Small wonder tickets are selling fast at Charleston festival

Nobel prize-winning Columbian author and journalist Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Nobel prize-winning Columbian author and journalist Gabriel Garcia Marquez

There will be stories read, sung and acted, plus performances of poetry, when a festival celebrating short fiction arrives at Charleston.

Small Wonder, the only festival of its kind, presents a dazzling line-up of national and international writers from September 25 to October 1 near Lewes.

In the atmospheric setting of Charleston barn, the festival also includes the presentation of the Charleston-Chichester University Award for a lifetime’s excellence in short fiction to Edna O’Brien.

The festival has been extended by a day to incorporate an event with Margaret Atwood, speaking about her new collection of stories, and a final event with top performance poet Kate Tempest; debut writer Colin Barrett (winner of the Frank O’Connor short story prize) and writer and broadcaster Damian Barr.

The programme also includes new short stories by Graham Swift and Rose Tremain, a perpetuation of the Rio spirit with Brazilian writers Tatiana Salem Levy, Joao Gilberto Noll and translator Lucy Greaves, a tribute to the Nobel Prizewinning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez by actors Harriet Walter and David Soul, stories read to music by Michel Faber and Andrew Liles, Louisa Young and Brighton novelist and theatre director Neil Bartlett present Letters to an Unknown Soldier and Persephone Books founder Nicola Beauman in conversation with the inimitable Diana Athill.

The BBC National Short Story Award returns to Small Wonder with some of this year’s short-listed writers.

Alexei Sayle, Anthony and Ben Holden discuss a new anthology of poems that make men cry.

Add to this the ever-popular Short Story Slam, hosted by Brighton’s Lonny Pop; the best-ever Outsider Fringe Programme and workshops for graphic novelists and writing for children.

There is a free shuttle bus to and from Lewes Railway Station, with a complimentary bottle of Harvey’s Festival ale.

For the full programme visit or call 01273-709709. For workshops and Outsider programme bookings ring 01323 811626.