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 theatre is raked and all seats offer excellent views. 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.

It will be a really fab evening. 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.


Sunday, 9 May 2021

Here are the stories for our 9 May 2021 10th Birthday Event 'Sharp Stars and Old Magic & Other Stories'

Watch/listen on YouTube via the links below

Grab a cuppa or maybe something stronger, sit back and listen to these ten great stories. All human (and some non-human) life is here. I have put the stories in an order which I thinks works well but, of course, you can pick and choose. Just click on each link.

Huge thanks to my co-judge Chloe Turner, to SSS administrator Christiane Holland, to Dr Steve Goodwin of the Cotswold Playhouse for the videos and, of course, to everyone who submitted a story. 


πŸ‘‰There's more to a mob of rowdy crows than meets the eye. Kate Keogan reads The Blue in the Black of his Wing 

 πŸ‘ˆAn old man searches for a moment of supreme importance. Diana Humphrey reads That Old Tune

πŸ‘ˆAgnes never trusted the river, Sabrina - as temperamental as any goddess. Cheryl Burman reads 
Sabrina Rising

πŸ‘‰The ribald tale of the sexual misadventures of two Cotswolds housewives. David Goodland reads The Dress

πŸ‘‰Strategies for healing amputee starfish. Mhairi Gray reads Forgetting to Heal

πŸ‘ˆA foster carer receives a much-longed-for invitation from the past. Sally Jenkinson reads Sharp Stars and Old Magic

Thursday, 1 April 2021

The Ten Authors and their Stories for our FREE 10th Birthday Event on Sunday 9 May from 7.30pm on YouTube

THE EVENT is free and unticketed and available world-wide on our YouTube Channel, with links from this website, on Sunday 9 May from 7.30pm. 

These the authors and stories for our 10th Birthday Event 'Sharp Stars and Old Magic and Other Stories' on YouTube on Sunday 9 May at 7.30.

90 Gloucs/South Gloucs writers submitted 125 stories - 4 short of our all-time record. We have shared with those writers our Long List of 36 stories and then our 19-strong Short List.

These are the ten which my co-judge Chloe Turner (to whom my heart-felt gratitude) and I selected -

Nimue Brown (Stroud) - He Nearly Checked his Privilege

Cheryl Burman (Blakeney) - Sabrina Rising

David Goodland (Nailsworth) - The Dress

Mhairi Gray (Woodmancote) - Forgetting to Heal

Diana Humphrey (Stroud) - That Old Tune

Jason Jackson (Kingswood) - How You're Gone

Sally Jenkinson (Cinderford) - Sharp Stars and Old Magic

Kate Keogan (Gloucester) - The Blue in the Black of his Wing

Nastasya Parker (Dursley) - The Flat Earth Society

Sean W. Quigley (Gloucester) - The Rubbish Collector

Huge congratulations to these authors for creating such brilliantly imagined and magically written stories which will provide wonderful readings for our 10th Birthday event. Within the ten are an extraordinary range of writing styles and story lines, everything from the challenge of being a foster parent to reaching the edge of the flat world and strategies for healing amputee starfish. FABULOUS!

There are five newcomers to SSS, so I am delighted to welcome Cheryl Burman, David Goodland, Mhairi Gray, Sally Jenkinson and Sean Quigley who will be the 115th, 116th, 117th, 118th and 119th authors to read at an SSS event.

A special mention for Diana Humphrey who last read at SSS in October 2010. Welcome back, Diana, as well of course as old friends Jason, Kate, Nastasya and Nimue.

I note too that this is the first time in our 21 event history that Stroud area writers have not been in the majority.

See you on Sunday 9 May! Be there or be rectangular.


Sunday, 21 March 2021

Thank you to everyone who submitted stories for our 9 May event celebrating our 10th Anniversary

Thank you to all the local writers who have sent us their stories for consideration for our 10th birthday event to be broadcast on YouTube on Sunday 9 May. Submissions are now closed.

90 local authors sent us 125 stories which is just 4 stories away from our all-time record!

A list of the ten stories selected and their authors will be posted here by 2 April.


Monday, 4 January 2021

Ten Years Up! Submissions close on Sunday 21 March at 23.59 - one minute to midnight

We are currently open for your submissions for our Sunday 9 May event. We will close at the end of Sunday 21 March ie at 23.59 (one minute to midnight).

To celebrate our tenth birthday (the first SSS event was in June 2011), it's an open theme this time, so write about anything you like in any way you like (so long as it's a short story). You have complete freedom.

As ever it's free to submit and we accept both unpublished and published pieces.

Ten stories by Gloucestershire/South Gloucs authors will be selected. 

For safety's sake, we have now decided that the event will be on the SSS YouTube Channel, like November's event, and will be broadcast on Sunday 9 May at 7.30 pm. It will be free, accessible to everyone globally and unticketed.

We will choose a safe and mutually convenient time for each selected author to be individually videoed at the Cotswold Playhouse in Stroud.

My co-judge will be the brilliant 2020 Saboteur Award winner Chloe Turner. More about the judges here.

All ten stories selected will be published in our next anthology.

IMPORTANT - The Rules and How to Submit are here.

I've also just added a new Writing Tips section to this website.

Our last 14 live events all sold out. And the YouTube videos of the online November 2020 event 'Disruption' have received a total of around 1,700 views to date.

After this terrible year we really are desperate to read some great stories. It's down to you now.

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Stroud Short Stories 20th Event 'DISRUPTION' - part of the 2020 Stroud Book Festival held on 8 Nov 2020

YouTube links here 

Grab a cup of tea or something stronger and click on the links to see the authors read their stories. I have placed the stories in an order which I think works well, but you can, of course, pick and choose as you wish.

This event is dedicated to the late Rick Vick - author, creative writing tutor, events organiser and SSS alumnus.

Many thanks to Dr Steve Goodwin of the Cotswold Playhouse/Amberley Music Makers for the videos; to Ali Bacon, my co-judge on this occasion; and to Stroud Book Festival for their support.

πŸ‘ˆ Stroud Short Stories Organiser John Holland introduces the event

πŸ‘‰ He followed her up the footpath and across the meadow as though retracing her route would somehow bring her back -
Steve Wheeler reads Puffballs

πŸ‘ˆ A crack has split the town in two and even the dogs are afraid to cross it - Robin Booth reads Two Towns

πŸ‘‰ Feel the tension when three siblings come together at their mother's hospital bed - Claire Harrison reads Peace Lily

πŸ‘ˆ What happens when the Big Man says he is very, very sorry - Mark Rutterford reads Correcting an Error

πŸ‘‰ An elegy for lost love and an exploration of what can happen when you live alone - Geoff Mead reads White Christmas

πŸ‘ˆ A minor accident makes a teenage boy face up to his grandfather -
Hannah Glickstein reads Roadkill

πŸ‘‰ How long will a man lie i the earth ere he rot? Simon Piney reads Waking the Dead

πŸ‘ˆ Is there a line that you wouldn't cross?
Sharon Webster reads Jumping the Queue

πŸ‘‰ Isolated during a pandemic, Frank begins to suspect a connection between the virus and the climate change protesters camped outside his home - Stephen Connolly reads The Corvidae Diary

πŸ‘ˆ Death comes to Derbyshire’s fourth largest tourist attraction - Emma Kernahan reads A Brief History of Lady Charlotte, Duchess of Beaumont

If you enjoyed the stories, or just want to support SSS, why not buy the book? Six of tonight's authors have stories in the SSS Anthology 2015-18. In all there are 57 stories by 45 Gloucestershire authors. More info and links to buy here.