Small Wonder 2013: Day 5, Sunday 29 September 2013

SW13 Award WT 5

William Trevor is announced as the winner of the inaugural Charleston-Chichester Award for a Lifetime’s Excellence in Short Fiction, recognising a long-standing creativity and achievement in writing short stories. Alison MacLeod is pictured alongside an photograph of Trevor on a previous visit to Charleston. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

On stage for the midday event: Freya McClements, Brian Kimberling and Alison Moore. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

On stage for the midday event: Freya McClements, Brian Kimberling and Alison Moore. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Lunchtime! The wonderful Pizza Amoré. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Lunchtime! The wonderful Pizza Amoré. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Books and bunting - a perfect setting! Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Deborah Levy and Stephen Grosz discuss the 'Stories We Tell Ourselves'. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Deborah Levy and Stephen Grosz discuss the ‘Stories We Tell Ourselves’. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Outside Charleston Farmhouse. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Outside Charleston Farmhouse. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

We take our hat off to the fabulous Charleston Gardener Mark Divall and Firle Place herb gardener Will Vincent who hosted our drop-in gardening clinic on Sunday - excellent advice washed down with a delicious cup of mint tea. Photograph by Penelope Fewster © The Charleston Trust.

We take our hat off to the fabulous Charleston Gardener Mark Divall and Firle Place herb gardener Will Vincent who hosted our drop-in gardening clinic on Sunday – excellent advice washed down with a delicious cup of mint tea. Photograph by Penelope Fewster © The Charleston Trust.

The Gardeners' Question Time drop-in clinic - a trestle table of delights. Photograph by Penelope Fewster © The Charleston Trust.

The Gardeners’ Question Time drop-in clinic – a trestle table of delights. Photograph by Penelope Fewster © The Charleston Trust.

All set up for Sunday's Micro Library Books workshop. Photograph by Penelope Fewster © The Charleston Trust.

All set up for Sunday’s Micro Library Books workshop. Photograph by Penelope Fewster © The Charleston Trust.

Checking out Bob Stanley's brilliant 'Yeah Yeah Yeah' book. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Checking out Bob Stanley’s brilliant ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’ book. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.


Small Wonder 2013 in Pictures: Day 4, Saturday 28 September 2013

Calligraphy Workshop with Patrick Knowles; the beautiful basics of pen and ink. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Calligraphy Workshop with Patrick Knowles; the beautiful basics of pen and ink. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Patrick Knowles, preparing for his Calligraphy Workshop. Photograph by Penelope Fewster © The Charleston Trust.

Patrick Knowles, preparing for his Calligraphy Workshop – (just look at his expertly drawn name label!) Photograph by Penelope Fewster © The Charleston Trust.

Lennie Goodings, Sara Wheeler, Helen Dunmore and Susie Boyt in our 'Once Upon a Time There Was a Traveller' Asham Award event. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Lennie Goodings, Sara Wheeler, Helen Dunmore and Susie Boyt in our ‘Once Upon a Time There Was a Traveller’ Asham Award event. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

AS Byatt plays it cool in the Charleston Green Room. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

AS Byatt plays it cool in the Charleston Green Room. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Lunchtime! Delicious pizza from Pizza Amore, in the Charleston courtyard. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg (c) The Charleston Trust.

Lunchtime! Delicious pizza from Pizza Amore, in the Charleston courtyard. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg (c) The Charleston Trust.

Another of our favourite lunchtime haunts - a quiet spot in the Charleston Folly Garden. Photograph by Penelope Fewster ©  The Charleston Trust.

Another of our favourite lunchtime haunts – a quiet spot in the Charleston Folly Garden. Photograph by Penelope Fewster © The Charleston Trust.

Our hearts melted at the once in a lifetime event, Californian artist Don Bachardy read from his and Christopher Isherwood's love letters to one another, guided by editor Katherine Bucknell. As if that wasn't special and moving enough, the event was followed by a screening of Chris and Don: A Love Story. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg ©  The Charleston Trust.

Our hearts melted at the once in a lifetime event, Californian artist Don Bachardy read from his and Christopher Isherwood’s love letters to one another, guided by editor Katherine Bucknell. As if that wasn’t special and moving enough, the event was followed by a screening of Chris and Don: A Love Story. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.


Small Wonder 2013 in Pictures: Day 3, Friday 27 September 2013

Lemn Sissay hosts our Creative Future event. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Lemn Sissay hosts our Creative Future event. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Celebrating the UK's first ever Creative Future Literary Awards, recognising talented and marginalised writers. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Celebrating the UK’s first ever Creative Future Literary Awards, recognising talented and marginalised writers. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Pre-Slam wordplay warm-up: the Charleston Cocktails and Scrabble Championship gets underway. Photograph by Penelope Fewster © The Charleston Trust.

Pre-Slam wordplay warm-up: the Charleston Cocktails and Scrabble Championship gets us in the competitive spirit before the Small Wonder  Short Story Slam. Photograph by Penelope Fewster © The Charleston Trust.

The Small Wonder Slam Hat - full of the names of new writing talent. Photograph by Penelope Fewster © The Charleston Trust.

The Small Wonder Slam Hat – full of the names of new writing talent. Photograph by Penelope Fewster © The Charleston Trust.

Writer and performance poet Lonny Pop hosts our Small Wonder Slam. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Writer and performance poet Lonny Pop hosts our Small Wonder Slam. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

The score that all our Slammers were hoping for: perfect 10s from the judges Freya McClements; Carole Buchan; Alistair Burtenshaw and . Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

The score that all our Slammers were hoping for: perfect 10s from the judges . Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

A Small Wonder Slam contestant braves the podium to read her three minute story entitled 'The Shovel'. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

A Small Wonder Slam contestant braves the podium to read her three minute story entitled ‘The Shovel’. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.


Small Wonder 2013 in Pictures: Day 2, Thursday 26 September 2013

Beautiful Cosmos flowers in the Charleston Garden brightening up an overcast day. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Beautiful Cosmos flowers in the Charleston Garden brightening up an overcast day. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Ellah Allfrey, Diriye Osman and Nadifa Mohamed in the Charleston Garden before their Small Wonder Event - Untold Stories. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Ellah Allfrey, Diriye Osman and Nadifa Mohamed in the Charleston Garden before their Small Wonder Event – Untold Stories. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Ellah Allfrey, Diriye Osman and Nadifa Mohamed - Untold Stories. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg ©  The Charleston Trust.

Ellah Allfrey, Diriye Osman and Nadifa Mohamed – Untold Stories. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

The Word Factory Factor Line-Up: Jim Crace; Jane Rogers; DBC Pierre and David Constantine with Cathy Galvin. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

The Word Factory Factor Line-Up: Jim Crace; Jane Rogers; DBC Pierre and David Constantine with Cathy Galvin. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

DBC Pierre reading as Cathy Galvin looks on. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

DBC Pierre reading as Cathy Galvin looks on. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

David Constantine. Photograph Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

David Constantine. Photograph Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.


Small Wonder 2013 in Pictures: Day 1, Wednesday 25 September

Evie Wyld, Naomi Alderman and Hephzibah Anderson. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Evie Wyld, Naomi Alderman and Hephzibah Anderson. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Alistair Burtenshaw, Director of Charleston, introducing Naomi Alderman, Evie Wyld and Hephzibah Anderson at this year's opening event. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Alistair Burtenshaw, Director of Charleston, introducing Naomi Alderman, Evie Wyld and Hephzibah Anderson at this year’s opening event. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Relaxing at our Bar in the Barn... we highly recommend our Small Wonder beer, brewed for us by Harvey's of Lewes. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg ©  The Charleston Trust.

Relaxing at our Bar in the Barn… we highly recommend our Small Wonder beer, brewed for us by Harvey’s of Lewes. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Man Booker Prize nominated Jhumpa Lahiri inside the Dining Room at Charleston before her stunning Small Wonder event on Wednesday. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg ©  The Charleston Trust.

Man Booker Prize nominated Jhumpa Lahiri inside the Dining Room at Charleston before her stunning Small Wonder event on Wednesday. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Jhumpa Lahiri in conversation with Paul Blazard. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg ©  The Charleston Trust.

Jhumpa Lahiri in conversation with Paul Blazard. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland looked stunning on the City Books stall. Never judge a book by its cover... but this one's as good as it looks. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.

Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland looked stunning on the City Books stall. Never judge a book by its cover… but this one’s as good as it looks. Photograph by Axel Hesslenberg © The Charleston Trust.


Small Wonder 2013 begins: Jhumpa Lahiri with Kate Mosse; & Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists

It’s good to see Small Wonder thriving so purposefully and stylishly’. This remark, made a number of years ago by William Trevor, the Irish author who is considered one of the world’s finest short story writers, with a career spanning over half a century, has become a self-fullfilling prophecy, and a promise, for Charleston’s Short Story Festival. 

SWnight time (c) Axel Hesslenberg

Photograph (c) Axel Hesslenberg

Today, Small Wonder celebrates its tenth year with an extra evening of events, all in the breathtaking setting of the Charleston Barn and the Sussex landscape.

We open the festival hand-in-hand with our friends at Granta, the magazine of new writing, to bring you some of the very best of young British talent. It’s a very different world to when William Trevor first started out as writer, but as our authors tonight demonstrate, the digital age can create interesting new opportunities.

Granta Best of Young British Novelists

Naomi Alderman, writer of the online interactive short story The Winter House, and lead writer for games such as Zombie, Run! tonight discusses her latest book The Liar’s Gospel alongside Evie Wyld, previously Booktrust’s online Writer in Residence and author of the award-winning After the Fire, a Still Small Voice, whose new novel is All the Birds, Singing.

Jhumpa Lahiri

And it’s a very special treat to have Jhumpa Lahiri join us, along with Kate Mosse, to discuss her short stories and her novel The Lowland in our 8pm event tonight, supported by the University of Sussex. Already a multi award-winning author, Lahiri is one of the six writers who have work shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize. (The list also includes Jim Crace, who will be appearing at Small Wonder tomorrow evening).

We’re not sure quite how you could pick between these opening events tonight so we have a combined ticket offer for you: join us for both the 6pm and 8pm for £15 (or £12 if you are a student and have your ID). Get your tickets at the box office in the barn; for full details of Small Wonder including how to find it and how to get there, as well the full programme of events, visit: www.charleston.org.uk/smallwonder. See you this evening!


Short Story Masterclass with Margaret Drabble

“… of course that is one of the satisfactions of writing a short story; that when you find out what the last sentence is, and you don’t always know, it does make everything fit together” – Margaret Drabble

Margaret Drabble

This post forms the final part of the Thresholds Masterclass series, an exclusive collaboration with Small Wonder recorded at the 2012 Short Story Festival – Margaret Drabble tells Steve Wasserman about her love of walking and its relationship to her writing; how, as with many literary greats before her, rambling in the countryside can lead to the creation of ideas. And Wasserman helps Margaret Drabble to describe her approach to the creative process, to see how this differs from that of ‘the true short storyteller’ and, indeed, the differences between telling and showing.

Listen to the Short Story Masterclass with Margaret Drabble (30 minutes).

Small Wonder is proud to be associated with Thresholds, home of the online international short story forum and the Short Story Masterclass series, hosted by the University of Chichester. To find out about developing a relationship with Small Wonder, contact Susie Tempest on 01323 815141 or email s.tempest@charleston.org.uk.

Margaret Drabble’s short stories, collected in A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman, add an essential element to her work. The author of 18 novels, including the classic Jerusalem the Golden and more recent The Peppered Moth, she has also written a biography of her literary hero, Angus Wilson, who made his name with short story collections, including Such Darling Dodos. 

Steve Wasserman is a psychotherapist, writer, & the ears into which you might Read Me Something You Love (a podcast + blog). He also does By-Heart poetry courses and events in strange, and out-of-the-way places. Twitterable as @RMSYL.