Small Wonder programme announced
AS Byatt is to receive the Charleston-Bede's Award for a Lifetime's Excellence in Short Fiction. The award was announced as Charleston announced the programme for the Small Wonder Festival, taking place from 28 to 30 September.
Authors taking part in the festival also include Kate Mosse, Juno Dawson, Ben Okri, Lionel Shriver, Tom Rachman, Daljit Nagra, Kate Clanchy, Neil Bartlett, Sarah Churchwell, Louise Doughty, Imogen Hermes Gowar, Sarah Hall, AL Kennedy and Eley Williams. Olivia Laing and artist La JohnJoseph will read from a specially commissioned composition to mark the 90th anniversary of Virginia Woolf's Orlando.
The festival will also include an event centred on the BBC National Short Story Award. Charleston and the British Council are welcoming Layla AlAmmar from Kuwait to join events and respond to the festival in writing. A fringe programme will feature workshops and events supporting new writers.
Diana Reich, artist director of Small Wonder, said: "As Small Wonder celebrates its 15th birthday, we rejoice in the fact that the short story form is receiving far greater recognition from writers, publishers and readers than when the festival was launched. In order to draw attention to the long-standing creativity of the form, we launched what is now the Charleston-Bede's Award for a Lifetime's Excellence in Short Fiction to mark Small Wonder's 10th anniversary. We are delighted that this year's recipient is the internationally renowned author Dame Antonia Byatt, whose short stories exemplify the vigour of the form. We are proud that Small Wonder has been in the vanguard of stimulating renewed interest in the history and contemporary impact of the short story."