Small Bells Ring is an artwork created by artists Heather Peak and Ivan Morison, centred on The RV Furor Scribendi, a fully functioning sculptural narrowboat which operates as a living research vessel, housing a floating public library of short stories and a retreat for writers and readers.

UK Collection of Short Stories -

The boat holds over 1000 books and we are constantly collecting. 

Our curatorial approach is guided by a Star Trek Discovery meets Donna Haraway meets Octavia Butler meets Robin Wall Kimmerer meets Victoria Wood approach – and that’s how we decide what matters on most things.
Please contact us with suggestions for new books, your favourite short stories or if you would like to donate to the collection.

To view the list of books currently in the library click HERE

The RV Furor Scribendi holds reading and writing residencies for professional, amateur and new writers and readers.

"...Play with your ideas. Have fun with them. Don't worry about being silly, outrageous or wrong. So much of writing is fun. It's first letting your interests and your imagination take you anywhere at all. Once you're able to do that, you'll have more ideas than you can use. Then the real work of fashioning them into a story begins. Stay with it. Persist."

Octavia E. Butler in her essay Furor Scribendi, in the collection ‘Blood Child & Other Stories’ (Steven Stories Press).
We believe in the passion and fury of writing. If you are a professional writer, amateur writer, failed writer, wannabe writer, note taker, list maker, jotter or journal keeper, get in touch.

If reading nothing but turn of the century women’s occult for a day or two or staring at passing swans while drinking tea in the early morning mist after a particular shocking China Miéville short story, or watching cowslips tremble in the summer wind while Maya Angelou whispers in your ear feels right, and you are interested in coming aboard, please get in touch with us to register interest and then we will contact you when we are open for applications.

We offer funded residency opportunities through open calls and we also offer independently funded residency opportunities for those with their own funding, get in touch to discuss.

We are a public library so we can offer support if you need it, for childcare costs, caring duties, travel, food, work commitments, access etc.

The boat has a galley, library, writer’s room, bathroom, reading salon, room for 12 passengers and comfortably sleeps 2 people.

The steel hull of the boat was fabricated to the artists’ design by a third generation boat builder in Stoke-On-Trent, with the exterior by a specialist boat hand painter. 
The interior was fitted out by the artists and their team, incorporating specially milled local oak and chestnut, a series of new oil paintings by the artists, new seating and upholstery, a set of new ceramic vessels cast from items found floating in the canals, and many bookshelves for the short story collection.
The boat’s name, Furor Scribendi, meaning ‘furious writing’, takes inspiration from an essay by Octavia E. Butler from her short stories, Blood Child, originally written for the Writers of the Future anthology series. Octavia Butler translates “Furor Scribendi”, as “A Rage for Writing”. The prefix R.V. stands for Research Vessel as the boat conducts research into social sculptures of people and places using reading and writing as conduit.