Pin Drop Studio

Pin Drop Studio is an arts and entertainment studio founded in 2012 by Simon Oldfield and Elizabeth Day, with a particular focus on short fiction.[1][2]

Pin Drop Studio publishes short fiction, stages an annual short story award for new writing in association with the Royal Academy of Arts, has a podcast series and hosts live events in major cities around the globe with authors, actors, artists, cultural commentators and original thinkers.[3][4]

Pin Drop Productions commissions original fiction from new and established writers.

Pin Drop Studio
IndustryArts & Entertainment
FounderSimon Oldfield & Elizabeth Day
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
Area served
ProductsBooks, podcasts, live events and adaptation
BrandsPin Drop Productions, Pin Drop Podcasts, A Short Affair, Pin Drop Live


A Short Affair from Pin Drop Studio - anthology of art works and short fiction
A Short Affair - an anthology of short fiction and art works by Pin Drop Studio. Book jacket artwork by artist Eddie Peake

A Short Affair is an anthology of original short fiction from Pin Drop Studio, published in hard-back in July 2018 by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, and edited by Simon Oldfield. The book contains eighteen original short stories by best-selling authors alongside new writers from the annual Pin Drop Short Story Award, with a foreword by Tim Marlow. The cover design is by White Cube artist Eddie Peake, and each story is accompanied by a unique contemporary artwork, created by artists from the Royal Academy Schools.[5]

A sequel to A Short Affair is in development.[6]

Pin Drop Short Story Award

Pin Drop Short Story Award 2018
Actor, Gwendoline Christie, reading the 2018 winning story from the Pin Drop Short Story Award at the Royal Academy

The Pin Drop Short Story Award is an annual writing prize for new original short stories. It is a free-to-enter, non-commercial, open-submission competition for both published and unpublished writers, and receives over 500 entries each year from writers across the globe. Regular judges of the award include the artistic director of the Royal Academy, Tim Marlow, along with the Pin Drop founders, Simon Oldfield and Elizabeth Day.[7]

The winning story is presented each year at a ceremony at the Royal Academy, where it is read in full to a live audience by a notable actor.

Previous award winners:

2015 - author Bethan Roberts won with her short story, "Ms. Featherstone and the Beast", which was read to a live audience by Stephen Fry.[8]

2016 - author Claire Fuller won with her story, "A Quiet Tidy Man", which was read to a live audience by British actress Juliet Stevenson.[9]

2017 - author Cherise Saywell won with her story, "Morelia Spilota", which was read to a live audience by British actress and Downton Abbey star Dame Penelope Wilton.[7]

2018 - author and actress Sophie Ward won with her story, "Sunbed", which was read to a live audience by British actress and Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie.[10]

Pin Drop Podcasts

Pin Drop Podcasts is a series of live audio recordings of original short fiction and interviews with notable authors and actors, made available free of charge.[11]

Short fiction portfolio

Pin Drop Productions holds the rights to a library of original short fiction and regularly commissions writers to produce new stories for publication and for film and TV adaptation.[12]

Pin Drop Live

Pin Drop Studio bookmark
Pin Drop Studio bookmark given away to fans

Pin Drop Live stages events at venues such as BAFTA, the Royal Academy, Hauser & Wirth Somerset and Soho House in London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris and other major cities. Typically an original story is read in its entirety to a live audience by an author, actor, artist or thinker, followed by an interview.[13]

Guest readers have included, Stephen Fry, Ben Okri[14], Russell Tovey[15], Juliet Stevenson, Sebastian Faulks,[16] William Boyd,[17] Julian Barnes,[18] Richard Dawkins,[19] Princess Julia,[20] Selma Blair,[21] A.L.Kennedy,[22] Dame Sian Phillips, Dame Eileen Atkins,[23] Dame Penelope Wilton, Tom Rob Smith, Peter Blake, Gwendoline Christie, Will Self,[24] Maura Tierney, Graham Swift,[25] Sue Tilley,[26] Molly Parkin, Tuppence Middleton, David Nicholls, Ed Stoppard,[27] and Curtis Sittenfeld.


  1. ^ Baker, Sam (2014-05-18). "The irresistible rise of the short story, featuring Pin Drop Studio". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  2. ^ "Salon society: highbrow nights out". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  3. ^ "Why should we read short stories?, Monocle Culture with Robert Bound 327 - Radio - featuring Elizabeth Day from Pin Drop Studio". Monocle. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  4. ^ "Pin Drop Studio: An antidote to the dreaded 'reading'". The Globe & Mail. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  5. ^ A Short Affair. 2018-07-12. ISBN 9781471147326.
  6. ^ "A Short Affair and the collaboration between art and literature is discussed by the book's editor Simon Oldfield and contributors Jessy Jetpacks, Ben Okri. The Monocle Weekly - Radio Podcast". Monocle. Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  7. ^ a b "Podcast: Dame Penelope Wilton reads the winning story from the 2017 RA & Pin Drop Short Story Award by Cherise Saywell. Plus interview by Tim Marlow and Simon Oldfield". Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  8. ^ "Podcast: Stephen Fry reads the winning story of the 2015 RA & Pin Drop Short Story Award by Bethan Roberts". Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  9. ^ "Fuller wins 2016 Royal Academy & Pin Drop short story prize | The Bookseller". Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  10. ^ "Actress and author Sophie Ward's 'perfect' short story wins 2018 Pin Drop literary award". Goldsmiths, University of London. Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  11. ^ "Pin Drop Studio Podcasts - multiple sources "free"". Listen Notes. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  12. ^ "News | Pin Drop Productions commissions original short fiction for adaptation". Pin Drop. Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  13. ^ "Events — Pin Drop at Hauser & Wirth Somerset". Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  14. ^ "Podcast: Pin Drop with Ben Okri | Royal Academy of Arts". Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  15. ^ "Burberry Hosts Pin Drop - A Live Reading By Russell Tovey At Thomas's". Getty Images. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  16. ^ "Podcast: Pin Drop with Sebastian Faulks. Royal Academy of Arts". Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  17. ^ "Londoner's Diary: William Boyd & Pin Drop Studio at BAFTA". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
  18. ^ "Pin Drop with Julian Barnes. Royal Academy of Arts". Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  19. ^ "Londoner's Diary: Pin Drop with Richard Dawkins". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  20. ^ "Princess Julia could tell you some stories at Pin Drop Studio". I-d magazine. 2016-09-20. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  21. ^ "Selma Blair at Pin Drop, Soho House, Los Angeles". 2016-04-06. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  22. ^ "The Book Show on Irish national broadcaster, RTÉ Radio 1. Sinead Gleeson interviews A.L.Kennedy at a Pin Drop Studio salon. Broadcast on Saturday 15 February 2014". The Book Show. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
  23. ^ "Pin Drop: short stories with Siân Phillips and Eileen Atkins | Royal Academy of Arts". Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  24. ^ "Will Self reads The Shore for Pin Drop". Will Self. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  25. ^ "Pin Drop with Graham Swift. Royal Academy of Arts". Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  26. ^ "Sue Tilley at Pin Drop". Radio Wolfgang. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  27. ^ "Pin Drop with William Boyd and Ed Stoppard. Royal Academy of Arts". Retrieved 2018-02-27.

External links

Official website

Eddie Peake

Eddie Peake (born 1981) is a British artist. His varied artistic vocabulary encompasses painting, sculpture, installation, video and photography but he is most famous for staging performances such as “Touch”, a five-a-side naked football match at the Royal Academy.

Elizabeth Day

Elizabeth Day (born 10 November 1978) is an English journalist, broadcaster and novelist. Day was a feature writer for The Observer from 2007 to 2016 and has written four novels.

Etienne de Villiers

Etienne de Villiers is an investor and executive in global media and sports businesses. He is Chairman of BrandsEye, a leading South African opinion mining company currently in the process of moving to London.His former roles include Executive Chairman of the ATP Tour, president at Walt Disney Television International, chairman of BBC Worldwide, chairman of Virgin Racing F1 team, board member of Kirch/SLEC and ITV, director of Saracens rugby club and CEO of Satbel.

Molly Parkin

Molly Parkin (born Molly Noyle Thomas, 1932), is a Welsh painter, novelist and journalist, who became most famous for her exploits in the 1960s.

Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) is an art institution based in Burlington House on Piccadilly in London. It has a unique position as an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects. Its purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate.

Russell Tovey

Russell George Tovey (born 14 November 1981) is an English actor. He is known for playing the role of werewolf George Sands in the BBC's supernatural drama Being Human, Rudge in both the stage and film versions of The History Boys, Steve in the BBC Three sitcom Him & Her, Kevin Matheson in the HBO original series Looking and its subsequent series finale television film Looking: The Movie, and as Henry Knight on BBC TV series Sherlock. He has also starred as Harry Doyle in the drama-thriller series Quantico on the ABC network. In addition, he also stars as Ray Terrill/The Ray in the Arrowverse.

Salon (gathering)

A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation. These gatherings often consciously followed Horace's definition of the aims of poetry, "either to please or to educate" (Latin: aut delectare aut prodesse). Salons, commonly associated with French literary and philosophical movements of the 17th and 18th centuries, were carried on until as recently as the 1940s in urban settings.

Short story

A short story is a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting and focuses on a self-contained incident or series of linked incidents, with the intent of evoking a "single effect" or mood, however there are many exceptions to this.

A dictionary definition is "an invented prose narrative shorter than a novel usually dealing with a few characters and aiming at unity of effect and often concentrating on the creation of mood rather than plot."The short story is a crafted form in its own right. Short stories make use of plot, resonance, and other dynamic components as in a novel, but typically to a lesser degree. While the short story is largely distinct from the novel or novella (a shorter novel), authors generally draw from a common pool of literary techniques.

Short story writers may define their works as part of the artistic and personal expression of the form. They may also attempt to resist categorization by genre and fixed formation.

Short stories have deep roots and the power of short fiction has been recognised in modern society for hundreds of years. The short form is, conceivably, more natural to us than longer forms. We are drawn to short stories as the well-told story, and as William Boyd, the award-winning British author and short story writer has said:"[short stories] seem to answer something very deep in our nature as if, for the duration of its telling, something special has been created, some essence of our experience extrapolated, some temporary sense has been made of our common, turbulent journey towards the grave and oblivion".In terms of length, word count is typically anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 for short stories, however some have 20,000 words and are still classed as short stories. Stories of fewer than 1,000 words are sometimes referred to as "short short stories", or "flash fiction".

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