Sometimes themes just start to emerge from submissions, complementing each other perfectly in style and form. These five writers, spanning across the whole of the UK, explored themes of myths and motherhood in exciting ways. I am delighted to say that on Friday 25th March 2022 we will release our first combined Shorts anthology (Of Myths and Mothers by Kenzie Millar, Gaynor Jones, Sascha Akhtar, Clayton Lister and Helen Nathaniel-Fulton).
Let's meet the writers!
Helen Nathaniel-Fulton with her story 'Memory Chip':
"Memory Chip is 'memoir fiction', a piece of a real life fashioned into a story. Helena is drifting, sleepwalking, a cog in other people's machines. Slowly she's turning into one, no more alive inside than the German car factory robots nodding around her. She hopes more than believes she is in love & is loved. She doesn't plan to be a mother. When that glorious but terrifying life change is denied, she has to give up all that makes her human to survive."
Gaynor Jones with her story 'May We Know Them':
"The inspiration for this story came from wanting to explore the desire (or not) to have children, and the ways different people might respond if those choices were entirely taken away - not just on a personal level, but on a global scale."
Clayton Lister with his story: 'How To Dress A Rabbit':
Clayton Lister is an inner-city expat who is loving the country-life. He identifies with Beatrix Potter, only his stories are funnier. Darker, too. With no whimsy pictures. But they do very often feature animals. Sometimes, like Bea's, Clay's talk. Usually they're alive, not always - not when one of his tricksy mummsies gets her hands on them, they're not. Tricksy mummsies, witchy grans. Oh, and hats. Clay and Beatrix do share a passion for the fetching titfer.
Kenzie Millar with her story 'Pass Through The Waters':
This story follows Cass, grieving the loss of her husband. She finds comfort when she meets a mysterious woman on a moonlit beach. Pass Through The Waters explores how love can develop if freely given, and how love after loss can be especially life changing.
Sascha Akhtar on her story: 'The Last of the Nest Gatherers'
I became fascinated by the ecology and habits of the Indonesian swiftlet. It creates the most expensive food on our planet, currently. I wanted to explore the relationship of nature to capitalism and consumption. I became fascinated by how many different groups of people were linked to a bird. The dystopian narrative I have created uses statistics and facts but also myth and legend. Honestly, I was just so moved by this bird's story that I suppose I wanted to try to capture those feelings. In fact, I think by the end of it I was praying to 'Bird Goddess' myself.
The story is sort of an experiment in intertextuality, utilizing existing factual information, both historical and scientific with invented myth and total make-believe. In this way, perhaps the boundaries of 'reality,' become blurred.
Look out for a Manchester-based launch, in person!
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