A Night with Riptide

The new Riptide blog has been created by MA Publishing students at the University of Exeter, who have been working as part of the Riptide editorial and marketing teams. This post has been written by Victoria Allen.

‘Short stories capture the world we live in.’

March 2022 – Launch of Riptide Issue 14 – Kaleider Studios

As people approach Kaleider Studios in Exeter, the location for the launch of the fourteenth Riptide Issue, the sound of chatter and music drifts into the street. Inside, a buzz, as guests move around the room, engaged in conversation, browsing the series of quotes which decorate the space – a peek into the newest edition of Riptide: Collisions.

The Riptide Band are in full swing, filling the space with jazz music. Wine and snacks have been put out in the bar area and there are stalls selling books and merchandise: the previous issues of Riptide, t-shirts and the gorgeously designed Riptide tote bag, as well as free stickers and bookmarks.

 

MA Publishing student, Midge Phillips, cheerily promoting the merch stand (left)

Some familiar faces from the Riptide team are admiring the displays, including Editorial Board member Billy Kahora and writer Sam North.

Ever committed to bringing new writers to the fore, this latest volume of Riptide includes fiction from writers across the world, with each story highlighting life’s mental and physical collisions. As Riptide Editorial Board member and award-winning novelist Kit de Waal writes in the foreword: ‘Many of the stories in this edition of Riptide are concerned with family life, intergenerational relationships, with life and culture beyond the here and now. There are stories about the fragility of mental health reflecting the catastrophic events of the last two years and stories of love and kindnesses that give us hope in an almost unrecognisable landscape.’

MA Publishing Student, Irinka Kavtaradze, pictured with a copy of Collisions (right)

You can tell from the lively atmosphere how glad people are to be at this ‘in person’ event after covid lockdowns and restrictions. Interspersed between guests are the MA Publishing students, whose contribution to this volume has helped Riptide to grow, promote and connect with writers and audiences across the globe. As shown at the launch, the MA students’ work is never done as they collaboratively sell books, care for the authors, serve food and drinks, and excitedly chat to those in attendance clutching their copies of Riptide.

As the night progresses, we hear from some of the personalities behind Riptide. Lead editors, Sally Flint and Virginia Baily, acknowledge the hard work which has gone into creating this year’s issue.

Virginia Baily: ‘The short story is undergoing a renaissance in the literary world and at Riptide we are glad to be part of that. This is a new phase for Riptide with our collaboration with the brand-new MA Publishing group at the University of Exeter.’

Co-editor Sally Flint agrees: ‘This is very much a collaborative thing now that we are evolving. We are delighted to have a new editorial board in place as we move forward.’ Flint excellently summarises the importance of the collection: ‘Short stories capture the world we live in.’

Sally Flint (Left) Virginia Baily (Right) admire the newest issue

Introducing the author readings, Baily reflects that, ‘We felt that these were very much stories of now, from difficult times, and stories that reflect that, refract that, and help you to process the difficulties of those times.’ This was very much evidenced in the material read by the cohort of Riptide authors present at the launch.

Many are delighted to hear from Kate Wallis, director of the MA Publishing at the University of Exeter, as she thanks all those who have contributed and acknowledges the commitment which has gone into releasing this new edition of Riptide.

Despite some technical difficulties – it wouldn’t be an event without them – attendees were delighted to hear the words of Olumide Popoola reading an extract from their short story, ‘Inside Out’. We also have the pleasure of hearing from Abigail Williams with their story, ‘Fractures’, Harriet Phoenix’s ‘World Enough and Time’, and L.K Kraus with ‘Cramond Island’.

Each reading offers a powerful insight into the literary talent which has gone into creating Riptide 14. Those who haven’t already done so, flock to the book stand to purchase copies, keen to read the whole anthology and find out what else Riptide 14 has in store for them.

Overall, an excellent send off for the newest volume of Riptide!

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