Short Fiction: The City Speaks. How Should We Answer? (Special Event / Virtual)


Special Session
Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing / City of God, City of Destruction

Jennifer Cavanagh (Liverpool John Moores University)
J.Ca@****.com (Log-in to reveal)

What stories does a city tell us, and how do we pass them on? How can we use stories to interpret a world where time and the outside is obscured? Should we weave narratives of a capitalist utopia, or a dystopian warning? This virtual (online) session invites submissions of original, unpublished short stories of 2,000 to 3,000 words, linked to the PAMLA 2021 theme. The writers will read their stories, followed by a question and answer session with the audience.

The city is a contradiction. At its centre, it is simultaneously claustrophobic and isolating; its outskirts are escaped both to and from. This virtual (online) session, ‘Short Fiction: The City Speaks. How Should We Answer?’ invites submissions of original, unpublished short stories that explore the emotional and physical landscape of the city. Stories should be inspired by and interpret the PAMLA 2021 theme, in a unique way.

Dedicated solely to original works of short fiction, this session will provide an exciting opportunity for delegates to present creative work exploring how, such an ambiguous space, be that the adult Epcot that is Las Vegas itself, a different sprawling metropolis, or the city as a concept, speaks to them as a writer. Not only will attendees have the opportunity to hear these stories for the first time, they will be encouraged to discuss and analyse the works with the writers in the post-reading question and answer session.

Submissions are requested for pieces of short fiction between 2,000 and 3,000 words. The stories should be original, unpublished and independent, rather than an extract from a longer piece. All short story forms, and types, whether epical, lyrical or artifice will be considered, as will literary fiction and genre fiction. An accompanying abstract, outlining the particular space connected with the story, and how the narrative explores the conference theme should be submitted simultaneously.

Four stories will be selected for the originality of their interpretation of the conference theme and for balance and contrast of the session as a whole.