Birkbeck makes nationwide call for writers for 15th annual short-story anthology

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Birkbeck, University of London, is calling for submissions for its 15th annual short-story anthology, The Mechanics’ Institute Review, published in September 2018. The opportunity is open to entries up to 6,000 words from both new and established writers across the UK. Submissions will be accepted until 5pm on Friday 9th February 2018.

The Mechanics’ is a literary print and e-book publication that celebrates the versatility and power of the short story, whilst seeking to open up publishing opportunities for more writers across the UK. Contributions are chosen by blind selection by a group of volunteers overseen by industry professionals. The publication offers a new approach to publishing, with writers and editors involved at all stages of the process to support development and education opportunities.

The Mechanics’ has evolved from Birkbeck’s long-running and highly respected Creative Writing Programme anthology of the same name, which published 13 critically acclaimed issues and includes an impressive list of alumni. Thanks to funding from Arts Council England, the publication was opened up to writers across the UK for the first time in 2017 and its 14th issue, published 25th September, is currently being promoted with events in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Julia Bell, director of the Creative Writing MA at Birkbeck, said: “Short stories are perfectly formed literary achievements. With The Mechanics’ we aim to introduce even more readers to this versatile and powerful art form. As a showcase of the best short-story writers from across the UK, the anthology is an exciting new addition to the wider literary culture – representing diverse and original voices, uncovering new talent, and providing a platform for underrepresented writers.”

For more information about the anthology, or to submit a story, please visit

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