BLB Podcast

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

Click here or on the episode icons below to find us. You can listen on SpotifyApple Podcasts or Pocket Casts.

The podcast is hosted and produced by Kate Ellis and Peter J. Coles.

To get in touch, please email Kate: [email protected]

BLB Podcast

Attrib. with Eley Williams

Eley Williams, author of Attrib. and other stories and The Liar’s Dictionary joins us on the BLB Podcast. Eley reads her story Bees and talks about her love of the short story form, the power of small press publishing, how to tackle editing, the second person, and meeting publishers in the pub.

The Angel of Rome with Jess Walter

New York Times bestselling author Jess Walter joins us on the BLB Podcast to talk about his tenth book, The Angel of Rome, out now with Penguin Random House. Jess reads from his story Drafting and talks about the joy of writing, scratching out time to play, laughing at his own work, Spokane’s literary scene, and whiskey writing prompts.

Missy Starling with Imogen Fox

Imogen Fox, winner of the 2022 Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize joins us for episode fourteen of the BLB Podcast. Imogen reads from her winning story Missy Starling and talks about being funny, the intimacy of a hammer, her recent love of short fiction and which books she always returns to. Listen in for Imogen’s short story advice – just in time for the 2023 prize deadline!

We Move with Gurnaik Johal

For episode fourteen of the BLB Podcast, we spoke to Gurnaik Johal about his debut collection We Move, out now with Serpent’s Tail. Gurnaik reads from his story Red River and talks about the Southall community he grew up in, his endless curiosity about other people and how the English language is “not this rigid thing, but like moldable clay”.

Author photo  (c) Aashfaria A. Anwar 

The Consequences with Manuel Muñoz

In the first episode of season two, Manuel Muñoz  reads from his story ‘The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA’ and discusses his latest short story collection ‘The Consequences‘, the Californian Central Valley, immigration, queerness, and how we’re all just a ‘cauldron of emotions’.

Nudibranch with Irenosen Okojie

In this twelfth episode and final episode of series one, the author talks about her latest short story collection, Nudibranch, published by Dialogue Books. Irenosen reads from her story Mangata, and discusses messy characters, black female desire, the importance of writing sex, and waking up very early to write.

Podcast ep 12: Nudibranch with Irenosen Okojie

A Shock with Keith Ridgway

In this eleventh episode, the author talks about his novel A Shock, published by Picador. Keith Ridgway reads from his chapter The Joke, and discusses the distinction between a short story collection and a novel, liking your characters too much, London as a stinking beast, and messing with time.

Podcast ep 11: Keith Ridgway

Dark Neighbourhood with Vanessa Onwuemezi

In this tenth episode, Kate and Peter talk to Vanessa Onwuemezi about her debut short story collection, Dark Neighbourhood. Listen in for Vanessa’s fantastic reading from her story Bright Spaces. We also cover learning to trust yourself, cultivating good writing, and transcendental moments.

Podcast ep 10: Vanessa Onwuemezi

Am I in the Right Place? with Ben Pester

In this ninth episode, Kate and Peter talk to Ben Pester about his debut short story collection, Am I In The Right Place? Listen in for Ben’s take on surreal stories, writing on the commute, avoiding black holes and finding kind readers.

Podcast ep 9: Ben Pester

Small Differences with Huma Qureshi

In this eighth episode, Kate and Peter talk to Huma Qureshi about her debut short story collection Things We Do Not Tell the People We Love. Huma reads from her Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize shortlisted story Small Differences and talks about her writing process, finding time to work and her route to publication.

Hearts and Bones with Niamh Mulvey

In this seventh episodeKate and Peter talk to Niamh Mulvey about her debut short story collection Hearts and Bones. Niamh reads from her story The Doll and discusses how she creates characters, knowing when your writing works and the relationship between London and Ireland.

Podcast ep 7: Niamh Mulvey

Queer Horror with Leon Craig

In this sixth episode, Kate talks to Leon Craig about her debut short story collection Parallel Hells, published by Sceptre. Leon reads from her story The Sucker and discusses her writing process, queerness in horror, and how she edits her work.

Podcast ep 6: Leon Craig

Dance Move with Wendy Erskine

In this fifth episode, Kate and Peter talk to Wendy Erskine about her latest short story collection, Dance Move, published by Picador. Wendy reads from her story Secrets Bonita Beach Krystal Cancun and discusses which characters stay with her, storing print out under her bath and what she’s working on.

Podcast ep 5: Wendy Erskine

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, published by Faber. Jem reads from his story Search Engine Optimisation and discusses writing in search bars, building characters and how long it takes to edit.

Podcast ep 4: Jem Calder

The Alligator Excuse with Jarred McGinnis

In this third episode, Kate talks to Jarred McGinnis about his debut novel The Coward, published by Canongate. Jarred reads from his very short story We Sleep in These Sheets and discusses the wildlife of Florida, bloody stories, writing competitions and films deals.

Podcast ep3: Jarred McGinnis

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. Aoife reads from her winning story and discusses the power of first lines, her extensive editing process and working for a literary agent.

Podcast ep2: Aoife Inman

How To Find Your Weird with Isha Karki

In this first episode, co-hosts Kate Ellis and Peter J Coles chat to Isha Karki, about her writing and how she’s won so many short story competitions. Isha reads from her Galley Beggar Press wining story All in Good Time and discusses the importance of experimentation, what she’s reading and how to find your weird.

Podcast ep 1: Isha Karki

The BLB Podcast is produced and hosted by Kate Ellis and Peter J. Coles

Kate Ellis is a writer, an ex Brick Lane bookseller. 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 a writer, father and trainee coder. 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. 

The BLB Podcast music is written and performed by Andrew Everitt (who’s also a Brick Lane Bookseller). You can find more of Andrew’s music on his bandcamp page.

Books featured on the podcast:

(listen to the podcast for a discount code on purchases!)

Browse Short Stories:

(listen to the podcast for a discount code on purchases!!)