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.

‘Badminton in Threes’ by Fiona Hughes

December 15, 2016
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‘Badminton in Threes’ by Fiona Hughes

Lucy Lucy Lucy Lucy Lucy Lucy Lucy Lucy Lucy, we wrote, on the squares in our maths books, in between neatly drawn triangles and beautiful algebra Xs. We sat in maths, our heads held in concentration over desks as we drew lines with rulers and worked out equations, but, when there were gaps in...

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‘All Cut Up’ by Mel Fawcett

December 8, 2016
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‘All Cut Up’ by Mel Fawcett

With its massive lion-claw feet and its huge bulk covered in worn brown leather, my mother’s old chair was like a mythological beast, hunkering down on the floor.  Despite its springs, the webbing drooping underneath like bulging haemorrhoids, and the way it leaked dusty horsehair everywhere, she loved that chair. She was sitting in...

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Literature Live: Vona Groarke and Katherine Angel

December 8, 2016
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Literature Live: Vona Groarke and Katherine Angel

We’re delighted to be presenting this event on Monday 6 February in partnership with the Centre for New Writing at The University of Manchester, hosted by its co-director, Kaye Mitchell.   Vona Groarke has published seven collections of poetry, most recently, Selected Poems (Gallery Press, 2016). Current editor of Poetry Ireland Review and a...

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‘Night’ by Eli Regan

November 27, 2016
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‘Night’ by Eli Regan

And I walk with abandonment, want to walk it off. Needing to distract myself. I anaesthetise myself with my child. I feed her. I change her. I play with her. I comfort her in the night. This night is different. She’s not here. I can’t anaesthetise myself from life. I can’t distract myself. I...

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‘Hero’ by Sophie Parkes

October 30, 2016
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‘Hero’ by Sophie Parkes

Today’s date had been circled on my calendar for weeks. It would be my first solo drive, my first drive to Oxford, and, most importantly, the first time I’d attend a gig by myself. I had printed out the ticket and placed it on the passenger seat next to me as, checking mirrors for...

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