John Holland writes.

Short fiction writer, events organiser and obsessive


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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 work published in 2013.

Check out my latest writing news here

My stories have been awarded First Prize in 5 competitions to date -

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

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

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

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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 is a list of all published stories here.

Here is my Amazon page.

Read some stories here.

Check out my latest writing news here.

Despite being a nervous public reader initially 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, Birmingham, Bristol, Bath, Cheltenham (including at the Cheltenham Literature Festival), Stroud, Worcester and, of course, Hawkesbury Upton. My stories have also been broadcast on 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 Little George Writers’ 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

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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. The aim is to encourage, showcase and promote contemporary Gloucestershire writing and to 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 ‘Incendiary!’ was in May 2019. And our next - our 19th - will be held on 10 November 2019 at the Cotswold Playhouse in Stroud.  More info -

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The new SSS Anthology (pictured) was published on 28 September 2018. It contains 57 stories by 45 Gloucestershire authors. Each read at an event from November 2015 to may 2018. It’s priced at £10. More info 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.