Trouble, the new Grist short fiction collection - launches today!
Posted by Dawn Cockcroft on 2019-03-28
If you seek writing that inspires, motivates and moves you, look no further - the new Grist collection of short prose, Trouble launches today. This year, the anthology is inspired by the theme of ‘protest’, featuring an incredible collection of amazing up-and-coming authors and some of the most innovative voices in contemporary prose. If you’re a lover of fiction, and after the success of the 2017 collection of poetry and prose, I You He She It: experiments in viewpoint , this is definitely one to check out. Grist editor, Simon Crump talks us through the new edition, and the real inspiration behind this year’s theme.
‘At 1.25pm on 2nd November 2016 I was arrested with fellow tree protester Calvin Payne on Marden Road, Sheffield for trying to prevent the felling of a hundred year old street tree which was perfectly healthy and still very much in its prime. We were taken away in a police van and locked in the cells at Shepcote Lane Detention Suite for over eight hours. We were questioned, photographed, fingerprinted and DNA swabs were taken. We were charged with breaking an obscure anti-Trade Union law and released. Two days later, a court date arrived in the post. We attended court to plead not guilty and the charges were subsequently dropped as not being in the Public Interest. Since then I have been arrested again (and again the charges were dropped for the same reason), I am currently the subject of a High Court injunction and I have a suspended prison sentence. All for peacefully protesting against the needless felling of thousands of perfectly healthy Sheffield street trees. My experience on the ground in Sheffield is being echoed across the country. Local and national government is being sold off to private companies, and when that happens the public’s right to have a say is often lost in the world of PFI commercial contracts. Sometimes protest is the only option left available to us. Protest is the distillation of a simple human experience: to see a wrong being done and, on a very basic level, to try to do something about it. In my role as the editor of Grist it seems appropriate that our new anthology should reflect what has become a significant part of my life. With the rise of the anti-fracking movement, of Extinction Rebellion, of Youth Strike 4 Climate, and an increasing disillusionment with the existing political system, protest appears to be our last best hope as we tumble headlong into the anthropocene. The stories featured here in the 2019 Grist anthology Trouble celebrate protest, rebellion, disobedience and general bloody-mindedness in all of its forms. The pen is no longer mightier than the sword sadly, but when the shouting stops, that’s when the writing begins to do its job. The best writing about protest should inspire, educate, motivate, compel and of course, entertain. And that’s what this collection is all about. There are historical protest stories here – The Flag, Happy Harpies – stories set in the future – Money Bank, Last of Them – stories of personal protest against sexual and racial discrimination – Meet Me, The Walk of Blood – and the closing story, The Calling, which embodies the simple truth that sometimes all you can do in protest is to make a lot of noise.’
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