John Holland writes.

Short fiction writer, events organiser and obsessive

IT'S TONIGHT! My Stroud Theatre Festival gig!

Tickets on the door for tonight’s (Friday 13 Sept)Stroud Theatre Festival gig with Philip Douch - ‘Tales of the Unpredictable’ at Star Anise cafe in Gloucester Street, Stroud at 8pm.

Same tomorrow but different stories at the Lounge 16 cafe - opposite the front of the Subscription Rooms.


Stroud Short Stories is Open for Submissions until 29 September 2019

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Yes, SSS is open again for short story submissions. We close at the end of Sunday 29 September. The event is on Sunday 10 November at the Cotswold Playhouse again. This event is part of the Stroud Book Festival 2019.

Ten stories will be chosen for their authors to read at our event. It’s free to submit, as ever.

It’s an open theme this time so any subject, any style so long as it’s a short story to a max of 1,500 words.

Tickets are available from 11 October on the Cotswold Playhouse website.

All the info you need to submit your story is on the SSS website.

Reading with Philip Douch at the 2019 Stroud Theatre Festival

As we did in 2017, short story author Philip Douch and I are doing two two-header short story reading events at this year’s Stroud Theatre Festival.

Tickets are £6. Here are the details with links for more information and ticket sales -

Friday 13 Sept 8pm Star Anise, Gloucester St - level access

Saturday 14 Sept 8pm Lounge 16, George St - stair access only

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Hear/See me read 'Lips'!

You can now watch the video of me reading my story ‘Lips’ which won first prize in the 2018 To Hull And Back Short Story Competition. This was recorded at the lunch of the To Hull And Back Anthology at the LeftBank Club in Bristol in December 2019.

Here it is.

Stroud Short Stories Anthology mentioned in Best British Short Stories 2019

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I’m pretty thrilled that last year’s Stroud Short Stories anthology 2015-2018 received a mention by Nicholas Royle, the editor of the annual publication Best British Short Stories, in the forward to the 2019 edition.

Additionally, he praised two stories in the anthology - The Thief by Alex Clark and The Journey to Everywhere by Joanna Campbell. Praise indeed.

SSS Volume Two 2015-18 is still available -

Fabulous Incendiary! Event at Stroud Short Stories!

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Our 18th event and the first at the sold out 150-seater Cotswold Playhouse in Stroud was a considerable success. One of the best SSS events ever. Great stories and great performances by (in this order) Steve Wheeler, Louise Elliman, Michael Hurst, Alwin Wiederhold, Emma Kernahan, Chloe Turner, Robin Booth, Jason Jackson, Joanna Campbell and Geoff Mead. Congratulations to them all.

Snaps of the authors are on the website -

Stroud Short Stories May 2019 event 'Incendiary!' has SOLD OUT

Our new venue The Cotswold Theatre has SOLD OUT of tickets for the Stroud Short Stories event Incendiary! to be held on 19 May 2019. The venue holds 150 people - more than twice as many as our former venue. It will also will be record number for an event, beating the 140 who were at the SSS Fifth Birthday Greatest Hits event at Cheltenham Lit Fest in 2016.

That’s 13 events in a row which have sold out.