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Henshaw Short Story Competition
    Henshaw Short Story Competition

Works By Henshaw Prize Winning Authors






Annabel Ashalley- Anthony


The Star


Imagine a power that forced you to choose between experiencing agonizing pain or saving someone’s life even if they were a murderous criminal.


When Aurelia develops a relentless and powerful ability called a death echo she no longer has to imagine.


Then a group of fanatics begin torturing and killing people with special powers.

Aurelia has no choice but to master her volatile abilities and unite other specials like her if she is to defeat these fanatics.

The Algorithm


With the creation of the algorithm came the fall of emotion and the rise of the laws of logic. Frederick Asante creator of the first Algorithm and founder of the new generation initiative is credited with bringing the human race out of the dark ages; where emotion ruled, and into a new era of logic.

All new gen humans are ruled by logic and led by machines.

Emotion is punishable by death. 

A Promise of Love in Death


All Amelia has ever thought of is dying, nothing occupies her mind than what it would feel to take her final breath, how her body will relax and her mind cloud over, no one seems to understand her fascination with her own death not her parents, not her boyfriend or her doctors who can’t understand why she wants to speed up something that is going to happen after she experiences agonising pain first.


For more stories and snapshots of inspiration please check out and follow:


Creatively.anzy instagram.




Jonathan Mark Bayliss


Mark's parents dropped the 'Jonathan' in favour of Mark almost immediately and he once forgot how to spell his Christian name several years ago - easily done. He is originally from the former Welsh mining town of Blaenavon. Someone once described it as, 'dreary Blaenavon', well, it was until they closed the colliery and flattened the slag heaps. Now it’s an amazing and famous World Heritage Site attraction.


"What a pity they hadn’t flattened the local secondary school at the same time before I attended it!" - Mark loved that school.


Starting as an aerospace design engineer and then technical author, he spent most of his career as a successful international key account manager. His award-winning short stories and other works can be found in national magazines and websites.


To relax he’s recently ridden Tour de France alpine cycling climbs, hiked the ‘Camino’ across Northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela, snowboarded Mont Blanc’s Vallée Blanche and once managed to outrun a herd of rampaging cows across his local Welsh mountains. “Isn’t rampaging the same thing as grazing?” He is a member of the Hay Writers Circle.


Mark is a dedicated yogi and occasional lucid dreamer; both are part of the inspiration for his debut mystery novel ‘The Lucidity Programme’.


He lives in Wales with similar views to the characters in his book.


Mark’s novel received dozens of excellent 5* reviews. It’s available on Kindle or paperback. He is in the process of writing his second novel.






Minerals, Greed and Death.

Today, murderous fraudsters have replaced the Victorian slave-driving coal masters in a famous Welsh valley town. Jason Price and Declan Ryan, make an astounding discovery that will rock Blaenavon. Struggling to make ends meet, three hardworking, unsuspecting sheep farmers assume the disused coalfield grazing land they own on a mountainside is worthless.

A geology professor and his vicious land-grabbing associates possess incredible information, having secretly discovered that the farmland, which surrounds a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a geological freak. Scattered amongst the millions of tons of coal spoils are precious rare-earth mineral particles – worth more than gold. People are paying with their lives for their silence. That is until Lauren Eaves, a gritty, young Australian geology student turns up to disrupt the fraudsters’ plans, risking her own life in the process.


Available as paperback or e-book. from March 1st.



Captivating Coversations by John Bunting


Captivating Conversations is an anthology of twenty fun-packed Tall Tales written by prize-winning author John Bunting.

These stories will amuse, intrigue and move you.  Read how a man’s greatest wish comes true at last – but not quite in the way he’d hoped for!  Learn the secret behind a landlady’s strange behaviour and discover how a man fights back against all-intrusive social media.  All these and much more.  Oh, and find out why you will never look at a tin of baked beans in quite the same way again!

Sit back, relax, and enjoy

Find the book at:.https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1999836677



Mary Darling by Lori Butterworth (writing as L M D'Mello)


In L M D’Mello’s debut novel, her eponymous protagonist, Mary Darling, abandoned on hospital steps at birth, has spent most of her early years in care. She is adopted by a genuinely caring couple who do their best to make her happy, unaware that school bullies are making her lonely life even more wretched – until an unexpected ally emerges, an ally who will become her closest friend and join her on a vital and magical journey. Mary’s life is further transformed by her discovery of unusual and powerful supernatural gifts that she finds she can use to communicate with all animals, rescuing them from cruelty and healing those in distress. This unique ability builds throughout the story and, as her powers increase and mature, she learns that her mission is to be a universal Animal Ambassador. In time, she will become equipped, not only to defeat the bullies who have tormented her at the beginning of her journey, but also for the global battle in which she must engage if she is to save the animal world from cruelty and extinction. In the course of this Herculean task, she will recruit international helpers to assist her in defeating increasingly powerful and dangerous enemies worldwide, learning about herself, growing in stature with each triumph, and making vital discoveries about her own abilities along the way, until the young woman at the end of the journey is almost unrecognisable as the lonely young girl who began it.   





interview published through JD DeHart - Reading and Literature Resources. Check out the link: http://dehartreadingandlitresources.blogspot.co.uk/…/an-int


Available at    http://amzn.eu/6wtMU3m




Willow a play byJennifer Cerys


"Jennifer Cerys's new play 'Willow' was on at The Bunker Theatre in South London on 8th, 9th, 15th and 16th September at 8.30pm.


The play is about ex-girlfriends Gabi & Lottie, exploring love, subjectivity and storytelling.


Gabi is 100% sure she knows why she and her girlfriend Lottie broke up. Or 70% sure. Maybe 50%. Can she show it to you? The best parts, the parts she still doesn’t understand, and the parts she’s still trying to get over.

But is it possible to tell your own story, and tell it honestly? Especially when your ex-girlfriend is sharing the stage with you.

In Willow, Gabi and Lottie explore the fault lines in their relationship, and their (very) different views on the fallout.

Willow looks at how being certain and being truthful aren’t always the same thing, and what happens when someone you love doesn’t play the part you expect.

Written by Jennifer Cerys

Directed by Krysianna Papadakis

Starring Jennifer Dixon and Sophia O’Donohue


A link to The Bunker Theatre is here: https://www.bunkertheatre.com/whats-on/willow



Elizabeth Ducie



Elizabeth Ducie currently has three novels published and a fourth in preparation.


Gorgito’s Ice Rink is a tale of love, loss and broken promises, set in post-Soviet Russia and in Stalin’s era. It tells one man’s story through the eyes of the people whose lives he touched. It was Runner -Up in the 2015 Self-Published Book of the Year Awards.


Counterfeit! is the first in the series of Suzanne Jones thrillers, set in the sometimes murky world of international pharmaceuticals. Regulator Suzanne’s mission to stop counterfeiting in Africa becomes personal when a colleague buys a bottle of fake cough syrup with tragic consequences. But her investigation brings danger ever closer. In Uganda a factory burns and Suzanne’s friend goes missing; and in Zambia and Swaziland, children are dying.


Deception! is the second in the series and this time the action moves to Latin America. Deceit is a dangerous game and it seems like everyone’s playing. Athletes fight for no apparent reason. A sprinter disappears. Is a new health drink to blame? With new friends, an old adversary, and faces from the past, it’s Mardi Gras in Rio – and danger stalks the streets.


Elizabeth is also the writer of the Business of Writing series of books, a toolbox of business skills for writers. The series is currently being updated and a fourth title is due to be added early in 2018.


Full details of all Elizabeth’s writing and books can be found on her website: [elizabethducie.co.uk]elizabethducie.co.uk





The Road Ahead – a collection of short stories by Christine Griffin


It’s never too late to change as the characters in this poignant collection of stories demonstrate. Whether it’s learning to ride a bike in middle-age, facing up to demons from the past, dealing with loss and bereavement or embarking on a life-changing journey in later life, the humanity of the characters shines through.

Relationships feature strongly in the collection and all ages have their stories to tell. What happens when you’re fifteen and your parents tell you they’re expecting a new baby? How does Daniel cope with falling in love with a woman many years his senior? And how does a family deal with a stolen child returned to them after many years absence?  These are real people - the sort of people who might live in the same street as you or sit next to you on the bus.

Sometimes their stories play out against simple domestic settings and other stories transport you to far flung locations across the globe. But whether they’re in Albania, Greece, Dubai  or even Llandudno ,they still face the everyday challenges which we all face.

These award-winning stories will make you laugh and make you cry but above all they stand as testimony to the resilience of the human spirit.

The collection is available online or in print version from www.fast-print.net/bookshop




Don Horne



Books Available on Amazon


BRADY’S LEGACY A Novella (With Collected Short Storries)


Can we transform our suffering into meaning, into something that will last long after we have gone?

Meet James Brady, a young Australian Everyman coming of age in Sydney, Australia, at the onset of the Second World War.

Bright, creative, ambitious and hungry for adventure, he has every hope of following his dream to sail the high seas and fight for his country, knowing he has the love of the beautiful, talented Kathleen to sustain him.

But when fate deals him an unexpectedly bad hand he must learn to sink or swim - and to draw strength from adversity while he sets off on a new voyage.

In this compelling romance spanning more than two decades of tremendous change in his life, in Australia and in the world, Brady's unexpected triumphs and the comfort he finds both in friendship and in storytelling are a poignant reminder of the tremendous value of transforming our suffering into meaning, into something that will last long after we are gone.


Don’t Look To The Heavens To Be A Better First Line Team Leader

An easy-to-read collection of practical, commonsense ideas for boosting people skills to achieve better team results. Sound pathways for both established and newly-appointed team leaders. Helpful guidance based on experience, not theory. 






The Sparrows of Unity by Sen Jayaprakasam


“Your entire life has been a lie…” 
Homophobic hate crimes. Racist attacks. Britain is spiralling out of control. But when loner Lucy Taylor comes face to face with an imprisoned killer, a devastating truth is revealed. 

Nothing is as it seems 
Alongside three other sixth-form students, Lucy stumbles upon a conspiracy that extends into the very heart of British society, and a terrorist organisation bent on seizing control. 

Nobody can be trusted
Now, their only chance to save humanity lies in unravelling the secrets hidden within the enigmatic Sparrow’s Path. But will it lead them to salvation, or straight into the claws of an unimaginable terror? 

Sen Jayaprakasam’s debut novel – The Sparrows of Unity – is a YA conspiracy thriller that explores racism, homophobia and bigotry in modern Britain. Written in support of the National Literacy Trust (a charity working to improve literacy levels in children and young people around the UK), he has arranged for 30% of profits to be donated to the charity. The book is now available in ebook and paperback on amazon:





Katherine Mezzacappa



Katherine Mezzacappa’s début novel writing as Katie Hutton, The Gypsy Bride, was published by Bonnier Zaffre in June 2020, with a sequel to follow in 2021. She writes mainly historical fiction, but has also ventured into paranormal and contemporary fiction. She has had a number of short stories published, of which the following can be read on-line:

‘The Execution of Heinrich von Schwarzenberg’, Asymmetry, 2nd September 2019,  
‘Homeland’, Turnpike Magazine, July 2019, https://turnpikemagazine.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/turnpike-issue-no.-6-july-21.pdf. (p.38).
‘The Milliner of Klausenburg’, The Copperfield Review, February 2019, https://copperfieldreview.com/?p=4113
 ‘The Whole Truth, Erotic Review, 17th March 2018:  http://eroticreviewmagazine.com/fiction/the-whole-truth/
 ‘Chiaroscuro’, Erotic Review, 18th August 2017:   http://eroticreviewmagazine.com/fiction/chiaroscuro/
‘Afternoons in Hermannstadt’, Erotic Review, 5th June 2017:  http://eroticreviewmagazine.com/fiction/afternoons-in-hermannstadt/
‘Andromeda unbound’, Erotic Review, 20th March 2017: http://eroticreviewmagazine.com/fiction/andromeda-unbound/
‘Domino – a memoir of Venice’, Erotic Review, 16th February 2017:  http://eroticreviewmagazine.com/fiction/domino-a-memoir-of-venice/

Katherine has also been published in anthologies, including Henshaw Three and The Bedford International Fiction Prize 2018:
‘Angelica’  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Henshaw-Three-Mr-Graham-Jennings/dp/1686994656/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Henshaw+three&qid=1574336552&s=books&sr=1-1
‘Eventide’  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/17963737984.

As Kate Zarrelli, she also writes contemporary romance for eXtasy Books:




Maggie Richell-Davies


Winner of our October 2015 Competition with her story  ‘Till death do us Part’.  After winning the competition Maggie went on to win the Historical Writers' Association 2020 Unpublished Novel Award with her book The Servant...'


                                                     The Servant


Set in London, 1765


Hannah Hubert may be the granddaughter of a French merchant and the daughter of a Spitalfields silk weaver, but she has come down in the world.


Sent as maidservant to a disgraced aristocrat, she finds herself in a house of mysteries, with a locked room and auctions being held behind closed doors.


However - unknown to her employers - she can read. And it is only when she uses her education to uncover the secrets of the house that she realises the danger she is in.


Help might come from Thomas, the taciturn farmer delivering milk to the neighbourhood, or from Jack, a friendly young man apprenticed to his uncle's book-selling business. Yet Thomas is still grieving for his late wife - and can she trust Jack, whose uncle is one of her master's associates?


So when she discovers damning evidence that she cannot ignore, Hannah must act alone.


Catch Maggie on Twitter: @maggiedavieswr1

or on her website: https://www.maggiedaviesiswriting.com





Susan Rogers


What would you do if you were travelling alone believing that you were joining a tour group for a holiday, only to find on arrival that you are the only person in the group? That happened to me in 2002 when I travelled to Vietnam. Initially I worried, ‘Who will I talk to? Who will I eat with?” but the biggest question was ‘Who do I share the holiday with afterwards?’ There would be nobody to say to, ‘remember when we did this? or, wasn’t it hilarious when…’ I therefore kept a very detailed diary so that I could share and relive the holiday with myself. It turned out to be an amazing, thoroughly enjoyable vacation, and I’ve mainly travelled solo ever since, keeping detailed diaries for each adventure.


10 years later when I started to write, I revisited the old diaries which formed the basis for my Travelling Solo trilogy.


The delightful travelogues in their easy to read style, packed with humour and observations on human behavior, will not only inspire you to travel solo, but absorb you into the culture and experience of the countries visited. Adventure, entertainment and sadness are all here, and you will feel that you personally know the characters I encountered along the way.

Book 1. Vietnam: Journey of Unexpected Delights. http://amzn.eu/gSZ2Qzh

Book 2. Brazil and Argentina: From Jungle to Icebergs. http://amzn.eu/eU3Iua4

Book 3. The Gambia: land of the Mandinka. http://amzn.eu/ioBvlz7




The Perfect Neighbours by Rachel Sargeant


Published: 15th December 2017 (HarperCollins Killer Reads)

The perfect neighbours tell the perfect lies…When Helen moves to Germany with her loving husband Gary, she can’t wait to join the expat community of teachers from the local International School. But her new start is about to become her worst nightmare.

Behind the shutters lies a devastating secret…As soon as the charming family across the way welcome Helen into their home, she begins to suspect that all is not as it seems. Then Gary starts to behave strangely and a child goes missing, vanished without a trace.

When violence and tragedy strike, cracks appear in the neighbourhood, and Helen realises her perfect neighbours are capable of almost anything.

Available from Amazon:


Or HarperCollins website:





The Good Teacher by Rachel Sargeant


About the book

Published (HarperCollins Killer Reads) in eBook: 14 December 2018; paperback 21 March 2019.


Even the good have to die.
A beloved teacher is murdered and left in a ditch beside a country lane. His wife is found beaten and gagged in their suburban home.

Even the best schools have secrets.
New detective Pippa Adams learns that the teacher ran a homework club for vulnerable pupils. But what did he really teach them?

Even the perfect family has something to hide.
When Pippa scratches the surface of the school community, she meets families who’ve learned a shattering lesson. And finally uncovers the good teacher’s darkest secrets…

Available from Amazon.co.uk https://www.amazon.co.uk/Good-Teacher-gripping-bestselling-Neighbours-ebook/dp/B07GJB38F3/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542477433&sr=8-1&keywords=the+good+teacher

Or Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/Good-Teacher-gripping-bestselling-Neighbours-ebook/dp/B07GJB38F3/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1542724464&sr=1-1&keywords=9780008327224

Or HarperCollins website (various eBook formats) https://www.harpercollins.co.uk/9780008327224/


The Roommates by Rachel Sargeant

Published (HarperCollins) in eBook: 24 October 2019; paperback 28 November 2019.

Do you really know the people you live with?

University is supposed to be the best time of your life. But Imo’s first week is quickly going from bad to worse.

A stalker is watching her flat, following her every move, and Imo suspects that her new roommates are hiding dark secrets…

When one of them suddenly disappears, the trauma of Imo’s recent past comes hurtling back to haunt her. And she begins to realise just how little she knows about the people she lives with…


Purchase details

Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Roommates-gripping-psychological-bestselling-Neighbours-ebook/dp/B07NKPZQ8R/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Other formats: https://www.harpercollins.co.uk/9780008331894/the-roommates/

The paperback will be available from bookshops and supermarkets.



Simon van der Velde

Henshaw prize winner publishes debut collection.


We are delighted to announce that a former Henshaw prize winner and critic, Simon Van der Velde has published a collection of stories like no other, featuring; music, crime, mystery and a bucket-load of nostalgia.


Backstories, (published 25th March, Smoke & Mirrors Press) is a collection of stories each told from the point of view of one of Simon’s personal heroes, (or villains) at a pivotal moment in their lives. The writing is literary but accessible, the settings are mostly 60’s and 70’s UK and USA and the driving themes are inclusion and social justice - but the real key to these stories is that he withholds the protagonists’ identities. This means that your job is to find them - leading to that Eureka moment when you realise who's mind you've been inhabiting for the last twenty minutes.


Intrigued?  Check out the free story at www.simonvandervelde.com.


‘A thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking read. The theme is original, the writing intelligent and every story keeps you on the edge of your seat until the final line. If you want to know how to write short stories, then read Backstories’ Graham Jennings, Henshaw Press

‘Oh how I enjoyed these stories. A highly original and beautifully crafted collection that explodes into the reader’s consciousness like fireworks’ Kate Horsley, award winning author of The American Girl


‘Tightly written, technically accomplished, light-footed, wryly ironic and genuinely affecting. Excellent stuff’ Professor Graham Mort, Director of Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research.



Simon has now published his first novel  The Silent Brother



Publication Date: 16th June, 2022

Price: Paperback – £ 8.99, ebook – £2.99

Author: Simon Van der Velde

Publisher: Northodox Press

Available: Northodox.co.uk, Waterstones, Amazon, The Bound, & all good bookshops

Genres: Crime, urban, literary, contemporary and general fiction

Themes: Social justice, crime, nostalgia, the north-east, racism, family, love, redemption

Synopsis: When his beloved little brother is stolen away, five-year-old Tommy Farrier is left alone with his alcoholic mam, his violent step-dad and his guilt.  Too young to understand what has really happened, Tommy is sure of only one thing.  He is to blame.

Tommy tries to be good, to live-up to his brother’s increasingly hazy memory, but trapped in a world of shame and degradation he grows up with just two options; poverty or crime.  And crime pays.

Or so he thinks.

A teenage drug-dealer for the vicious Burns gang, Tommy’s life is headed for disaster, until, in the place he least expects, Tommy sees a familiar face…

And then things get a whole lot worse


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