Keynote Speakers

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Annelies Verbeke (b. 1976) is a Flemish writer of novels and short stories. In 2003, her debut novel SLAAP! won the Flemish debut prize, the “Gouden Ezelsoor” and the “Vrouw en Cultuur Debuutprijs”. It was also longlisted for the AKO Literature Award and the Libris Literature Award.

Her debut was followed by three other, critically acclaimed, novels: Reus (2006), Vissen Redden (2009), en Dertig Dagen (2015). The latter won the prestigious Bordewijk Prize and the Opzij Literature Prize. Her novels have been translated in many languages, including German, French, English and Russian.

In 2007, Verbeke published her first short story collection: Groener Gras. Her love of the short story also made her a champion of the genre in the Dutch-speaking world. She writes articles on short fiction for newspapers and magazines and has edited the anthology Naar de stad: De mooiste korte verhalen van de 21ste eeuw (2012), together with Sanneke van Hassel. It gathers and translates the work of 40 international contemporary short fiction writers. In 2012 she published a collection of linked stories Veronderstellingen. An English translation, Assumptions, has been published by World in 2015.

Alison MacLeod

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Alison MacLeod is a novelist, short story writer and essayist. She is also professor of contemporary fiction at the University of Chichester, where she hosts the Tresholds website devoted to short fiction. Her new book of stories, All the Beloved Ghosts (2017) will be published by Bloomsbury UK in March, Bloomsbury USA in April and Penguin Canada in May 2017.  Previous works include the critically acclaimed novels The Changeling (1996), The Wave Theory of Angels (2005) and Unexploded (2013) and the wonderful short story collection Fifteen Modern Tales of Attraction (2007). Both her short stories and her novels have figured on the shortlist of several literary prizes and MacLeod has also been a judge for such prizes as The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, The Mslexia Prize, and The International Manchester Fiction Prize. Alison McLeod is Associate Editor of Short Fiction in Theory and Practice and a frequent guest on literary festivals and BBC radio programmes.  

Luca Ricci

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Luca Ricci (Pisa, 1974) è considerato uno dei migliori scrittori italiani di racconti. Ha scritto L’amore e altre forme d’odio (Einaudi 2006, Premio Chiara), La persecuzione del rigorista (Einaudi 2008), Come scrivere un best seller in 57 giorni (Laterza 2009), Mabel dice sì (Einaudi 2012), Fantasmi dell’aldiquà (La scuola di Pitagora 2014), I difetti fondamentali (Rizzoli 2017). Scrive per «La Lettura» del «Corriere della Sera» e per «Il Messaggero». Tiene corsi di scrittura creativa- specie sul racconto- per Scuola Holden e Scuola del libro.

Luca Ricci (Pisa, 1974) is one of the most acclaimed short story writers in Italy. He has published L’amore e altre forme d’odio (‘Love and other Forms of Hatred’, Einaudi 2006, awarded the Premio Chiara), La persecuzione del rigorista (‘The Persecution of the Penalty Taker’, Einaudi 2008), Come scrivere un best seller in 57 giorni (‘How to Write a Best Seller in 57 Days’, Laterza 2009), Mabel dice sì (‘Mabel says yes’, Einaudi 2012), Fantasmi dell’aldiquà (‘Ghosts on this side’, La scuola di Pitagora 2014), I difetti fondamentali (‘The Fundamental Shortcomings’, Rizzoli 2017). He is a regular contributor to the supplement «La Lettura» of the Corriere della Sera as well as to Il Messaggero. He teaches creative writing (in particular with regard to short fiction) at the Scuola Holden in Turin, and at the Scuola del libro.

Luca Ricci (Pise, 1974) est considéré comme l’un des meilleurs écrivains italiens de récits. Il a publié L’amore e altre forme d’odio (‘L’amour et d’autres formes de haine’, Einaudi 2006, Prix Chiara), La persecuzione del rigorista (‘La persécution du tireur de penalty, Einaudi 2008), Come scrivere un best seller in 57 giorni (‘Comment écrire un best-seller en 57 jours’, Laterza 2009), Mabel dice sì (‘Mabel dit oui’, Einaudi 2012), Fantasmi dell’aldiquà (‘Fantômes de l’ici-bas’, La scuola di Pitagora 2014), I difetti fondamentali (‘Les défauts fondamentaux’, Rizzoli 2017). Il écrit pour le supplément «La Lettura» du quotidien Corriere della Sera ainsi que pour Il Messaggero. Il tient des cours d’écriture creative, en particulier sur le récit court, auprès de la Scuola Holden de Turin et de la Scuola del libro.

Dean Baldwin

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Dr. Baldwin is Professor Emeritus of English at Penn State University and he is the author of the highly acclaimed Art and Commerce in the British Short Story, 1880-1950 (Routledge, 2013). It is the final book in a series of monographs and edited collections on short fiction, including The Riverside Anthology of Short Fiction: Convention and Innovation (1997), British Short Fiction Writers, 1945–1980 (1994), Virginia Woolf: A Study of the Short Fiction (1989), V. S. Pritchett (1987) and H.E. Bates: A Literary Life (1987).

At Penn State University, he taught short story theory, Shakespeare, British literature surveys, composition and postcolonial literature. He is also the founder and president of Books for Kids, Erie Chapter.

 Yvon Houssais

Yvon Houssais is a professor of French literature at the Université de Franche-Comté, where he is part of the Centre Jacques-Petit – Archives, Textes et Science des Textes. He is the author of Histoire et fiction dans les chroniques italiennes de Stendhal (2000). He has recently edited two journal issues on the topic of the short story: one of Revue d’Histoire littéraire de la France on the short story in the 21st century (2009) and one issue of Revue Des Sciences Humaines on the crisis of narration in short fiction (1900-1939). He is also co-editor, with Caroline Cazanave, of Grands textes du Moyen âge à l’usage des petits et Médiévalités enfantines.

Thomas Morris

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Thomas Morris (b. 1985) is from Caerphilly, South Wales and studied English and Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin.

His debut story collection, We Don’t Know What We’re Doing was published in August 2015 and was chosen as a Book of the Year by The Guardian, The Observer, The SpectatorThe Irish Times, and The Irish Independent. The book won Wales Book of the Year, The Rhys Davies Trust Fiction Award, and The Somerset Maugham Prize. It was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize and longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. ’Clap Hands’, a story from the collection, was longlisted for the Sunday Times Short Story Award.

Morris also edited Dubliners 100, a collection of ‘cover versions’ of Joyce’s Dubliners. The book won the Best Irish-published book at the 2014 Irish Book Awards. From 2014 to 2016, he was the editor of The Stinging Fly magazine in Dublin; he is now a contributing editor.