Monday 27 November 2023

12 May 2024 Event on the Theme of Change/Changes

Our next event is on Sunday 12 May 2024 on the theme of Change or Changes

Writers should view the theme as widely as you like - everything from climate change and changes in society to changes of mood, appearance, clothes, mind, home, circumstances, state, name, law, diet, hairstyle, tastes, styles, roles, partner, places, physical, mental or emotional changes. You name it!

Stating the obvious, it must be a short story.

The event will be held at the Cotswold Playhouse, and my co-judge this time will be novelist and award-winning short story author Ali Bacon, who has read at SSS six times.

Submissions will open at some point in February 2024 and more information on submission dates etc will be available in the new year.

As always, it will be free to submit and we will accept both unpublished and previously published stories.

Under our legendary Rule 11 (now 12!) the authors who read at the November 2023 event are unable to submit to this event.


Sunday 26 November 2023

What they said about 'Love is Strange' our Nov 2023 event - Audience quotes.

"A variety of stories from excellent writers and readers and with top class organisation."

"What a fantastic evening."

"I thought it was an absolute triumph and enjoyed all the stories immensely."

"Some wonderful stories - from the beautiful to the sad and uplifting. An inspiration."

"Great evening. One of the best I have attended."

"It's been a great evening with great stories and a great atmosphere, and I loved John Holland's humourous introductions. A big thank you to all who organised it."

"Wonderful variety of thought-provoking stories, brilliantly read and some, quite frankly, hilarious."

"Great night. I really enjoyed it."

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Thank you to everyone who attended our event 'Love is Strange' which was our 26th event and also part of the Stroud Book Festival

There was a sell-out audience of 150 firework refuseniks at the Cotswold Playhouse on 5 November. And what a warm and responsive audience it was!

Happily, SSS accepts previously published stories so here's a link to our final story of the evening Obituaries by Rebecca Klassen published by Well Read online mag in April this year. A brilliant 947 words -

Below are images of the ten authors who read their wonderful stories. They are in the order in which they read.

Grateful thanks to Angela Fitch for the images.

Georgia Boon who read 'For Darkness is as Light to You'

James Sinkinson who read  'A Second Shot'

Alfie Fox who read 'Date Night'

Gillian Metheringham who read 'Your own Pre-Meditated Pelt'

Mark Rutterford who read 'She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not'

Sean W. Quigley who read 'The Dreaming'

Steve Wheeler who read 'The Composer's Tall Trees'

Keith Errington who read 'Prey for Love'

Sallie Anderson who read 'At the Nail Bar'

Rebecca Klassen who read 'Obituaries'

Wednesday 11 October 2023

'Love is Strange' on  5 November 2023 is now SOLD OUT  + the Ten Stories and their Authors

On sale for just a week and a half, all tickets for 'Love is Strange' have now SOLD OUT so our ten authors will read to an audience of 150 people. 17 of our last 18 events sold out in advance. Thank you to everyone who has bought tickets.

The event takes place at the Cotswold Playhouse, Parliament Street, Stroud, GL5 1LW on Sunday 5 November at 7.30 (doors 7.00). There is a bar.

'Love is Strange' is the opening event of the Stroud Book Festival.

These brilliant stories will be read by their authors -

At the Nail Bar - Sallie Anderson (Cheltenham)

The Composer's Tall Trees - Steve Wheeler (Tewkesbury)

Date Night - Alfie Fox (Stroud)

The Dreaming - Sean W. Quigley (Gloucester)

For Darkness is as Light to You - Georgia Boon (Stroud)

Obituaries - Rebecca Klassen (Gloucester)

Prey for Love - Keith Errington (Stroud)

A Second Shot - James Sinkinson (Kingswood, Wotton-under-Edge)

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not - Mark Rutterford (Filton, S.Gloucs)

Your Own Pre-Meditated Pelt - Gillian Metheringham (Stroud)

We particularly welcome our newcomers, Alfie and Keith, who will be the 128th and 129th writers to read at SSS. We also welcome back James after an 8 year break.

The event will have an amazing range of stories - from the beautiful, poignant and sad to the witty and hilarious and, in one case, the terrifying. Don't miss it!


Monday 2 October 2023

We are now closed for submissions for the 5 November event 'Love is Strange'. HUGE thanks to everyone who submitted their stories. 

We received a total of 106 stories, some 22 more than for our last event. These were the work of 79 local writers.

My co-judge Debbie Young and I will announce the ten winners who will read their stories at the 5 November 'Love is Strange' event on Wednesday 11 October. Please check out this website.

TICKETS, priced at £10, are available from the Cotswold Playhouse website on Friday 13 October.

The event takes place at the Cotswold Playhouse in Parliament Street, Stroud on Sunday 5 November at 7.30pm (doors 7.00). This is the opening event of the Stroud Book Festival.

This event will not be recorded.


Thursday 31 August 2023

We are currently open for your stories for our 5 November event 'Love is Strange'. Submissions close on Sunday 1 October at 23.59 (one minute to midnight). 

Love Stories and Stories about Obsessions are the joint themes. 

Here is the timetable -

1 October at 23.59 - Submissions close

4 October - *Long List announced

8 October - *Short List announced

11 October - Final Ten announced

13 October - Tickets, priced at £10, go on sale on the Cotswold Playhouse website

5 November at 7.30 (doors 7.00) - 'Love is Strange' event at the Cotswold Playhouse

* The L/L and S/L are only announced to the writers who have submitted for this event, and are only by title to maintain author anonymity 

The event is part of the 2023 Stroud Book Festival

This event will not be recorded.

Rules and How to Submit here.

Essential Read - Writing Tips: What we're Looking for here.

Please see the earlier post (below) for more information about the themes, submitting, the rules, judges and writing tips...

Saturday 3 June 2023

We are now open for your submissions for our next event 'Love is Strange' which will take place on Sunday 5 November 2023 at the Cotswold Playhouse

Love Stories or Stories about Obsessions are the joint themes

Submissions close on Sunday 1 October at 23.59

We select ten stories to be read by their authors. Any (every?) Gloucestershire writer may submit. As ever, it will be free to submit two short stories up to 1,500 words each. We accept both published and unpublished work. 

Submissions are judged 'blind' to ensure that the judges don't know the identity of the authors during the selection process. 

We are looking for all kinds of stories about love - romantic, silly, dark, ironic, quirky etc. Not just the love of people (although we do want these) but love of anything! So we welcome stories about obsessions too.

The title of the event is our little homage to the fabulous song 'Love is Strange' by the r&b duo Mickey and Sylvia.

This will be our first evening of love stories since 2017! Read to a packed house at Stroud's 150-seat Cotswold Playhouse. The event is also part of the 2023 Stroud Book Festival.

My co-judge this time will be the icon that is Debbie Young.

The Rules & How to Submit are here. (We also have a new rule this time - no AI-generated stories please).

Also, it's really important to check out my tips for writing for SSS here.

Subscribe now so you are kept up to date with all the latest info about submissions and about ticket sales. Subscribe here.

The event takes place at the Cotswold Playhouse in Stroud at 7.30 (doors 7.00) on Sunday 5 November. Tickets, priced at £10, go on sale on Friday 13 October from the Playhouse website.

Stroud Short Stories Volume Three 2018-2022 Short Listed for the prestigious Best Anthology Award in the 2023 Saboteur Awards

Our latest anthology was one of just five anthologies Short Listed for the prestigious 2023 Saboteur Award for Best Anthology in the UK published in 2002-23.

SSS Vol 3 was the only anthology of SHORT STORIES in the country to be short listed. The four other nominees were poetry and flash fiction anthologies.