Call for Submissions: Curse the Darkness Anthology

Call for Submissions - Curse the Darkness - Unlit Press

For our inaugural horror and dark fiction anthology, Unlit Press is inviting short story submissions on the theme of darkness. That could be the absence of light, the presence of evil, or the deranged thoughts of the afflicted. However you choose to interpret the theme, just make sure you leave us afraid to turn out the lights.

At Unlit Press we don’t forsake character and story for the sake of gratuitous violence and gore. We’re looking for stories with strong original voices, compelling characters and sparkling dialogue. Send us stories that step off the well-trod paths into the unlit wilderness of the unusual, the interesting, and the provocative.

Submission Guidelines

  • Word Count: 3,000 to 10,000 words.
  • Deadline: 31 December 2018.
  • Payment: One-off payment of £75 (approximately $100) plus one contributor copy for each manuscript accepted.

Visit our website for full submission guidelines and instructions.

Launch of new Stroud Short Stories Anthology

Stroud Short Stories

We are launching the new Stroud Short Stories Anthology 2015-18 on Friday 28 September 2018 at the Ale House in John Street, Stroud from 7.00 to 10pm.

img_09147The new anthology covers stories from the six events from November 2015 to May 2018. That’s 57 stories by 45 authors including Joanna Campbell, Rick Vick, Melanie Golding, Steve Wheeler, Chloe Turner, Jason Jackson, Ali Bacon and Andrew Stevenson.

The first print run is 300 books and we already have 270+ reservations, so why not reserve your copy and then collect it at the launch? Email me on

The anthology is priced at £10.

The launch is free and unticketed. Please come along. There will be a few words from me at 7.30 and then Mark Graham will read his story ‘Wayland Smith: Warrior of the Milky Way’ from the anthology.

More information on our website.

I hope to see you there.

John Holland

Story Cities Flash Fiction Anthology

Submissions invited of flash fiction from 1-500 words, in any genre, on the subject of the city, to be published in the anthology Story Cities. Deadline for submissions 16 September 2018.

The city is a place where populations meet and strangers pass one another. Where stories are created, told, remembered and discarded. We are looking for tiny stories that are rich in plot and character – exploring the city through the journeys we take; the situations we encounter; the dialogues and connections we make. This will be a book that readers can take to any city and every city, in order to experience it through stories and imagine it differently.

If you are interested in submitting a flash fiction to our book, please go to our website for full guidelines on what we are looking for and how to submit.

Story Cities is a collaborative research project initiated by lecturers at the University of Greenwich, London – Rosamund Davies, Senior Lecturer in Media and Creative Writing, and Kam Rehal, Senior Lecturer in Graphic and Digital Design.

Unthology 10

Unthank Books are very pleased to announce that Unthology 10, edited by Ashley Stokes and Robin Jones, the latest in the acclaimed short fiction series that showcases new and established writers, will be published on July 2nd 2018.


Extraordinary Fiction

 Tumble over a cliff in pursuit of a cherished plaything. Stray into bear territory. Scrape a drunk from the gutter. Ride the airstreams with a winged demigod. Receive a letter from a stranger. Meet a woman with a bite mark on her face. Assume the waters can be stopped. Survive the butterfly invasion. Grieve for another man’s child. Sell twenty-four copies of dross. Inherit your father’s gifts. Succumb to your drug of choice. Watch helpless at the vanishing of the herd. Imagine the giant horses. Fight or flight.


Daniel Carpenter, Elaine Chiew, Brian Coughlan, KM Elkes, Tracy Fells, Liam Hogan, Maxim Loskutoff, Mark Mayes, Jay Merill, Valerie O’Riordan, Gareth E Rees, Kathryn Simmonds, Hannah Stevens, Tom Vowler

How to Order

You can find out everything you need to know here. 

Launch Parties

Come and join us and meet the Unthologists. There will be readings in Norwich on July 5th and in London on July 26th. For full details, click here. 

Cornish Short Stories is here!

We are delighted to announce the publication of Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing. Our official publication date is 2 April and pre-orders are available from all good booksellers and online. Cornish shorts.png

Join us for our book launch and celebration at The Falmouth Bookseller on Saturday 19 May at 6pm!

The anthology contains the work of nineteen writers including authors Tom Vowler, Katherine Stansfield, Rob Magnuson Smith, Cathy Galvin of The Word Factory and Tim Hannigan. We also introduce stories by exciting new voices such as Anastasia Gammon and S Reid. Find out more on our website.

Ghosts walk in the open and infidelities are conducted in plain sight. Two teenagers walk along a perfect beach in the anticipation of a first kiss. Time stops for nothing—not even for death. Sometimes time cracks, disrupting a fragile equilibrium.

The stories are peopled with locals and incomers, sailors and land dwellers; a diver searches the deep for what she has lost, and forbidden lovers meet in secret places. Throughout, the writers’ words reveal a love of the incomparable Cornish landscape.

Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing is published by The History Press, ISBN: 978 0750 983556.


Normal Deviation: Seeking Short Stories Based on One Weird Pic

It all started with a weird pic and a throwaway tweet:

I want to do a fiction anthology where everyone writes a story just based on a weird ass picture. And then use that pic as the cover.

And then enough people cheered the idea that we decided to make it our first major project at Wonderbox Publishing.

Normal Deviation is seeking “Third Option” short stories based on the following image, up to 6000 words (deadline: 31 Aug 2017). “Third Option” is our shorthand for digging a little deeper into that writerly creativity bucket: we’d like everyone to cast aside (at least) the first two ideas that come to you, and instead focus on the third (or fourth or fifth…) idea to develop. The goal here is to avoid the obvious, to generate fresh ideas, to get at deviation.

We want stories in any genre, from any perspective, any time period and setting. As long as the story is good, and based somehow on this image, we want to read it!

image for inspiration

We’ve launched a Kickstarter to fund the anthology, as we think all authors deserve professional rates (starting at least at a penny per word). Support us, support authors, and please submit and become one of our authors!

Full details and author guidelines are on our website. Subscribe to updates from our weekly blog, get a feel for what we’re like and what we like, and join us in this bizarre story adventure!

Lyle Skains & DeAnn Bell, Editors
Normal Deviation anthology
Wonderbox Publishing

Cornish Short Stories: Three Weeks to Go

There are three weeks left to submit your short stories to Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing, a new anthology due to be published by The History Press in May 2018. Submissions close on 7 July 2017.

Editors Felicity Notley and Emma Timpany are looking for stories of 2,000 to 6,000 words in length, though exceptional work which falls outside this range will also be considered.

All entries must be the author’s own work and should not have been published anywhere, in print or online. The stories must have a Cornish setting and the author must be Cornish or resident in Cornwall. Stories for children are not suitable for this publication.

Within these guidelines, we encourage you to make full use of your creative freedom and embrace a wide range of subject matters, literary styles and genres (literary fiction, crime fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi etc.) We are simply looking for the very best new writing.

You can find more details, get in touch with questions, and submit your work on our website. We’re also on Twitter @CornishShorts and Facebook.


Cornish Short Stories: Call for Submissions

Editors Felicity Notley  and Emma Timpany are pleased to announce an exciting new anthology of writing from Cornwall. Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing will be published by The History Press in May 2018.

We are looking for new writing of the highest quality which is set in Cornwall. The word length is between 2,000 and 6,000 words, though we will consider longer and shorter pieces. The stories must be for adults, and writers must be resident in Cornwall or Cornwall born and bred. Submissions close on 7 July 2017.

We welcome submissions from new, emerging and existing writers. Find further details on our website. Follow us on Twitter @CornishShorts and Facebook.

Stories for Homes vol 2 – open for submissions

What does ‘home’ mean to you? With millions of people driven from their homes all over the world, ‘shelter’ often equates to ‘safety’. Closer to home, at least 120,000 children in the UK were homeless for Christmas 2016. Shelter, the charity that helps people who are homeless or in poor housing, needs our help more than ever.

We’ve been here before, of course. Three years ago, we formed a community to produce an anthology which raised over £3,000 for Shelter. We are now open for submissions for Stories for Homes Volume 2. The plan is to launch the e-book in September 2017 and a paperback version in November 2017. As before, all royalties will go directly to Shelter.

Submission guidelines:

  • Stories (poems also considered) should be between 100 and 3000 words long (not including the title).
  • The theme is HOME.
  • Please send your story as a Word document in an attachment to AND copy in It’s important to send it to both email addresses.
  • DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME ON THE ATTACHMENT. Submissions will be considered anonymously. All writers are welcome to submit – published, yet-to-be published and those who were included in Stories for Homes Volume One. Anonymous submissions will give a level playing field to all those submitting.
  • The deadline is midnight (UK time) 14th February 2017.

Whether or not your story is accepted for the anthology, there are many ways to get involved with the project. The whole process of creating and marketing the book is a community effort, with artists, photographers, techy experts etc joining with the editors and authors to create a world-class anthology. Most of the conversation takes place in a Facebook group, which is always open to new members. Updates will also be posted on the Stories for Homes website.

A Furious Hope – A Call for Submission to an Anthology

It’s been hard to know how to do anything over the last few weeks and months. These are tough, tough times. I wanted to do something positive, something that shows that now, in these times, art is vital.

A Furious Hope is the working title for an anthology for hard times. We are currently inviting submissions of poetry and flash fiction on the theme of hope.

We are looking for pieces that explore hope in the broadest possible sense; glimmers of hope, searching for hope, finding hope in unexpected places or circumstances, meditations of what hope is and looks like.

Please send up to 3 pieces of Flash Fiction or Poetry (or a mixture of the two). The word limit for Flash is 500 words, and Poetry up to 60 lines.

Previously published pieces will be considered, so long as the writer retains copyright and the other party are happy. We will, of course, cite where it was first published.

Welcoming international submissions, though must be written in English. Am also keen to see submissions from BAME and LGBTQ writers.

The deadline for submissions is 3rd September.

All contributors will get a PDF copy of the project and a discount on copies of the anthology.

Please send all submissions to

(The anthology will be edited by Zelda Chappel. If you tweet, we’re on twitter as @AFuriousHope and if you are on Facebook we have a page here – please come and say hello!)

Bunbury Issue Thirteen is Here and Some MORE Exciting News!

Hello to you again from all of us at Bunbury Magazine! It’s that time again, dear Bunburyists. Time for another installment of your favourite international, wide-read, beautifully curated and over-epitheted arts-and-literature magazine (which seemingly has a curious love of hyphens). Bunbury is back! Back again. Can’t get rid of us, can you? Issue 13 is here. Unlucky for some, but not for you dear Bunburyists because it’s another issue jam-packed of the usual high-quality content you come to expect from us – poetry, stories, art and photography and JAM! Mmmm. Jam.

And you can grab your copy of issue 13 right now by clicking on the stunning artwork below!


Mind you, we are quite giddy here at the moment. As we write this, we are in the middle of campaigning for the Saboteur Awards. We’ve been nominated for Best Magazine. Too right, as well! We’re pretty damn spiffy if we do say so ourselves. (In the end, we placed a very honourable third!)

Enough of the gushing anyway. What have we got for you this month? Space. That’s the theme, in memory of the great David Bowie who joined the Starman waiting in the Sky this year. Along with our usual poetry section, we have some wonderful poems written in his memory.

And while we’re on the subject, take this issue as being dedicated to some of the other wonderful talents we have lost this year: Victoria Wood, Terry Wogan, Alan Rickman, Prince, Paul Kantner, Glenn Frey, Ronnie Corbett and so many more besides. Each one has added something marvellous to the world and will never be forgotten.

Our feature this issue sees us turn our eye on the wonderful world of podcasts. We adore podcasts. There’s something so wonderfully fresh about them. The performers can really be themselves and make what they want to make and the results are often so sparkling and vibrant. And diverse! There’s an entire world out there to listen to. We’ve had the pleasure of talking to the hosts of some of our favourite podcasts; Ray Peacock & Barry Dodds from The Parapod; Rob Rouse from The Rob Rouse Podcast. We heartily recommend listening to all of these but have a read of their interviews first. Or listen while you read? Oh, the options are some.

In other news, we have launched our very first physical book. It is the Bunbury Creative Anthology; it is the our favourite writing from the first 12 issues of Bunbury Magazine. It is full of brilliant poetry, short stories and flash fiction from the likes of It includes stunning writing from the likes of Clare Ferguson-Walker, The Antipoet, David Subacchi, Dean Rhetoric, Danielle Matthews, Dave Judgement, Karen Little, Kevin McMahon, Kurt Jarram to mention but a few! Well you can get your very own copy now! It’s on Amazon as either physical copy or e-book. Please leave a review too so more people can see the phenomenal writing on display it the pages! Just click the beautiful cover below!

Anthology Cover

As always, you can find us on Twitter @BunburyPublish and on Facebook where you can keep up-to-date with everything we are up to here.

Finally, we are now open for submissions on issue 15 of Bunbury. The theme is Terra and is due out in December 2016. All our guidelines can be found here:

Issue 15 Spiral

Anyway, enough from us. Get in there you. Have fun. This Bunbury is a good’un. Next time we speak Christopher and Keri shall be married and exhausted from Edinburgh. But MARRIED! The giddiness is returning.

Bye! And keep scribbling!

Much love,

Christopher and Keri.

Short Fiction – Issue 10

We are thrilled to show you the cover for Short Fiction‘s forthcoming issue, due this autumn.


There are 13 beautifully illustrated stories from around the world.

180 pages featuring Nick Holdstock, Kit de Waal, Colin Barrett, Inderjeet Mani, plus our competition winner, Michelle Coyne.

Our featured artist is Lisa Stokes. You can pre-order your copy (only £8) by following this link.

As ever, we are grateful for all your support.

It’s Out And It’s Marvellous

Words and Women Three Cover


This year’s anthology edited by Lynne Bryan and Belona Greenwood and selected by novelist Emma Healey is an eclectic collection of high quality prose, a rich and vivid read of startling, compelling and moving texts set across the world and close to home.

Explore the unexpected: belly-dancing in Japan, the collapse of bricks and mortar in an ordinary street in an ordinary town, drugs buried in a Norfolk beet field or sample a still life on Brixton Station. Why does a canary sing in Kabul? What is the significance of the calf born in the snow? Infidelity and re-visited virginity, sinister origami and movie-making, the true nature of Jane Austen’s dog and murder in Mexico.  Everything about being human is here for the curious of mind and the adventurous by temperament.

Ann Abineri, Deborah Arnander, Susan K Burton, Caroline Davison, Sharon Eckman, Sarah Evans, Victoria Hattersley, Danusia Iwaszko, Sara Keene, Julie Kemmy, Isabelle King, Kathy Mansfield, C.G. Menon, Margaret Meyer, Nicola Miller, Antoinette Moses, Patricia Mullin, Glenys Newton, Dani Redd, Sarah Ridgard, Claudine Toutoungi and Louise Tree.

Praise for Words and Women One and Two.

“It is a refreshing, vibrant collection that has redefined the way I see women’s writing.”

R.M. Bond-Webster, EDP: “Words And Women: Two is an excellent anthology of imaginatively and superbly written pieces.”

WordsAand Women: One was shortlisted for a Saboteur Award in 2014.

Lynne Bryan and Belona Greenwood were shortlisted for the Women In Publishing New Venture Award 2015

Order online from Unthank Books or your local bookshop – keep in touch with us at Words and Women





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-,


Join us for the launch of our third anthology of the best in regional women’s writing together with some of the finest and most exciting women musicians around.

5th anniversary Poster 1 A4 low res ONLINE VERSION


Sarah_EvansFeaturing this year’s competition-winner, Sarah Evans, (left) guest judge Costa First Book Award winner Emma Healey, Guardian award-winning stand up Louisa Theobald, and the brilliant and original music of Karen Reilly of the Neutrinos, Emily Winng, Sink Ya Teeth and Kimberley Moore. 

This year Words And Women is also marking its fifth anniversary by raising money for Women for Refugee Women, an organisation which challenges the injustices experienced by women who seek asylum in the UK.  Tickets are a snip at £5. All are welcome.

Emma Healey

Emma Healey

There is also a free literary warm-up in the Arts Centre bar between 6 and 7pm.  BooksTalkBack is an interactive literary event for aspiring authors, and offers 2 writers longlisted in our prose competition, an opportunity to have their writing publicly critiqued by author Eliza Robertson.

 Karen ReillyPhoto credit: Lisa Stirling

Karen Reilly has been hailed as a saviour to women in rock in Toronto and featured in the Top Ten stage-show 2014  for The Guardian – described as ‘A joy inducing original’ The Times,  ‘A total game changer’ The Guardian, and ‘Truly outstanding’ The Telegraph.

Emily Winng

Emily Winng is a quarter of Sargasso Trio and sings songs of heartache, revenge and ‘ramshackle crazy woman songs.’ Expect beer bottle percussion and some hollering and wailing – in a good way.

Sink Ya Teeth

Sink Ya Teeth is a unique and mesmerizing two piece, Gem Cullingford and Maria Uzor, minimal in sound with a crystalline primal ferociousness that reflects the band’s name.

Kimberley Moore sings beautifully, performs, creates and facilitates from the depths of Suffolk. She writes serious (ish) lyrical songs that touch hearts on a surreal journey.

Other writers reading include Dani Redd, Victoria Hattersley, Isabelle King, Margaret Meyer and Glenys Newton.  Their work is included in our anthology, published by Unthank Books, and there will be plenty of opportunity to buy copies on the night.

Words And Women’s co-organisers, Belona Greenwood and Lynne Bryan were runners-up for Women in Publishing’s New Venture Award in 2015.  The Anthology, shortlisted for a national Saboteur Award in 2014 has been described as ‘…a refreshing, vibrant collection that has redefined the way I see women’s writing.’ And R.M. Bond-Webster, writing in the EDP: ‘Words and Women: Two is an excellent anthology of imaginatively and superbly written pieces.’


Being Dad – Short Story Anthology


What is Being Dad?

Being Dad is an anthology of brand new fiction about fatherhood, featuring stories by: Toby Litt, Nikesh Shukla, Dan Rhodes, Courttia Newland, Nicholas Royle, Dan Powell, Rodge Glass, R.J. Price, Tim Sykes, Lander Hawes, Andrew McDonnell, Iain Robinson, Richard W. Strachan, Richard V. Hirst and Samuel Wright.

The stories themselves deal with fatherhood from many different angles. We didn’t want to set any specific limitations, so each writer was free to explore the theme in any way they saw fit. We have tender stories about a father’s love and compassion, darker stories exploring feelings of protectiveness and sleep deprivation, and stories that look at the bond from the child’s perspective. What brings them all together is the urge to question what it means to be a dad.

“Editor Dan Coxon has put together a mixture of the best short story writers in the UK and rising stars of the genre, all under the theme of fatherhood. I for one will be picking up a copy of Being Dad especially to be the first to read new work from the excellent Toby Litt, Nick Royle and Nikesh Shukla.”

Paul McVeigh, author of The Good Son and co-founder of the London Short Story Festival

What Do We Need?

We’re currently crowdfunding for the book – which means that we need people to pre-order copies. Short story anthologies aren’t seen as a great prospect by publishers at the moment, and we need to show them that people are interested and want this book.

Obviously the book appeals to fans of the short story, but we believe it also has a wider appeal. That’s why we’re looking to launch it in March 2016, advance of Father’s Day. If you want to show your dad – or your husband – that you appreciate him, and all the effort he’s put into being a dad, then this is a great way to do it. That’s why we’re giving away two copies of the book with the higher reward levels – one for you to read, and one for you to give to your dad.

I can honestly say that I don’t know of another book like Being Dad. Whether you’re thrilled by the chance to read new stories by the likes of Toby Litt, Dan Rhodes, Nikesh Shukla and Nicholas Royle, or you just want to give your father (or husband) something special for Father’s Day, this anthology is uniquely special. Please show us your love.

“I was thrilled with the quality of the stories… If this is a mere sample of the standard then I look forward to seeing the finished product.”

Stuart Buck, reviewing Being Dad for Under The Fable

How Can I Get My Hands On A Copy?

We’d really, really love it if you’d consider pre-ordering a copy. Not only will you get a copy as soon as it comes out, but depending on how much you pledge you can get your hands on all kinds of extras too. Crowdfunding is happening until October 12th, so don’t delay too long. You can find full details here:

Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.


– Dan Coxon, Anthology Editor

Open Pen to publish Anthology book

To celebrate five years of publishing up-and-coming writers, Open Pen are to publish an anthology of their favourite stories so far in a paperback collection befitting the style and splendour of their print magazine. Alongside those stories, the book will feature a new piece of fiction from each of the corresponding authors. There’s a kickstarter campaign launching soon to support the project. Those who pledge will receive the anthology (in paperback – you may have noticed they have a thing for paperbacks). Those who pledge higher amounts will be rewarded with various collections of impressive art and fiction from their writers and illustrators, including a one-off zine featuring 15 flash fiction stories (if you’re a writer you can submit to that here). The rewards include: the George Orwell Reward (£3), the Bronte Sisters Reward (£5), the Jane Austen Reward (£8), the E.M Foster Reward (£10), the Virginia Woolf Reward (£25), and the highest pledge of £50 will get you the Charles Dickens Reward: a foil-blocked box-set containing some very limited bits and bobs indeed.

The Open Pen Anthology – Paperback

Sean Preston, Editor of the magazine, said, “We’ve really enjoyed the last five years. It’s been such a privilege to work alongside some incredibly talented writers of fiction. It’s these writers that have made Open Pen what it is. It’s exciting to think we’ll have so many of them in one collection. It’s going to be a joy to read through, old stories and new.”

The Open Pen Anthology is scheduled for release in March 2015, and will be released simultaneously through Limehouse Books.

To pledge, visit:

Liberties: Flash Fiction from Ireland now released on iTunes!

Last month, Liberties Festival Dublin held its very first flash fiction competition. Writers were called on to submit their best 50-300 words on the theme ‘Liberties’ – either the general theme of liberties or The Liberties area of Dublin, Ireland.

We were bowled over by the entries and decided the only decent thing to do would be to let the world read some of the best pieces we received. And so our collection “Liberties: Flash Fiction from Ireland” was born.

You can download it from iTunes here. Or download in many different formats from Smashwords here.

Congratulations to all our authors, we hope to see much much more of your writing!


Queen’s Ferry Press to Publish The Best Small Fictions of 2015

Queen’s Ferry Press is pleased to announce the debut of the first contemporary anthology to compile the best short hybrid fiction in a calendar year. To date, there is no annual print recognition of the best examples of this exciting new work appearing in literary journals and story collections from throughout the world. With this new annual, we seek to promote the seasoned writer as well as the new writer in a compilation that will reveal the depth of literary fiction and highlight historical trends as they occur due to world events and human considerations. The Best Small Fictions is a brief, affordable, yet powerful reader that will supplement instructors’ current classroom anthologies and texts and will offer writers and readers examples of what their contemporaries are achieving worldwide.

Both traditional and experimental works are encouraged.

Series Editor: Tara L. Masih

Guest Editor: Robert Olen Butler

International Closing Date: January 16, 2015

Word count: 6-1000

Finalists will be acknowledged.

For full anthology details and nomination guidelines, click here.

Young Writers Published While Still At School

The Mistake anthologyShort stories by thirty two young writers have been published in an anthology to celebrate National Short Story Week. The stories were chosen from nationwide entries to last year’s National Short Story Week Young Writer competition for year 7 and 8 pupils.

The anthology ‒ The Mistake: 32 tales to make you think, shiver and smile ‒ was published on Monday November 17th, the start of this year’s National Short Story Week. It is available as an ebook and paperback exclusively from Amazon. All proceeds from the anthology will be donated to Teenage Cancer Trust.

We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the talent of these young writers than to have their work available in print, and for that work to help young people and their families who are going through a challenging time in their lives. Not only are these pupils now published writers, they can take great satisfaction in knowing that their stories will make a difference to other young people just like them.

Our young writers were very inventive in how they chose to interpret the title The Mistake. Their stories show a remarkable level of maturity, and encompass serious issues such as the tragedy of war, bullying, gambling and homelessness. But there are lighter moments too, and some poignant explorations of what it is like to be a young person growing up today. Whether making us think, shiver or laugh, these young writers have all written highly accomplished tales.

We’ve already had some lovely praise for the anthology from acclaimed writers. Simon Brett said: “The Mistake demonstrates great variety and diversity. The settings for the stories range from school playgrounds, via Brazil and Mount Everest, to the trenches of the First World War. The characters include teenage girls, ghosts, shape-shifters, murderers and the Lady of Shallot. As the book’s subtitle says, here are stories to make you ‘think, shiver and smile’. The one thing that wasn’t a mistake was producing this anthology.”

Ali Smith has called the anthology “a book full of life, intelligence and range – page after page of impressive and witty engagement with its theme. It’s a pleasure to read so many stories filled with promise and energy.”

Hailey Acton DeBoik of Teenage Cancer Trust says: “We are ever so grateful to be benefiting from this wonderful project. What an innovative way for young people to help other young people by showcasing their talents.”

Young Writer, and the overall winner of the competition, Gemma Craig-Sharples of Ursuline High School in London says: “I was really happy when I found out my story had won. I hope people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.” Her story is also published on the Guardian‘s Children’s Books section online.

Ian Skillicorn, National Short Story Week