Short Story Commissions

The West Midlands Readers’ Network links regional writers with reading groups across the West Midlands with the aim of facilitating new writing. Early each year, numerous reading groups, varied in their geographical spread and make-up, apply to take part in our short story commissioning project. After a selection process, six reading groups are chosen. Groups from the heart of the city, from the Black Country, from north and south of our region are featured, and the commissioning process begins.


We pair a writer with a reading group and fix a date for them to meet. During that initial session the group discuss a wish-list of themes and ideas they want to see in their completed short story. Then, after tea and cake and some gentle haggling we set the clock ticking as the writers produce the bespoke short story.


Then, at the end of the Summer when six short stories have been completed, we publish them in a gorgeous anthology. The anthology is showcased at an event where the writers read extracts of their stories and talk about the process of writing them, and these bespoke stories are shared with a wider reading public.

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