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Emily Bullock
Sarah Bower

The Long and Short of It: The Novella - Emily Bullock

with Sarah Bower

Monday 18 March, Zoom, 7.30pm
Tickets: £Free/Pay What You Can

This MK Lit Fest series, sponsored by the Open University, asks authors how they know which ideas or stories best suit which fictional form - flash fiction, short story, novella or novel.

This event will focus on the novella, a form which challenges definition, sitting somewhere between the long short story and the novel. Should we approach it as a compressed novel, an extended short story or a form unique to itself? What attracts writers – and readers - to it and what can it achieve which other forms cannot? What are the particular joys and challenges of writing a novella or equivalent length work of non-fiction?


Prize-winning author Emily Bullock, whose first novella, For Always Only, will be published this year by Reflex Press, will explore the form in conversation with Sarah Bower, a PhD candidate at the Open University in creative and critical writing.

About Emily Bullock

Emily Bullock won the Bristol Short Story Prize with her story ‘My Girl’, which was also broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Her short stories have been included in different anthologies including A Short Affair (Scribner, 2018). She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and completed her PhD at the Open University, where she teaches creative writing.


Her debut novel, The Longest Fight, was shortlisted for the Cross Sports Book Awards, and listed in The Independent’s Paperbacks of the Year 2015. Her second novel, Inside the Beautiful Inside, was published in 2020, and her collection of short stories, Human Terrain, was published in 2021 and longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize 2022. Her novella, For Always Only, will be published by Reflex Press in 2024. 

More about Emily:


About Sarah Bower

Sarah Bower is the author of four books, and short fiction which has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies. Her latest publication is a novella, Lines and Shadows, from Story Machine Press in 2023. She is currently reading for a PhD in creative and critical writing at the Open University.

More about Sarah:

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About English and Creative Writing at the Open University
English and Creative Writing at the Open University enables students to anticipate life the better by reading critically, writing effectively and thinking creatively. Each programme is designed to support aspiration, taking students forwards in life. Studying with the OU will open professional avenues, further career prospects, deepen insights and knowledge – enjoyably. The Department's programmes strive to be rigorous while honing the pleasures of reading and writing.

The Contemporary Cultures of Writing research group is interested in all forms of creative and academic writing, and its outlook is interdisciplinary. Membership comprises novelists, poets, dramatists and life writers, as well as academics and practitioners in Literature, Linguistics, English Language, and Translation Studies. The focus is on writing practices, their cultural contexts and impacts, and activities include seminars, conferences, collaborative work, and publications.

More about English and Creative Writing: 

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