John Holland writes.

Short fiction writer, events organiser and obsessive



I am a short fiction writer from Stroud in Gloucestershire in the UK. I have been writing stories since 2011 (at the age of 59). I began entering competitions in the hope of having my stories and flash fiction published in 2013.

Check out my latest writing news here

My stories have been awarded First Prize in 4 competitions -

  • June 2018 Dorset Fiction Award - £500
  • The 2016 InkTears Short Story Contest £1,000
  • The 2015 Worcestershire Literary Festival Flash Fiction competition
  • 2014 Momaya Press Short Story Competition

Additionally, I have received Second Prize in contests run by and Momaya Press. 

More than 40 stories have been runner-up/short listed/long listed/commended etc in writing competitions. 

Over 80 of my stories have been published in magazines, online and anthologies, including in about 20 print-based anthologies, such as The Best Stories in a Decade (Momaya Press 2013), The Bath Short Story Award Anthology (2015), Knife Edge (2013), Edge of Passion (2014), Twisted Tales (Raging Aardvark 2014 and 2016), To Hull and Back (2016), A Box Under the Stairs (NFFD 2016) and Deceiving Light (Dorset Fiction Award 2018).

There's a full list of all award-winning and near miss stories here.

And a list of all published stories here.

Read some stories here

Check out my latest writing news here

Worcs LitFest Anth 2017 wired-ff-front-cover-2017.jpg

Despite being a nervous public reader when I started I now try to read my stories in public whenever I can. I have met some lovely people by doing that. I have read in London, Bath, Bristol, Cheltenham (including at the Cheltenham Literature Festival), Stroud, Worcester and, of course, Hawkesbury Upton. My stories have also been broadcast on various local radio stations.

What are my stories like? Well, I have written in a range of styles. They often contain humour and it is sometimes dark humour. Here's how a couple of writer friends described my work -

 Larry Cotterell - 'Like Alan Bennett on Viagra'. Ho hum!

Debbie Young - 'John writes flash fiction and short stories that are very wide-ranging, often departing from the real world and often quite bonkers, but in a way that heightens understanding of real emotions and situations.' How dare you!

I am a member of both the Stroud Writers' Circle and the Stroud SpaceHoppers Writing Group.

In a past life I was a librarian and a library campaigner, and a regular contributor to Punch (Sideswipes), BBC Radio 4 Comedy (Weekending) and BBC Radio 2 Comedy (The News Huddlines) in the 80s and early 90s. I also wrote for obscure and unpopular TV comedy shows which fortunately I can no longer recall.

Read or listen to some of my stories here

Check out my latest writing news here


Stroud Short Stories


In 2014 I became the organiser of Stroud Short Stories. SSS is a twice-yearly non-profit making community event held in the spring and autumn of each year at the SVA (Stroud Valleys Artspace), John Street, Stroud. The aim is to showcase and promote local writing talent and provide  a stimulating and varied evening's entertainment. SSS has a simple format. Local writers submit their stories. We choose ten. The authors read them to a packed audience. We held a special 5th birthday event last year at  the prestigious Cheltenham Literature Festival. Our latest event was in May 2018. And our next - our 17th event - will be held on 11 November 2018. 

More about Stroud Short Stories here.

And of course on the SSS website -


Check out my latest writing news here

I hope that you can find what you want on my website. If not please let me know - my details are on the Contact page. Thank you for your interest.