BLB Podcast

The BLB Podcast is a new project from Brick Lane Bookshop created to celebrate and interrogate the short story form. On each episode we invite a writer to read an excerpt from one of their stories, talk about their work, their writing and editing processes, how they got published, and what they’re reading.

Click here to find us, or listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Pocket Casts.

Episode 1: How To Find Your Weird with Isha Karki

In this first episode, co-hosts Kate Ellis and Peter J Coles chat to Isha Karki, who was shortlisted for the BLB Short Story Prize in 2019 and has since won numerous other short story competitions. Isha talks about the importance of experimentation, what she’s reading and how to find your weird.

Show Notes:

Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story PrizeIsha KarkiKate EllisPeter J ColesCarmen Maria MachadoHeads of the Colored People – Nafissa Thompson-SpiresWhat It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky – Lesley Nneka Arimah

Music by Andrew Everitt

Isha Karki lives in London. Her short fiction has won the Galley Beggar Short Story Prize, the Dinesh Allirajah Prize and Mslexia Short Story Competition. Her story The Girls was shortlisted for the 2019 Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize. She is a 2019 graduate of Clarion West and London Writers Award and currently a PhD student at Brunel.

Kate Ellis is a writer, an ex Brick Lane bookseller, and she created and runs the Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize. Her fiction has been published in the Open Pen AnthologyThe Mechanics’ Institute Review, and the London Short Story Prize Anthology. She’s working on her debut short story collection.

Peter J Coles is the managing editor at MIROnline.org, a home for short stories, online and in print. His fiction has been shortlisted in the Wasafiri Prize, he’s had several stories published, and was a London Writers Awards Awardee. He studied Creative Writing at Birkbeck. 


Episode 2: Extensive Editing with Aoife Inman

In this second episode, co-hosts Kate Ellis and Peter J Coles talk to Aoife Inman, who won the 2021 Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize for her story Earth-Grown Bodies.

Show Notes:

Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story PrizeAoife InmanKate EllisPeter J ColesOut of the Ashes by Michael MorpurgoReservoir 13 by Jon McGregorThe Writing Squad

Music by Andrew Everitt

Aoife Inman is a writer from the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall. Her short fiction has been published in The London Magazine, shortlisted for the V.S. Pritchett Prize and won the 2018 Ryedale Book Festival short Story Competition. She has an MA in history from the University of Manchester, where her research focused on the relationship between memory and landscape. She is an agent’s assistant at Felicity Bryan Associates. 


Episode 3: The Alligator Excuse with Jarred McGinnis

In this third episode, Kate talks to Jarred McGinnis about his very short story We Sleep in These Sheets and his debut novel The Coward.

Show Notes:

Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story PrizeJarred McGinnisKate Ellis Peter J ColesSpread the Word City of StoriesHarry CrewsSmall Things Like These by Claire KeeganStoner by John L. WilliamsBraiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall KimmererEmpire of Pain by Patrick Radden KeefeAll the Names Given by Raymond Antrobus

Music by Andrew Everitt

Jarred McGinnis was chosen as one of the UK’s ten best emerging writers. His debut novel ‘The Coward’ was selected for BBC 2’s Between the Covers, BBC Radio 2’s Book Club and listed for the Barbellion Prize. His short fiction has been commissioned for BBC Radio 4 and appeared in respected journals in the UK, Canada, USA and Ireland. 

Episode 4: Search Engine Optimisation with Jem Calder

In this fourth episode, Kate and Peter talk to Jem Calder about his debut short story collection, Reward System

Show Notes:

FaberBullshit by David Graeber George Saunders William T. VollmannMark FisherTao LinRachel CuskOval by Elvia WilkThe Creep by Michael LaPointeRichard Yates

Music by Andrew Everitt

Jem Calder was born in Cambridge and lives and works in London. His work has been published in The Stinging Fly and Granta.

Episode 5: Dance Move with Wendy Erskine

In this fifth episode, Kate and Peter talk to Wendy Erskine about her latest short story collection, Dance Move

Wendy Erskine’s short story collection Sweet Home (2018 Stinging Fly, 2019 Picador) won the Butler Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Edge Hill and Republic of Consciousness prizes and longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize. Her story ‘Inakeen’ was longlisted for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award, while her stories and non-fiction have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4. She hosts a show on Soho Radio for Rough Trade Books and is also a full-time secondary school teacher. Her new collection Dance Move is published by Stinging Fly and Picador.

Show Notes:

Good Behaviour by Molly Keane, Seven Steeples by Sara Baume, Jem Calder, Ghosts Signs: Poverty and the Pandemic by Stu Hennigan

Music by Andrew Everitt

Episode 6: Queer Horror with Leon Craig

In this sixth episode, Kate talks to Leon Craig about her debut short story collection Parallel Hells.

Leon Craig is a writer from North London. She studied English at UCL, Medieval Literature at Oxford and Creative Writing at Birkbeck. Her writing has been published by the White Review, the TLS, Another Gaze and the London Magazine, among others. Leon is a member of the LGBTQ+ writing collective The Future is Back. Her debut short story collection Parallel Hells is out now with Sceptre.

Show Notes:

Njáls saga, Carmen Maria Machado, Francine Toon, Julia Bell, The Seaplane on Final Approach: A Novel by Rebecca Rukeyser, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, The Shooting Party by Isabel Colegate, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Music by Andrew Everitt

Episode 7: Hearts and Bones with Niamh Mulvey

In this seventh episode, Kate and Peter talk to Niamh Mulvey about her debut short story collection Hearts and Bones.

Niamh Mulvey is a writer and editor. She has published short fiction in The Stinging Fly, Banshee, Little Atoms and Southword and was shortlisted for the Sean O’Faolain Prize for Short Fiction 2020. She has also written for the Irish Times, The Bookseller, Image Magazine and The Pool. Originally from Kilkenny, Ireland, she now lives in south London. Hearts and Bones, available now from Picador is her debut short story collection.

Show Notes: Alice Munro, Yiyun Li, John Banville, Javier Cercas