Belfast Telegraph: “Miss Heidi’s Christmas Angel” by Martin Tyrrell

“She was about to speak when she saw some writing in Heidi’s uncertain hand on the back of a flyer from a double-glazing firm.

Luxembourg – pretty girl, good voice.
Germany – boys, novelty tune.
France – elegant lady, very French”

Belfast Telegraph: Miss Heidi’s Christmas Angel by Martin Tyrrell

An original short story for Christmas by Amy Bloom

This is a hard-edged, at times humorous, tale of filial duty in extremis and “reborn dolls” that provide comfort for patients with dementia. There’s not an iota of sentimentality in it and the characters are deftly drawn.

“Amy Bloom is the award-winning author of four novels, two of which have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, four collections of short stories, a children’s book and an essay collection”

The Queen of Holloway Castle by Katy Darby

In the year of the 100th anniversary of the first voting rights for women in the U.K., a story by Katy Darby about what the Suffragettes went through, centring around two sisters, one inside Holloway prison, pining, and the other in the street outside, nightly, singing their protest songs.

Listowel Writers’ Week Irish poem of the year: Birthday by Brian Kirk

By coincidence, after we setup a page for occasional poetry, one of our past contributors* won a national award for an occasional poem. Link: Read “Birthday” by Brian Kirk, and two other shortlisted poems.

* Brian Kirk’s short story That New Girl was our story of the month for November 2018. 

Fictive Dream: Barbara Robinson “Everybody Smokes in Heaven”

“…an invisible force pins me to the surface of the road. I feel broken inside, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle in a sealed plastic bag, then warm, liquid numbness floods me. I see sky, then the inside of my eyelids.” 

Superb writing from another of our past contributors, Barbara Robinson, whose evocative and affecting story “Supersum” was in our New Short Stories 9.