Author Archives: Editor

Finding a Way : Diane Simmons

In Finding a Way, Diane Simmons chronicles a family navigating loss. Told from various perspectives, this series of connected flashes finds words where so many cannot. The often indescribable is distilled in a way that is fresh and full of deep emotional understanding. This debut collection is both delicate and impactful, and the stories within are among the rare that will move any reader.
—Santino Prinzi, author of There’s Something Macrocosmic About All of This

Poignant, joyful, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting. It touched my heart.
—Sarah Hilary

What gives the book its power is the writer’s commitment to the everyday. Without a hint of melodrama, Diane Simmons shows how ordinary life is altered, and made strange, by the death of a loved one. I was moved beyond words by this fine, modest, under-stated and perceptive book.
—David Swann, author of The Privilege of Rain

A brilliantly specific exploration of grief, rich in emotional detail.
—Meg Pokrass, author of Alligators At Night

I absolutely loved this collection and cared deeply for the characters and their journeys. It made me smile. It made me cry. It made me feel a lot of things. I am sure this accomplished, intelligent, absorbing read will resonate with a wide readership.
—Emily Devane

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-57-5; 196mm x 134mm; 120pp

£9.99 GBP
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Things Left and Found by the Side of the Road : Bath Flash Fiction Volume Three

133 short short fictions selected from the winners, short listed, and long listed authors from the three rounds of the 2018 international Bath Flash Fiction Awards. All 300 words and under, these stories are by writers representing over twenty different countries. Experimental fictions exploring many different themes and subjects which show the variety possible in his exciting and continually developing genre.

“Writers flowed but did not meander. I went to places I haven’t been before, and I was shown ordinary objects in a different light, heard language used in a new way, smelled new smells, felt new feelings.”
Tara L. Masih, novelist, short story writer, editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction, author of My Real Name Is Hanna

“A fascinating dip into the psyche of creative writers at this point in time… lots of examples of great writing here, by great writers.”
David Gaffney, novelist and short story writer. Author of More Sawn-Off Tales, All The Places I’ve Ever Lived, The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head

“The standard was high… powerful writing and interesting themes… a feeling that many writers were working hard and pulling from deep resources.”
Nuala O’Connor, novelist, poet and short story writer. Author of Joy Ride to Jupiter, Miss Emily and Becoming Belle

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-63-6; 196mm x 134mm; 168pp

£9.99 GBP
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Flash Fiction Festival Two

Sixty micro fictions written by participants and presenters inspired by the second UK Flash Fiction Festival held in Bristol, July 2018. The stories here, by writers from several different countries, touch on world politics, relationships in all their forms, fantasy and historical themes. Short-short fictions that surprise and linger long.

“The Flash Fiction Festival 2018 was a wonderfully inclusive, supportive weekend for flash writers at all levels. Its workshops were well varied and inspirational, while the readings gave so much pleasure with the quality and range of the work. Not to be missed next year!”
—Carrie Etter, poet, flash fiction writer and Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

“The Flash Fiction Festival 2018, under the direction of Jude Higgins, is itself a collaborative work of art. It was a deep pleasure to be part of a world where everyone was open, engaged in each other’s writing, and made more adventurous by proximity to this community. We talked, we ate, we drank, we wrote. Then we wrote about what had just happened.”
—Laurie Stone, writer, critic and teacher.

“A great weekend. A lot of serious work done, but also a lot of fun. If you write, or want to write flash, book for next year as soon as booking opens!”
—Jenny Woodhouse, writer, U3A Group Leader.

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-59-9; 196mm x 134mm; 126pp

£9.99 GBP
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The Bath Short Story Award Anthology 2018

The devastating consequences of a wild fire in ‘the bush’. An unreliable narrator who may have been wrongly accused of a crime. The skewed logic of a child in the aftermath of tragedy. Just some of the powerful winning and shortlisted stories that are included in this sixth anthology from Bath Short Story Award.

‘I was taken from the UK to Australia with detours to the Middle East, Japan and North America. And I was plunged into the lives of different characters dealing with a variety of emotions – grief, disappointment, anger and guilt. The writing is of a high standard throughout ans every one of these stories has things to commend them.’
—Euan Thorneycroft, Senior Literary Agent, A M Heath

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-55-1; 196mm x 134mm; 186pp

£9.99 GBP
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Alligators at Night : Meg Pokrass

A collection of 72 very short stories from Meg Pokrass, author of Bird Envy, Damn Sure Right, The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down and Here, Where We Live.

The nuanced tonal complexity, which can go from the whimsical to a darker irony in the turn of a phrase, has been a signature feature of the work of Meg Pokrass. That complexity is, in her new collection, Alligators at Night, heightened further by the fertile invention and unpredictable interplay of these beautifully crafted pieces.
— Stuart Dybek, author of Ecstatic Cahoots

Meg Pokrass is my favourite flash fiction writer at the moment. These stories work like stories within stories, the tiny cogs in the wheels of a bigger story machine but which, like fractal patterning, retain the shape of the whole story in perfect miniature form.
— David Gaffney, author of Sawn Off Tales

These small fictions are elegantly wrought, diamond-hard, and supremely satisfying.
— Robert Scotellaro, author of What We Know So Far and Bad Motel

If you ever hear someone say they don’t get flash fiction or ask what impact can you possibly make with prose in such few words? – tell them to read Meg Pokrass.
— Paul McVeigh, author of The Good Son

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-65-0; 196mm x 134mm; 128pp

£9.99 GBP
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In the Debris Field : Three Novellas-In-Flash

A collection of three flash fiction novellas from the second Bath Flash Fiction Award which demonstrate the range and scope of this exciting and innovative genre.

In the Debris Field by Luke Whisnant… chronicles the unconventional experiences of a male protagonist from childhood through middle-age. It is a breathtakingly imaginative study of the strangest ways family members will accidentally scar one another. Readers will relax and enjoy the ride, because they’re in the hands of a flash fiction master.

A Slow Boat To Finland by Victoria Melekian… in which we are not sure how a bereaved mother will recover after losing her toddler daughter in a car accident. Especially when the little girl’s heart saves another child. The strong and convincing writing will pull you right into this story and make you want to know what happens next.

Latter Day Saints by Jack Remiel Cottrell… is a highly inventive quest story. A young man tries to find answers about life and whether it is worth living, from his visits to ‘saints’. Flawed characters, the saints include a labourer, a celebrity, a taxi driver, a city business woman, a second-hand dealer, and an old and frail man. They sometimes help him, and often make him question more.”
—Meg Pokrass, writer, poet, editor, tutor. Author of Bird Envy, Damn Sure Right, The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down and Here, Where We Live.

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-61-2; 196mm x 134mm; 112pp

£9.99 GBP
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The Lobsters Run Free : Bath Flash Fiction Volume Two

One hundred and thirty-five flash fiction stories from world-wide authors selected from the long lists of the three Bath Flash Fiction Awards in 2017. These dazzling fictions, all 300 words or under, give us fresh insights into world wide concerns – from relationship issues and domestic situations tender or fraught, to war torn landscapes and the plight of the dispossessed. So much is compressed into so few words. So much will linger after reading.

“The stories were of a very high standard…I’m so impressed with how organized and efficient all of the Bath contests appear to be. The production of a beautiful anthology from the contest long list is also very impressive…”
—Kathy Fish, author of Together We Can Bury It and co-author of RIFT.

“I could not believe how many powerful stories I read in the long list of fifty stories. It was very difficult to select the short list of twenty and then to choose the winners.”
—Meg Pokrass, author of Bird Envy, Damn Sure Right and The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down.

“Every single flash I received possessed qualities I admired and envied…I marvelled at the form’s ability to permit such a range of approaches – from slices-of-life to epic narration to poetic experiments and beyond…”
—David Swann, author of Stronger, Faster, Shorter and The Privilege of Rain.

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-69-8; 196mm x 134mm; 160pp

£9.99 GBP
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Flash Fiction Festival One

Seventy-four micro-fictions written by presenters and participants at the first ever literary festival entirely dedicated to flash fiction, held in Bath, June 2017. These short-short stories, 250 words or under, show the wide variety of styles possible in this emerging genre.

Most of the UK’s top flash fiction writers and teachers offered workshops and talks and readings at the Flash Fiction Festival: David Gaffney, Tania Hershman, Calum Kerr, David Swann, Vanessa Gebbie, Kit de Waal, Paul McVeigh, Peter Blair, Ashley Chantler, KM Elkes, Meg Pokrass, Jude Higgins, Christopher Fielden and Michael Loveday. Plus distinguished international guest and leading exponent of the form, Pamela Painter, from the United States.

“It was a wonderful assembly of authors and editors and ‘students’ – though the students already seemed like authors.”
—Pamela Painter

“You managed to create a relaxed yet focussed ambiance so that participants could let anxieties fall away, have fun writing and immersing themselves in craft and other skills, soaking up all the varied and sparkling influences that abounded.”
—Vanessa Gebbie

“…I had previously come across the genre, viewing it more or less exclusively as something light and whimsical but I had completely under estimated its potential and the discipline involved. It was these latter two aspects that intrigued me…”
—Patricia Wallace

“…comments and insights from the workshops showed me how the embryonic idea I started with could be developed and given depth.”
—Mary Bevan

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-67-4; 196mm x 134mm; 112pp

£9.99 GBP
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How to Make a Window Snake : Three Novellas-In-Flash

Three winning flash fiction novellas from the 2017 Bath Novella-in-Flash Award demonstrate the scope and range of this increasingly popular genre.

How to Make a Window Snake by Charmaine Wilkerson… creates a brilliant picture window through which we see a loving but deeply wounded family trying to survive more tragedy.

A Safer Way to Fall by Joanna Campbell… stakes are high and violence becomes a reliable companion. One realises that there simply is no safe way to fall.

Things I Dream About When I’m Not Sleeping by Ingrid Jendrzejewski… beautifully detailed portraits, thrusts us into a world of emotional limbo, watching the asymmetry of a couple grappling with mismatched wishes and obsessions.”
—Meg Pokrass, writer, poet, editor, tutor. Author of Bird Envy, Damn Sure Right, The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down and Here, Where We Live.

Paperback, ISBN 978-1-912095-71-1, 196mm x 134mm; 128pp

£9.99 GBP
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To Carry Her Home : Bath Flash Fiction Volume One

One hundred and forty-five very short stories, by authors from eleven different countries, that tell of life in today’s world. From perilous journeys and strange encounters to tales of love of loss, the stories challenge, linger after reading and evoke the full range of emotions. So much is covered in these page long pieces.

“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”
—Robert Vaughan, writer, poet and editor, author of Addicts & Basements and co-author of RIFT.

Paperback, ISBN 978-1-912095-00-1, 196mm x 134mm; 160pp

£9.99 GBP
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A Mad Max World

Remember when those government ads had Sid Seagull dancing to get us to slip into long sleeves, slop on the sunscreen and slap on a hat to protect us from the sun, protect us from skin cancer? That was when we went outside. We don´t do that anymore. The sun now is shrouded in a veil of grey, a membrane stretching to a horizon licked by flames that swallow both eucalypt and rain forest, belching the stench of burnt Koala fur and paw pads, foreseeing a Mad Max world fallen prey to the vagaries of this sunburnt land. Inside, the tv goes blank and the fridge stops humming. There are no government ads anymore.
Sylvia Petter

Don't Look Back

This isn’t the first time I’ve stood in a ditch, stick in hand, poking a dead body. But it’s never been a human one before. “How did he get there?” my sister whispers, unable to suppress a hint of excitement. “Haven’t the foggiest” I reply truthfully, as I liberate him of his velvet jacket and slip it on over my tattered hoody. We go back to walking in silence, each step taking us further from home. Steady rain sets in. “Poor fella’s gonna get soaked” my sister bemoans. I turn to her, a glint in my eye. “He needs a good wash.” She frowns, but doesn’t say anything. We keep moving, leaving behind our home, our past, our pain. Crimson specks drip off my new jacket and stain the route along which we’ll never return.
Daniel Clark


Let us discuss the fly who drifted into the work fridge and landed on her leftovers – the Christmas Lunch sandwich with the “herby pork stuffing” – and vomited a mixture of spit and stomach acid right there. Let us think about her biting and swallowing the sandwich and – around 72 hours later – vomiting her own mixture of spit and stomach acid right there, near the work fridge. Let’s see her going home and next morning texting her boss: “Apologies – I’m sick” again and her boss texting back “Hope you feel OK soon” again. Let’s imagine her lying there, sick, as she starts to think and decides, firmly, that she will quit that boring job with the nice boss. Let us think about the fly, the same fly, gliding into her flat and resting on her pillow. Let us discuss what a difference it made. How small and huge that was.
Henry Barnes

Lunch At Luigi's

At home she is meticulous. She retreats into the alignment of cutlery. The squaring of corners. Clean follows dirty as day follows night. Whatever they do in the bedroom thrums to a fast-forward image of fresh sheets. At work there are crumb armies in her keyboard. Collaged notes, tissue tails, and sweet wrappers. Mugs with strange countries tea-stained inside. Liquorice twists of connectors and cables. When her husband of 15 years says, 'I hope you behaved today', he means, 'Did you stay in your shell? Did you make yourself microscopic?' And she says, 'Yes.' Because this is mostly true. But lately, she’s been counting backwards from death. Being the first voice in the room at meetings. And today, Karen, from the desk opposite, casually said, "You coming, then?" Lunch at Luigi’s. Spectacular and plain. When he asks, she crinkles the café’s printed napkin, messy and safe in her pocket.
Linda Grierson-Irish

Time Will Say Nothing But I Told You So

It was a mistake to meet you in the woods after school, linger long after we both should have left, feel your lips against mine, tasting of cherries, soft like bruised fruit, my hands tracing the contours of your landscape, so familiar, so strange, so often, then afterwards take the shame of us home, press you between pages of my diary, safe and unrequited, then not to stem the rumours, careless whispers along hushed corridors that shadowed you and distanced me as I saw less and less of you and when I did your eyes were haunted and your locker was graffited and the cuts on your arms were a language I couldn’t read and your parents were called in by the Headmistress and I should have told them about the woods and the lake where we’d swum but I thought if you were gone, I wouldn’t miss you.
Alison Woodhouse

My daughter made me a beaded bracelet

It breaks while I'm waiting near the school gates. Dropping to my knees, as if to pray, I scrape my fingertips over the dusty gravel and pick the beads up one by one. Other things I find there; a penny, a curled leaf, a shard of glass and a single clover clinging on by loose, fragile roots. 'Did you hear me?' I look up at the woman. The sun haloing behind her head makes her the image of something ethereal. She has a son in the year below my daughter but I've forgotten his name. I want to remember, because it's important now, but I can't. 'The shooter is dead,' she says, 'they'll be getting the children out soon.' Before rising, I notice a gold bead hiding near her feet. I reach for it and close my fist tight around it.
Sam Payne


When is one boot without the other? Pining at night for its symmetrical opposite, ‘til light spits through eyelets, finds a dry tongue unnaturally folded. When does one boot glide through a window to land pointing skywards? When will the man in the barn lift his head from the bale, contemplate his feet, one sock stiff and muddied? A boot flies with some grace when it’s hollow, his wife has discovered. Let him bed with the chickens. Let him limp moss-eyed into the yard seeking the partner boot. Let him recollect its rude removal in the blood-cold kitchen, where he made a grab, c’mere mi beauty, his covert winnings tumbling from the sweaty stowage of that upturned hoof. Let him remember her words: one more time, Zachary. His vow: one last win to fix everything. From the house, the smell and crackle of frying. Of unlaced leather. Of never again.
Linda Grierson-Irish

Let Them Eat Cake

½ pound butter ½ pound sugar 4 apples She hands her son the note. She clicks open her change purse and empties it on the table: 8 quarters, 12 dimes and 4 nickels. She takes the note back and carefully rewrites. ¼ pound butter ¼ pound sugar 2 apples He returns with the butter and sugar, but only one apple. Her face clouds briefly then she sets to work. The aroma of warm butter awakens his hunger. She distracts him with her movements, humming along with the radio as she peels and slices and stirs. For lunch she makes him two mayonnaise sandwiches. He wants more but only two slices remain. The bell rings. She pulls her creation out of the oven, gingerly, as if it were made of porcelain. Then she sets it down before him and hands him a fork.
Tina deBellegarde

Saturday noon. Fine rain.

Saturday noon. Fine rain. The disorderly melody of the roaster. A waiter on the lookout. Takes his place between the zinc and the toilet. The delivery boy slips and drops his cargo which opens at the boss’s feet. Yellow chicken, fried potatoes. No, maybe later. Three guys load up while they moan. A fourth joins them. Silence. Shards of laughter. The rattling of a crate, a plate that breaks, the old lady coughs (it is often these days). She thinks, “It’s not the surplus that overflows, it’s the absence that grows.” A square wheel. Her life. A life. Loneliness is a funny idea. Caramel apple tart. No coffee. The pavement is overrun with the heels of the kids of the school opposite. A chill wind enters without asking. Soon the skull is empty. The creaking of a hinge that lingers, then dies, easy. The wind said nothing. It left again.
Vivianne Rozen


Dad is snoring amongst the daisies, hat over his face, belly peeking out over his shorts. Mum looks at him with a mix of disappointment and relief that she often uses on me. Seeing me fumbling with my daisy chain, she clasps her cigarette between her lips, clicks her fingers and holds out her hands. Then I marvel at how quickly she splits the stalks with her blood-red nails, and how she can hold the cigarette between two fingers and thread flowers together at the same time. After a while, she exhales a long stream of smoke, which floats down and settles lightly around my throat. Looking down, I find it’s not smoke but daisies which are so feathery against my skin, and let out a long breath too, both relieved and disappointed it’s finished. Mum nods and flicks the ash off her cigarette onto Dad’s belly. He doesn’t notice.
Ceri E