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In The House on the Corner, personal tremors large and small unsettle the foundations of a middle-class, nuclear family at the end of the 1980s. Alison Woodhouse has a novelist’s gift for capturing in words the currents and eddies of intimate, private thought. Her characters exist in a world of subtle, shadowy shifts – try as they might to understand what’s happening around them, they are shaped by forces beyond their comprehension and control. Luckily for the reader, Woodhouse knows exactly what she’s doing. She renders her characters’ disappointments and joys in paragraph after paragraph of exquisite prose.
~Michael Loveday, author of Three Men on the Edge

Paperback, ISBN 978-1-912095-14-8, 133mm x 203mm, 58 pages.

Release date 30th October 2020.
Available for pre-order now.
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£8.49 GBP

A remarkable story of a woman’s life in an unnamed city in the aftermath of a series of earthquakes. It’s written with claustrophobic, relentless and urgent conviction. What’s most compelling is how the story is gleaned mostly through flashbacks, as though, like the city’s buildings, it’s been broken into fragments and we are picking our way through rubble. Gradually, like rescue workers, we uncover the situation of a hospitalized husband, a lover lost to a building’s collapse, and the tender domestic bonds the woman shares with her father and his colleague. This is a dark, oppressive story but, through it, the writer explores how humanity responds to crisis – and has produced a metaphor for our own times.
~Michael Loveday

Tracey Slaughter relates her story of guilt and grief in breathtakingly luminous fragments. These postcards from the red zone – brutal, beautiful – are a lament for what is lost, but also a reminder of what we can salvage when everything shatters. An extraordinary work; you will feel its aftershocks far beyond the final page.
~Catherine Chidgey

Paperback, ISBN 978-1-912095-18-6, 133mm x 203mm, 94 pages.

Release date 30th October 2020.
Available for pre-order now.
Free world wide shipping.
£9.99 GBP

Drawing from a range of youthful voices and adventures, Sugar Mountain explores how children learn to deal with hard truths about themselves, and others, and the great wild world. From roller-skating away the grief of a parent, to soapy pranks by a band of camp bullies, to confronting an angry mass of waterfowl in the throes of a pillow fight, each chapter offers a tiny ticket back to a time when the world only seemed less complicated.

“A stunning sequence of stories about childhood shot through with irresistible yearning, beauty and humour. It’s written in a freewheeling prose that unfurls with detail after gorgeous detail piling up in the sentences. Quirky behaviour, teenage mischief, letdowns, unfulfilled dreams, romance – this novella really gets to the heart of what childhood feels like.”
~Michael Loveday, author of Three Men on the Edge

Paperback, ISBN 978-1-912095-20-9, 133mm x 203mm, 58 pages.

Release date 26th October 2020.
Available for pre-order now.
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£8.49 GBP

Holmes conjures the best qualities of both the short story and the novel to create a lyrical evocation of the beauty, pain, and wonder of growing up. Don’t Tell the Bees oozes with love and conflict and of a girl’s passage into womanhood. Each chapter is a perfect little stand-alone flash story, a stunning example of what the form can accomplish. The reader is thrust heart-first into the difficult life of No-more and a world of unforgettable characters carved tenderly and precisely. Holmes recreates, in sensory-soaked detail, the world of a small French village near the Second World War. I marvel at how the author blends each stand-alone story into one masterful whole: poignant, compassionate, and profound in emotional impact.
~Meg Pokrass, author of The Dog Seated Next to Me, Pelekinsis.

Paperback, ISBN 978-1-912095-50-6, 133mm x 203mm, 58 pages.

Release date 22nd October 2020.
Available for pre-order now.
Free world wide shipping.
£8.49 GBP

Flash fiction is changing the way we tell stories. Carving away the excess, eliminating all but the most essential, flash fiction is putting the story through a literary dehydrator, leaving the meat without the fat. And it only looks easy.

Enter Going Short: An Invitation to Flash Fiction. In this, her treatise on the form, veteran writer Nancy Stohlman takes us on a flash fiction journey: from creating, sculpting, revisioning and collecting stories to best practices for writers in any genre. It is both instructive and conversational, witty and practical, and presented in flash fiction chapters that demonstrate the form as they discuss it. If you’re already a flash fiction lover, this book will be a dose of inspiration. If you teach flash fiction, you’ll want it as part of your repertoire. And if you’re new to the form, you might just find yourself ready to begin.

Paperback, ISBN 978-1-912095-79-7, 133mm x 203mm, 156 pages.

Released 15th October 2020.
Available for pre-order now.
Free world wide shipping.
£12.99 GBP

Pre-order the book before Oct 15 and get exclusive free access to the private Going Short Virtual Book Club with Nancy Stohlman from Oct 15-31! The Book Club will be an asynchronous (no Zoom!) gathering space moderated by Nancy to continue the conversations and share insights from the book. Get free access when you pre-order before October 15!

More here: http://nancystohlman.com/goingshort/

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.
by
Sylvia Petter
@SylviaAPetter

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.
by
Daniel Clark
@brieflywrite

Push

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.
by
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.
by
Linda Grierson-Irish
@lamgiart

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.
by
Alison Woodhouse
@AJWoodhouse

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.
by
Sam Payne
@skpaynewriting

Booted

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.
by
Linda Grierson-Irish
@lamgiart

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.
by
Tina deBellegarde
@tdbwrites

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.
by
Vivianne Rozen

Daisies

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.
by
Ceri E

Unexpecting

There were two of them when she walked in. Teachers never went in those toilets normally. The doors to each stall, like using a hand towel to get changed on the beach. And they stank. But it was before school and she had no choice. It was awkward to position herself in the cubicle and balance on the Lilliputian throne. Looking down and touching in disbelief; knowing immediately what it meant. From that point, the experience becomes a before and after. The after is a memory of senses with no accompanying thought. Her dress had a blue bird print. The toilet paper in her underwear was balled up like a mistake. Her face was wet before she doused it with water. Her abdomen clenched like a fist. In the basin where yesterday there would have been paint flecks and PVA, there was blood. She left, almost certain she was alone.
by
Kristina Jackets

Bin Day

I tear off a bin liner and begin in the kitchen. Spices we never used; asafoetida, saffron and zatar are trash. Saucers, sauce-boats and saucy fridge magnets. From the dresser; your late mother’s silver cruets are recyclable into solar panels. From the bathroom; lubricant jelly and last Christmas’s antidepressants. From the bedroom; yoga mats and the Working Couple's Karma Sutra. I feel facial winkles flatten out. From the living-room, the family photos, books of haiku and scatter cushions are excess. Stepping into the bin liner is a liberation, a delicious weariness. I knot off from the inside and re-read your note. ‘Tuesday. Bin Day. Remember!’ Your notes are a sales pitch for euthanasia. The light inside the bin liner is black, the air, womby. I feel like an eggshell, broken, but with some inner purpose. The calcium in me is good fertiliser. I can be puréed and added to toothpaste.
by
Steven John
@stevenjohnwrite

White Noise Playlists at St. Bernardine Medical Center

FILTER BY: (Name) (Date Played) Julie Ramos: Waterfall in Yosemite, Waves at Big Sur, Bathing in a Tub. Sammy Jefferson: Auto Assembly Line, Interstate Highway, Wind. Thomas Nez: Mockingbirds at night. Rachel Chin: Inner City Park, Brooklyn PS 320 Recess, Suburban Playground. Marine James: Wind in the Sequoias, Clay Chimes on Back Porch. Bob Alameda: Walking on Fall Leaves, Campfire in Yellowstone, Cicadas. Mary Robeson: Fetal Doppler, Heartbeat. Hiroaki Nakamura: Crowded Theater Lobby, San Pedro Fish Market. Jim Abbey: Colorado Thunderstorm, Summer Rain, Faucet Running. Andy Morgan: Freight Train, Train Whistle Across Nebraska, Mourning Doves. Sara Maduro: Raking Leaves, Tumble Dryer, Furnace Ticking. Mark Barone: Typing on Manual Typewriter. Henry Washington: Whetstone, Sizzling Bacon, Montana Morning. NEW PLAYLIST (Create) Name: Amy Jiang Password: •••••••• ADD SOUNDS TO YOUR PLAYLIST: (Browse Categories) (Play Random) (Search) Travel RESULTS Airplane Cabin at Cruising Altitude Sailboat on Chesapeake Bay Commuter Train Harley Davidson Whale Song
by
Charles Duffie

Flint

Sam sees the flint head. Its fish-like shape reminds him of cat biscuits. The glass case steams up as his breath pours a fog across the surface and the flint head swims away. Salt water slides down his cheeks until he licks a drop. Eyes squeeze, heart pumps, his pulse bounces like a ball thudding - don’t, don’t, don’t. Jack watches, “Are you crying?” His whisper crackles like static. His fish hook smile is close to Sam’s cheek. Mum said count to 10. “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10..” 10 bored school children, 10 washed out yawns. Mrs Keel’s T-shirt has 10 flowers on it. She’s too far away to see. Always too far away to see. To see the scrape of a heel down Sam’s shins, the pinch of overweight hands on Sam’s flesh. Maybe she needs glasses – mum says lots of people need glasses.
by
Sarah Richmond

Abyssinia Beloved

Abyssinia, the horn of Africa. I hold my life in a bowl. The rice of today sits fluffy and white as the foam of the sea. The rice maybe my only food for today so, I wait to midday to consume my food. The bowl then becomes useful for coin. My parents departed when I was an infant and I became an orphan to the motherland. I refuse to beg for coin so, I sing the songs of the faithful. I chant the names of the most-high and praise humanity's beloved. When the sun seeps into the bowl of the sea I rest under a nursing tree that my parents planted when they had married. I cup my praying hands into a bowl and speak. ‘I am grateful for my voice, my tree and my bowl. May the joy of life always keep my bowl full of passion and love.’
by
Abdul-Ahad Patel
@AbdulAhad_Patel