Colchester Writenight

“Witty, experimental, clever, thought-provoking and sometimes plain laugh-out-loud”

Colchester Writenight
Short Prose Collection
Edited by Sue Dawes and Emma Kittle-Pey
Publication date: 29th October 2021

This is a selection of short prose from Colchester WriteNight, a community writing group, formed in 2011. They write together, share stories and invite along inspiring guests. As well as their regular monthly event, they participate in various literary festivals with live readings and workshops.

The ‘Open Book’ theme includes tales, vignettes and stories they conjured up during lockdown 2020. From goats and Rollers to gallery nudes, pork scratchings and the increasingly elusive Willow Wiffle, these stories will make you laugh, cry and shudder.

The stories are by Sarah Armstrong, Sarah Bates Kendrick, Annie Bell, Penny Benedetti, Helen Chambers, Tim Gardiner, Phil Hurst, Wendy James, Jonathan King, Toni Peers, Mary Pullen Deacon, Clare Shaw, Doug Smith, Alice Violett, and Katy Wimhurst.

A L Kennedy, who has written the introduction, says: ‘…a portrait of the real Essex: sexy, funny, cultured, close to Europe, wild and fond of skulduggery in the dark’

Other Reviews:

‘The stories are as brilliant as they are varied. A collection of voices which are superb on their own – together they make a glorious literary choir’

Nik Perring, author

‘A spectacular anthology to showcase one of my favourite art forms – the short story. A phrase used by Alice Violett in OPEN BOOK: 1995, 2009, 2021 is “anthology housekeeping” which evokes something intentional, clean and heartfelt; emotions that shine through in this collection, demonstrating how writing under one ‘house’ can produce something strong and cohesive’

Jo Coldwell, Red Lion Books

‘Witty, experimental, clever, thought-provoking and sometimes plain laugh-out-loud, this collection of short works is testament to the excellent Colchester WriteNight group. Between these covers lies a world of surprises: Jesus sitting on a park bench, a pair of modern-day grave robbers, a middle-aged woman determined to shock her daughter, as well as plenty else to inspire and entertain’

Liz Trenow, Best-selling author

‘A sparkling collection of carefully crafted stories that fizz with energy and reflect the diversity and talent of this group of writers. As a collection the work offers both a brave confrontation with the darkness of Covid and a beautiful escapism to other worlds and places. It tackles important social themes and gives us plenty to laugh about’

Nicola Werenowska, playwright

Sue Dawes lives in Essex with her family and is studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at Essex University. She has over 30 writing credits to her name: short stories, flash fiction, and poetry, which have appeared in magazines, anthologies and on-line publications, including Mslexia, Potato Soup Journal, and Writer’s Forum. Sue recently won the ‘Language Evolves’ short story competition.

Emma Kittle-Pey is a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority and a PhD candidate at Essex University. She is the founder and curator of local community writing group, Colchester WriteNight, a tutor of Creative Writing at ACL Essex and is on the editorial board of Short Fiction Journal. She has had two collections of short fiction published by Patrician Press, and is working on a novel.