Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Images from our 8 May event 2022 'The Orange Tree & Other Stories'

Many thanks to everyone who came along to the Cotswold Playhouse on Sunday to enjoy ten Gloucestershire writers reading/performing their stories. The event, called 'The Orange Tree & Other Stories' attracted 115 people.

The audience response was absolutely terrific and many have said that this was one of the best ever SSS events. I agree. We are lucky to be blessed with so many superb writers in our county.

Here are the authors in the order in which they read. 

Images by Angela Fitch and Geoff Moore, to whom thanks are certainly due.


Steve Wheeler who read 'The Orange Tree'

Gillian Metheringham who read 'Release'

Anthony Hentschel who read 'An Ill Wind'

Laura Kinnear who read 'Little Chestnut Hare'

Sean W. Quigley who read 'The Benny Hill Gang'

Sophie Flynn who read 'Still Hoping'

David Goodland who read 'The Purple Rinse'

Chloe Turner who read 'I won't tell you about all the days that I spend looking for her'

Jason Jackson who read 'He Loves to Stand on Clifftops'

Andrew Stevenson who read 'Relatively Dead'

Sunday, 27 March 2022

Sunday 8 May Event - Tickets now on Sale - The Ten Authors and Their Stories  

Many thanks to everyone who submitted their stories. 73 Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire writers submitted a bumper 99 stories.

The event, now called The Orange Tree And Other Stories, takes place at the Cotswold Playhouse, Parliament Street, Stroud, GL1 5LW on Sunday 8 May. Doors 7.00; Starts 7.30. There will be a bar.

The ten authors listed below will be reading their stories. Huge congratulations to them. This is going to be a superb event and not one you should miss.


Tickets, priced at £9, are now on sale from the Cotswold Playhouse website. (Or you can order by phone 0333 666 3366 but it costs an extra £2).

This event will not be recorded.

When booking, you are able to select exactly where you want to sit. The 150-seater auditorium is raked so all seats have a good view. 

The Playhouse now has a fresh air heating and ventilation system for your safely.

The Authors and their Stories

Please note, this is not the running order.

Sophie Flynn (Moreton-in-Marsh) - Still Hoping

David Goodland (Nailsworth) - The Purple Rinse

Anthony Hentschel (Nailsworth) - An Ill Wind

Jason Jackson (Kingswood, S.Gloucs) - He Loves to Stand on Clifftops

Laura Kinnear (Stroud) - Little Chestnut Hare

Gillian Metheringham (Stroud) - Release

Sean W. Quigley (Gloucester) - The Benny Hill Gang

Andrew Stevenson (Nailsworth) - Relatively Dead

Chloe Turner (Minchinhampton) - I won't tell you about all the days I spend looking for her

Steve Wheeler (Tewkesbury) - The Orange Tree


Monday, 22 November 2021

Submissions are open until Sunday 27 March - for our 8 May 2022 event

Our next event will be another LIVE one. It will take place on Sunday 8 May 2022 at the Cotswold Playhouse in Parliament Street, Stroud, GL1 5LW at 7.30 (doors 7.00). 

Submissions are now open and close at the end of Sunday 27 March ie at 23.59 - one minute to midnight.

This, our 23rd event, will have an Open Theme so you can write about anything and in any style - so long as it's a short story of between 500 and 1,500 words.

Ten stories will be selected for their authors to read at the event. It will be free to submit - as ever. My co-judge on this occasion will be six-times SSS author-reader Ali Bacon. Judging is 'blind' so we do not know the identity of the writers submitting.

Check out our Rules and How to Submit here.

Check out the Judges here.

Check out our Writing Tips here.

Please note that in the event of increased community health concerns, we will record the writers selected individually in an ultra-safe environment and broadcast their stories our YouTube channel, as we did in November 2020 and May 2021.

Tickets go on sale from the Cotswold Playhouse website on Friday 8 April. This event will not be recorded.

am also currently working on the new anthology Stroud Short Stories Volume Three 2018-22 which will be published in September. The ten stories chosen for this event will be the last ten in the new anthology.


Thursday, 11 November 2021

Images from our 7 November 2021 sell-out event WILD! at the Cotswold Playhouse

Thank you to everyone who came along to the Cotswold Playhouse on Sunday 7 November for our WILD! event. It was a delight to see such a large audience enjoying the ten wonderful stories read by their authors.

My co-judge Debbie Young provides a personal view of the Stroud Book Festival and our WILD! event here.

Here are the authors - in various poses and at various times during the evening - in the order in which they read. Images by Angela Fitch and Geoff Moore, to whom huge thanks.

Please note that this event was not recorded.

Pauline Masurel - Fledglings

Claire Jaggard - The Wild Woman

Ali Bacon - The Pig and I

Jasmin Izagaren - Jumping Season

Melanie White - City Girl

Nick Adams - Demolition

Georgia Boon - Johnny Maunder came to the Well

Hannah Glickstein - Wild Serenade

Rebecca Klassen - Clothed in Sacrifice

Robin Booth - Painted Ladies

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Thank you to everyone who attended our sell-out event WILD! on Sunday 7 November at Stroud Book Festival

This was our 15th sell-out event in succession. Images will follow.

In the meantime, here's a little review of the SSS WILD! event and the Stroud Book Festival by Debbie Young -


Sunday, 19 September 2021

Tickets Now on Sale + The Ten Authors and their Stories for our 7 November event WILD! 

The event takes place at the Cotswold Playhouse, Parliament Street, Stroud, GL1 5LW on Sunday 7 November. Starts 7.30/doors 7.00. There is a bar.

Ten authors will read ten stories (see below). After two years on YouTube, I am excited to say that this will be a live event. Please note that this live event will not be recorded. 

TICKETS, priced at £9, are now on sale on the Cotswold Playhouse website. You are able to pre-book your seats, so you can decide where you want to sit. The auditorium is raked and all seats offer excellent views. We use a microphone so there should be no problem hearing the stories.

Our last 14 live events all sold out.

The Playhouse's Covid information is here. Please note that the wonderful spacious 150-seat Playhouse has recently installed a £50,000 fresh air-based ventilation and heating system for your safety. 

Thank you to everyone who submitted stories for this, our 22nd, event WILD! 77 stories were submitted by 62 writers. My co-judge Debbie Young and I were absolutely delighted by the standard of submission.

Competition was as hot as usual, but judging is now completed and the following authors will read their brilliant stories on Sunday 7 November at the Cotswold Playhouse. This will be our first LIVE event for two years.

Nick Adams (Stroud) - Demolition
Ali Bacon (Emersons Green, S.Glos) - The Pig and I
Georgia Boon (Stroud) - Johnny Maunder came to the Well
Robin Booth (Stroud) - Painted Ladies
Hannah Glickstein (Stroud) - Wild Serenade
Jasmin Izagaren (Chalford, Stroud) - Jumping Season
Claire Jaggard (Cromhall, S.Glos) - The Wild Woman
Rebecca Klassen (Gloucester) - Clothed in Sacrifice
Pauline Masurel (Winterbourne Down, S.Glos) - Fledglings
Melanie White (Cheltenham) - City Girl

We welcome five authors who will make their debuts at SSS - Nick, Jasmin, Claire, Rebecca and Melanie. They will be the 120th, 121st, 122nd, 123rd and 124th authors to read at SSS. 

And we welcome back Pauline, who last read in 2013. Ali will be reading for the sixth(!) time, Robin for the third time, and both Georgia and Hannah for the second time. 

HUGE congratulations to these authors. We are delighted they submitted their brilliant stories to SSS. 

And thank you to my co-judge Debbie Young whose experience, knowledge and dedication to the task were wonderful.

The event is part of the 2021 Stroud Book FestivalIt's going to be a great evening of short stories. Don't miss it.

I hope to see you there.


Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Submissions for our next event 'WILD!'  close on Sunday 19 September at 23.59

The theme for our 22nd event is 'WILD!' and the event is part of the 2021 Stroud Book Festival
Submissions are currently open but close at the end of Sunday 19 September ie at 23.59 one minute to midnight.

The event will take place live at the Cotswold Playhouse, Parliament Street, Stroud, GL1 5LW at 7.30pm (doors 7.00) on Sunday 7 November 2021.(Should Covid cause increased health concerns then the authors will be recorded for our YouTube channel). 

The live event will not be videoed.

My co-judge on this occasion will be short story author, novelist, blogger, festival organiser and self-publishing guru Debbie Young. More info on the judges here.

Think about the theme WILD! as widely as possible. Consider nature, wildlife, flora and fauna, as well as foraging/wild food, the wild west, weather, seas, wild parties, nights out, singing, dancing, craziness, passion, affairs, out of control emotions, wild swimming, anger, enthusiasm, uncivilised behaviour, etc etc.

It is free to submit. We accept submissions from all Gloucestershire and South Gloucs writers. 

The full rules and info on how to submit are here.

Check out my (helpful?) tips for writing for SSS here.

Tickets for the event, priced at £9, will be available from the Cotswold Playhouse website from Friday 8 October. The Cotswold Playhouse has recently invested in a £50,000 fresh air heating and ventilation system for your safety.