Dalkey Short Story Prize 2019: Shortlisted


My short story, ‘Da’s Chair’, has been shortlisted for the Dalkey Short Story Prize 2019—and I’m thrilled.

This story has been a long time in the making and I’m very fond, so this shortlisting lifts the heart.

The prize is run by the Dalkey Creates Writing Festival in partnership with Books Ireland.

‘The Woodcutter’: Litro

Ivan Generalić, The Woodcutter, 1959

My short story, ‘The Woodcutter’, is published today in Litro magazine’s ‘Story Sunday’ series.

It’s lovely to have a story appear again in the pages of this wonderful magazine.

This one is a rather dark little tale. I hope it fits this season of mists and hibernations and fireside reading…

‘Light Moves Like Water’: Weekend Read


I’m thrilled that For Books’ Sake have featured my short story, ‘Light Moves Like Water’, as their current ‘Weekend Read’: a fantastic showcase of stories written by women. Every Friday, they’ll send a jewel of a story to your inbox and also publish online. Previous writers include Ann Patchett, Daisy Johnson, Alison Moore, Sophie Mackintosh, Elizabeth Reeder…

As this was one of my first ever stories to be published and then broadcast on radio, it’s a treat to have it out there again for a little while… And also because it’s set in my favourite place on earth: beautiful Venice.

‘Story Shop’: Edinburgh International Book Festival 2015



I’ll be reading at ‘Story Shop’ this month, a daily short-story slot at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Story Shop is a wonderful showcase for new and emerging writers run by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, and is now in its ninth year.  Do pop into the lovely Spiegeltent on my day, Monday 31st August. And do come along any or every day at 4pm, from 15th to 31st, to enjoy this year’s Story Shop writers.

In the meantime, here are audio previews for each of the seventeen writers.


The Rooftop Busker: New Writing Scotland 33


I’m so pleased to have my short story, ‘The Rooftop Busker’, appear as the title piece in this year’s New Writing Scotland anthology. I’ll be reading from my story at the Edinburgh launch in Blackwell’s bookshop 1st September. The event is free and tickets can be reserved from  Blackwell’s.

This latest anthology from ASLS, edited by Gerry Cambridge and Diana Hendry, includes new work from writers such as Anne Donovan, Jim Carruth, Lesley Glaister, Vicki Jarrett and my old MLitt classmate Duncan Muir amongst many others. And it’s been lovely luxuriating in all their wonderful writing.

Popshot Magazine 13


© Jörn Kaspuhl

My short story ‘Walking Water’ is out today in the latest ‘Outsider’ issue of Popshot Magazine.

Popshot is a thing of beauty: fiction and poetry with glorious illustration. The artist Jörn Kaspuhl has illustrated my story: I love how he has caught my character, walking water.

It’s also lovely to appear alongside the talented poet Emma Simon, my fellow Jerwood/Arvon mentee. Her poem, ‘The Fish Man’, is a beautifully observed study of another character out of his natural element.

Finally, you can enjoy a taste of Popshot 13 here.

Until Only the Mountain Remains


Reading on the Night

Next Friday, I will be reading at an evening of story-telling and poetry, Until Only the Mountain Remains, at the Talbot Rice Gallery.  This evening is the culmination of a project inspired by the artist Christopher Orr’s current exhibition, ‘The Beguiled Eye’. I’m  looking forward to reading and to hearing how other writers such as Dilys Rose, Jane McKie and Allyson Stack have interpreted Orr’s haunting paintings. My story, ‘Silent One’, is a response to the  painting of that name. We see a couple standing by a gorge, looking down at a face that appears to float in the darkness  We cannot see their faces. We don’t know their reactions, but their body language is strangely relaxed, unperturbed. And so I wondered why this might be.

My story can be read online.


‘Silent One’, Christopher Orr

Aesthetica Award Finalist, 2015


I’m delighted that my short story, ‘The Quicken Tree’, is a finalist in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award  and will be published in the Aesthetica Annual 2015. The winners, in both fiction and poetry categories, will be announced in December. I look forward to reading the anthology—some great titles—which can be ordered  here. Here’s a lovely preview in The Independent.


Irish Times Shortlisted: ‘This Means War’


The shortlist for the Irish Times short story competition ‘This Means War’ has been announced  and I’m over the moon to be one of the eight chosen writers!

To mark the centenary of the Great War, the Irish Times has run a series of eight stories this summer on the theme of war. Stark and beautiful stories by writers such as Donal Ryan and Mary Costello have appeared. The Times opened up the final story to submissions, judged by Donal Ryan, Aifric Campbell and Eilis Ni Dhuibhne. All the shortlisted stories are published in this week’s  Irish Times.

My story, ‘Deathwatch Beetle’, explores one Irishman’s experience of World War One: a war that came to be overshadowed in Ireland by the War of Independence.

I’m especially delighted to have this story published as one of the characters from my novel This Starling Flock, appears here as a child. Backstory fledged.

Brendon Deacy will illustrate the winning story, to be published tomorrow.  I would have loved Deacy to have interpreted my deathwatch-beetle character – his artwork for the series has been stunning. I look forward to enjoying the winner’s entry, and Deacy’s art, tomorrow.


Brendon Deacy’s artwork for John Connolly’s story ‘Mud’