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The 4th Solstice Shorts Festival: Live Stories Poems & Songs from Scotland to Cornwall as darkness falls on the shortest day
The 4th Solstice Shorts Festival: Live Stories Poems & Songs from Scotland to Cornwall as darkness falls on the shortest day
27 backers pledged £1,141 to help bring this project to life.

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Solstice Shorts Festival 2017: Dusk

£1,141

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The Solstice Shorts Festival always has a TIME theme, this year it is Dusk, that time between day and night when everything changes. It lasts roughly 45 minutes and the idea is to have multiple sites across the UK all reading/singing different material (Chosen by us, read by actors/ sung by musicians) starting as far North East as we can get and ending as far South West as possible, taking in key spots in between. On 21st December Dusk starts in the UK in the far NE (Shetland) at 16:53 and finishes in the far South West at 18:21, So we are starting in Ellon, near Aberdeen (Scotland) and finishing in Redruth (Cornwall) all the other performances will overlap, so that somewhere in the ether we are all reading/singing together, like a mumuration of starlings.

We have organisers and venues in Aberdeen, (Intuitive Music Aberdeen), Inverness (Inverness Playwrights) Lancaster (North West Literary Salon) Angelsey (Cybi Poets), Rossendale (The Whitaker) Birmingham (Unbroken Cocoon), Nottingham (Nottingham Writers' Studio), Greenwich (London), Bristol (Bare Bones Collective) Barnstaple (Courage Copse Creatives) Redruth, (Kernow Education Arts Partnership), and we have made contact with actors and BSL interpreters, so the project is progressing nicely.

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The material is being collected now via Submittable, Stories and Poems can be previously published, but new work is prefered and only new work will make it into the subsequent anthology, which is part of our funding bid. Music will be either traditional or original. We have 44 submissions so far, there will be roughly 2 of each at each location, so we will need 72 pieces in total, tell you writer/musician friends, Deadline 5th November. (UK only, sorry).

As you can imagine this is quite a tricky idea to pull off, and is going to be expensive. We are applying to the Arts Council for most of the money, and have applied to local councils and other funding groups to help, and have interest from four of them, but even if successful we will need some more match funding, hence this! Feel very free to share with your friends.

We need to pay 2 actors plus 2-3 musicians for each site, pay for the venue for about 2 hours to allow for set up and clear down, pay the organisers, pay for marketing and insurance, pay for production of the anthology, BSL interpreters, video filming and editing... and we'd like to be able to pay a performance licence to the authors for use of their work too.

We are getting 8 of the venues for free and some people are giving some of their time for free but the budget is around £1,700 per site, so this crowd fund will go towards the 10% of the costs which is the minimum match funding the Arts Council will consider.

We have over 40 expressions of interest from writers so far, many of whom are published and indeed critically aclaimed, and equally some who are relative novices, so its an exciting prospect. See those rewards over there on the right? Many of those are donated by our existing authors,  or our organisers. That's what you can have as a thank you for your support. In case you need some visuals to help you decide, here they are.

Weekend in the scottish highlands
Weekend in the scottish highlands

 

all sorts of lovely rewards
all sorts of lovely rewards

 

books...
books...

 

Signed books
Signed books

 

Risks and challenges

Money is very tight on this project and time is getting tight too. If we can pull all the strands of the funding together it will be magnificent. If we can't, there are various options: if we don't get any match funding we won't get the ACE funding in which case we've got agreement from the majority of the organisers to go for a slimmed down shoestring version where no one gets paid apart from expenses, there's no book and no BSL interpretation, and there are a couple of venues that might not be involved.
If we don't get the Arts council funding but we DO get the match funding, we will prioritise the sites where their local authority came up with the funds, and use any excess from this crowd funding (which under those circumstances would be Greenwich money - we already know we can't get money from them) to support some of the others to do a bare bones version, where we pay the performers as much as we can, and there is no BSL video or book. We've done many events successfully before, both funded and unfunded , but we really want to be able to pay artists for their work, they are always what gets cut when the funding fails, so help us make it magnificent and show the Arts Council people really want this to happen.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About US$ 6

    Don't Touch Garden audio book

    Our first audio book, hot off the mixing desk, not available in shops until January. Available as a downloadable MP3.

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    #Arachne 5 book

    One of our Arachne5 books
    One of the first 5 books we published
    Includes:
    o Weird Lies
    o Lovers' Lies
    o London Lies
    o Mosaic of Air
    o Stations

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    Arachne Badge

    Arachne badge: we produce a limited run of badges for each of our books. they are 25mm across. We have at least 10 of each design left. They are hand cut so designs vary slightly. Take a look in the gallery and we'll do our best to send you what you ask for
    London Liar, Lover's fish, Stations, Mosaic of Air, Longest Night, Shortest Day, Solstice Shorts Supporter Clock/sun, #Arachne5, various characters from Devilskein & Dearlove, other side of sleep.

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    The book of DUSK

    It may not have that title, but you get the idea. We don't actually want to get mistaken for Phillip Pullman. A copy of the anthology that will be published including all the chosen stories and poems, and the lyrics of any original songs that get chosen. Paperback, B format, notch bound, 80 gsm wood free paper. Cover will utilise our DUSK logo. No idea just yet how many pages - probably around 160. This will be put together at the speed of light as soon as we've chosen the material and we aim to have it ready for the events, but WON'T be available in the shops until June - so you will be getting a very pre-publication copy, so hot off the press it sizzles.

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    Signed copy The Old Woman From Friuli

    Copy of our children's illustrated folk tale signed by the author, Ghillian Potts

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    An Arachne Book

    An Arachne Book
    It's what we do!
    have a book, why not?
    Includes:
    o Brat
    o Liberty Tales
    o Shortest Day Longest Night
    o Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed
    o With Paper for Feet
    o The Don't Touch Garden
    o Foraging
    o The Other Side of Sleep
    o Solstice Shorts: 16 stories about time
    o Devilskein & Dearlove

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    Allotment tea with a writer

    One of our Bath based writers is offering a trip round her allotment followed by tea/coffee and vegan brownies.

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    Arachne 5th anniversary mug

    White mug featuring our Arachne 5th anniversary '5' logo

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    Pledge £12 or more About US$ 15

    Ticket To Ride CD

    CD of travel themed songs from Vocal Chords Choir, our regular collaborators on Solstice Shorts

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    Pledge £12 or more About US$ 15

    Running Before the Wind

    One of our poets, Joy Howard has offered a copy of a book she edited:
    Running Before the Wind, Poems about the Sea

    This anthology of contemporary poems covers every aspect of our sometimes conflicting relationship with unbiddable two-thirds of our planet.

    ‘A wind-shaken, salt-laden, heartload of poems by women, and not a dead fish among them. I have lived within sight of the sea all my life, and this is the most enjoyable anthology I have read on this subject’. Gillian Clarke

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    #Arachne5 T-Shirt

    Plain simple white T shirt with our '5' design celebrating our 5th anniversary. see the gallery/story for design. Delivery about 2 weeks after the end of the crowd fund. Come up a bit small, order a size larger than usual.

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    Signed books

    A copy of Liberty Tales or Shortest Day, Longest Night, (you choose!) signed by as many of the authors as we've managed to catch up with or a copy of Brat our new YA novel by Ghillian Potts, signed by the author just tell us which when we ask

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    Signed copy Devilskein & Dearlove

    Devilskein & Dearlove, our Carnegie Nominated YA Novel with bookplate SIGNED by author Alex Smith.
    Sorry, We can't ship to South Africa as D&D is published by someone else there.

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    Signed Copy 'In the Wild Wood'

    Arachne Author Frances Gapper is offering a signed copy of her new collection of short stories (Published by Cultured Llama) more info http://www.culturedllama.co.uk/books/in-the-wild-wood

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    DUSK T-Shirt

    Black T shirt with our DUSK design. see Gallery for design. Sizes tend to come up a bit small consider ordering a size larger than you would usually size S-XXL

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    Matchbook Stories 4

    Arachne Author Frances Gapper is offering a copy of TINY collection of short stories (Published by Ex Machina) which includes one by her. more info http://www.bookexmachina.com/matchbookstories-04.html

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    Signed Fantasy Epic

    Signed Copy of Cherry Potts' mammoth fantasy epic, 'The Dowry Blade'. UK only, it's a big book! more information: https://arachnepress.com/books/the-dowry-blade/

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    LIMITED EDITION HAND MADE book

    The fabulous Jeremy Dixon is making us a handmade 20 page (Incl cover) A5 notebook, into which many of our writers with be writing their top writing tip or exercise. As they are all round the world, these will be handwritten, scanned and then printed by Jeremy in his own inimitable fashion. This will be classy, useful and unique!

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    Haiku Critique from Lee Nash

    One for the writers:
    Arachne author Lee Nash is offering to critique up to 5 Haiku more info http://leenashpoetry.com/mentoring/

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    Cake!

    We take our cake seriously at Arachne, there's usually BIG themed cakes at our launches mostly baked by editor Cherry Potts, though sometimes Katy Darby makes her famous cupcakes/ muffins.
    So if you are within safe cake carrying distance of borough of Lewisham, Cherry will bake you a cake and hand deliver it. Please don't go for this if you have any serious allergies, it’s a standard domestic kitchen and I cook all sorts of things you might have problems with, but if you like chocolate and what have you, this might be right up your street. Not to GBBO standards, ok? Will taste amazing and be a laugh, not exquisite

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    #Arachne5 short story books

    Set of our first five books: London Lies (stories set in London), Lovers' Lies (stories for romantic cynics), Weird Lies (Fantasy & SciFi - winner of the Sabotage2014 award for best anthology), Mosaic of Air by Cherry Potts (Lesbian Sci Fi/Fantasy/Contemporary)
    more info https://arachnepress.com/books/

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    Singing Workshop with Val Regan

    Because Solstice Shorts is a music and words festival We ocassionally hold intensive but fun singing workshops with wonderful teachers of brilliant songs in the run up to the festival. This year we have invited Val Regan https://valregan.com/ to teach us some songs by and about women and a traditional Sheffield pub carol. 25th November 12.45-5.15 in S E London. more details here https://arachnepress.com/2017/09/17/val-reagan-singing-workshop/

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    Signed copy of Outcome

    Our spectacular full colour photographic LGBT portraits by Tom Dingley, signed by him and as many of the subjects as we've happened to bump into. This is the last remaining signed copy.

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    Fiction Critique from Katy Darby

    Katy Darby is co-editor of our Three 'Lies' books and runs Live Lit event Liars' League. She is also a novelist published by Penguin, writing teacher at City, former editor of Litro short story magazine and judge of this year's Cambridge Short Story Prize
    She will give you a professional critique of your fiction at £50 for 5000 words - (Electronic delivery ONLY, please don't send paper) so if you want her to critique something longer, pledge more times! OPTION: personal face-to-face critique (30 min) in London for an extra £25 as an add on- you can pledge more than the £50 through the site, just let us know that's what you want.

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    Original print from Kevin Threlfall

    One of three unique prints on canvas by our cover artist (Weird Lies, With Paper for Feet, Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed) Kevin Threlfall, printed especially for us. 60x40cm. UK only as postage costs would be prohibitive elsewhere. If you are outside the UK and really really keen get in touch and we'll work something out! See pictures in story and gallery

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    Bespoke short story from David Mathews

    here’s the deal – commission David to write something tailored for a friend or a loved one for, say, a Christmas pressie? 1000 words. David needs three weeks’ notice. One week to write and two to edit, with your input if you want it. Copyright stays with David, but you can distribute widely.
    David has been published by us several times, and was one of the winners of the 1st Solstice Shorts competition. And he's funny.

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    Arachne 'Friend'

    Become a friend of Arachne: you get:
    a special 'friend' badge, automatic invitation to all book launches, your name in the thank you list in the next book we publish after you join (unless you wish to be anonymous) and one free copy of that book. (Obviously if you arent in the UK, the launch invitation is of limited value, but you can nominate someone else to receive your invitation if you like)

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    Original oil painting by Kevin Thelfall

    Absolutely thrilled with this one. Kevin has done three covers for us so far, and kindly offered us an original oil painting, 'Mist Descending' This is unframed on canvas board and 12inches by 12 inches

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    A hand-made-book-making workshop

    A practical 3 hour workshop delivered in your home by Poet/artist Jeremy Dixon (Liberty Tales & The Other Side of Sleep). You will learn to make: a one sheet book; a zig-zag book; a pamphlet-stitch book; and a stab-stitch book. All materials will be provided and Jeremy can run the workshop for up to eight people at a time. Why not invite your writing group, friends and family along to share a fun and enjoyable experience.
    Available Wednesday or weekends within a two-hour drive from Cardiff or along the M4 corridor (as far as London).
    Email any questions to Jeremy at jh_dixon@hotmail.com, or visit See www.hazardpress.co.uk to see examples of his work.

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    A Weekend in the highlands

    Our Inverness organisers Sherry and Phil are offering to host one person (or a couple) for a weekend in their gorgeous farmhouse outside Inverness. (Their bit is to the right of the archway in the pictures.)This amazing offer covers two nights, Friday/Saturday (dates to be agreed), bed, breakfast (Shared bathroom and lounge) and pick up/drop back to train station or airport in Inverness (if needed). Writers particulalry welcome!

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Funding period

- (14 days)