Tuesday, 7 June 2022

It's all kicking off at Stroud Short Stories this autumn...

1. Our TIME-themed event is on Sunday 30 October - Authors/Stories now listed + Ticket info

2. SSS Greatest Hits at Cheltenham Lit Fest 10 Oct

3. New Anthology Vol 3 2018-22 now available

Read on...

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

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 now 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 at our 25th event on Sunday 30 October 2022 at the fabulous Cotswold Playhouse in Stroud, GL5 1LW. This will be the opening event of the 2022 Stroud Book Festival.

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

Many congratulations to these authors. We are delighted and honoured that they submitted their stories to SSS. Commiserations to everyone else - especially if you had a story in the 18-strong Short List.

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.

Interesting that only a couple of events ago, Stroud writers were no longer in the majority at our events. this time eight of the ten here are based in Stroud and district.

I hope you can come along and support these Gloucestershire writers.

TICKETS, priced at £10, will available from the Cotswold Playhouse website from Friday 30 September. It's the first event in this year's Stroud Book Festival.

2. Stroud Short Stories Greatest Hits at Cheltenham LitFest on Monday 10 October 8.30 to 9.45

The event features my favourite seven stories from the 69 stories in the new anthology read by their authors - Robin Booth, Sarah Hitchcock, Jason Jackson, Sally Jenkinson, Emma Kernahan, Geoff Mead and Steve Wheeler. 

The link to the event in the LitFest programme is here. It's event LK04. Tickets, priced at £10, are available NOW from the LitFest websitePlease note that the LitFest charges a one-off £3 booking charge whether you sign up for one event or a hundred!

It's going to be a BRILLIANT evening! Do come along.

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.


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.