New season, new show, new stories wanted…

The next Rattle Tales show will be on Thursday 9th October, at the Brunswick.

Want to be part of it? Submissions close on Wednesday 10th September.

As ever, we’re looking for exciting, engaging short stories that will work well read out to a live audience. You’ll need to be free to read your story and chat to our audience about it on the evening of 9th October.

We want:
Short stories of 1000-2000 words.
Flash fiction up to 350 words.
Any subject.

Make sure you read our submissions guidelines.

Get writing, we’re looking forward to reading.


Great stories, and a big announcement…

2014-02-13 19.26.29We packed out the Brunswick again for our first show of 2014, with 8 stories chosen from our biggest crop of submissions yet.

We kicked things off with a big announcement about the launch of our Brighton Prize.
This short story prize offers writers the chance to win cash, as well as a place on the bill at our Brighton Festival Fringe show, and all the kudos that comes with being a prizewinner.

First prize is ??400, with two runners up prizes of ??50. Head over to www.brightonprize.com for more details – and follow us on Twitter @brightonprize.

And on to the show….

Lucy Britner opened the night with her flash piece ‘It’s Your Funeral’ – a funny story of love gone more than slightly wrong, which raised a good few laughs.

2014-02-13 22.39.14Next up, Alice Cuninghame read ‘The Last Client’, a not so funny tale of a world where staying alive, means stealing dead flesh for scientific research.

Linda Baker took us into the desert and gave us her take on archaeology with ‘The Fake’.

Holly Dawson gave us ‘Everything Here Belongs in a Cage’ – a beautiful, thought-provoking story of art and deafness that will surely stick with the audience for a long time.

Pete Maguire read ‘Have the Schemes of Nature Succeeded in Dreaming You Pure?’, a very funny story featuring a talking sheep and its well-meaning would-be saviours.

Heather McKenzie gave us the evening’s second piece of flash. ‘Out of Time’ had the audience hooked with its tale of time-travel refugees.

Nicolas Ridley read ‘Always’ – an atmospheric story of life in the faded other-world of Britain’s old colonial outposts.

And finally, Bill Parslow (one of our very first readers back in 2011) gave us The Reversed Fish – a political story with fairytale roots.

More pictures in the gallery.


Line-up for 13th February

We had a bigger than ever set of submissions in for this show, with some excellent writing and some hard decisions to make. But make them we did, and this is the result:

Lucy Britner – It’s Your Funeral
Alice Cuninghame – The Last Client
Linda Baker – The Fake
Holly Dawson – Everything Here Belongs in a Cage
Pete Maguire – Have the Schemes of Nature Succeeded in Dreaming You Pure?
Heather McKenzie – Out of Time
Nicolas Ridley – Always
Bill Parslow – The Reversed Fish

Come down to the Brunswick on the evening of 13th February to listen, chat, drink and rattle.

Tickets only ??5 from here, or on the door. Doors open from 7.30pm, show starts at 8pm. See you there!


Our Best Show Yet

Our Autumn Rattle Tales took us bit by surprise this year. We???d had such a full and fantastic summer what with the Green Man and Brighton Digital Festivals, and supporting Lonny Pop as host at The Small Wonder Slam, we almost forgot about organising our regular show. By the time we did remember there weren???t many dates available and the whole thing was a bit rushed in terms of calling for submissions and publicising the show. The subs came in though, and the standard was exceptionally high.

Katherine DoggrellWe headed to our spiritual home, The Brunswick Pub in Hove, last Wednesday for a night of stories and, for the first time, music. There weren???t as many people in the audience as usual (probably due to the spontaneity of the show!) so the venue was a little less packed, people could sit comfortably around candle-lit tables and there were enough rattles for everyone.

Rattle Tales veteran, Katherine Doggrell started off proceedings with a funny flash fiction about a pre-9/11 airline pilot disturbed by a stream of visitors to the cockpit, arch and thought-provoking, ending with the line, ???he???d do anything for a sturdy door and a gun.??? The audience was on fine form from the off and asked Katherine several questions about her inspiration and intention.

Out-of-towner, David McGrath launched into a spirited reading of his prize-winning story The Elephant in David McGraththe Tower complete with French accent about an elephant in the king???s menagerie at the Tower of London several centuries ago. The tale was absurdly tragi-comic, narrated by the sophisticated beast, it spoke volumes about cultural difference, between us and the French and between us and our ancestors (though some would say we hadn???t changed that much.) At the end, we had tears in our eyes for le pauvre elephant and again the audience had many questions.

Mike Liardet finished off Part One with The Invention, a memoir from Sir Isaac Newton???s cat, Spit Head, about his involvement in the scientist???s greatest invention. Again, truth was revealed to be stranger than fiction when Mike revealed that Isaac Newton was indeed responsible for the feline-related invention and that the prototype can still be seen in his former home. The small dog in the front row particularly enjoyed Mike???s story.

With I Was There Watching, Edward Rowe gave us a harrowing first-person account of a terrorist watching the scene of devastation before and after her attack. In less than 400 words Ed managed to tap into the psyche of fundamentalism and its justification of atrocity.

Ruby Cowling followed with Give Over, a tale of child manipulation unfolding over the course of an interview between a teenage girl and her concerned teacher. Ruby gave us an authentic teenage voice with a story which stared with comic recognition of youthful folly and ended leaving us all feeling decidedly uncomfortable.

Sam Crawley & Sam IrelandMusician Sam Crawley, a friend of Rattle Tales approached us some time ago proposing a musical interlude during the show and this idea came to fruition this October. She and vocalist Sam Ireland performed two songs which provided an extra dimension to the stories we had just heard, beautiful, stirring and melancholy, a Lynchian pause in proceedings in which to float away and clean our minds.

After another short break Alice Cuninghame read The Washout, a dystopian tale about a world under-water, where the rich live in sky-scrapers in reverse, the most affluent residing the furthest from the surface. Expertly read, it told of class injustice and loss of liberty that seems only a natural disaster or two away from the present.

Jo Gatford made her Rattle Tales debut with Now Look What You Did, the story of cat death and psychotic Women???s Institute outrage that moved from laugh out loud to a horrifying approximation of the rise of Nazism. Jo???s story was extremely clever and prompted one audience member to ask if it was about the death of Princess Diana.

Erinna Mettler sent us home with an atmospheric ghost story, a lonely Devon pub, a blizzard at the door, wind rattling the windows and footprints with no owner. Truly terrifying.

The audience was fantastic, the readers brilliant and we at Rattle Tales think it may have been our best show yet. Thanks to everyone who came along, here???s to the next one.


Line-up for the 23rd!

Fancy an atmospheric evening of storytelling, laughs and discussion? You’re in luck.

Come along to the Brunswick next Wednesday 23rd October for just that.

And this time, we’ve got live music alongside the stories, from Sam Crawley and Sam Ireland.

The show starts at 8pm. Join us for a drink first or perhaps a burger from the very tasty Trolls Pantry.

Buy tickets in advance from here for a bargain ??5. Any left will be on the door.

Don’t forget to bring your rattles to cheer on this lovely lot of established and up-and-coming writers:

Jo Gatford – Now Look What You Did

Ruby Cowling – Give Over

David McGrath – The Elephant in the Tower

Alice Cuninghame – The Washout

Erinna Mettler – Footprints

Mike Liardet – The Invention

Edward Rowe – I Was There Watching

Katherine Doggrell – One Eleven