A Fresh Start – Michele Dunn
1600 words Romance
It’s never too late to change the direction of your life. David wasn’t happy with his job, his love life, or his living situation and that’s exactly what he decided to do. The results were certainly life changing.
Everything in my life had become a merry-go-round of nothingness. No girlfriend, no car, no home. Living with my mum once again at the age of twenty-nine was not how I pictured my life. The only thing that saved me from total depression was my degree in Architecture. It was the one thing that allowed me to keep following my dreams despite all the setbacks that have plagued me for the last three years, leading me to this point. I hated my job. Yes, I was working in my chosen field, but I was under-utilised and had no control over any project that I worked on. I was merely a pencil-pusher, drawing the visions of somebody else’s design.
A Kinship of Cats – Dorothy Williams
3000 words General Fiction / Animal Story
A Kinship with Cats lightens the difficult lives of two old war veterans as they strive to maintain their independence together as fire, flood and disability diminish their ability to live off their land. They pity a mysterious giant feral cat starved of prey by the fires, that steals from their barbecue, until a reporter reveals its identity.
Only the passing of the marmalade tabby draws his attention. He sits alone and silent all day on the veranda of the Alamein Home. But then, old George never did talk much . . . He sat on the steps with Vern, gazing across the firebreak. They sniffed the wind and the faint drift of smoke from the ranges, sensing the weather — a wind change, maybe rain on the way. Only once had fire come towards them from the mountains to the east. The rain came just in time that year. Every summer still, just in case, they ploughed a firebreak through the regenerating bush that reached across the narrow flat towards the little shack.
A Very Heavy Tray – Dorothy Williams
1770 words General / Women’s Fiction
A Very Heavy Tray helps to bring a grandmother into a new relationship with a good friend. His unaccountable arrival to find her house in embarrassing disarray has them both puzzled, yet they draw closer as he helps her clean, until the arrival home of her youngest son solves their mutual puzzlement and puts forward a new future.
He could not have arrived at a worse time. The painters had just departed, leaving behind them the strong smell of Bone Ivory, the furniture shoved into awkward places, and a clutter of unwashed coffee mugs. All day the phone had been ringing from behind the wall units; unwelcome salesmen bad been turned away from the far end of a hallway booby trapped with stools and coffee tables; and grandchildren had rushed in with cries of glee to be swept out with wails of disappointment.
Burnt Down – Rosemary Johnson
1000 words General Fiction
The café, where Susan was eating pink ice cream just a fortnight ago, is now a dense blackened shell, the roof caving in around a jagged charred hole. After glimpsing It once, she can’t bear to look again but It follows into her own bedroom. There’re no such things as ghosts… are there?
I can’t look. A little dog is chasing two boys in grey school shorts, barking sharp yaps of excitement. As if It’s not there, not casting its shadow over the very grass where they’re playing. Beyond I can hear squeals, shouts and splashing from the outdoor pool. Under my arm is my elasticated bathing costume, rolled up in my towel. All week, I’ve begged to come here, even though it’s only May and still a bit cold. Its blackness looms over us like a bully’s fist. I turn my back on It. In fact, I don’t look again all afternoon.
Flight of the Sea Eagle – Dorothy Williams
3200 words General Fantasy
Does the Flight of the Sea Eagle bring a blessing or a curse to a prehistoric couple fatally banished by their isolated tribe after failing to prove themselves strong at initiation? Steadily starving, locked between sea and the mountain Barrier, Moonambel leaves to end it. Sonniel, left alone, sees something fall from the Barrier, before he is led to discover what lies beyond.
It was early dawn when they set out. Frost crackled under the shoes the cobbler had stitched for them in the clear light of their mother – the Moon – full and pregnant, burnished by star shine on the night of the equinox. The eastern sky glowed faintly salmon, the day promising to be bright and fair. As they strode along the cliff top way the first rays of the sun reached out to them across the water, blessing them with a golden promise. They turned to it, hands raised in gratitude, and watched the glittering pathway widen towards them. ‘Our Father blesses us,’ whispered Moonambel, awestruck.
From Story Idea to Reader – Patsy Collins & Rosemary J. Kind
From Story Idea to Reader is an easily accessible guide to writing fiction. Whether you are brushing up on your writing skills or starting out, this book will take you through the whole process from inspiration to conclusion. No matter if you are looking to submit your work for publication, enter a competition, or want to self-publish, this practical guide will help you every step of the way.
Between them, Patsy Collins and Rosemary Kind have sold hundreds of short stories, written sixteen published books and produced numerous articles for Writing Magazine and similar publications. They’ve both judged writing competitions and run workshops, and Rosemary has read and edited thousands of short stories and published dozens of books for other writers.
With the information, help and encouragement in this book, you too could see your work in print.
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High Noon – Melodie Corrigall
1500 words General / Literary Fiction
A woman’s decision to ignore a phone call so that she and her husband can have a second honeymoon, results in an unexpected confrontation.
Before her husband’s outburst, Jessica had considered confessing about the missed call. She prided herself on her honesty whatever the damage. The only subject she scuttled around—a perilous country of landmines—was Will’s father, the cause of the outburst. If Will knew what she’d done, he’d neither understand nor forgive her. As it was, he was crumpled over the kitchen table, sobbing like a broken accordion. Whatever the outcome, her decision was justified; relaying the message would have achieved nothing. Will, forever hopeful, would have ended stranded by his father’s bedside, clutching for words, desperate for any indication of affection. Worse still, it would have cost them their longed for vacation; the chance to save their marriage.
Plum Tree – Dorothy Williams
3000 words General Fiction
The Plum Tree watches over a family as three babies are born, and grow into teenagers. Jane’s children are her life, the fruit of her existence. Yet all the family are individuals seeking to shape their own lives. Crops are produced at a cost and the fruit does not always fall close to the tree.
Through the rain gusting onto the glass she stared at the last leaves dropping soggily from the plum tree. Just harmless drops of water, but with a wind from the south pole driving them, each tiny raindrop amputated yet another leaf. Wayne had planted the tree the day Timothy was born. His mother thought it too impersonal a gift, but Jane had loved it, and laughed with the proud new grandma over a nappy bucket with lid that was his response to her reproaches. Men really had no idea, but he was so sweet!
Ready for This – Michele Dunn
5600 words Romance
How long should it take for a broken heart to mend? How soon is too soon to allow yourself to have fun again? And what if, along the way, you wonder if you were ever truly in love? This is the dilemma that Casie must face when she meets Aaron. Is she Ready for this?
CHAPTER 1 Ultimately, it boils down to this. My life is a mess. No longer engaged to ‘the man of my dreams’, I now find myself sitting in my pjs watching some lame movie while eating a tub of ice-cream. On a Saturday night! I have no idea how I got here. Things were seemingly perfect until last Monday, when Josh and I had our usual dinner at the club. He was nervous, the reason is obvious now, and he didn’t even wait until we’d ordered to blurt out that he couldn’t go through with the wedding. ‘It’s not you,’ he’d said. He ‘just needed to figure out some stuff’.
The Chatterbox and the Treasure Chest – Mark Scott
Children 7 – 9 Fairystory 1400 words
Barnaby’s wife, Lolly, is a chatterbox who likes to exaggerate. He discovers a chest full of gold coins, and tells Lolly not to blab because the greedy king will take the coins if he finds out about them. Lolly blabs. The king finds out. How does Barnaby stop the king from stealing the coins? How does Lolly stop blabbing?
ONCE UPON A TIME many years ago a woodchopper named Barnaby and his wife, Lolly, lived in a little cottage deep in the forest. Barnaby and Lolly were happy as can be, except for one thing. Lolly was a wonderful person, but she was also a blabbermouth and chatterbox. She couldn’t help it, no matter how hard she tried. She just loved to blabber, blabber, blabber, chatter, chatter, chatter. It was easy as pie to pry any secret from the little chatterbox. When Lolly and Barnaby met Betsey the baker, the lady who made such delicious sweet rolls and doughnuts, Lolly told her, “Barnaby thinks you’re getting fat. You’ve been eating entirely too many sweet rolls. He says you need to go on a diet.”
The Delivery – Allison Symes
1400 words Fantasy / Horror
A former favoured servant of the Dark Lord is forced to face up to the consequences of arguing with his master.
I knew the third letter was coming. I was warned. It is difficult to ignore anonymous letters especially when in the last week I’d already received two and I knew the third would be the most significant. There are certain rules here everyone knows from age 5 up. It is possible to ignore said letters but difficult. They linger in the mind especially with the language used. Oh it wasn’t foul (unlike the writer) but let’s just say the letters are not designed to put the mind at rest or to encourage any thoughts of continuing to have a happy and healthy life.
The Time of Our Lives – Frank Staniforth
1800 words Science Fiction
Time-traveller Alison thinks she has ruined her life, until she is shown a glimpse of her own future.
I stared around Sarah’s Snacks, stirring my tea pensively. It was obvious that the wise timeship Juliet should have brought me here again when I had ordered it simply and desperately to take me away. I’d visited this cafe on several occasions before, attracted back by its peaceful atmosphere and friendly staff, but never on the same day. No big deal for me to meet another self, yet disturbing to the people around me and so to the timeline. That would never do, however hopeless I felt personally. “Are you all right, Alison?” a woman’s voice asked. It was one of the counter girls.
The Ugly Alien – Pat Boulton
8400 words Children 6 – 10
Connor had been grounded for having a poor report from school. He was wishing he was out riding his bike with all his friends.
He heard a scratching noise on his bedroom window, he felt scared when it did not stop, so he gently pulled back his curtains, and staring at him through his window, was the ugliest creature he had ever seen.
He opened his window to shoo the creature away, but, the creature jumped straight in and onto Connors bed.
Thus began a strong bond between them, which was to land Connor in a load of trouble.
Chapter 1 A Scary Meeting Connor was having a big sulk, and no mistake, because his friends were all out on their bikes. The mountain bike craze had taken off on the estate. They would now be speeding down the slope to the park, racing and jumping their bikes as far off the ground as possible. Skidding to a stop and turning the bikes completely around, tyres and brakes screeching. Connor’s parents had grounded him for a week, for not doing his homework. The head teacher had summoned them to the school to discuss Connor’s lack of interest in his schoolwork. Of course, they had never had this trouble with Isobel his big sister. She was their pet, and a swot at that, she never did anything wrong.
To Whom it May Concern – Jon Elliott
1000 words Science Fiction
Chemox Swax hurried his way to MindTop University. Today was the day he would reveal the most stunning scientific discovery of his generation. Unfortunately, one crucial piece of information still eluded him.
With long practiced stealth, Chemox Swax slithered his way towards the Great Hall of Science. He needed speed and not the slow pulsing rhythm of walking upright on ‘hind foots’. When he reached the back door, he stood up, brushed himself off and retrieved a Pul-Flug suit from his tie-on back sack. With suit on, he approached the door and flashed facial gestures at the lock panel. The door slid open and he hind footed his way down the corridor to the Presentation Hall.