‘Default Settings’ at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2016 #Storyshop

Broadcast live from the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2016 on Friday 19th August as part of the Unesco City of Literature #Storyshop series. Watch the replay online & remember to check out the readings from the other storyshoppers while you're at it.

Intervening Fictions: social workers wanted for feedback!

I'm looking for social workers to read three short stories inspired by the differences social workers make, and then to email me some feedback on them. Please pass this on to anyone you know who may be interested or have social work connections! Download the pamphlet as a PDF: Intervening fictions story pamphlet I also have a … Continue reading Intervening Fictions: social workers wanted for feedback!

Intermission #shortstory

Lying in a tangle of sheets, I watch a spider cross the ceiling while Jacob struggles unsuccessfully to open the window.  ‘I’m afraid I’ve broken off some of the paintwork,’ He holds up the thin white slivers, and lets them fall from his hands onto the wide windowsill of the triangular alcove. ‘Leave that.  Come … Continue reading Intermission #shortstory

My Quota of Joy (short story)

The highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of true and solid happiness –  John Locke One morning at the end of February I look up at the colossal wooden frame mounted above the fireplace and I can see I’ve already used up my Quota Of Joy for the rest … Continue reading My Quota of Joy (short story)

Breakfast (short story)

Hanging on the wall in the hallway of my parents’ house is a portrait of my great grandparents on their engagement day.  It’s one of those typical, non-smiling sepia photographs.  He has a massive moustache and her hair is scraped back off her face so hard it must have been painful. They’re both facing slightly … Continue reading Breakfast (short story)

It must be Fête (short story)

Bending over the cash box – pretending to count the float – I inhale the sharp, tin scent of well-handled small change and lick my lips. ‘Jacob? Is that what you’re planning to wear this afternoon? How rustic.’ I straighten my back, sifting coppers through my fingers and forcing a smile. ‘I’ve been prepping the … Continue reading It must be Fête (short story)

Creeping Like Snail (short story)

He watched them running: slipping and grabbing each other’s hands and shoulders in an attempt to break through without breaking rank. The mud plastered their hair wetly against their scalps, making so many shadowed skulls where a moment before had been grim faces. He thought – and didn’t know why, except that with the deafening … Continue reading Creeping Like Snail (short story)

In a nutshell (specifically, issue 4 of @Nutshellmag)

The Christmas decorations were ferocious that year; blazing comets on every rooftop and wreaths of fairylights inside every window. Nobody spoke about it at the meetings but we all knew that dark places were dangerous... Always a joy to receive post. Even better when it's a surprise parcel- contributors copies of the latest issue of … Continue reading In a nutshell (specifically, issue 4 of @Nutshellmag)

Words Cannot Express (short story)

After reading the first line out loud, my mum falls silent.  I dig my nails into the palm of my hands.  She holds the piece of paper away at arms length while she reads and narrows her eyes.  Her reading glasses are in her bag but she always squints, claiming that they tend to smudge … Continue reading Words Cannot Express (short story)