Prizes and publications

I am currently seeking an agent for my two speculative fiction novels for adults: The Skin of a Selkie and The Wintering Place.   The Wintering Place was longlisted for the 2019 Mslexia novel competition and the 2018 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize.

My short stories have been published as follows:

The Beauty of the Beast


She went to him with trepidation, cowed by her father’s description of his beastliness and the thought of a creature so twisted with spite that he would demand such a price in exchange for the plucking of a rose.  But like all good girls, Beauty was burdened by a duty to right the wrongs of her parents, so she went willingly to the fate her father had created.’

Published in issue 14 of Firewords magazine.  You can buy a copy here.

The Carousel

None of us saw it arrive.  When I’d last looked, there was an empty field, stubbled with the remains of the harvest.  Nobody could say who’d built it.  But there it stood: an old-fashioned carousel, lovingly painted with a tented roof. 

Runner up in the Retreat West quarterly flash fiction competition in March 2021, this story was professionally recorded and you can read or listen to it here.

A gift of dreams

‘My food ran out days ago and there’s no prospect of rescue up here at the top of the world.  I try to put up my tent, but the arctic wind bludgeons and tears at the fabric.  My compass is gone, my GPS is behaving strangely and the whiteout obliterates the stars.  I no longer know which direction to walk in.  The next time I fall, I stay there, slumped in the snow, ready to give in to sleep at last.’

You can read this Christmas story, published on my blog in December 2018 here.

The siren flower

‘As I carry my suitcases to the door, the tide is already seeping onto the causeway.  I feel a moment of panic, knowing that soon I’ll be cut off from the mainland, but then I shake myself.  This is what I wanted, after all.’

Short-listed for the Fresher Short Story Prize 2018 and published in the competition anthology ‘Fresher Writing – Volume 4’.  You can buy a copy from the publisher here.

The last bus home

Cold Iron

‘She was alone at the bus stop on Roseberry Road. It was the last bus of the night and I was tired and ready to go home. I had no other passengers and had hoped for a clear run. I remember thinking she wasn’t dressed for the weather. The pink mini-dress barely covered her limbs and the wind caused her hair to whip around her in dark ribbons. When she got on the bus, I could see the goose pimples on her arms.’

Published in the Cold Iron anthology, published by Iron Press, June 2017.  You can buy a copy at Amazon or through Inpress here.

Lightning flowers


‘As the lightning flowers bloomed, her fears fell away, one by one. Each new blossom and a worry faded.  The lightning strike made her fearless.’

Published in Issue 5 of Firewords Quarterly, October 2015.  You can buy a copy at

The girl I was

She offered me distant cities, food that I had never tasted and the echo of words in alien tongues, but I chose terraced streets, white satin and packed lunches.  I see her still, shivering in a print dress, the lake reflected in her eyes.  ‘I could be your muse,’ she said, as I snapped the sketch book shut, capturing forever the hope and challenge in her face.’ 

Finalist in the Aesthetica Magazine Creative Writing Award 2014.  Published in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2015 on 17 December 2014.  You can buy a copy at


‘The worst of it is the certainty that I will die, not someday or sometime in the future, but today.  This is the day of my death.’

Published in issue 12 (Autumn / Winter 2014) of Popshot magazine.  This story asks the question: if you knew exactly when you would die, what impact would this have on the way you lived your life?  The print version is now sold out but you can buy a digital version at

The End of Hope

Winner of third prize in the International Rubery Book Award short story competition 2012.

By light of moon cover

‘On the day the last polar bear died, people wept openly in the streets.  Strangers huddled together in groups, staring at silent TV screens in shop windows.  Employees came out of their cubicles and gathered at water-coolers, discussing the tragedy in hushed tones.  Men and women leaked onto the streets, wandering aimlessly with grief-stricken faces.  Traffic thinned out and came almost to a standstill.  After an hour, the mobile phone networks had gone down due to heavy use.  By the end of the day, there was a river of flowers propped up against the enclosure where the bear had lived.’

You can read the full story in the anthology – By the light of the moon, edited by Clare Morrall.


Winner of fourth prize in the National Association of Writer’s Groups open short story competition 2012.


‘I was told, once, that the meaning of the word paradise is a walled garden.  In fact, paradise is a garden whose seasons change with the surfacing of a memory, the faint yearning of a time long gone.  And so, in the high blaze of summer, I might open my scarred back door to admit the scent of apples and wood smoke.  I can walk then, on a path painted gold with burnished leaves and feel myself enfolded by the expectant intimacy of autumn.  Wearied by the gloomy frigidity of too many winter days, I might sense the promise of spring germinating beyond the door.  I can strip my claustrophobic layers at the threshold, and slip out with airy steps, onto a lawn peppered with purple crocuses, in the dappled shade of branches jewelled with waxy buds.’

As this story wasn’t published, you can read the full story here.

White feather

This piece of flash fiction was published on the Sarah Potter Writes blog, where I was a guest storyteller in October 2014.  It was inspired by the activities of the Order of the White Feather, an organisation active in World War One, with the purpose of shaming men into enlisting by encouraging women to present them with a white feather.  You can read the story here.

The garden of lost ideas

You can read this piece of flash fiction about what happens to creative ideas when they are not used here.

Sasquatch – longlisted for Mslexia flash fiction competition 2022

The shoe thief – special commendation Prole Magazine Prolitzer Prize for Prose Writing 2014

The last bus home – runner up, What the Dickens Magazine / Miracle e-zine ‘Spooky Tales’ competition 2014

The last bus home – top 15 shortlist The Fiction Desk ghost story competition 2016

Reckoning – long-listed for Fish short story competition 2013/14

Reckoningshortlisted for Cinnamon Press short story award 2013

The girl I wasshortlisted for Mslexia short story competition 2012

The Wintering Place – longlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize 2018

The Wintering Place – longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Competition 2019

39 thoughts on “Prizes and publications

  1. Have you entered the MsLexia 2014 short story competition? I had one story lined up for it, then my iPad lost the file. Grrrr. My fault for not backing-up, I won’t make that mistake again. SD


    • Oh Sandra, that’s devastating! I hope you remember enough of the story to be able to re-write it. I’ve just finished polishing my entry. I had high hopes for another story I’d written, but realised it was over the word count – it may just be me, but word counts seem to be getting smaller! I’ve read Mslexia for a long time and it’s kind of a grail for me to get something published in it but so far I’ve only managed to get on shortlists! Good luck to you with your submission if you make one.


      • I agree it is devastating to lose a creative effort like that. I find even with adjusting photos that if I redo one with the idea of recreating the exact look of one that got lost, that it is never really the same. However, the door is open to making it even better than the first run at it. Audubon left a bunch of his drawings in a box before he left home for an extended period of time (like a year I think) to wander and observe. Upon his return he looked forward to reviewing his box of work only to find it had become a home for a family of mice and was destroyed. But, it seems he just dusted himself off determining to better the lost work. Hope Sandra’s story is better than ever recapturing the heart of it…..and you know…backing up!!


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  5. I was just checking this page out, and the story ‘Reckoning’ caught my eye. Do you have a link directly to the story? I don’t see a search box on the site. I can look around the site more, but I thought if you had a direct link, I’d ask for that first. Sounds like an intriguing piece.


      • Latest Duotrope (4-24-16, weekly e-newsletter) also has 1 or 2 other calls for fiction that you might be interested in; I think ‘witches and witchcraft’ is one, deadline sometime in May.


      • Thanks Leigh, have you come across – it seems to be used now by quite a lot of places for submissions but they also have a weekly newsletter with submission opportunities.


      • Yeah, Andrea, but I didn’t know they had a weekly newsletter. Thanks for that tip; you’re right. Quite a few magazines and such use Submittable these days. My Submittable overview screen depresses me, though. Over the last 4-5 years, I’ve submitted about (?)10-12 things through them and just about all say “declined.” Reminds me, though, that I should check the status of the other one.


  6. An impressive writing resumé, Andrea – the competitions are very high calibre and to reach so high is fantastic. I’m drawn in by the first two sentences of ‘Harvesting’, wonderful writing and am clicking to read the rest. So glad you could post that. Wishing you much success with competitions and publications in the future.


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