‘“The Child of the Century”: Reading and Writing Short Fiction Across Media’

 Department of English, History and Creative Writing, supported by the Institute for Creative Enterprise (ICE), Edge Hill University, UK
May 13-14 2016

 Writing in 1936, Elizabeth Bowen said: ‘The short story is a young art; as we now know it, it is the child of this century. Poetic tautness and clarity are so essential to it that it may be said to stand at the edge of prose; in its use of action it is nearer to drama than to the novel. The cinema, itself busy with a technique, is of the same generation; in the last thirty years the two arts have been accelerating together.’

The child of the 20th century is still growing and developing in the 21st century, alongside an equally rapid acceleration in new media. The conference explored the generic affinities between short fiction and other art forms; intermedial transformations; and migrations of the form. This includes the impact of changing technologies on its writing and transmission, historically and at the present moment.

Our keynote speaker, Nicholas Royle, http://www.nicholasroyle.com/, is the author of seven novels, and two short story collections, Mortality (Serpents Tail, 2006) and Ornithology (Confingo, 2017). He has edited nineteen anthologies and is series editor of Best British Short Stories (Salt). A Reader in Creative Writing at the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, he also runs Nightjar Press http://nightjarpress.weebly.com/about.html. At the conference he spoke about his latest publication, In Camera (Negative Press, 2016 ), a collaboration with artist David Gledhill.

A specially story from Nicholas Royle, ‘The Dark Heart’, was published in Short Fiction in Theory & Practice 7.1. Selected papers from the conference will appear in Vol. 8.1. See https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ice/ensfr-conference-13th-14th-may-2016/ for the full conference programme.