Joe Stepped off the train: a short story collection. Thanks ShortStops!

This new collection is out on Monday 4th April.

Joe Stepped off the Train (and other stories) is a collection of short stories by debut and established authors, all with a war theme: how it affects people and changes lives. It started life as a short story “conversation” between Steven Kay and a colleague, Elizabeth Thomas,9780993576201 following a short story competition at work for which they both chose the same starting line from the given list (The “Joe Stepped off the Train” of the title), and both coincidentally chose a war theme. They got to eight stories but then  fizzled out.

So, in the summer of 2015, Steve put out an appeal on social media and the blogosphere, taken up by ShortStops asking writers to contribute: the idea being that all royalties would be donated to War Child. 24 stories were collected in a genuine collaborative effort. What a nice bunch of people writers are! Please support it.

Available at: Amazon-, Waterstones-,

Short Stories Wanted for Charity Anthology


poppies 009 (3)

I am looking for help from writers in putting together a collection of short stories as a charity fundraiser for the charity ‘War Child.’ I have collected eight stories so far which are in various stages of draft (5 of mine and 3 written by a friend). A version of one of them is at:

So far all the stories have a 1st World War or 2nd World War theme, (but there’s no reason it couldn’t extend beyond that to other conflicts – that was just our cultural perspective). They are all about people reflecting on war or affected by it (I am not interested in anything glorifying war or violence though). I would love to collect stories from different cultural perspectives.

The rules are: they must start with “Joe stepped off the train and held the package close to his side” (or “Jo stepped off the train and held the package close to her side,” or using a similar name – I don’t want to close off other cultures by restricting it to European-centric names). I’d like to keep them quite short – up to about 2000 words long, but it is quality that counts so I won’t rule anything out on length.

Because it’s for charity I can’t pay you for them, but I’d do my best to give you a plug. I can’t promise your work will get in, but if I can see it working, even if it’s not quite what I was after, I will look to work with you in editing: but equally I don’t want to teach granny to suck eggs either! I accept I am no expert.

Look forward to your ideas. The easiest way to get in touch would be via Twitter: @stevek1889. or e-mail: