The first session I attended was a discussion about the impact of The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. The panel was hosted by Bidisha and included authors Cassandra Parkin and Kirsty Logan plus a lecturer from one of the local universities. After reading The Bloody Chamber for the Book Club Forum reading circle earlier this year, it was really interesting to listen to the discussion, and how Carter’s collection was both ground breaking and influential, especially for the two authors on the panel, as well as touching on recent film adaptations of classic fairy tales such as Snow White and the Huntsmen and Mirror, Mirror. Logan read an extract from one of her short stories, and both talked about and showed how they have been influenced themselves by Carter.
Next up was a session on digital short story publication chaired by American professor and short story writer Patricia McNair, with representatives from two independent publishers and the digital publisher for Random House. It was interesting to hear where they felt short stories could be made available through different routes, and the development of social media and interaction between authors, publishers and readers. It was also good to hear from Random House, as an example, are also looking to make more archived material available, as well as developing new authors, and the way that short stories may be marketed in future, using the comparison of singles and albums on iTunes as an example.
The final panel of the day was a chance to hear from three new authors who have been published this year by Bloomsbury, under their Year of the Short Story initiative. I really enjoyed this session, as it was a fantastic opportunity to hear the three authors read from their books, each very different from each other, but all of them sounded great. I’ve added all three books to my wishlist! The authors were Lucy Wood, Dave Wilson and Roshi Fernando.
All in all, it was a brilliant day, and I’m glad I could get to more sessions than I did last year! This is the second year of the event, and I’m hoping they’ll be able to continue in future years.