Please make it easy for us to read your submission, and use a straightforward easy to read font double spaced in 12-14 point. Deaf writers may submit by video in BSL. Blind writers may submit audio files.

Stories and poems, (We don't publish memoir, or other kinds of non-fiction ) must be:
All your own work
Written in English
up to 2000 words long unless otherwise specified in a particular call out
Unpublished except for The Story Sessions
(Where requested) original or traditional - i.e. YOUR copyright or out of copyright,

This information  will help you to get accepted:

We will not under any circumstances publish erotica, and we aren’t keen on horror of any kind, gore or torture.  We detest sexist stereotypes and deplore derivative plotlines, sloppy writing and clichés, and are bored by romance and chick-lit. Other than that we will consider most genres provided they are beautifully written, imaginative, and have narrative substance and persuasive characterisation
Thank you.

Solstice Shorts is a one day festival on 21st December (Shortest Day of the Year, Winter Solstice) It is usually held on multiple sites across the UK, we aren't sure where or how this year for obvious reasons. Successful submissions of stories and poems are read (often at multiple sites) by actors, and music is played by its originator at whichever site they can get to. Everything is live streamed to Facebook. If we get funding we will have BSL interpretation. We particularly welcome submissions from authors with disabilities.

 We always have a time theme, so here it is.

Write us a story or poem or song that responds or reacts or is inspired  by the poem Tymes goe by Turns, (see below) or some concept in it. We are also open to  musical settings of the actual poem – I think there is at least one  already.

STORIES AND POEMS: UP TO 1000 WORDS, in English, or BSL (upload a video), Welsh, Scots, Doric, Gaelic, Irish,  Kernowek with an English translation)  

Music: Around 3 minutes, ACCOUSTIC ONLY.

We want enormous change, finding balance, release… no overtly religious poeces please, Solstice Shorts has a pagan undertow because of the day we  hold it, and we like to respect that. See our general guidelines for what else we don't publish. 

*Covid-19 disclaimer. 

Covid-19 might prevent us holding the festival (hope not, it is the end of December!) Arts Council England is in emergency funding mode and may not want to know about funding it. If the worst happens and we can’t hold the festival this year (though  we are incredibly ingenious and will consider online options) we will put it off to 2021, and have the book ready to launch at the festival. It’ll be fine. We’ll work it out, but please be prepared for the possibility of a twelve month delay.

 Here’s the poem.

Times go by Turns Robert Southwell  c. 1561 – 21 February 1595

THE lopped tree in time may grow again,
Most naked plants renew both fruit and flower;
The sorest wight may find release of pain,
The driest soil suck in some moist’ning shower;
Times go by turns and chances change by course,
From foul to fair, from better hap to worse.

The sea of Fortune doth not ever flow,
She draws her favours to the lowest ebb;
Her tides hath equal times to come and go,
Her loom doth weave the fine and coarsest web;
No joy so great but runneth to an end,
No hap so hard but may in fine amend.

Not always fall of leaf nor ever spring,
No endless night yet not eternal day;
The saddest birds a season find to sing,
The roughest storm a calm may soon allay:
Thus with succeeding turns God tempereth all,
That man may hope to rise, yet fear to fall.

A chance may win that by mischance was lost;
The net that holds no great, takes little fish;
In some things all, in all things none are crost,
Few all they need, but none have all they wish;
Unmeddled joys here to no man befall:
Who least, hath some; who most, hath never all.

Up to 2000 words. £20 per 500 words see options below.

critique from Arachne Press editor Cherry Potts.

Fiction or poetry. No erotica, religion or horror. No sexism, racism or homophobia.  I don't want to read it, you can't pay me to read it! please send as doc/ docx or rtf - purely because pdfs make it difficult for you to read any inline comments. This service will only be available in relatively quiet times for Arachne when we don't have an active call out.

Thinking of submitting? Buy a book and see what sort of work we love.
All the books here were created from open calls. We publish others, if you are interested in those go to our webshop:!/Book/c/12178367/
postage free in UK, £3 Europe £6 elsewhere.

Arachne Press Limited