Edge Hill Short Story Prize

Lucy’s collection of short stories, Multitudes, is on the shortlist for the prestigious Edge Hill Short Story Prize, which was announced on June 13. Five collections made the shortlist from a longlist of forty-one, four of them debut collections.

Prize organiser Ailsa Cox, the world’s first Professor of Short Fiction at Edge Hill University, said: “What an amazing line-up this is. All five writers are rising stars, and you’re going to hear a lot more of them in the future. In each of these collections, you’ll find passion, wit and intelligence, and above all a way of working with language that is unique to the short story form.”

The winner of the £10,000 prize will be announced at an exclusive Short Story Prize event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on the 26th August, to be hosted by the university in the famous Spiegeltent. The event will be attended by … Read more

“Mayday” – BBC Radio 4 Drama

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Lucy Caldwell’s new play for radio, “Mayday”, premieres on BBC Radio 4 on Monday, June 12. After broadcast, it will be available for a time on BBC iPlayer. For more information, and to listen, click here.

Synopsis

Coralie is a nineteen year old student. It’s the morning of the 30th April and she had just taken a Mifepristone pill, the first stage of a medical abortion. As she waits the 24 hours until she is due to take the second set of pills which will complete the procedure, she relates and reflects on the events and circumstances which brought her to this moment.

Set in Northern Ireland, the only part of the UK in which the 1967 Abortion Act does not apply, Mayday takes us into the mind of an increasingly isolated, conflicted, and terrified young woman who, having ordered the drugs online – illegally – fears that she, … Read more

“Multitudes” at The Strand Arts Centre

“Beautifully crafted, and so finely balanced that she holds the reader right up against the tender humanity of her characters.” – Eimear McBride

The Strand is delighted to welcome the novelist and playwright, Lucy Caldwell, who hails from East Belfast, to launch her latest publication and first collection of shorts ‘Multitudes’. Glenn Patterson, another local literary talent, will be in conversation with Lucy, before she reads from the title short.

Lucy is an established and celebrated young novelist and playwright of our time. Her accolades to date include receiving the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and being shortlisted as Irish Novelist of the Year in 2013, as well as receiving the George Devine Award and the Imison Award for her stage and radio plays. She often draws on her own Belfast up-bringing to inform her work and Multitudes is no exception.

Multitudes’ eleven stories take you from Belfast to London … Read more

“Mayday”, a short story by Lucy Caldwell

As apart of The Pool Short Story Week
Listen to the podcast, or read the story below…

Mayday

Ten days later, the package finally comes. It is a small, brown, padded envelope, her name and address typed on a white label. The postmark is the Netherlands. Inside is a blister pack of tablets, one round and four ovals. No instructions, no warnings, and nothing to identify the sender. She pops out the round tablet there and then, in the hallway, and tries to swallow it down, but her mouth is too dry. She feels it stuck at the back of her throat. She makes it into the kitchen and pours a pint glass of water, drinks the whole thing down. The glass has a dried scum of lace at its neck and the water tastes stale. She can still feel the sensation of the tablet, lodged. There was a fresher, … Read more

Praise for “Three Sisters”

three-sisters-3“More than 100 years later, the three sisters are still stuck, but in Lucy Caldwell’s admirably free-handed adaptation of Chekhov’s play for the Lyric, the siblings are now mired as much in 1990s Belfast as they are in a particular point in history. In Selina Cartmell’s fluid production a fresh and uneasy peace is still stalked by soldiers, and army brats Orla, Marianne and Erin stand between a past they would rather forget and a future that has no obvious accommodation for them. Some cruelties are amplified (the sisters, defending their territory from a Chinese sister-in-law, are now flat-out racist), some subtleties are lost (the manner of the telling is unnecessarily forced), but Caldwell’s elegiac take on people in transition is absorbing and affecting, squinting uncertainly towards what is yet to come.”
Irish Times

Caldwell has made Chekhov’s play astonishingly resonant, making it alive to past trauma brutally embedded in … Read more

Talking Chekhov on RTÉ’s “Inside Culture”

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Inside Culture on RTÉ Radio (September 26) looked at the life and work of the Russian author Anton Chekhov.

Lucy Caldwell talks about why her translation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters  – which premières at the Lyric Theatre in October – has moved the setting to 1990’s Belfast and how the Belfast voice works so well with certain aspects of the original Russian.


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Streets Like These: Van Morrison’s influence

Van Morrison’s music is woven deep into the fabric of my childhood. But even more than these clusters of memories, his music seems the very soul of my childhood places

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The memory of a long car journey, coming back over the Craigantlet Hills from a trip to Donaghadee Lighthouse. The dip of the road and the sudden sensation of weightlessness, flying; the lights of the city spread out for you below. The soundtrack in my head is Van Morrison, of course: “Take me back, take me back, take me back / Take me way back, take me way back / Take me way back, take me way back / Take me way, way, way, way, way, way, way back…”

I’m likely remembering not one particular journey. On summer weekends, or special occasions, or most excitingly of all, if my Dad was test-driving a new car, we would drive out of … Read more