New piece of flash fiction up today on cafelit….

The Middleman is set in colonial India at the end of the nineteenth century- where a young lad has to navigate the double standards of the day through his Indian dubash (interpreter aka the title’s Middleman).

Here’s one in the photo- a foot in both the Indian and British worlds- a tightrope walker of the cultures…

dubash photo



Author page up on cafelit website:-

To coincide with the publication of ‘Badlands’ by indie publisher Chapeltown Books I now have a dedicated author’s page on sister site cafelit– which will link to my flash fiction on that site as well.

Here is an extract:-

“Her fiction appears as downloadable stories on, in ‘Women in Horror Annual 2’ edited by C.Rachel Katz, frequently on where Alyson is currently the most prolific and successful female contributor of fiction. In February her work will appear in the on line horror  magazine The Siren’s Song,  Ellipsis Issue 2 and the upcoming début anthology from Zeroflash editor David Wing.

Alyson’s debut Flash Fiction collection, ‘Badlands’, is out now from Chapeltown Books. Alyson also has a story in ‘The Best of CafeLit 6’ from the same publisher.

Alyson returned to her teaching roots last year when she began tutoring creative writing classes in Leeds and Saltaire. She has also been the flash fiction judge for Saltaire Writers’ Group competition  and has co edited and proof read the Otley writing group’s anthology, ‘The Darkening Season’.”


2012 Airedale Writers’ Public Competition, poem awarded Highly Commended.

2013 NAWG Competition, Commended Certificate in the Ghost Story category for ‘All I Want for Christmas.’

2016  Winner of the  Daggerville July flash fiction competition

2016 Winner of writer Helen Yendall’s 100 word competition (run through her site)

2017 Winner of bi monthly 80 word competition

2017 Horror Scribes short-listed ‘Krampus’ story as one of their final 12.


Guest Writer Spot

Here is a new piece of flash fiction posted by author/blogger Esther Newton today- thank you to Esther and for her lovely words about me ‘thinking outside the box’- I like that- I do try as a writer to do that too.


Every week, on a Friday, I invite a writer to appear in my Guest Writer Spot. If you’d like your writing to appear on this page, please contact me here or by e-mail: I accept stories, poems, articles – in fact, anything and everything. All you have to do is make sure your prose is no longer than 2000 words and your poems no more than 40 lines.

This week’s Guest Writer is Alyson Faye, a writer who has appeared as a guest on my blog a few times. I always enjoy her writing; she really knows how to think outside the box. You can read more of her work on her own blog:

Budgies and Bingo

                                                                  by Alyson Faye

Pulling up outside Aunty Elsie’s terraced house, we pile out of the bronze Avenger.  Dad sucking grumpily on his pipe, Mum wielding her sunken Victoria…

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Got a Haiku out on Haiku Journal facebook page/ comps to enter/SWriters comp…

I don’t write many haikus so this is a rare one from me.

Haiku journal cover pic.jpg


Saltaire Writers Flash Fiction Comp

I have read the 9 short listed Flash fiction entries for Saltaire writers competition- which were sent to me, none with names attached and I’ve emailed Pauline H my 1st and 2nd choices plus the judge’s report- so SWriters will announce the info when they’ve heard back from the Poetry judge I think.

New Journal looking for material:-

Eye Flash Poetry Journal issue three:


  • No set theme, just send us your best work.
  • Maximum three poems per submission.
  • Please state if work has been published before
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine
  • Email submissions with the subject line ‘Issue3/yourname’ to in an attached word doc.



2 new titles in the flash fiction collections from indie publisher Chapeltown Books…

Chapeltown Books, headed by Gill James, who published ‘Badlands’ has 2 more flash fiction collections out or imminent – by talented, prize winning authors :-

Gail Aldwin’ s ‘Paisley Shirt’    is out now as an e book and soon will be as a paperback.

Isn’t the cover gorgeous? Notice the same distressed wooden frame around the cover image which act as a visual link between the collections and the books are all square shaped with a glossy cover.

Paisley Shirt by [Aldwin, Gail]

Out very soon is Mandy Huggins’ flash fiction collection-


Got a new drabble out on horror tree/Steph Ellis’ Calendark – vote for the cover on….

Puppet Master at  under date 02/04/18 and below is the gif Stuart at Horror Tree posted on twitter-inspired by my title! 🙂

Calendark: The Infernal Almanac by [Shakes, David, Ellis, Stephanie]I blew it up so you can see the detail- pretty striking though and creepy.

Steph Ellis of Horror Tree co-edited this anthology of short stories available from amazon-

I am currently reading the book and will post a review soon on my blog and elsewhere. Meanwhile if you go to you can vote on your favourite cover and I think Calendark’s cover design is stunning so it’s got my vote.

“Each week we will post 15 book covers. You can show your support by voting on your favorite.The cover with the most votes becomes our book of the week in which we will promote for one week on our site, shout outs, and our newsletter.”

So if you like the cover and/or enjoy horror take a look at the opposition and then cast a vote,

Guest writer blog spot : meet Melissa Wade…

I met Melissa when she came along to my Saltaire writing classes last September.  She had already published her debut novel ‘London Lives’ on amazon and I asked her to tell us more about herself and her writing journey.
melissas photo

Welcome Melissa.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started on writing?

Having lived in London for 31 years I then moved to Yorkshire and now live in a little village. Aside from writing, I love crafts, dancing, knitting, travel and of course reading. And shopping, so long as it involves a book store. There isn’t one defining moment from which I started my journey as a writer. It’s more a culmination of things. I always kept a journal and wrote about my travels. I loved writing stories at school. A teacher asked the class to write a story about a castle. Days after everyone had finished, I was still writing away. I think I thought I could write a short novel rather than the required couple of pages or so. Then after an event in my life, I wrote about it in fiction to make sense of it. I realised, if I wanted to be a writer, then this wasn’t going to be a novel and so it became abandoned. Instead I pursed reading every book on fiction writing I could find, did a distance learning course and wrote my first novel. It was also about that time I read Elizabeth Elgin’s One Summer at Deer’s Leep and decided I wanted to be a writer.

One summer at deer's leap book cover

Which writers have influenced you? Or whose books do you particularly enjoy reading?

I don’t know if any writers have influenced me in my own writing, or at least I feel my readers would be better placed to judge. Some of my favourite books have included novels by Anna Gavalda, Abigail Bosanko, Austen, Victoria Hislop, Nick Hornby and Melissa Banks; Great chick lit authors like Sophie Kinsella and Freya North; Dan Rhodes’ This is Life; and Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle.

Where do you get your ideas from for your stories?

This has been quite varied; some just seem to appear as if by magic when I’m not thinking about them, but it is also a combination of writing exercises. So for example, the novel I’m currently working on is a product of using an exercise I had to do on a course, which was to write a piece of about a character who was obsessed with something.

Writing is a solitary business how do you interact with other authors?

By attending courses, workshops and literature events. Now I am lucky enough to be part of a delightful group of writers who I can talk to about writing and everything else.

What do you have coming up in the future?

Currently I am working on a novel – I’m in the editing process. Alongside this, in the New Year, I’m going to write novel I started on my Post Graduate Diploma.

Thank you Melissa for joining me on my blog and giving some insight into your writing world. Below are the links to Melissa’s novel ‘London Lives’ and her writer’s blog.

Link to my book on Amazon Kindle

Blog Link

melissa photo 2.jpg

Fiction written by folk on my Bingley creative writing workshop at Jane Fielder’s art gallery….

This piece is by the artist Jane Fielder on her older brother :-

“My brother Graham is two years older than me, unlike my younger brother, Ian, who I fought with constantly, Graham was silent, shy and very mysterious.

He was a very private person and kept his room well fortified. He concocted a series of pulleys, traps, locks, anything he could think of, to keep everyone out. Everything was finely balanced and measured so he knew exactly if anyone had entered and who.

Occasionally you were invited in. It was a teenage paradise. His most prized possession a burgundy and cream, Dansette record player sat in one corner, alongside his carefully categorised collection of L.P’s, E.P’s and singles. Leonard Cohen and Roy Orbison featured heavily.

Under his bed were meticulously sorted piles of NME’s, New Musical Expresses and train timetables, which he knew by heart.

Thirty years ago, they travelled with him to Australia where they remain to this day.”

I find the last line particularly touching, as not only all her brother’s prized possessions left for the other side of the world, but so did her beloved older brother.


Jane has produced a beautiful book showing her paintings based on her childhood memoriesjane fielder creative writing workshop flyer.png

as well as a series of cards.


                                                  DAD’S CHAIR  by Kate

His working hours were abnormal. 5am til 8am. 9am til 12.30pm. 4pm til 7pm.

In the evening discipline was the key for his four growing children, gathered round the TV, seated on the sofa.

Dad’s chair was Dad’s chair; his own armchair, a light grey velvety surface, framed by hard wearing dark grey arms and base. No one else –not even Mum- would dream of sitting in it.

Standing beside the chair, tucked between it and the edge of the fireplace mantel, was a small mahogany table armchair height. It was just big enough to hold a wooden pipe rack, a silver lighter, a large glass ashtray and a packet of ‘Clan’ tobacco. Plus, of course, the ‘fiddle box’.

At 7pm Dad would amble into the living room and melt into the comfort of his chair. He would pick up the fiddle box, flick through the very limited BBC and ITV channels, until he found the News or a programme that might be interesting or amusing or at least better than the other side. He would venture to ask if we had done our homework but there was no asking us if we were watching any particular programme!

Then Mum would come in carrying a tray laden with a plate of fish, bread and butter and a mug of steaming tea. Dad nearly always had fish for tea: grilled, fried or smoked, cod or haddock, herring or kippers. A different fish every night. He said it was ‘food for the brain.’

Having eaten, Dad would inspect his array of pipes and with one eye trained on the TV, watching through his heavy square spectacles, he would play with his pipes, cleaning them, filling them and eventually lighting one, until a thick smoke curled above his head and his chair.

By 9pm he was falling asleep in his chair. He would haul himself up, say, “Goodnight and don’t stay up too late,” drag himself to bed.

We would grab the fiddle box and choose our channel BUT not one of us, including Mum, would dare to sit in his chair!

Fiction written by students at my creative writing classes is posted on line at Palm Sized Press…

Palm sized press run a FREE flash comp every month where you write a piece in response to a photo prompt and they post the entries on their site.

Here are 2 pieces written by one of my Leeds creative writing class students – Jill which appear this month:-

by Jilly Allison


End Game by Jilly Allison