Wednesday, 11 December 2019

We are Open for your Submissions for our special 20th Event on 19 April 2020

The next SSS event is on the theme of DISRUPTION and will take place on Sunday 19 April 2020 at 7.30 (doors/bar 7.00) at the Cotswold Playhouse in Stroud. 

We are open for submissions from Gloucs/S.Gloucs writers until the end of Sunday 8 March.

This event is dedicated to the late Rick Vick - poet, creative writing tutor, events organiser and SSS stalwart. The Stroud News article on Rick is here. The Guardian obituary is here.

This is also our 20th event since our inception in 2011.

Try to think of the theme of DISRUPTION as widely as possible. Almost anything can be disrupted - lives, relationships, work, health, peace and quiet, law and order, traffic, events, games, sport, sleep, short story readings, the status quo, city/town/village life, society in general. They're just examples. You will be able to think of even more, I'm sure.

As always we welcome any take on the theme including the funny and ironic.

I am co-judging with author Ali Bacon this time. We both read all stories, and we do it 'blind' ie without knowing the writer's name.

See our Rules and How to Submit here.

Information about the Judges here.

We really want to read your stories on this theme. Let's make this a great event.

Tickets on sale from Cotswold Playhouse website from 20 March.


Wednesday, 4 December 2019

You can now watch the videos of our authors reading their stories at our 10 November 2019 event Mazurka & Other Stories

Just use the the link above to access our YouTube Channel or click here.

The stories are separate videos so you can pick and choose.

A huge thank you to David Penny, author of the Thomas Berrington historical mysteries, (in seat C9) for the videos.


Monday, 11 November 2019

Images from our 10 Nov 2019 event 'Mazurka & Other Stories'

The event, which was our 19th, and our second at the 150-seater Cotswold Playhouse, was sold out in advance. Our ten authors performed their brilliant stories wonderfully. 

Huge thanks to them for submitting to SSS and also to everyone who bought tickets and came along to the event.

Here are our authors on the night in the order in which they performed. Many thanks to Tim Byford for the images.

Ali Bacon who read 'Snowbird'

Peter Adams who read 'The Box of Skin'

Georgia Boon who read (and sang) 'Choose Love'

Nimue Brown who read 'Household Management'

William Vick who read 'Mazurka' by his father Rick Vick

Philip Douch who read 'Science, Steve and the Real World'

Sophie Flynn who read 'Saving Grace'

Sallie Anderson who read 'The Art of Job Security'

Kate Keogan who read 'The Truth and Several Lies about Butterflies'

Sarah Hitchcock who read 'The Day I Took my Zombie to Alton Towers'

Thursday, 10 October 2019

10 November event SOLD OUT + The Ten Authors and Stories + Podcasts

Tickets for our event 'Mazurka & Other Stories' on Sunday 10 November at the 150 seater Cotswold Playhouse have now SOLD OUT. Thank you to everyone who has bought tickets.

This is the 14th SSS event in succession to sell out. 

Please note the start time is 7.30 (bar and doors 7.00). This is our new regular start time.

The event is part of the Stroud Book Festival.

The Ten Authors and Their Stories

I am delighted to announce the authors and titles of the stories for our 19th event at the Cotswold Playhouse on Sunday 10 November. 

84 Gloucestershire/South Gloucestershire writers submitted 115 stories. We have shared with those authors our Long List of 33 stories and then our 16-strong Short List. 

These are the ten stories which my co-judge Chloe Turner and I have selected for this event (in librarians' alphabetical order) -

The Art of Job Security - Sallie Anderson (Cheltenham)
The Box of Skin - Peter Adams (Edge, nr Stroud)
Choose Love - Georgia Boon (Stroud)
The Day I Took my Zombie to Alton Towers - Sarah Hitchcock (Rodborough, Stroud)
Household Management - Nimue Brown (Stroud)
Mazurka - Rick Vick (Stroud)
Saving Grace - Sophie Flynn (Moreton-in-Marsh)
Science, Steve and the Real World - Philip Douch (Stroud)
Snowbird - Ali Bacon (Emerson's Green, South Gloucs)
The Truth and Several Lies about Butterflies - Kate Keogan (Gloucester)

Huge congratulations to these authors.

The event will be called 'Mazurka and Other Stories'.

As is usually the way with our events, we have newcomers to SSS. I am delighted to welcome Sallie, Georgia and Kate, all of whom are new to us. They will be the 109th, 110th and 111th authors to read at an SSS event.

I'm just as pleased to welcome back everyone else, notably SSS 'veterans' Nimue, Peter, Philip and Rick, all of whom, in my opinion, have been away too long.

Commiserations and my gratitude to everyone who submitted but didn't quite make it this time. Remember that judging events like ours and competitions is subjective. Your efforts will be rewarded if you keep writing.

Story Podcasts
We now have all five brilliant stories from our new series of podcasts available to you. These are stories by Steve Wheeler, Joanna Campbell, Alwin Wiederhold, Alex Clark and Jason Jackson.

Listen where you normally hear podcasts or check out our links here.


Sunday, 6 October 2019

Oct/Nov 2019 Stroud Short Stories Podcasts

While we all await the decisions on the ten stories to be read by their authors at our event on 10 November, why not fill the time by listening to the first of our new Story Podcasts?

These story podcasts are available from your normal podcast provider - iTunes, Spotify, Sound cloud etc - by simply searching for 'Stroud Short Stories'. Or you can use the link below.

We'll be having stories by Joanna Campbell, Steve Wheeler, Alex Clark and Alwin Wiederhold - all newly recorded for your listening pleasure.

But the first podcast is a new recording of Jason Jackson reading his story 'Fat Man in Neon' from the May 2019 SSS event 'Incendiary!'. Jason, from South Gloucestershire, is a much published, much decorated short fiction author and here he is at his stunning best with a story both dark and surreal. Not for the faint-hearted!

Here it is -


Sunday, 29 September 2019

We are now closed for submissions for our 10 November event. Thank you for your submissions.

A huge THANK YOU to the 84 Gloucs/South Gloucs writers who submitted 115 stories for our 19th event. Our third highest number of submissions ever.

We are reading them now. 

The titles of the ten stories selected and the names of their authors will be published here by Thursday 10 October.

TICKETS, priced at £8, go on sale from the Cotswold Playhouse website from Friday 11 October.

The event, which is part of the Stroud Book Festival, is on Sunday 10 November at 7.30 (doors 7.00) - PLEASE NOTE EARLIER START TIME - at the Cotswold Playhouse, Parliament Street, Stroud, GL5 1LW.

If you haven't already, why not subscribe to SSS newsletters so you don't miss a thing?

Saturday, 17 August 2019

We are open until 23.59 on Sunday 29 September for your submissions to the next SSS event on Sunday 10 November 2019 

We are open for short story submissions from Gloucestershire/South Gloucestershire-based writers to our 19th event. 

We will close at the end (23.59 ie one minute to midnight) of Sunday 29 September.

Our event will be on Sunday 10 November 2019 at the Cotswold Playhouse in Stroud. (There's a new start time - 7.30. Doors open at 7.00).

This event is part of the Stroud Book Festival, so if you want to read to an audience of 150 people at the Festival you know what you have to do...

It is an open theme this time. Let your imagination be your guide and write about anything you like - so long as it's a short story up to 1,500 words.

As usual we will select ten stories to be read by their authors on the night.

It's free to submit and we accept both unpublished and published work.

Check out the Rules and How to Submit here.

I have a new co-judge this time. The brilliant short story author Chloe Turner, who has read four times at SSS, is making the decisions with me. Chloe's first collection of stories Witches Sail in Eggshells, has just been published by Reflex Press. 

More info on the judges here.

All stories are read by both judges and the judging process is undertaken 'blind' ie without knowing the identity of the authors of the stories until after the final decision is made.

Check out the Rules and How to Submit here.

Don't miss a thing about submitting or buying tickets by subscribing to SSS newsletters here. It's free - and easy to unsubscribe.

We can't wait to start reading your stories.

NB Tickets, priced at £8, for the 10 November event will go on sale from Friday 11 October on the Cotswold Playhouse website. Our last 13 events all sold out in advance.