Welcome and thanks for visiting…

“Alex Reece Abbott’s The Call of Blood, about one sister trying to reboot the selective memory of the other, leaves readers with a sense of fragile hope and invite them to begin again.”

Big TY Maryam Madani for her shoutout for my short story, in her review for Totally Dublin.

In fine company in The Broken Spiral (ed @RMClarke_), recently named a UNESCO @DublinCityofLit Read, an anthology of twenty hopeful stories in support of @DublinRCC

You can support the Centre’s vital work by buying your copy here

The Tishman Review is a literary magazine chock-full of the literary goods. I mean, the thing is
stacked with a stunning array of quality writing,” says reviewer Aran Singh over at New Pages, who describes Tillie Olsen finalist, The Road to Leongatha, as “a snapshot of a moment in a family’s life, a coming-of-age story for a young girl, presented in prose so direct and visual that the whole thing feels effortless.” Thanks publishers, reviewers and readers.

Much wooting and a big thanks to Dublin UNESCO City of Literature @DublinCityofLit for naming The Broken Spiral anthology (ed. RM Clarke) as one of their Reads. Lovers of great writing – the anthology of hopeful writing in support of crisis counselling at @DublinRCC includes over 20 authors please visit @BooksUpstairs @DubrayBooks or  Cheers.


Happy 2018 – very pleased
that my story We Will Be Alright
is in the special 1k edition of Flash Frontier –
where my second ever flash was published. Double Happy!
Thanks team Flash Frontier.

Silver Linings – Alex Reece Abbott in Fictive Dream (Photo by Skeeze)

Festive gratings and crumbs! Why have a mince pie when you can feast on my short story, Silver Linings? Fudge brownies and love take a dark turn over at the elegant Fictive Dream. Thanks ed. Laura Black. Enjoy with a hot beverage of your choice.

Laura says: “American writer and teacher, John Gardner’s concept of the fictive dream remains a cornerstone of good writing. Powerful writing ensures that readers never slip out of the fictional world or dream that a writer creates.” So now you know where the name came from. You’re welcome.

Spooky possum! My story, Just Right for Evie, about two wrangling sisters is a finalist in the Field of Words – Haunted – short story competition.
You can read it here

Thank you – my story MacFarquhar’s Bed has been chosen to be performed at Ellon and Inverness as part of the Arts Council England-funded Solstice Shorts Festival 2017: Dusk A Wave of Words Across the UK: Stories, Poems and Songs coming simultaneously to 12 venues across the UK 21st December at Dusk 17:07-18:20.

Not to be confused with Tracey Emin’s bed…MacFarquhar’s Bed is a geological feature on Black Isle, and the stuff of legend.

Sneaky peek? When the Call Comes, my story about the extraordinary, driven, plein air Scottish painter, Joan Eardley, has won the HG Wells Grand Prize. It will be published in Light: the HG Wells Prize Anthology, but you can read my story and the other winning stories here.

I’m proud to be part of The Broken Spiral  anthology (ed. RM Clarke), supported by @DublinCityofLit. My The Call of Blood joins stories of hope from fine company including Mia Gallagher,
Pat McCabe, 
June Caldwell, Colin Barrett, RM Clarke, Alvy Carragher, Roisín O’Donnell, Lisa Harding, Sinéad Gleeson,
Oisín Fagan, James Martyn Joyce, Lillian Alford Patterson,
Louise O’Neill, Claire Hennessy, 
Geraldine Mills, Eoin Dolan Lane, Rosaleen McDonagh, Fiona O’Rourke and Sam Blake.

All proceeds go to support @DublinRCC. Details of how you can grab yours here.

Something to crow about…my story, My Brother Paulie: A Domestic Space Odyssey is runner up with an honourable mention in Pulp Literature’s Raven Short Story Competition. Born at @KitdeWaal’s great Bath Flash Festival workshop – thanks Kit. Judge @brenda_carre says, “this is a very short, tight flash exploring the narrator’s somewhat whimsical, rather dark understanding of her brother’s altered state.” Out soon.

The Wave, 1961 © Estate of Joan Eardley

Big thanks to @HGWellsfestival for shortlisting my short fiction about artist Joan Eardley, When the Call Comes, for the 2017 HG Wells Short Story Competition Grand Prize. Anthology coming out soon…


That feeling when…your work is a finalist in a competition honoring a writer you’ve admired for yonks…the Tillie Olsen Short Story Award. Thank you very much,The Road to Leongatha will be published soon in The TishmanReview.

Without a word of a lie and only a smidgeon of creative licence, Wiser [Truth Serum v2] is out now, edited by Matt Potter at Bequem Publishing. My short fiction, Best Bad Influence, is in fine company with stories from around the world. You can grab a copy here and eBook versions follow soon.

Fictionally delighted – my story, Soiled, is a runner-up in the annual Casket of Fictional Delights Flash Fiction Prize,
judged by Kit de Waal. The winner and runners-up will be published and available for audio download on October 23 2017.
Thank you – and watch this space…

Thrilled, chuffed and stoked in my small, twisted way, to be selected to join a great garden of writers for Bonsai: The Big Book of Small Stories (Canterbury University Press, 2018) – the first anthology of
New Zealand flash fiction, edited by Michelle Elvy, Frankie McMillan and
James Norcliffe. Stand by for pruning!

My review of The Accidental Wife, the award-winning debut short story collection by
Orla McAlinden (aka @OrlaMcAWrites) is up over at The Short Story Review (thanks, Rupert).
The Accidental Wife by [McAlinden, Orla]And, The Accidental Wife is out now on Kindle  too.

My brambling story, Women’s Business, is a finalist in the Field of Words flash competition – you can read it here. Thank you.

That feeling when the picture goes so well with the story :D…thank you Chelsea Laine-Wells aka  @chelsea_l_w and Hypertext magazine – my short fiction New Girl is live now.

Delighted to win the 2017 Crediton Short Story Prize with my story Entanglement
This story carries an eel-warning  – you can read it here.

Many thanks Writing East Midlands and Jacqueline Gabbitas and the hosts on National Writing Day, the very special Bromley House library – my story Pilgrimage is highly commended in the Aurora Short Story Competition, alongside Loving Icarus which was commended. You can read it with other finalists in the anthology Cut the Clouds.

Delighted to join hosts Sophie Haydock and Zoe Gilbert and guests Rowena Macdonald and Tamsin Cottis and more, to read my story By-stander at the Word Factory #54 Not The Election, part of the Citizen: The New Story season. Bring a friend for free and come and hear some timely stories – tickets just £5 here, bring a friend for free  Wed 7 June 2017, 19:00 – 21:00 BST at Embertons Cafe, Waterstones, Piccadilly  W1J 9HD.

Thank you @LiterallyStory my short story, A Little Kismet, about writers, favours, and modern match-making is over at Literally Stories.

Thanks Laurie Garrison founder of The Women Writers School  – really interesting interview about the Sixth International Hysteria Writing Competition, including how the comp got started & more…check out the great pic too ;D.

Feel like some pocket-sized fiction? My new flash fiction On the Verge is in fine company with other 250 word stories in the April [Pocket] edition of Flash Frontier.

There is nothing like a dame, as the song goes, so my new blog as writer-in-residence for @UKHysteria brings you a real dame of literature, and six other acclaimed, award-winning class acts who write and judge short stories. 

Big thanks to our eight stellar short story collaborators this year: Danielle McLaughlin  Alison Moore, Dame Fiona Kidman; Kirsty Logan; Tania Hershman; Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin and  Sinead Gleeson for generously donating their time and over twenty pointers – plus, there’s a great story generator from the Chief Editor at Fish Publishing, Mary-Jane Holmes.

The Sixth International Hysteria Writing Competition is open till 31 August 2017 and includes flash fiction (250 words); short stories (2,000 words) and poetry (20 lines). Thanks everyone for your enthusiasm, great feedback and re-tweets too :D.

A Furious Hope (ed: Zelda Chappel), an anthology featuring poetry and fiction from
fifty-four writers, is available for pre-order. Includes my story about a clootie well, The Orchard of Hopes & Dreams. For the latest, follow @AFuriousHope and

My latest blog as writer-in-residence for @UKHysteria is all about flash fiction, bringing you 18 top tips and a great story generator from award-winning women writers, editors and judges around the world – @kathyfish; @KitdeWaal @NualaNiC; @nodghosh @megpokrass; @authorzoesharp.

In fine company on the inaugural 2017 Bath Novella-in-Flash Award shortlist with 37 Foolish ThingsCongrats and great good luck everyone – and big thanks to the well-organised team at the Bath Flash Fiction Awards.

I’m delighted to become the third Writer in Residence for the
Hysterectomy Association 

This year the Sixth Hysteria International Writing Competition for women offers three categories – flash fiction (250 words), short stories (2,000 words) and
poetry (20 lines). There’s no theme, beyond writing about “things of interest to women.”
Finalists are published in the Hysteria 6 Anthology at the end of this year, ISBN number and all.

Entries open 01 April and end on 31 August. Over the coming months, a dazzling array of women from around the world are joining me, generously sharing their best writing tips and some exercises to help you whip your work into shape for the competition.
And my Ten Tactics for Writers is here.

To stay up to date with the latest Hysteria competition posts and news,
just sign up for the newsletter.

Happy writing – I know the judges are looking forward to reading your work!



Delighted to have three stories in Carry Her Home, the first Bath Flash Fiction anthology, edited by Jude Higgins and Ad Hoc Fiction. Nocturnal, about a night out, for the late, great Arthur Tauhore (07/10/1958 – 28/11/1993); Ten Bucks Used To Buy You A Lot, about Mary Doyle Keefe, the woman behind Rosie the Riveter, and Rules – for all the motel cleaners out there.

In excellent company, there’s stories from one hundred and twenty four other authors across eleven countries too. Robert Vaughan says the anthology offers “unique landscapes, with unusual words, startling sentence fragments and odd characters…remarkably crafted stories…truly international with heartfelt prose, playful poetics and taking literary risks.”
You can order yours here

My review of Alice Kaltman’s darkly funny debut short story collection about post-crash America, Staggerwing, is out now, over at The Short Story .

My noirish story about predators, The Girl in the Kiss, is out over at Spelk Fiction.
Thanks, Gary Duncan.

Two new stories in the latest issue of Halo Literary Magazine, themed Embers . Scratching the Matchbox, which takes its title from a phrase Virginia Woolf used in her diary about getting a conversation going which “brings together simple, everyday associations in a gently poignant story.” Free to Roam is dedicated to Portadown author, Orla McAlinden. Set against a backdrop of segregation, the story “captures perfectly the sharp bite of teenage insecurity and competitiveness.” You can pre-order Halo here. Thanks Lorrie and team, and Ruth Thorp for fine cover art.

Tis the season…Double trouble – two stories in
Noble Gas Quarterly, Issue 203.4 – “And, the body snatchers are only doing their job” – Perishable and The Court Jester. Thanks NGQ and Sara Iacovelli!

Festive gratings – my story Magic is out now, over at Issue Six of The Nottingham Review
with a bunch of talented writers. You can read it online, download it or read it on Issuu – if you enjoy this issuu, your donation is welcome. Thanks Spencer!


An award-winning writer, I work across genre and form. I’m currently completing an historical literary fiction novel. I’ve lived in both hemispheres and worked around the world in all kinds of weird and wonderful jobs – mostly to do with stories in one way or another. My stories regularly appear in assorted journals and anthologies around the world. and shortlist for prizes.

Outside of a dog is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” Groucho Marx