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Featured on The Reading Room...

Featured on The Reading Room...

Tuesday 24th January 2012

The Reading Room – 13 & 20 January 2012

Welcome to the Reading Room – a new programme featuring interviews with authors, poets, publishers, literary agents and people involved in books and literary activities; book reviews; readings of poems and short stories written by unpublished and published writers; information on the Reading Room monthly events and workshops; and news on literary activities and competitions.

On this month’s show we featured:

The Very, Very, Very Short Story Challenge!

There is a story that in the 1920s Ernest Hemingway accepted a bet that he could write a complete story in just 6 words.

He wrote:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

They paid up and supposedly Hemingway is said to have considered it his best work. (Supposedly, because there is some doubt as to the veracity of the tale)

Here are some other 6 word stories from a Guardian article written by well-known authors:
"It can't be. I'm a virgin."
Kate Atkinson
Set sail, great storm, all lost.
John Banville
Humorous book: critic died laughing. Sued.
Alexander McCall Smith
Served the pie, watched him die.
Maggie O'Farrell
Armageddon imminent. Make list. Tick most.
Ian Rankin
Pain, unutterable pain, stertorous exhalation. Death.
Will Self
"Mind what gap?" ... ... ...
Hilary Mantel
The Reading Room Challenge is for listeners to send in their 6 word stories to be read over the coming months on the show.
Send your story to Please put Subject: 6 word story. Stories can be anonymous – please say clearly if you don’t want your name reading out.
Please note: We can’t guarantee to broadcast every story we receive.

Interviews with the poets Niall Campbell & Kevin MacNeil.

Niall Campbell read “After the Creel Fleet” and “The Fraud”
His pamphlet “After the Creel Fleet” will be published early in 2012 by Happenstance
Other poems of Niall’s can be read in the Autumn/Winter edition of Northwords Now - available online at

There is also a podcast of Niall reading his work on the Northwards Now site:

You can follow Niall’s blog at

Kevin MacNeil read from These Islands We Sing: An Anthology of Scottish Island Poets
Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited (1 July 2011)
ISBN-13: 978-1846971969

Other books by Kevin:
• Little Borderless Village - 2000
• Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides - 2001
• Be Wise Be Otherwise - 2001
• Wish I Was Here - 2001
• The Stornaway Way - 2005
• A Method Actor’s Guide to Jekyll & Hyde – 2010
You can find out more about Kevin on his website
Books mentioned in the programme:
A White Leaping Flame/Caoir Gheal Leumraich: Sorley Maclean: Collected Poems (Hardback) Edited By Christopher White & Emma Dymock – published by Polygon
Under Fishbone Clouds : Sam Meekings – Polygon
The Book of Clouds: Sam Meekings – Polygon
The Sky’s Dark Labryrinth: Stuart Clarkson - Polygon

Man Booker Prize Books:
The Sense of an Ending: Julian Barnes – Jonathan Cape
Jamrach’s Menagerie: Carol Birch – Canongate Books

The Tiger’s Wife: Tea Obreht – Phoenix

Ebooks: source HI-Arts eBooks Supplement – Northwords Now Autumn/Winter 2011

The Weekend Fix: Craig Weldon with an Introduction by Hamish Brown – Sandstone Press
The Testament of Jessie Lamb: Jane Rogers – Sandstone Press
Far Inland: Peter Urpeth – Polygon


Scottish Writers Centre Writing Competition
Details from:
Closing date: 27 January 2012

International Short Story Competition:
Details from
Closing Date: 30 January 2012

Kelpies Prize for New Scottish Children’s Writing
Details from: prize
Closing Date: 29 February 2012

Myslexia Women’s Short Story Competition
Details from:
Closing Date: 19 March 2012

Bristol Short Story Competition;
Details from
Closing Date: 31 March 2012

Literary Events:

The Reading Room (formerly Skye Literary Salon) is hosting a creative writing workshop -Mapping Your World - which will be led by Chris Powici, Editor of Northwords Now - on Thursday 26th January, between 2 and 4p.m. at Skeabost Hotel. For further information: contact Orla Broderick at or log on to The Reading Room Facebook Page at There are a limited number of workshop places and a course fee of £3.

The Reading Room (formerly Skye Literary Salon) will meet on Thursday 26th January, starting at 7.00p.m., at the Skeabost Hotel - the winner of the Baker Prize Writing Competition English Prose section Heather Magruder and the Highly commended winner Jane Verberg will be reading their winning entries; the Gaelic Poetry winning entry from Niall Gorden will be read and Chris Powici, Editor of Northwords Now will be talking about the magazine. Refreshments and bar meals are available at the hotel. All are welcome - there is a charge of £3 for non-members.

Pitlochry Winter Words Festival – 27 January to 5 February.
Details from:

If you like the show and want to send in suggestions and ideas for features, or books you’ve read that you want to recommend to other listeners, please contact