Birkbeck's The Mechanics' Institute Review launches one-day short story festival at Waterstones

Hot on the heels of publishing the latest issue of their annual anthology, The Mechanics’ Institute Review, the short-story champions of Birkbeck, University of London, are collaborating with like-minded organisations and individuals to put short-fiction expertise and enthusiasm centre stage at Waterstones Gower Street.

13 October | 11am–5pm | Waterstones Gower Street, 82 Gower Street, London WC1E 6QE

Tiny Machines – The Mechanics’ One-Day Short-Story Festival will feature an interactive lecture, a panel discussion and readings from Eley Williams (Attrib. and Other Stories, winner of the 2018 Republic of Consciousness Prize), Sogol Sur, Jonathan Kemp, Laurane Marchive and many others.

The short-story experts and fans Toby Litt, Emma Paterson (Aitken Alexander), Kit Caless (Influx Press), Jonathan Gibbs, and others will dissect what makes a great short story, how to get your stories out there, and what the landscape is like for short-story writers at the moment. Julia Bell, Course Director MA Creative Writing at Birkbeck, will hold an interactive lecture on writing a great short story, while members of The Mechanics’ Institute Review team look at how to prepare and submit your work.

Julia Bell said:

“The short story is the perfect pocket form for our times – small but perfectly made, something which, when well-executed, can be read on the commute but which can stay with you all day. The point of the festival is to look under the bonnet at how these tiny machines are made, to test the temperature for the short story, to ask editors and short story writers what is happening on the scene now with an abundance of small presses and prizes, and finally to hear some great short story writers share their work with us.”

Tickets for the day are £20 and include tea/coffee. For further information and to book, please visit the Waterstones website here.

For further information on The Mechanics’ Institute Review, please visit:, and join the conversation via: @mironlinebbk and @Editors_MIR

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