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.

The Regulars by Thom Hammersley

January 22, 2016
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The Regulars by Thom Hammersley

There’s a tall, imposing man; a living, breathing brick wall with a moustache. He barks the word “hello” at me with such a lack of humility that it always feels more like a threat than a greeting.   There’s an older man with unkempt pale yellow hair like a small pile of wilted straw....

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The Real Story: LIVE! headlined by Jenn Ashworth

January 8, 2016
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The Real Story: LIVE! headlined by Jenn Ashworth

We’re delighted to announce that Jenn Ashworth will be headlining the first The Real Story: LIVE! event of 2016 at Gullivers, Manchester on January 21st. Jenn Ashworth was born in 1982 in Preston, where she still lives. She studied at Newnham College, Cambridge and the Centre for New Writing at the niversity of Manchester....

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Removing Eric by Kate Woodward

December 20, 2015
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Removing Eric by Kate Woodward

For a while, before his death, Eric lived with the Stephenson family, who were my nearest neighbours when I lived in the Peak District. On a good day I could shout to the Stephensons from my yard, my voice carried downhill on the constant wind. When a northerly blew in, communication was possible in...

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All Songs – by Benjamin Judge

September 19, 2015
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All Songs – by Benjamin Judge

Sleeve notes for a mix-tape. In a box in a box in a box; twenty three cassette tapes; every recording of every band I have ever been in. Allow me to be your catalogue. Item One: A debut album, exactly forty five minutes long so it will fit neatly on one side of a...

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School’s Out – by Adam Farrer

September 14, 2015
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School’s Out – by Adam Farrer

My daughter Effie and I were tidying the attic, shifting some boxes of my old things, when she came across a photo of my high school graduating year. It shows a dozen rows of sixteen year olds, each in varying states of readiness for the adult world. Some of us deadpan. Some amused. Others...

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