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.

‘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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The Real Story: LIVE! headlined by Amy Liptrot

May 10, 2016
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The Real Story: LIVE! headlined by Amy Liptrot

We are delighted to announce that we have confirmed the headliner for our next live show: Amy Liptrot, whose stunning memoir The Outrun has been garnering rave reviews. Describing it as ‘a future classic,’ The New Statesman said ‘Liptrot is an Orcadian warrior with the breeze in her blood and poetry in her fingers.”...

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‘Psychiatric Ward, December 24th, 1985’ by Kate Jones

May 1, 2016
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‘Psychiatric Ward, December 24th, 1985’ by Kate Jones

The room is filled with elderly women sitting in two rows of chairs facing one another. Silver and gold foil garlands are strung haphazardly in each corner. A cover version of I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas plays loudly from small speakers hung on the wall. The ward stinks like the toilets down at...

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‘Congealed’ by Clare Archibald

April 10, 2016
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‘Congealed’ by Clare Archibald

It flows from inside you. Edgeless pools of blood that coat you, occasionally solidifying around your life, with you in the middle as the rotting candied apple. Fractures in the red shell that covers you are lit up by hormonal charges that sear you with lust and loathing. After all, you are woman. For...

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