Hosted by Dazed & Confused's Books Editor, Stuart Hammond, Dazed and ReCreativeUK.com present a Young Writers Talk at London's Whitechapel Gallery next Tuesday, 26 June in conjunction with our short story competition for the new Literary Issue. Aiming to explore the short story genre through a series of live readings and a Q&A with a panel of authors such as Matthias 'Wolfboy' Connor and Gwendoline Riley, the panel will discuss the issues of publishing, and how young writers can get their stories published in Dazed & Confused.
Dazed Digital: Tell us a bit about what to expect from the talk?
Stuart Hammond: I think I'd advise any attendees to keep their expectations to a minimum really, to avoid disappointment and all that. The plan is that the writers I've roped into it will read some short fiction of their own, and then an example of a dead good short short story by a dead writer they particulary admire. I'm quite fond of the idea of reading the work of dead writers out loud in public, because it sort of brings them back to life in a weird sort of way. Then we'll take questions: about the stuff that's been read, about the short story competition we're running, about short stories and writing in general, the meaning of life, basic plumbing, all that sort of stuff.
DD: What 5 qualities do you think a good short story writer would have?
Stuart Hammond: Oh man, I really couldn't say. I think with great short fiction, and just great writing generally, there's a sort of alchemical charge to it: a kind of sentence-to-sentence perfection that just makes it pop off in the most amazing way. I can't really explain what it is, and that's the way I think I want to keep it. All my very favourite writers of short stories - Denis Johnson, Sam Lipsyte, George Saunders, Edna O'Brien, Alice Munro, John McGahern, even Conrad - seem to have this abilty to just write it perfect. I can never quite put my finger on what it is they're doing and why it's so fucking brilliant. It just is, and I'm fine with that. They're like magic tricks or something.
DD: What is your favourite short story of all time?
Stuart Hammond: Oh boy, what a question. I think maybe my favourite of all time might be 'De Daumier Smith's Blue Period' by Salinger. That bastard is laugh-a-minute, truly. And sad as hell.
Tuesday 26 June, 6.30pm; Creative Studio; Free, but spaces are limited, booking essential. For tickets please email: firstname.lastname@example.org