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decongested Interview

Posted on 15 June 2004. © Copyright 2004-2018 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
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WriteWords talks to Rebekah and Paul from 'Tales of the Decongested', a new event set up to promote the short story and provide a platform for new writing.

Tell us something about your background.

“Tales of the DeCongested” is a new event set up to promote the short story and provide a platform for new writing. Fuelled by submissions of no longer than 3,000 words, each monthly event features five or more authors reading their work. The evening is held on the last Thursday of every month at the Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden. Though based in London, anyone who can get to the event is welcome to submit. We were set up to promote new writing, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t keen to hear from more established writers: Ali Smith, Nicholas Royle, Stella Duffy and Shelley Silas have all supported the group. Paul Blaney and I came up with the idea last October. As teachers and writers of short fiction, we were moaning about how difficult it is to publish short stories and how good it would be to have a space for writers to share their work. After a long weekend of contemplation, it suddenly seemed clear that we could set up this space ourselves and encourage others to write and share short stories. The event has been thriving ever since its launch in January of this year and editors, agents and radio producers, writers and enthusiasts all go on to the pub after the readings to discuss the evenings’ stories. [Rebekah]

What kind of writers excite you and why?

We like two kinds of writers: those whose work is beautifully crafted; and the risk takers. Of course, it’s even better if they are both!

Who are your favourite writers/writing and why?

We had trouble answering this one as we like so many different kinds of writers, probably for the reasons given above. Here are a few: Gogol, Dambudzo Marechera, Ali Smith, Saki, Poe, Chekhov, Joyce, Carver, Hemmingway, Alice Munro, Borges, Angela Carter, Ian McEwan (early work), Woolf (Rebekah’s choice obviously), Katherine Mansfield, Wole Soyinka, Paul Bowles, Coetzee, Jim Crace, Alessandro Barricco, Ron Butlin, Louisa Valensuela etc. etc.

What excites you about a piece of writing-

We like writing that surprises us.

and what makes your heart sink?

Bad spelling, grammar, punctuation and obvious first drafts where characters aren’t consistent (name changes etc.).



A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.






Comments by other Members



anisoara at 18:51 on 15 June 2004  Report this post
I think this is wonderful! An environment which brings writers together in a social setting where you canlisten to one another's work. Loverly. (And even more wonderful if Tales of the Decongested South West might evolve out of it... Oh, and Tales of the Decongested for other parts of the UK!)

I have also noted some of your favourite writers whom I have not read - well, even heard of! - to add to my Wish List.

Thanks!

Ani

Zigeroon at 13:33 on 16 June 2004  Report this post

That old 'don't send it out too soon' message rings loud and clear in this interview as in the last few interviews. As Ani has said above I have not heard of some of the writers referred to and will endeavour to put that right.

Andrew


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