The Art of the Short Story

Three notable writers of short stories, Helen Simpson, Frances Leviston and Kirsty Gunn explore their approaches to the writing of short stories.

Simpson has a new collection of short stories out, ‘Cockfosters’, that deal with ageing, ambition and the patterns of repetition and renewal found in long friendships and marriages. It is Simpson’s sixth collection of short stories. Her work has received the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Hawthornden Prize and the E M Forster Award.

Leviston is a poet who has published two collections of verse, ‘Public Dream’ – shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize – and ‘Disinformation’. Her recent short story, ‘Broderie Anglaise’, was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award and broadcast on radio.

Gunn’s most recent collection of short stories, ‘Infidelities’, was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and the Frank O’Connor Award. She has won many awards, including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and has just published a new book on the writer Katherine Mansfield.

Discussions will be chaired by Claire Armitstead, literary editor of The Guardian.

All four participants are graduates of St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford, and this event is part of St Hilda’s Day at the festival.