Birkbeck University to champion new voices in short story anthology

Birkbeck University to champion new voices in short story anthology

Birkbeck, University of London has launched a new literary anthology to celebrate the "versatility and power" of the short story.

Publishing annually as a book and e-book, The Mechanics’ Institute Review seeks to open up opportunities for writers from across the UK and attract a wide variety of subjects, settings, voices, perspectives and styles. 

The first issue of the anthology will provide a "unique snapshot" of writing in the UK, according to a spokesperson, with subjects ranging from Iranian immigrants in London, coming out in Carmarthenshire and reunions in Gloucester, to celebrity culture, trial by social media, child sexual abuse and the refugee crisis. The stories, 26 in total, were chosen from more than 240 submissions.

It will publish on 25th September 2017 with contributions from writers including Dane Buckley, Stephanie Hutton, Madeline Cross, Ellen Hardy and Gemma Weekes, as well as two new stories by award-winning "guest authors" Jenn Ashworth and Alan Beard.

Contributions for the book were chosen, by blind selection, by a group of student volunteers from the Creative Writing MA at Birkbeck, overseen by staff. 

Julia Bell (pictured), director of the Creative Writing MA at Birkbeck, said: “Short stories are perfectly formed literary achievements. With The Mechanics’ Institute Review we aim to introduce even more readers to this versatile and powerful art form. As a showcase of the best short-story writers from across the UK, the anthology is an exciting new addition to the wider literary culture – representing diverse and original voices, uncovering new talent, and providing a platform for underrepresented writers.”