Readers of this blog are no doubt aware that one of our most enjoyable evenings each month is Short Stories Aloud. Sarah, who runs the show, wanted to say a few words about why you don’t want to miss SSA this year. My suggestion is simple – read this and then come along each month, it truly is one of the best literary nights in town!
Last year was a pretty good year for Short Stories Aloud, our monthly literary grab bag of stories and authors. If you came along, you know that already. But in case you didn’t, here’s what you missed:
• Listening to professional actors, including BBC Radio Four’s very own Julie Mayhew and Jenny Johns, reading world-class stories by authors such as Catherine O’Flynn, Jonathan Grimwood and Sophie Hannah. Hearing a room full of people gasp (yes, gasp) in unison at the end of a Jon McGregor story.
• Being part of a frequently raucous Q&A session with the guest authors after the readings. Highlights last year included learning what Margaret Drabble thinks is the biggest problem currently facing creative women; and watching Oxford’s own Man Booker Prize nominee Charlotte Mendelson demonstrate how she acquired a carpet burn whilst dancing to Bonnie Tyler,
• Making friends. Yeah, I know this one sounds ridiculously cheesy, but the audience at Short Stories Aloud is a room full of people just like you, and the friendliest literary audience out there. (One author, Jonathan Pinnock, described the audience as ‘very friendly and exceptionally responsive’. You see?). It’s becoming a place where the bookish of Oxford come to meet and chat, and that just can’t be a bad thing.
This year looks set to be even better. I know, I know, how could it be? We have some amazing authors lined up: Helen Oyeyemi, Jenn Ashworth, Rachel Joyce, Sadie Jones; and some outstanding debut writers coming along so that you can say you saw them here first. There will be, as ever, a cash bar so that you can listen to the stories with a glass of wine and a slice of cake. And oh yeah, there’s cake…. If you bake a cake, you get in for free. That’s £0 to you. (or £5, if baking isn’t your thing). A fiver for an evening of exceptional stories, chat with award-winning authors, cake and wine. Really. Why would you want to miss that?
The next show dates are Tuesday January 28th, when we’ll be welcoming along Sophie Hardach and Eva Dolan, and Tuesday February 25th, with Helen Oyeyemi and Anna Hope. Short Stories Aloud is held upstairs at the Old Firestation, 40 George St, on the fourth Tuesday of every month. More info at @storiesaloud or on Facebook