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The Word Factory #26

The intimate short story salon


Welcome back to an autumn of intimate salons and inspiring workshops. We begin our season with three very different but brilliant short story writers: Alexei Sayle, Mahesh Rao, and Jonathan Taylor. They will entertain with their stories and join Cathy Galvin in conversation about their writing lives. We will also announce the winners of our 2014 Word Factory Apprentice scheme.

And look out for events with Tessa Hadley, Ben Okri, David Vann, David Constantine and Colin Barratt in the months to come.

6 – 8pm

Waterstones Piccadilly
203 Piccadilly,
London W1J 9HD

See Map Here

  Book early online to secure your place and a free glass of wine at Waterstones' flagship store in Piccadilly. Price includes all booking and transaction costs.

£12 per person in advance online.
£8 concessions: students & senior citizens, unwaged and people with disabilities.
£15 on door if space available.

Buy Your Tickets Here
  Alexei Sayle   Mahesh Rao  

Alexei Sayle

Stand-up comedy legend, actor, author of two short story collections and five novels, Alexei has contributed to a variety of leading newspapers and is writing the second part of his acclaimed memoir, Stalin Ate My Homework.


Mahesh Rao

Mahesh Rao grew up in Nairobi, Kenya. His work has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the Zoetrope: All-Story Short Fiction Contest. He lives in Mysore, India.

  Jonathan Taylor   Cathy Galvin  

Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan Taylor is a fiction-writer, memoirist, poet, critic, editor and lecturer. Author of the novel Entertaining Strangers, the short story collection Kontakte and Other Stories, and the memoir Take Me Home: Parkinson’s, My Father, Myself. He is also editor of the anthology Overheard: Stories to Read Aloud, winner of the Saboteur Award for Best Fiction Anthology 2013


Cathy Galvin

Word Factory director Cathy Galvin is associate editor of Newsweek and of the Warwick Review. Her sequence of sonnets, Black and Blue, is published by Melos Press this month and her poetry has appeared in publications including The London Magazine and Morning Star.

  Jonathan Taylor Masterclass

Workshop with Jonathan Taylor

WHAT DID THEY SAY?An exclusive workshop with Jonathan Taylor on how to make the maximum impact reading your work aloud.

Live readings and literature events are hugely popular and writers need to know how to read out loud and make the maximum impact with their work. It’s vital to understand exactly what’s involved in creating a good group experience while allowing space for listeners to have their own personal response.

In this lively workshop led by an acclaimed teacher and writer, you will explore the characteristics that make a story readable and the keys to good performance. Group and pair work will allow you to maximise your own performance and share with others. The workshop will suit you whether you are already published and wanting to improve your performance and writing skills or have experience as a writer but are not yet published.

Venue: Waterstones Piccadilly. Cost: £60 per person with free entrance to the evening reading included. NOTE THE TIME: 1.30-4.30pm (before the Salon).

Book Your Masterclass Here


Short Story Club

This month: Lucy Wood
Lights in Other People’s Houses

In September we will be exploring the work of the young British writer, Lucy Wood. Diving Belles, her debut collection, was recorded as a series for BBC radio. All the stories are inspired by Cornish folklore, and in ‘Lights in Other People’s Houses’ the ghost of a wrecker appears in Maddy’s house amidst the moving boxes she is refusing to unpack. Gradually the house fills with sand, and shells, and an atmosphere is created that is both dreamlike and unsettling.

Simply email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story:


Word Factory is appearing at the Cork short story festival in September and at Small Wonder, Charleston on September 25th with Joseph O’Neill, Alex Preston and Joanna Briscoe.

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coming up here…

Further information – clock in & register at:

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