Flash Dances: 100 Little Queer Stories

by Homo Promos Theatre in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Flash Dances: 100 Little Queer Stories
We did it
On 28th April 2024 we successfully raised £990 with 20 supporters in 69 days

This is a project to encourage young and fledgling LGBT+ writers to explore their creativity through writing short stories and poems.

by Homo Promos Theatre in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

ABOUT HOMO PROMOS, GAY AUTHORS' WORKSHOP and PARADISE PRESS

HOMO PROMOS THEATRE COMPANY, which is committed to supporting, and collaborative working with, other creative community groups, has offered its crowdfunding skills and facilities to Gay Authors' Workshop/Paradise Press to raise money for a Flash Fiction Anthology.  We aim to encourage new writers and younger LGBT+ people to contribute their stories to a book which will have up to 100+ items.

We are two members of the Gay Authors' Workshop, an open group of LGBT+ writers who have been offering mutual support since the late 1970s.  

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We have a publishing arm, Paradise Press, which has published over 40 books in the last 25 years.  We specialise in anthologies, to platform as many untried writers as possible, and to encourage people to work on shorter pieces where they might find novels or other full-scale books intimidating.  

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SOME PRECEDENTS

These are just a couple of the previous anthologies we have produced.  Usually they have themes.  You can find the whole range of Paradise Press books, including the anthologies, at https://paradisepress.org.uk/books.html.

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LOST PLACES contains bitter-sweet writing in prose and poetry about locations which held particular significance for the writers, now no longer there; Proustian memoirs of love, loyalty, lechery and loss.  If we didn't remember them, it would be like they never were.

Reading this book reminded me of going to the very best kind of party. You’ll meet new friends from around the country and around the world, hear some surprising stories, be touched, spot the odd stranger who will stir your loins, get into one or two cracking arguments, oh, and laugh out loud. - Neil Bartlett, writer, theatre director, performer

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'We Want to Tell you How' contains deeply heartfelt, painfully honest, and beautifully written pieces of writing. For those who have ever lived with hope or regret, you will find your own story amongst these pages. - Clare Summerskill, Writer, Oral Historian and Performer

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AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

There has been a huge surge of interest in Flash Fiction in recent years: that is, stories and narrative poems of under 1000 words - sometimes under 300 words, even.  It's a form where you convey a world, a situation, in miniature.  We have seized on it as an ideal introduction to writing, and we are offering a variety of ways to encourage those uncertain of their abilities.

FLASH DANCES is open to all LGBT+ writers, wherever they are on the spectrum, and regardless of previous experience.  You can write about anything you like, and submit your work in one of three categories:  

A BIT FLASH:  Up to 300 words

QUITE FLASH:  300 - 600 words

VERY FLASH:  600 - 1000 words

We are also organising writing workshops in conjunction with this project - four Wednesday evenings, March 27th - April 17th, 5.30 - 7.30pm at Westminster Reference Library.  These are to support and encourage new writers in their first steps, and the writers of the stories which come out of the workshop will be helped to shape their work for publication.

We are running a competition for each category, with a small prize of £40 each. The judges are:

VG LEE  [https://www.vg-lee.com/]

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VG Lee has published five novels and two collections of short stories. Her writing has appeared in numerous and diverse publications including Poetry Review, Diva Magazine, Beyond Bedlam (Anvil), The Lady Magazine and more recently The Guardian. In 2012 she was nominated for a Stonewall Award, 2014 brought the Ultimate Planet Award for Best Established Author; and in 2017 she was runner up for Diva/YLVA Publishing Literary Prize for Fiction. In 2022 she was long-listed for the BBC National Short Story Award

VG Lee is a judge for the prestigious Polari Book Prize and also the Hastings Literary Festival Short Story Prize.

JAKE ARNOTT [https://www.jakearnott.com/]

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Jake came to prominence with 'The Long Firm' trilogy, set in the steamy underworld of the 1960s, dominated by the Krays.  Two of these books became TV series.  He has more recently explored other aspects of gay history, in the tour-de-force of 18th century slang 'The Fatal Tree', which switchbacks between the gay molly houses and the escapades of the slippery Newgate Houdini Jack Sheppard and his companion in thievery, Edgworth Bess.  His novels are characterised by enormous compassion and a kind of melancholy.

In addition to this, all contributors will get a free membership of the Gay Author's Workshop, with access to readings, supportive criticism by fellow writers, and a regular newsletter.  

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EXAMPLES OF FLASH FICTION...

The best way to explain the possibilities of this form is to give you a few examples by the editors:

https://paradisepress.org.uk/audio-files.html 

Stories can be funny, scary, sad, angry.  They are what you make them.

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ABOUT THE EDITORS

STEPHANIE DICKINSON co-edited the anthology 'We Want To Tell You How' [Paradise Press 2018].  Stephanie trained as a mature student to be a primary school teacher and that, and her children, took all her time and energy! Now retired she at last has the time and opportunity to develop a range of diverse interests. These include working as a voluntary woodland ranger; photography; line dancing; walking, especially with her little dog and volunteering at the London Metropolitan Archive.  Her major interest, though, is writing and recently she has become particularly interested in short stories and flash fiction.

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PETER SCOTT-PRESLAND has been a performer, writer and theatre director for over 50 years. He won an Edinburgh Fringe First for two of his plays and has been nominated several times for Best Musical.  As a historian he is writing a three-volume history of the Campain for Homosexual Equality, 'Amiable Warriors' and has published two volumes of verse plays, 'A Gay Century', as well as contributing to various anthologies.  We received the 2021 International Lesbian and Gay Cultural Network Award for 66 consecutive weeks of Zoom performances of different queer plays.  He has led a number of acting and writing workshops.  He has a partner who mainly lives in Istanbul, and a lot of Peter's activity is to take his mind off missing his husband.

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AND FINALLY - THE PITCH!

Publishing is an expensive business, and mainstream publishing is largely a stitch-up chasing ever-paler imitations of the latest best-seller.  Enslaved to fashion, it increasingly excludes those outside a university-educated elite, rewarding only those whose conformity flatters their - and their readers' - self-regard.   We are bucking that trend to highlight marginalised voices and reflect the authentic experience of LGBT+ life.

In order to produce FLASH FICTION we need to raise about £1200.

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The problem we have, which is endemic to small publishers of books and magazines, is that the outlays always come before any income.  Typesetting, design, printing, publicity have to be paid in advance; while sales are always top-sliced by free review copies to give out, booksellers' commissions, distributor percentages, etc.  Books produced in small numbers virtually never make any profit; we are contemplating a print run of 200 initially.

If we do have any income from the project, we will plough it back into Paradise Press for future book projects and development work.

So we are turning to our friends to make it happen.  If you believe in the future of LGBT+ literature, please support us.

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Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£20 or more

3 of 30 claimed

£20 Reward

A free copy of Flash Dances, signed by at least five of the authors.

£40 or more

1 of 20 claimed

£20 Reward

Free copy of Flash Dances, plus an invitation to the prestige launch event at a Central London venue, drinks and nibbles included.

£200 or more

0 of 2 claimed

£20 Reward

Dinner for two with the editors of the project at a first-class restaurant.

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