News and Events

I'll post here from time to time anything of interest, such as stories about to be published, competitions won, etc.

2020 A rare vintage indeed

Short Story Writing class

This is a free course, thanks to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Lottery funding. It will be delivered online via Zoom, and will be aimed at everyone from complete beginners to writers with some experience.

Open to residents of Northern Ireland, I am hoping to reach out to anyone with a disability/chronic illness, carers, and those who are finding it difficult to leave the house for face-to-face meetings.

Please send expressions of interest to me at or via the contact form on this website, here. Closing date for applications is Tuesday 15th September, and the class will start on Tuesday 22nd September.

Numbers are strictly limited, but if you don't get onto this course, I will keep a list of names for priority acceptance on the next course I run.


Breaking News!

Three-Book Contract signed with Joffe Books!

I'm delighted to announce that I have just been signed up to join Joffe Books as one of their crime-writing team of authors.

Joffe Books are one of the leading independent publishers of crime fiction in the UK, and I am to join Amazon bestselling authors like Joy Ellis, Faith Martin and Helen Durrant (so no pressure there, then!).

The first novel in the series will be released, hopefully towards the end of this year. You can read about them, and about the wonderful authors who write for them, on their website,, and their huge catalogue is available on Amazon.

My author page with Joffe will be updated as the books come closer to release, but you can find it here:

Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Many, many thanks to the ACNI for presenting me with a second award, this time from the Artists Emergency Programme. I intend to produce online writing classes for those who struggle to get to physical meetings (carers, the disabled, the elderly, those living in rural isolation), so watch this space...

The Armada Tree has won Kraxon Magazine's Story of the Year Award, 2019! 


Many thanks to those who voted for my little Spanish Chestnut. 


Breaking News!

Arts Council of Northern Ireland Award!

I just learned that I have been awarded a SIAP grant by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

This is an extremely prestigious award, and I am very honoured to receive it, especially in this 25th anniversary year of lottery funding for the grant.

The money will be used to fund a couple of writing retreats at The River Mill and at Downhill Beach House.. This will provide the time and space I need to finsh the last phase of editing for The Blacksmith's Apprentice.


Breaking News!

My story, Dementia Tremens, has been nominated for the Best of the Net 2019 by the Bangor Literary Journal!
I am beside myself with excitement.

For more information, see the post here.

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Book Week NI

I was lucky enough to be an invited author for Book Week NI, an annual celebration of reading run by Libraries NI and BBC NI

I spent a couple of very happy hours in Comber Library on 17th October, chatting to library users about what it takes to become a writer and how to improve your skills. In fact we all enjoyed ourselves so much that I let them talk me into starting a writers' group there in the new year to work alongside the one I already run in Ballynahinch Library!

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Flash Fiction in the Orchard

In September 2019, I was fortunate enough to be selected to perform my flash fiction oiece, The Ages of Nan, at Flash Fiction in the Orchard.

We were in a luxury Teepee (yes, there is such a thing!) in the grounds of Crannagael House, surrounded by heavily-laden apple trees. The readings were all brilliant, and you can find links to them all here. Afterwards, we were treated to music by the incredible Phoenix Rose, with my friend, Rosemary Tumilty, on guitar and vocals. A true night to remember.

Many thanks to Byddi and Réamonn for inviting me. It was an incredible experience.

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Mount Stewart National Trust - The Art of Conversation


Earlier this month, I was invited to take part in the Conversations event at Mount Stewart stately home on the Ards Penninsula. This wonderful event, in a glorious National Trust property, was curated and run by Karen Mooney, Byddi Lee and Gaynor Kane and included some talented writers and poets who were a joy to listen to.

I read a piece I'd written specifically for the event, 'A Time for Peace'.

Eurocon 2019/Titancon,  22nd to 25th August

This August, after Worldcon, I will be taking part in Eurocon in Belfast where I will be on panels, reading from my work and launching the new all-female Sci-Fi anthology, Distaff with fellow writers Jo Zebedee and Juliana Spink-Mills.
Juliana has travelled all the way from the USA to be with us, and we will be having a question and answer session hosted by the gorgeous and talented Jan Siegel, author of the wonderful Fern Capel trilogy as well as other brilliant books.

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Worldcon Dublin 2019 15th to 19th August

This is my schedule for Worldcon. I'd love to see some of my friends, fans and readers here: heckling, questioning, making life interesting!

Celtic’ fantasy and mythology

Format: Panel

15 Aug 2019, Thursday 16:00 - 16:50, ECOCEM Room (CCD)

How much veracity is there in fantasy novels based on the Celts? Certain motifs from Celtic myths are widely adopted, but to what extent do authors adhere to the original legends? Are the tropes surrounding what we consider to be ‘Celtic’ stronger than the historical realities?

Dr Kristina Perez, Deirdre Thornton, David Cartwright, Kathryn Sullivan (M), Kerry Buchanan

Imagining Disabled Futures

Format: Panel

18 Aug 2019, Sunday 14:00 - 14:50, Wicklow Room-1 (CCD)

Speculative fiction has always shaped the conversation about our future. The dearth of solid, accurate depictions of disability, or even hints of disability in worldbuilding affects how we imagine. How do we build a speculative future for inclusion of disability? How can SFF stop harming disabled readers? How will disability change in a world with constantly evolving technology? There's a whole future out there, and disabled people will be there.

Kerry Buchanan (M), Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Day Al-Mohamed, Sarah Pinsker (SFWA), Nick Wood

The Armada Tree in Kraxon Magazine

This month (July) saw the publication of another of my short stories, The Armada Tree, in Kraxon Magazine.

This story is based on a legend local to North Antrim, here in Northern Ireland. It tells of a sailor from the Spanish Armada who drowned and was buried in a little graveyard near Ballygalley. His grave marker is a beautiful Spanish Sweet Chestnut tree which apparently grew up from a chestnut he carried in his pocket, all the way from Spain. Dendrochronological studies of the tree date it back to the 16th Century (the Armada was 1588).

Of course, being me, I wrote the entire story from the point of view of the nut...

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An Evening with Eastside Choir

Join us for an evening of song, story and poetry. The talented Eastside Choir will sing six very different songs and the women of Women Aloud NI will respond with original work inspired by the song they've been given.

This promises to be an exceptionally good night.
St Martin's Church, Belfast

Friday 2nd August

7.30 pm

Tickets free, but booking required.

Women Aloud NI 2019

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Book Launch!

The new anthology from Inklings Press launched on 12th July with my story in it. The Fearsome Lambton Worm is a retelling of an old North Country legend, with a twist in its tail.

Available from Amazon.


Mount Stewart, National Trust

I was very lucky to be invited as a reader at this prestigious event, to bring to a close a wonderful art exhibition celebrating the voices of women throughout the centuries, and in particular those women who worked so hard and gave up so much to win us the right to vote. I read my short story, Deeds, not Words.


Flash Fiction Armagh and the Launch of The Bramley


On Monday 4th March, a disparate group of writers scrubbed up, slapped on the warpaint and drove down to the Palace Buildings in Armagh, guests of the Lord Mayor, for the launch of a beautiful new anthology of flash fiction, The Bramley (left). 

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We have been very busy for International Women's Day 2019 with Writers' Fairs (where I took part in a discussion about SFF in Northern Ireland with the wonderful R B Kelly at the Accidental Theatre), Readings, Women x Borders in the Irish Writers' Centre in Dublin and loads more!

I ran an evening of readings in Waterstones, Belfast on 8th March before getting on the bus to Dublin the next day for readings, timekeeping, and taking part in a panel on fiction in Ireland post Anna Burns' Milkman! Been a busy few weeks...


Flash Fiction in Page and Spine

My little C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien homage was published today in Page and Spine, a US publisher. To read it, click the picture (right)

And now the second in the series has also been published here!


The Bangor Literary Journal

I had a short story, The Matchgirls, in the 6th Edition, and now I have a story and a photograph in the 7th Edition! A surfeit of riches. 

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Inklings Press

My short story, The Fearsome Lambton Worm, has been selected for inclusion in a new anthology published by The Inklings Press. Very excited to be a part of this, alongside some super-talented writers!

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Armagh Flash Fiction

My Flash Fiction piece, Only a Clockwork Heart, was selected for the Armagh Writers Flash Fiction event, Night at the Museum in January 2019. Here you see me, a little nervous to be reading Steampunk Fantasy under the stern gaze of Seamus Heaney!

This story will soon be available as part of the anthology, The Bramley, published by Armagh Writers.