Sunday, 19 September 2021

Thank you to everyone who submitted stories for our 7 November event WILD!. Submissions are now closed and judging is underway.


77 stories on the theme of WILD! were submitted by 62 writers. Decisions on the ten stories to be read by their authors on Sunday 7 November will be made by Thursday 7 October and the information posted here.

The event is part of the 2021 Stroud Book Festival.

Tickets for WILD! 
The event takes place at the Cotswold Playhouse, Parliament Street, Stroud, GL1 5LW on Sunday 7 Nov - starts 7.30/doors 7.00. (There is a bar)

After two years on YouTube, I am excited to say that this will be a live event (unless things change rapidly). This live event will not be recorded. Tickets, priced at £9, go on sale on Friday 8 October on the Cotswold Playhouse website. By then you will know the identities of the ten authors who are reading. Our last 14 live events all sold out, so best not to tarry.

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

I hope to see you there.

John

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.

John 

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. 

John 






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








 👈An old man searches for a moment of supreme importance. Diana Humphrey reads That Old Tune











👈Agnes never trusted the river, Sabrina - as temperamental as any goddess. Cheryl Burman reads 
Sabrina Rising





👉The ribald tale of the sexual misadventures of two Cotswolds housewives. David Goodland reads The Dress











👉Strategies for healing amputee starfish. Mhairi Gray reads Forgetting to Heal






👈A 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.

John


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.

John 

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.