pace is fluid and the detail creates a very believable setting.’
To read the full review which looks at pieces from Jane Brunning, Tom Fletcher, Rachel McGladdery, Norman Hadley and many other great writers click here and scroll to October 26th.
‘The Map,’ – one of a collection of flash fiction pieces I wrote over summer 2010 – has been awarded ‘Highly Commended’ by the Biscuit International Flash Fiction Contest. As you can imagine, I am over the moon!
There were 486 entries, and the write-up includes a very pithy definition of what flash fiction can and should do, which I’d like to share because it is so succinct, although I am concerned that it looks like bragging…
‘Flash fiction… comes with no wasted words, has a hook in the opening phrase and several others carefully sewn throughout, it has controlled pacing, makes use of landscape and displays a strong narrative voice and viewpoint. The very same ingredients used in the short story form, but this time miniaturised.’- Brian Lister
‘The Map’ will be published in an anthology early next year. It is a speculation on what has really been happening to the bees: they’ve found a way to cross to a different plane, where the flowers are more abundant and they are carefully communicating across their species, giving directions for how each hive can make their way to a new home. Interestingly, some readers have found my story sinister – the bees don’t fly to safety but to their deaths; other readers feel triumphant on the bees’ behalf and can’t blame them for washing their wings of us and moving elsewhere. I know what I think is the truth…
Last night we convened at the Continental to celebrate Wordsoup’s first anniversary and the launch of the new anthology, presented in little bundles done up with string – can’t beat a bit of Julie Andrews wrapping! (Not to be confused with Julie Andrews rapping. ‘I say super calli fragilistic expialidosious (one time – uh!)’
It was a fantastic night and I got to try out some of my new pieces: ‘The Self Sufficient Opinion Grower’ and ‘Hen’.
There were a whole plethora of performances, I particularly enjoyed Rachel McGladdery’s final piece, which I think was called ‘My Dead Dad,’ – the subject matter was risky, but executed and performed with total assurance and integrity. And Johnny5thWheel’s music was fantastic: lyrical substance, a light touch on the strings and real energy. Wordy without being heavy! Yup – Instant fan.
Sarah Hymas treated us to a selection of poetry from a sequence in bedrock: really inspired to hear the narrative told through four generations; Socrates Adams did a fantastic piece about, well, shall we say, young parenthood; Norman Hadley not only performed but in a multi-tasking powerhouse recorded the whole night too – three cheers for Norm! Tom Fletcher read two extracts from The Leaping which I reckon is going to be the thing to read when summer is over and the winter starts to draw in like a Great Dark Thing.
And that’s not to mention the Open Mic! Max Wallis, Sarah Fiske, Kev McVeigh, Dave, James Diable and his performing orange, Ron Baker, Pascal the Rascal and Mark Mace Smith.
And I came home with a tray of chips and a short story in a little blue book! Who could ask for anything more! But apparently extracts from the anthology are going to bus-stopped around the North West too and this continues from earlier in the week when Jane and Ruth donned balaclavas and projected extracts from the anthology in Preston and Lancaster, at the Harris Museum and Lancaster library respectively. Thanks guys!
For more info about the night and for details on buying the anthology, goto the Lancashire Writing Hub.
And all Norman’s videos from the night are here.
A shop for Mollie’s Publications and Recordings is now online!
It’s been something of a slow process, requiring a visit to West End Post Office with a pile of jiffy bag combinations, a very patient cashier and the repeated question of ‘how much to post this? …Or how about I do this? … Or this?’ but it’s all finally up and operational. A fully-staffed warehouse is poised to take your order 24 hours a day… sort of.
But it is fully secure thanks to Big Cartel, payments made via Paypal, credit or debit card. (If you’d liked to pay by cheque, please email email@example.com.
To visit the shop, click here, or navigate via the shopping trolley icon at the top of the home page.
Currently in stock are:
Before the Rain
Published by Flax in 2008 this collection of fiction features Mollie Baxter, Thomas Fletcher and Peter Wild
‘… An abiding characteristic of Mollie Baxter’s writing, that raises her tales into the level of real greatness, is her ability to pull off the unexpected. Rather than the road less travelled, it’s a road cleaved through the thicket. Every literary cliché, every predictable turn of phrase and plot transition is avoided and subverted. Her take on mental illness through the theme of colour (’Colour Fractions’) is one from an utterly new angle, as poignant and sympathetic, as it is inspired. What you think you see coming is not what arrives.’ Dogmatika Review March 2008
‘Thinking in Slices’ is a kind of ghost story. It was published in Flax’s ‘Square Cuts,’ anthology as a limited edition mini-book, but is still available free, for online download from the Litfest website.
Believe it or not I hadn’t realised the parallels it has with a certain film starring Alan Rickman and Zoe Wannamaker… it was more about my aspirations to one day learn the cello. Maybe writing about it helped it come true!