John Holland writes.

Short fiction writer, events organiser and obsessive

Stroud Short Stories

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 community event held in the spring and autumn at the SVA (Stroud Valleys Artspace), John Street, Stroud, GL5 2HA. The aim is to promote and showcase Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire writers and their work. 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 latestseven events have sold out with 70 people cramming into the SVA. 


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





The last SSS event was on 20 May 2018. It was called 'Pulling Newts from Ponds & Other Stories'. This event sold out in 5 days!

Reading were Nastasya Parker, Steve Wheeler, Val Ormrod, James Northern, Jason Jackson, Joanna Campbell, Sarah Chapman, Rick Vick, Nick Browne and Judith Gunn

Our next event will be on 11 November 2018. We will open for submissions in September 2018.

See our website. All info about the rules, how to submit, the judges etc is on there.






Back in April 2015 we published an Anthology of nearly all the stories read at SSS from its inception in June 2011 to its those read at the April 2015 event.  It was edited by Nimue Brown with a cover design by Tom Brown.

 It is available online from Lulu. 




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 and me.

All SSS contact details are on our Contact page.