My story, A Visit From The Vampires, which was short-listed in the 2018 Earlyworks Press Short Story Competition has been published in the anthology based on the comp, Unsafe Spaces.
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 - http://stroudshortstories.blogspot.com/
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.
My story You’ll be Alright has been selected for the National Flash Fiction Day Flash Flood Journal and will be published online at 5.50am on Saturday 15 June 2019, which is National Flash Fiction Day. I think this is 5 years in a row that I have had a piece in the Flood.
HULF just gets better and better each year. The short story session in this, the fifth year, was a triumph with stories by Chloe Turner, Steve Wheeler, Mark Rutterford, Katie Witcombe, Nastasya Parker, Kate O’Grady and me. I read ‘The River’. The HU Methodist Hall was pretty much full.
My little 500 word fairy tale ‘Dogs - A Fairy Tale’ has been published by the Cabinet of Heed online literary journal in Issue 19; April 2019.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, we bring you...Stroud Short Stories Podcasts!
Thanks to freelance audio producer Laura Byng we will be releasing SSS Podcasts in each of the six weeks preceding the 19 May event. These will be new recordings of the authors reading six of my many favourite Stroud Short Stories from the last couple of years.
Here's the schedule -
12 April Melanie Golding - When the Night Comes
19 April Katie Witcombe - The Dress (from the Nov 2018 SSS event so not in the anthology)
26 April Emma Kernahan - Still for Sale
3 May Geoff Mead - The Acorn and the Oak
10 May Chloe Turner - Show me what you're made of
17 May Nastasya Parker - The Apocalypse Alphabet
You can search for 'Stroud Short Stories' wherever you normally get your podcasts (eg Apple, Spotify, SoundCloud) or listen via the embedded recording on our website -
Our 18th event, Incendiary!, takes place on Sunday 19 May at 8pm (doors 7,30) at our new venue, the spacious and comfortable Cotswold Playhouse, Parliament Street, Stroud GL5 1LW. Ten authors (Robin Booth, Joanna Campbell, Louise Elliman, Michael Hurst, Jason Jackson, Emma Kernahan, Geoff Mead, Chloe Turner, Steve Wheeler and Alwin Wiederhold) will be reading their remarkable stories about fire, heat, passion, anger and rebellion.
More than 100 tickets have been claimed in the first five days of sales, a figure that would have comfortably sold out our former venue. But because of the increased capacity at the Playhouse some tickets do remain.
Tickets, priced as usual at £8, are on sale on the Cotswold Playhouse website -
Or you can also order tickets by phone - 0333 666 3366. The Playhouse charges a £1.75 booking fee for telephone bookings.
Please note that Stroud Short Stories does not sell tickets.
The seating is raked/tiered so even the seats at the back offer excellent views - and are very comfortable. Seating is allocated when you buy your ticket (so you can choose your seat when you book).
The Playhouse is a four minute uphill walk from the car park on Parliament Street opposite Stroud Police Station (car park post code GL5 2HL). The car park is free in the evening. I know it's four minutes because I've recently walked it - and believe me I am not a fast walker these days. The alternative is street parking.
The Cotswold Playhouse has a bar!
Do come along, listen to the ten authors read their wonderful stories and perhaps chat with them afterwards.
Each April the South Gloucestershire village of Hawkesbury Upton turns itself into a literature festival. Organised by Debbie Young, this will be its fifth year. One of the remarkable things about it is that it's completely free and unticketed. Turn up on Saturday 27 April for a day of lectures, readings, workshops and panel discussions or, if you like, just pop in for one event.
I particularly recommend the short story session (obvs!), which I will be chairing and which will feature six new complete stories (not extracts) by Kate O'Grady, Nastasya Parker, Mark Rutterford, Chloe Turner, Steve Wheeler and Katie Witcombe. (And if there's time, I will read one too).
Everything you need to know about this amazing little festival is at https://hulitfest.com/programme/ I hope to see you there.
Reflex Fiction Press have been in touch to ask if they may publish my flash piece ‘Nature Implores’ in their print anthology later in the year. I said yes!
My little story ‘Keith’ is now up on the Molotov Cocktail, the US online zine. Volume 9 Issue 12.
Really chuffed that my little story/flash ‘Keith’ will be published in the online US zine The Molotov Cocktail in about a week’s time. The Molotov Cocktail describes itself as ‘A Projectile for Incendiary Flash Fiction’. It’s my second piece with them.
I’m delighted to say that my semi-autobiographical short story ‘The Hero’ is to be published in mid-January 2019 by the online literary zine The Cabinet of Head. Couldn’t be more pleased.
My story ‘A Visit from the Vampires’ has been short listed in the 2018 Earlyworks Press Short Story Competition. It will be included in the anthology to be published in spring 2019.
8 December at the Stokes Croft Writers’ Talking Tales event was also the launch of the To Hull And Back Anthology. There were eleven readings including by Pat Winslow, Steve Wheeler aka Steve John, Richard de Silva, Jonathan Macho, Leema Ahmed and Sherry Morris. I read my winning story ‘Lips’. Such a great night.
Four of my flash pieces have been published in the Earlyworks Press anthology of flash fiction and poetry ‘Records, Rivers and Rats’.
These are -
It doesn’t exist
Rats (which gave its name to the title of the anthology)
Buy the anthology at Amazon here.
Our 17th event ‘What Makes a Monster & Other Stories’ was part of the third Stroud Book Festival. Here’s a great article in the local newspaper the Stroud News & Journal which gives SSS two mentions.