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A festival of live new stories poems and song on the shortest day of the year the winter solstice - on the theme of Time and Tide
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This is the Sixth year we've run Solstice Shorts Festival, and each year we've stretched our wings a little further. We started in Greenwich, London, then moved on to UK wide event (12 sites for Dusk in 2017) and this year is the first time we've gone international, with one of our events happening in Lisbon, Portugal. 

What?

We've put this under theatre as the closest we could get, but it is really literature - live, thrumming with energy and verve, but while there's some singing, there's no moving about the stage or dance or anything! (Maybe next year). We are a genre defying series of events - Six locations, Four countries, music and words, (and this year film), it's hard to categorise, so we hope we reach the right people! We create a platform for new writing - fiction, poetry and music. This year we  are working with 42 performers (musicians and actors) 19 authors, 35 poets, and 2 film makers. 

On the same day in six different locations we celebrate the shortest day of the year, the longest, darkest night of winter, in a way our most ancient ancestors would recognise, but with our own unique take. 

Everything (in the UK, if we get the funding) is interpreted in British Sign Language, partly to broaden our audience as far as possible, partly because British Sign Language is beautiful in it's own right. And then we live stream as much as we can - sometimes the walls of our venues are too thick to get a signal - and create permanent videos to showcase our writers and performers. And then we publish a book as well.

Our writers are from all over the world, and span everyone from regularly published to first timers, and our musicians from a Sea Shanty Choir to singer-songwriters. Our performers include award winning raconteurs.

When?

We create our events around a theme - there is always a link to TIME - the festival happens on the Winter Solstice, 21st December, the shortest day of the year, and is based in Greenwich on the famous Prime Meridian, home of accurately measured time. This year our theme is Time and Tide - stories, songs and poems of living, and making a living, on or beside the sea, and making new lives over the sea. This year each venue is choosing their own time of day for their event, but in Greenwich we are aiming at starting at Sunset and continuing until High Tide (venue permitting).

Where? 

Because of our sea theme, this year we are in port towns, taking over galleries and cafes, museums and community centres.

Scotland: Peterhead and Clydebank

England: Maryport, Greenwich ( it used to be a port, don't argue), and Hastings

Wales: Holyhead

Portugal: Lisbon

How you can help:

It's an expensive business running multi-site festivals, we need to pay venues, performers, organisers, BSL Interpreters, insurance, travel costs, video editing, marketing and we need to produce the BOOK! (It costs between£1000-£2000 per venue in total) We've had a lot of goodwill and in kind support, but because we are in several countries we also need to apply to multiple funders, any of whom might say no. So our target is our absolute minimum - that will give us the opportunity to say to funders, look, we got this match funding! 

This year we are hoping to be able to afford to pay all the WRITERS for the performance of their work, whether they read it themselves or not. There would be no festival without them, and there are a lot of them! We have been uncomfortable for some time at the irony that they only see money from booksales, when we pay the people who read their work for them. 

We are holding the festival in some out of the way places this year, and some of those places don't have a history of art in their town - they are working ports after all. So we can't rely on income from tickets, and are offering a donation for entry model. (One of the rewards is a pay-it-forward - you can buy a ticket for someone who couldn't otherwise afford it).

Rewards: We hope you'll take a shine to one of our lovely rewards and help us reach our target! The majority of the unique rewards are being donated by our multi-talented regional organisers. So there's a good spread of sublime to silly, and some straightforward earnest useful stuff too.

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Here's a glimpse at what the rewards LOOK like.

Books:

Photos:

Unique items:

T Shirts:

Cake: (samples only, baked to your specification)


Badges

Risks and challenges

We need a minimum of 10% match funding, but if one of our funders says no, then this fundraising here is even more important. We have patched together events with next to nothing in the past, we know we can do it, by calling in a shedload of favours, and all working for nothing ourselves, but it is a terrible strain on the organisers; so if we could completely overtake this target we would be very happy bunnies. We have always been successful in the past when we have applied for Arts Council funding, but they are getting stricter on 'repeat' projects, so we hope there is enough new exciting stuff for them to fund us again.
We are running a workshop with London Sea Shanty Collective to raise funds (you can get tickets as part of the rewards here!) and the book should make a profit, so even if no one funds us, we will go ahead with a shoestring version of the project, everyone involved in organising has signed up to work for free if we have to, but we still need to pay performers at least a token fee and their expenses, and the venues which we haven't got free will still need to be paid for.
All rewards either already exist or cover their costs, or are being donated - the more Tshirts we order at a time the more money we make on them, so we encourage you to buy several!

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Support

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    Our undying thanks

    we'll send you a lovely email thanking you for your contribution!

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    Badge/Button

    2.5cm badge/button. This year's Time and Tide design, or an earlier one. see the gallery for options.

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    Pay it forward ticket

    Entry to the festival is by a suggested donation of £3. Not everyone will be able to afford that, so you can buy a ticket to the festival for someone who wouldn't otherwise be able to attend.

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    Ticket to the festival

    Come to the festival! Saturday 21st December 2019 in one of 6 towns.
    Let us know which event and we'll get you details of timings and exact venue.

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    Quirky shell sandals

    to match our shell headdress, if they happen to fit! Leather wedge espadrilles size 38.5 (5 1/2) encrusted with real sea shells. (The sandals have been worn hence the low price) Strictly for fancy-dress - as fragile as Cinderella's glass slippers. Made by Joan Taylor-Rowan. see the gallery.

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    ebook of Time and Tide

    an ebook - kindle/mobi or ePub of the forthcoming Time and Tide anthology. (this will be the public version, not the special edition)

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    Supporter Ticket to the festival

    Come to the festival! And pay for a stranger to come too, who wouldnt otherwise be able to afford it.
    Saturday 21st December 2019 in one of 6 towns.
    Let us know which event and we'll get you details of timings and exact venue.

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    Noon Anthology

    Our most recent Solstice Shorts anthology, contains the stories and poems from last year's festival

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    Quirky shell headdress

    Strictly for dressing up -or a fancy dress party outfit. Unique one-off shell encrusted cardboard tiara - release your inner mermaid queen! Designed and made by Joan Taylor-Rowan, author, textile artist and Project co-ordinator for Hastings. 15cm high at the front. Elasticated at the back so it would fit a head approx 49-60cm round.

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    Sixteen Stories about Time

    The very first Solstice Shorts Anthology, includes stories by the jusdges, Rob Shearman, Anita Sethi, Imogen Robertson and Alison Moore plus the 12 winners of our competition.

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    Dusk anthology

    2017 Solstice Shorts Anthology dark stories and poems from our first festival to reach right across the UK, from Aberdeenshire to Cornwall

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    Shortest Day Longest Night

    Our second Solstice Shorts Anthology, Poems and Stories from 2015 and 2016. Long stories for longest Night and flash for shortest day.

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    Special edition Time & Tide Anthology

    Pre-publication special edition of the Time & Tide Anthology: 20 short stories and 46 poems with bonuses not included in the official version

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    limited edition photo by Julie Laing

    Maritime photographs from Julie Laing, Poet, film maker and Project organiser for the Clydebank end of the project. See Gallery: 'Slipway - Low Tide' Slipway Low Tide II B&W, Slipway Low Tide II Colour, Slipway Out of Water (3 options)

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    Time & Tide T shirt

    Black Unisex T-shirt with Time and Tide design in White. 100% cotton.

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    Sea Shanty workshop

    Spend the afternoon learning approx 5 Sea Shanties in 3 or 4 part harmony in celebration of this year's Solstice Shorts Festival, Time and Tide.

    The workshop will be run by a small group of London Sea Shanty Collective members, led by Chip Wilson.

    SATURDAY 23rd November 2019 12:45- 17:15

    ST HILDA’S CHURCH HALL, COURTRAI ROAD SE23 1NL

    Bus routes 122, P4, 171, 172 stop on the corner. Train to Crofton Park or Honor Oak Park 10 minute walk.

    Street parking immediately outside. Wheelchair accessible venue - WC is a bit tight on space so might not suit someone using a large chair.

    INCLUDES REFRESHMENTS all dietary issues catered for.

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    critique of your fiction

    Get up to 2000 words of your fiction critiqued by Cherry Potts: author, editor, creative writing tutor and founder of Solstice Shorts Festival. (by email only)

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    one off prints

    one off prints from regular Arachne cover designer, Kevin Threlfall. 40x50cm 3 options, see the gallery.

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    Home baked cake to your taste

    Arachne Press's launch party cakes are famous. Baked by Chief Editor Cherry Potts. You MUST be within easy reach of South London for hand delivery. Gluten free chocolate cake a speciality. Vegan more difficult but possible. Cake 7 inch round or equivalent.

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    Limited Edition handmade book

    Handmade especially for us, by poet and artbook maker, Jeremy Dixon of Hazard Press, 'Allow Your Pen To Lead the Way' contains advice to the writer from authors and poets published by Arachne Press. We originally had 20 of these, now only 3 left.

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    Hand-stitched 'mermaid' book/iPad cover

    Unique Hand stitched 'Mermaid' design book/iPad cover.
    Tapestry stitch mermaid designed and made by author and project co-ordinator Cherry Potts. 19x25mm. Lined and backed in heavy velvet style cloth.

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    unique textile artwork

    Another beauty from Joan Taylor-Rowan a maritime themed texile picture incorporating the shipping forecast regions. framed, 23cm square.

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Funding period

- (29 days)