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 back in 2013.

Since then I have had around 60 pieces published and more than 40 stories have won or been runner-up/short listed/long listed etc in writing competitions. 

For my latest news please take a look here

Bridport Prize winner Chris Hill has a new (22/09/17)  interview/author profile with me on his website.

My stories have been awarded First Prize in three competitions - the £1,000 2016 Inktears Short Story Contest; the 2015 Worcestershire Literary Festival Flash Fiction competition; and the 2014 Annual Momaya Press Short Story Competition

Additionally, Second Prizes have been awarded to my stories by and Momaya Press. 


As well as being published online and in magazines, my stories appear in about 20 print-based anthologies. These include 'The Best Stories in a Decade' (Momaya Press 2013) , 'The 2015 Bath Short Story Award Anthology', 'Knife Edge' (2013) 'Edge of Passion' (2014) and 'Twisted Tales' 2014 and 2016 (Raging Aardvark).

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

And a list of all published stories here.

Check out my latest writing news here

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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 Stroud Writers' Circle.

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 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 last was in November 2017 back at the SVA. And our next - our sixteenth - will be held in spring 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.