Date(s) - 04/09/2018 - 30/09/2018

Charleston, Firle,

Friday-Sunday September 28-30

This year’s festival celebrating the short story explores themes of transformation and identity, highlighting works that resonate with dualities and transitions by a mix of home-grown and international authors, poets and artists. The UK’s only short story festival, now in its 15th year, will take place in Charleston’s newly restored 18th century Hay Barn. It also marks the 90th anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando: A Biography, and the festival features a specially commissioned piece by the writer Olivia Laing, The Something-Nothings, a passionate dialogue with Woolf’s seductive, identity-shifting text. She will read it with performance artist La JohnJoseph. The festival also honours the anniversary of women’s suffrage with a diverse range of female voices. Among the highlights are Booker Prize-winning novelist Ben Okri, who reads from and discusses his anthology of Poetry for the Many; Internationally renowned author AS Byatt receiving The Charleston-Bede’s Award for a Lifetime’s Excellence in Short Fiction; satirical and caustic fictions grappling with the contradictions of the contemporary USA from the writers Lionel Shriver and Tom Rachman; Juno Dawson, Louise Doughty and Kate Mosse (pictured) discussing new stories written in response to Emily Brontë’s masterpiece of passion and obsession Wuthering Heights; and author A L Kennedy performing a specially commissioned monologue celebrating 20 years of Mslexia magazine’s championing of women writers. Picture: Ruth Crafer.