RG2E Featured Author Emma Calin tells us about The UK’s National Short Story Week

Happy Tuesday, RG2E Peeps!

Did y’all know it’s National Short Story Week in The UK?! Here’s RG2E Featured Author Emma Calin to share the scoop…

Hi DD – great to be back here on RG2E.

This week is National Short Story Week in the UK so it seems appropriate to offer my prize winning short story Sub-Prime to your readers. The short story has always been my true milieu dating from my childhood listening to 15 minute radio tales. Now that we have the facilities to provide a free audio track with the text, I am able to go back to the true roots of fiction which is of course the spoken story. Rather like poetry, there are constant proclamations of the rebirth of the short. I believe that with attention spans withered in busy lives, the short story is the ristretto fix for folk on the run.

This story has a chequered and controversial history.  Originally written as ‘A Gift at Christmas’, it was for a competition run by a national newspaper group.  Although it won, they would not publish it because they were worried it would distress readers who preferred not to know about life behind the scenes in a turkey farm.  They were also concerned about the reaction of advertisers.  So I got the money and the free dinner – which was not turkey!

The story does not actually focus on the turkeys – but is about exploitation and human trafficking. At the time of writing, there was little public awareness of this issue in the UK. Since then a few infamous examples have made it to the main media.

It is a plainly written real-life story which has brought me sales and critical success.  It is not specifically a Christmas story and I was worried this would limit its shelf life, so I re-named it Sub-Prime since this relates to a central theme. Having said that, in our current economic climate and with the holiday season getting into full swing, this story is more relevant than ever.

The Kindle version of this book comes with a free audio track which is downloaded as an MP3 file.

I hope you get something out of story – whether you read, or listen to it.

Price: 99c (USA) 77p (UK) – Kindle format (including link to free MP3 audio file) 

Book Blurb: SUB-PRIME by Emma Calin

A #1 Kindle Best Seller in Short Stories 

Two powerless beings are swept together in a transient struggle for survival.
Could the human spirit transcend the brutality and indifference of their brief
experience before they are once again swept helplessly apart?
Far more than a love story – this is a story about love.

Sub-Prime: a short story of our times.


5 out of 5 stars ‘a slaughter of love,’

R Stephen Woodfin

Emma Calin’s Sub-Prime is a haunting short story about the compromises people make for even an uncertain love. Calin takes a grotesque setting and mines beautiful diamonds from it. I would love to see Calin apply her formidable literary gifts to a full length novel that uses this story as its centerpiece.

It only takes twenty minutes or so to read the entire piece. I guarantee the reader will find the time spent on this story well-worth the effort.

Highly recommended.

5.0 out of 5 stars ‘ Top of the Line’

Christina Carson

Good short stories are some of the best reads there are, and Sub-Prime is an excellent example. Calin sets the mood and scene in such desperation and bleakness that you wonder how you’ll get through it, until a momentary charity from a young foreign woman toward an out-of-work husband and father desperate to feed his family sets a new tenor. Being the writer she is, Calin masterfully holds onto both reins that guide the story, the reader never being allowed to forget the brutality of life for these people, while at the same time nurturing the spark of kindness and respect that arises and lifts them momentarily beyond the endless muck of life. A nameless woman and a man called Mike are two characters you won’t soon forget, the mark of a truly fine short story.

5 out of 5 stars ‘A dark tale of Christmas,’

Jack Durish

It’s been a long time since I found a short story worthy of mention. That’s sad. I always loved them. O’Henry. L’Amour. Thurber. There were so many greats who used the medium so well. Emma Calin joins those illustrious ranks with Sub-Prime. She also obligates herself to us now to provide a collection of them. Sub-Prime is a Christmas story that that could become a classic of its genre. It tells the sad tale of a man at the end of his rope, out of work and out of money, trying to provide for his family during the holiday season. There is little hope in this story which is somehow appropriate in these dark economic times in which we live.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Bert Carson

Emma Calin is one of the finest authors plying the ancient trade. I make that statement for three reasons: First, because she has been there. Second, because she is willing to share what she has seen, heard, and learned. Third, because she is an amazing wordsmith.
Writing without experience is akin to walking into total darkness without a light. Sub-Prime is not a fun tale, but it’s truth, and truth, even well stated, is stark, in-your-face, and eye opening. If you have the courage to read Sub-Prime you are going to experience truth told with an eloquence that is difficult to find today.

5 out of 5 stars

By ‘Reader’

This story hooked me in from the very start. It’s set in the real world, not a prettified one, and the writing is excellent. Though the character is in a harsh setting, he’s not hopeless or beat-down. He can still love, he can still feel everything intensely, and he was absolutely fascinating. If you’ve ever been forced to do a job you don’t want to do because you have to feed your family (or even if you haven’t!), you’ll like this story.

The setting was almost surreal in its intensity, and seemed real enough to touch. Loved it. I’ll definitely be looking for more from this author.

Amazon USA:   Sub-Prime (Including free audiobook) 

Amazon UK:  Sub-Prime (Including free audiobook)

Connect with Emma here: 

Emma Calin Blog: http://www.emmacalin.blogspot.com

Emma Calin Website:  http://www.emmacalin.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/emma.calin

Twitter:@Emma Calin

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/emmacalin/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4915751.Emma_Calin 

Other books by Emma Calin:

Amazon USA:

Knockout A Passionate Police Romance,

The Chosen (including free audiobook)

Amazon UK: 

Knockout A passionate Police Romance,

The Chosen (Including free audiobook)

About Emma:

Emma Calin was born in London in 1962. She currently lives in France and the UK.

She has been writing since childhood and has won numerous local, national and international prizes for poetry and short stories.

KNOCKOUT! A PASSIONATE POLICE ROMANCE is a love story set against a backdrop of international gambling corruption and deception. Interpol cop Anna Leyton finds herself torn between love and duty when her professional and private life intersects. A video teaser for this book is available in the right hand column of this author page, below the blog – it shows a scene from the trailer of a bedroom with the caption “desire consumes”. This book is now available in both paperback and Kindle formats.

SUB-PRIME is a prize-winning hard hitting short story about courage, exploitation and love. It is a raw and brutal exposé of life at the bottom in the aftermath of recession. Available in Kindle format which includes a downloadable audiobook

THE CHOSEN is another short story. It is set in modern times where working people struggle to keep their dreams alive. A world where the promise of love motivates desperate measures. Available in Kindle format, which includes a downloadable audio track.


Fascinating Behind the Book Scoop, Emma! Thanks sooo much for sharing and for the Ebook Gifts and Audio Gifts too!!! 🙂

Who all would like an Ebook Gift Copy of Emma’s fabulous short story with the Audio Version that comes with it?! Let us know below, and you just might win both from Emma!!!

The Best of RG2E Ereading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder


3 thoughts on “RG2E Featured Author Emma Calin tells us about The UK’s National Short Story Week

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