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Workshop #


The Killer First Page


Paul McVeigh

In this workshop, Paul will share what editors, first readers and judges look for in a short story. He will discuss how to get your story published, onto that shortlist and how to avoid the rejection pile. Paul will take you behind the scenes of anthologies, competitions and journals, explaining the psychology of the decision-making process and the importance of ‘That Killer First Page’. He will highlight the essential ingredients to create that crucial story opening. In a form and genre where every word counts, you will get tips on staying focused on your story and where to start the action; you will also get clues on when to stop. For the workshop, you write an opening and get feedback on that. We will look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.



Paul McVeigh began as a playwright with shows performed at the Edinburgh Festival and on London’s West End. His short stories have been read on BBC Radio 3, 4 & 5 and performed on Sky Arts TV. They have also appeared in many publications including Faber's Being Various: New Irish Short Stories Anthology, The Irish Times, The London Magazine and The Stinging Fly. ‘Hollow’ was shortlisted for Irish Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards in 2017. His debut novel The Good Son won The Polari First Novel Prize and his work has been translated into seven languages. He reviews for The Irish Times, which has published his author interviews with, among others, Booker Prize-winners Anna Burns and George Saunders.

Paul has edited the Southword Journal, the 'Belfast Stories' anthology from Doire Press (2019) and is the editor of the upcoming 'The 32', the Irish version of Kit de Waal's Common People anthology, which includes new work from Roddy Doyle, Kevin Barry and Danielle McLaughlin.

He is associate director of Word Factory ‘the UK’s national organization for excellence in the short story “The Guardian,” and he is co-founder and Director of the London Short Story Festival. Paul has judged many international literary competitions including The Dylan Thomas Prize, The Edge Hill Short Story Prize and The Sean O'Faolin Short Story Prize. He currently teaches for the Faber Academy.

Previously, Paul has given workshops in Adelaide, Armagh, Bath, Belfast, Brighton, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kuala Lumpur, Lancaster, Listowel, Longon, Melbourne, Salisbury, Singapore, Ubud and West Cork.

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