John Holland writes.

Short fiction writer, events organiser and obsessive


In January 2014 I became the organiser of Stroud Short Stories. It is, quite simply, a labour of love. 

Stroud Short Stories is a twice-yearly short stories non-profit making event held in the spring and autumn. The aim is to encourage, promote and showcase contemporary Gloucestershire writing. And provide a varied, stimulating and enjoyable evening's entertainment. 

The format is simple but effective one. Writers submit their stories. We choose ten. The authors read them to a packed audience. 

All information about submitting stories and about recent SSS events is on our website is

Stroud Short Stories was founded by local  artist and writer Bill Jones in 2011. I took it over from Bill in January 2014. 

The last 13 events have all sold out with 70 people cramming into the SVA. 

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Our SECOND ANTHOLOGY covering the six events from November 2015 to May 2018 was published in September 2018. It features 57 stories by 45 authors. Cover design by James Holland.

All info, including where to buy and all the authors included, is here.


We held a special five years birthday event held at Cheltenham Literature Festival in October 2016. It featured seven of my favourite stories from the beginnings of SSS in 2011 to our most recent event in April 2016. The 140 seat venue, the Little Big Top, sold out!

The authors who read were Debbie Young, Philip Douch, Ali Bacon, Andrew Stevenson, Mel Golding, Rick Vick and Bill Jones.

Videos of the seven authors reading their stories are on our website.



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Our latest event - our 18th - Incendiary!, took place on Sunday 19 May at our new venue, the spacious and comfortable 150-seater Cotswold Playhouse, Parliament Street, Stroud GL5 1LW. This was the 13th event in a row to sell out. Ten authors (Robin Booth, Joanna Campbell, Louise Elliman, Michael Hurst, Jason Jackson, Emma Kernahan, Geoff Mead, Chloe Turner, Steve Wheeler and Alwin Wiederhold) read their remarkable stories about fire, heat, passion, anger and rebellion.

Snaps from the event are on our website.

Our next event - our 19th - is on Sunday 10 November 2019 and is part of the Stroud Book Festival. It will take place at our new venue the 150-seater Cotswold Playhouse in Parliament Street, Stroud. It will be an Open Theme. More information will follow on our website -


Authors (some invited) who have read at Stroud Short Stories include Alice Jolly, Tania Hershman, Jane BaileyRoshi Fernando, Adam Horovitz, Philip Rush, Aidan Rush, Michael Amherst, Philip Douch, Jo Bousfield, Rick Vick, Katherine Mitchell, Andrew Stevenson, Debbie Young, Rod Griffiths, Mary Omnes, Philip Bowne, Martin Spice, Eleanor Holliday,  Kevlin Henney, Peter Adams, Bill Jones, Nimue Brown, Laurence Cotterell, Laura Kinnear, A J Grace-Smith, Anthony Nanson, Anthony Hentschel, Teresa Moorey,  Juliette Myers, Joe Eurell, Stephanie Smith, Anna Gerrard, Clare Hudman, Rachel Levay, Ali Bacon Kirsty Hartsiotis, Elizabeth Murphy, Stephen Connolly, Graham Bruce-Fletcher, Judith Gunn, Tony Stowell, Jane Gordon-Cumming, Tim Byford, Ken Popple, Mel Golding, Mark Rutterford, Rommy Collingwood, Geoff Mead, Mark Graham, Nastasya Parker, Natalie Lee, Alex Clark, Steve Wheeler, Val Ormrod, James Northern, Jason Jackson, Joanna Campbell, Sarah Chapman, Nick Browne, Clive Singleton, Zara Wick, Amanda Staples, Sophie Flynn, Katie Witcombe, Alwin Wiederhold, Robin Booth, Louise Elliman and me.

SSS contact details are on our Contact page.