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READ BY THE AUTHOR: ‘Knife’ Philip Gross

Philip Gross reads ‘Knife’ from Issue Eight of The Lonely Crowd. Philip Gross is a poet, librettist and writer for children. He won the T.S. Eliot Prize 2009 with The Water Table, and Wales Book of The Year 2010 with I Spy Pinhole Eye. Deep Field dealt with his Estonian refugee father’s final years and…

On Writing ‘A Shiver of Hearts’ – Una Mannion

When I was 14, I knew someone, another teenager, who had a miscarriage and woke her mother for help. She knew she was pregnant but she didn’t know what was happening to her. Her mother left her in the bathroom and shut the door, shushing her from the hallway so others wouldn’t hear. The image of a girl left alone to that ordeal on the other side of a shut door still grips me. And while both that event and the story happen in the 1980s, the shame and hushing still feel very real to me.

 Writing ‘Fogarty’ Jaki McCarrick

Jaki McCarrick discusses her Pushcart Prize-nominated short story, ‘Fogarty’, published in Issue Eight. A few years ago, on a flight to Paris, I read an in-flight magazine feature about an ex-Naval Seal who gave survival courses to business people. As I read, it dawned on me that a survival course would make a great basis…

How I Wrote ‘The Sadness The Weirdness’ – Toby Litt

After the first draft, I was glad to see I was writing a haphazardly global story, where the narrator shambles from here to there in pursuit of something that surely can’t be love. He tries really hard to make it love, but it’s more likely the desperation of needing something to feel desperate about.

On Writing ‘Framing Ilva’ – George Sandison

The landscape of Southern Italy coexists with myth. Antiquity is commonplace, and life there centres around history in a way I envy. It’s easy to romanticise the food, the weather and the sweltering, lazy summers, but my fascination with the region goes deeper. I was born in Hertfordshire, the birthplace of the new town project,…

‘Learning to sleep’ John Burnside

Though the hunter returns at first light, bearing a heart   in which all warmth has ceased, the gut hook   sticky in his hand, his misdeed visible to everyone he sees   – the horseman on the road, the miller’s girl,   the foreign delegation with its gold and furs, old   pilgrims, crowding…

READ BY THE AUTHOR: ‘The Sadness The Weirdness’ by Toby Litt

Toby Litt is the author of nine novels and four books of short stories. He is currently writing Wrestliana, a memoir about his relationship to his great-great-great grandfather, William Litt – a champion wrestler, poet, smuggler and exile. Toby’s most recent novel is Lilian’s Spell Book. Toby teaches creative writing at Birkbeck College.

How I Wrote ‘Above Tree Line’ – Melissa Fu

I drafted ‘Above Tree Line’ in the first class I took when I decided to start writing more seriously. At the beginning of the course the instructor asked us, ‘What do you need to write about?’ I need to write about that night on Santa Fe Baldy with Bob. This story signalled a change away from…

The Lonely Crowd Pushcart Prize Nominations 2018

We’re proud to have published almost one hundred new works of poetry and fiction this year at The Lonely Crowd, something which made the selection process for the annual Pushcart Prize an almost impossibly difficult task. Ultimately we settled on these six pieces but we could easily have duplicated all six for equally impressive works. Having said…