In the age of instant access, limited patience and diminishing attention spans, “social” exchanges are commonly reduced to that of few words at a time. The likes of Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Line have enabled us to mindlessly chat away with each other at the press of a button, but what does that do to the quality and meaning of the content therein? How much thought goes into an emoji? Gone are the days when a thoughtful letter rich in content was the regular communicative method of choice for most people. Even if you have a pen pal or long distance acquaintance, an email can reach them in seconds. How much more time & effort would you make if it didn’t reach them for days, and took a week to get a response?
SLOWLY is a digital platform for a traditional pen pal experience.
Designed for people in search of meaningful conversations in the era of instant messaging, their aim is “to connect people around the world at a slower but better pace – one letter at a time.”
Spread The Word’sLondon Short Story Prize 2019 is currently open for entries. The Prize was launched in 2013 to platform talented short story writers in London. They have published six anthologies, celebrated six winners, have run two London Short Story Festivals and profiled over 50 talented short story writers.
The winner of the London Short Story Prize 2019 will receive £1000 and their short story will be published in Open Pen London. Two highly commended writers will each receive £250. The full longlist will see their short stories published in the London Short Story Prize 2019 Anthology.
Several years ago, I had an idea for a story. A hapless protagonist starts seeing things, “changes” to his daily bubble. Everyone else seems to think he’s losing it, and being the only one to notice quickly cracks him. Then “everyone else” starts changing too, and he’s forced to embark on a mind-bending odyssey, questioning reality and the alternate realities that unfold before him.
I shelved the initial scribbles for a while, coming back to it in dribs and drabs, using it as a creative outlet and a way of unwinding from real-life everyday stresses and strains. As the story took on more form, I spent more time with it, but the idea of writing a full novel seemed daunting. Instead, I had the idea of releasing the tale in episodes. Serial fiction sounded like an exciting idea to me, releasing chapter by chapter as bite-sized pieces of writing. Especially as to begin with it was all “off the cuff”, with little to no planning. However, as I came to find, this has its own drawbacks.