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Carmel Shortall
Carmel Shortall

Carmel Shortall lives in London but grew up in Northern Ireland. She is currently doing the Certificate of Higher Education in Creative Writing at Birkbeck having previously studied Journalism there and she has a degree in Humanities from Middlesex University. Carmel is writing her first novel and hopes to progress to the MA Creative Writing when she has finished it. Once a year in August she goes crazy and tries to see and review 28 shows in 28 days during the Camden Fringe Festival.

March Hubbub Round-Up

The second Hubbub of 2013 took place last Monday, 18 March. Downstairs at the Harrison was packed and provided a cosy retreat from the – now traditional – inclement weather.


To start us off, MA Creative Writing student, Amanda Crane, read her story, Monsieur Jacques – a slyly humorous tale of post-gender reassignment, Colleen, negotiating a job interview with a lecherous tobacconist.


To follow, Certificate in Creative Writing graduate, Eamon Somers, read an extract from his recently completed third novel, Murder in Ramelton. Eamon has uploaded some of his short stories online and he has contributed to Quare Fellas: New Irish Gay Writing.


Next, Gwen Sayers read her atmospheric poem, 1940s Dinner Jazz and she was followed by Dave Wakely, blogger, journalist and now MA Creative Writing student, who read, Thrown, a story with an unexpected ending.


Helen Bode rounded off the first half of the evening with her story, Surf’s Up Tonight, an elegiac yet somehow cheerful tale of loss as the narrator and her mother drive along the Australian Gold Coast with Uncle Dave’s ashes in the car.


After a slightly extended break,  Birkbeck lecturer, poet, novelist and musician, Anthony Joseph took the stage to read selections of his poetry from Teragaton (1998), Bird Head Son (2009) and Rubber Orchestras (2011), as well as some prose from his PhD – a fictionalised biography of Calypso singer, Lord Kitchener, who came to Britain on the Windrush and died in 2000.


Finally, our second guest, Prajwal Parajuly, read from his collection of short stories, The Gurkha’s Daughter (Quercus), which was reprinted only four weeks after its launch in the UK in January 2013 and, in India, within three weeks of its first publication. Good news indeed for the short story form which is enjoying something of a renaissance despite years of perceived decline; and for the publishing industry in a period of uncertainty.


Click on each reader's name, or go to the Audio menu, to listen to an audio recording of their piece.


The next Hubbub will take place on Monday 20 May 2013 as part of Birkbeck Arts Week (18-24 May) and will feature special guests Elizabeth Fremantle – Birkbeck MA alumnus and author of Queen’s Gambit and Christie Watson, author of Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away - winner of the Costa First Novel Award.


Also as part of Arts Week, Writers’ Hub will be presenting – Getting Published in the Digital Era on Wednesday 22 May at 6-7:30pm – venue to be confirmed. Julia Bell will chair a panel of industry experts as they discuss the future of publishing. The panel will include Isobel Dixon – Director at Blake Friedman Literary Agency, Ted Hodgkinson – Online Editor at Granta and Rebecca Swift – founder of the Literary Consultancy (TLC).



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