This has been a bumper period for the short story. The sublime art of short fiction has never been so widely recognised, with its practitioners taking major international prizes. We are delighted to announce that Edna O’Brien has won our very own Charleston-Chichester Award For A Lifetime’s Excellence in Short Fiction.  She will be presented with the Award during her Festival event.  The BBC Short Story Award is also holding an exclusive event at Small Wonder.

In keeping with the Carnival mood, we are thrilled to include an event that focuses on writing from Brazil, with two of its most interesting authors coming over for Small Wonder, as well as a tribute to Gabriel Marcia Márquez. Who knew that the great exponent of Latin American writing and culture was a Virginia Woolf fan? Some of our major authors, such as Graham Swift, Rose Tremain and Margaret Atwood, will be reading new short stories. Michel Faber‘s contribution comes with musical accompaniment. We also include events that focus on WW1, on the emotional power of words and on publishing short stories.  The party mood will infuse our popular short story Slam and our exciting Outsider events will give everyone a chance to participate. We end with a last night jamboree: the performance poet Kate Tempest with the new short story star, Colin Barrett, compared by the inimitable Damian Barr. Olé!

Diana Reich  Artistic Director 


Persephone: We regret to inform you that Diana Athill has had to withdraw from her event on Saturday at 2pm, due to ill health.  However, an actress will read one of her stories and Nicola Beauman from Persephone books will appear as planned. Diana Athill sends her apologies, and requests that the audience supports Nicola Beauman and the reader of her story.

Tribute to Marquez: David Soul has had to withdraw from this event due to forces beyond our control. He will be replaced by 2 actors: RHASHAN STONE – currently starring in new hit TV series, The Smoke; and OLIVIA WILLIAMS, award winning stage, screen and TV actress, winner of the British Independent Film Award for Best Actress for An Education in 2009. Actress Harriet Walter and author Deborah Levy will be appearing as planned.



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