Welcome to The Real Story

The Real Story is a celebration of creative nonfiction. Not that there’s anything wrong with fiction. Look, we like making stuff up as much as anyone else does, but we’re more excited about the creative possibilities of telling the truth. We love true stories (and even mostly true stories), personal essays, memoirs, diaries, sketches and literary journalism. Reality is so much stranger than fiction. Tastes better, too.

Q&A: Horatio Clare

September 22, 2016
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Q&A: Horatio Clare

Horatio Clare is an author and journalist. He has written two memoirs, the Somerset Maugham Award-winning Running for the Hills and Truant: Notes from the Slippery Slope, as well as two works of travel and nature writing: A Single Swallow and Down to the Sea in Ships. He wrote and edited Sicily Through Writers’...

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‘But Is’ by Holly Aszkenasy

July 24, 2016
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‘But Is’ by Holly Aszkenasy

After I dropped out of my PhD, I took the first job I was offered, because I needed it, but also because it sounded weird and interesting. It was at a small, devoutly religious Jewish high school for girls that was right in my neighbourhood, actually, though I’d never noticed it before. This was...

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The Real Story LIVE with Horatio Clare

July 13, 2016
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The Real Story LIVE with Horatio Clare

On Saturday October 22nd The Real Story will host a special Manchester Literature Festival edition of our live show at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. We welcome author Horatio Clare as headliner, supported as always by a selection of writers reading essays crafted especially for the event. Horatio is the best-selling author of two...

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‘Architecture and Absorbing Sounds’ by Laura Tansley

June 7, 2016
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‘Architecture and Absorbing Sounds’ by Laura Tansley

My mother needs an exorcism. That’s what she said to me one evening. Because she wakes up screaming sometimes, seeing people when sleep suddenly leaves her, strangers slinking round the room she’s trying to get rest in. She thinks it’s her, believes there’s some internal work needed on her soul, some patch that needs...

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‘Mr Moore’ by Ebba Brooks

May 15, 2016
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‘Mr Moore’ by Ebba Brooks

When I was eight I loved wandering around the shore near the village where I lived. When the tide was out the rocks and seaweed went on for miles. One day, I was climbing over boulders covered in bladderwrack when I met a man crouching beside a rock pool. He wore shorts, walking boots...

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