Thursday, 16 February 2023

Our next event will take place on Sunday 5 November 2023 at the Cotswold Playhouse

Love/Relationships/Obsessions are the themes and we open for your submissions at the start of September

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 We accept both published and unpublished work. 

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

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

Also, check out my tips for writing for SSS here.


Thursday, 3 November 2022

Our New Anthology Vol Three 2018-22 + Videos of our seven Greatest Hits stories at Cheltenham Literature Festival

You can buy the new anthology in local shops or order it online for postal delivery from the same outlets. They are Made-in-Stroud in Kendrick Street, Stroud and the Yellow-lighted Bookshop in Nailsworth. 

It contains 69 stories by 48 Gloucestershire authors in 316 pages and sells for £12. 

More information about the anthology is here.

On 10 October we celebrated our ten year anniversary and our new anthology with a special Stroud Short Stories event at Cheltenham Literature Festival by presenting my seven favourite stories from the 69 in the new anthology Stroud Short Stories Volume Three 2018-2022.

If you pop over to the SSS YouTube page you can see the videos of all seven stories being read by their authors - Geoff Mead, Sally Jenkinson, Robin Booth, Emma Kernahan, Steve Wheeler, Jason Jackson and Sarah Hitchcock.

Simply unmissable. Please watch here.


Tuesday, 1 November 2022

Time Event 30 October 2022

Thank you to everyone who came along to our Time-themed event on Sunday 30 October at the 150-seater Cotswold Playhouse. 

The event was a sell-out with a fabulous audience showing their full appreciation of the ten wonderful stories read by their authors. 

This was our 25th event and the opening event of the 2022 Stroud Book Festival.

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

Huge thanks for the images to Angela Fitch.

Robin Booth who read Shelf Life

Hannah Glickstein who read And is it too late now to learn Hebrew?

Nimue Brown who read Swallowed by Time

Mhairi Gray who read Silk Bomb

Archie Woolls who read The Basement

Nick Adams who read No-time

Val Ockwell who read The Arrangement

Philip Douch who read That Question

Simon Piney who read Birthday Present

Sarah Hancock who read The Globe

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

It's a busy time at Stroud Short Stories this autumn...see below

1. Our TIME-themed event is on Sunday 30 October - THIS EVENT HAS SOLD OUT
2. Images from SSS Greatest Hits at Cheltenham Literature Festival
3. New Anthology Vol 3 2018-22 now available
Read on...

1. Our Sunday 30 October event is on the theme of Time


TICKETS, priced at £10, are no longer available from the Cotswold Playhouse website for 
our 25th event on Sunday 30 October 2022 at the fabulous Cotswold Playhouse in Stroud, GL5 1LW. Starts at 7.30; Doors 7.00. There will be an interval and a bar.

It's the first event in this year's Stroud Book Festival.

Thank you to everyone who submitted stories for our Time-themed event. We received 84 stories from 66 Glos and South Glos writers.

Ten stories have been selected by my co-judge Chloe Turner (to whom enormous thanks) and me through our 'blind' judging process and will be read by their authors. 

Here are the ten writers who will read their work -

Nick Adams - No-Time

Robin Booth - Shelf Life

Nimue Brown - Swallowed by Time

Philip Douch - That Question

Hannah Glickstein - And is it too late now to learn Hebrew?

Mhairi Gray - Silk Bomb

Sarah Hitchcock - The Globe

Val Ockwell - The Arrangement

Simon Piney - Birthday Present

Archie Woolls - The Basement

For the Time event we welcome two newcomers, Val Ockwell and Archie Woolls, who will be the 126th and 127th writers to read at an SSS event since its inception in 2011. Well done and huge congrats, Val and Archie.

For our 25th event, it's also great to welcome back the other eight, all of whom have read at SSS before.

This event will not be recorded. I hope you can come along and support all these brilliant writers.

We will be selling copies of our new anthology at this event.

2. Images from Stroud Short Stories Greatest Hits at Cheltenham Literature Festival on Monday 10 October

It was a great honour for SSS to be at Cheltenham Literature Festival. The event featured my favourite seven stories from the 69 stories in the new anthology read by their authors. 

These images of the authors are in the order in which they read. Huge thanks to Pamela Harridine for the images.

Geoff Mead who read Raku

Sally Jenkinson who read Sharp Stars and Old Magic 

Robin Booth who read Two Towns

Emma Kernahan who read A Brief History of Lady Charlotte, Duchess of Beaumont

Steve Wheeler who read Puffballs

Jason Jackson who read Fat Man in Neon


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

3. We've launched our new anthology Stroud Short Stories Volume Three 2018-2022 

The brand new anthology covers the seven SSS events from Nov 2018 to May 2022, that's 69 stories by 48 Gloucestershire writers. At a whopping 316 pages, it retails at £12.

The anthology is available locally from Made-in-Stroud in Kendrick, Street, Stroud and from the Yellow-Lighted Bookshop in Nailsworth as well as from Amazon.

More information is here.


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.