Urban Haiku

high rise concrete, twelve floor box:glimpses of central window –stairs lead to the stars SJ Bradley, 2022 During 2021/22 I’ve been at Cambridge University, taking a PGCert in Teaching Creative Writing, attending with a bursary from First Story charity. One of our assignments during the Spring term was to create a video introducing the haikuContinue reading “Urban Haiku”

Backstreet Nursery

The letter came one morning as Paul was feeding the baby. He was still only half-dressed. Wearing most of his clothes, one unlaced shoe. “Oh no,” he said. “No way.” The baby hammered her feet, made demanding noises. Paul read the letter twice, and it said the same thing both times. “I can’t,” he toldContinue reading “Backstreet Nursery”

Writer in Residence projects

In April 2019 I was overjoyed to be selected as a writer in residence for Alton Towers, led by the Liminal Residence. The project involved spending two days in Alton Towers, with five other writers, and producing a short story for their publication. You can hear me read the resulting story, The Stonechat, on theContinue reading “Writer in Residence projects”

The Gordon Trask

Annie used to say, “The maintenance men are coming any day now,” always with a handful of crumbling plaster. We spent months waiting for maintenance. Sitting together in the small office where she, and I, and Frances – a hard-elbowed woman who’d been running the Gordon Trask Centre twenty years – ran the music service.Continue reading “The Gordon Trask”

Brick Mother

Nominated for the Guardian First Book AwardShortlisted for the Gladstone Writers In Residence scheme Neriste and Donna both work at the notorious Cedar Hospital Heathley, a secure psychiatric unit that is understaffed and underfunded – a place where doors are kept locked, where the staff carry panic alarms, and where even a pen has toContinue reading “Brick Mother”

Meet Yourself Coming Back

Hanna was walking her dog in the field when she saw herself. The other her was coming back towards her, holding a worn red lead, at the end of which was a soft brown dusty dog, exactly the same as the dog Hanna had. This Other Self came through the long grass, which swished likeContinue reading “Meet Yourself Coming Back”

Event Hosting

Literary launches are something I always enjoy. I recently played host at the launch of David Constantine’s most recent collection, The Dressing Up Box at Square Chapel in Halifax, and have hosted panel events for Storgy and the Northern Short Story Festival. If you’d like somebody to host your literary event for you, please doContinue reading “Event Hosting”

Remembering Oluwale Anthology

The Remembering Oluwale anthology was an invitation to submit work celebrating the themes in David Oluwale’s life and death. Leading the process for selecting, editing and convening this book, I worked with the Remembering Oluwale charity and our panel of esteemed judges to select pieces to publish. We were far from the first group toContinue reading “Remembering Oluwale Anthology”

The Northern Short Story Festival

As director of the north’s only dedicated short story festival, I secured funding from the arts@leeds scheme to ensure this important festival’s security and sustainability. An agile, responsive and diverse festival, the NoSho is part of Leeds Big Bookend and aims to be accessible, affordable, and representative of its own community. We aim to hostContinue reading “The Northern Short Story Festival”