Refugees and Peacekeepers


‘I have been reading the other poems and stories in the anthology, and find it a really moving collection. As a volume it is really impressive – a testimony to the strength and dignity of the human spirit. Emma Kittle-Pey’s short story so poignantly highlights the gap between the haves and the have-nots, and was beautifully understated in its crisp yet ambiguous ending. It said so much (about the three/ four people) while saying so little. I loved it.’ Catherine Coldstream



I was lucky enough to be one of the judges of the first Patrician Press prize. To read the many entries, of such a high standard and diversity of style and content, was a great experience.  It was also quite hard.

Keeping in mind the different stories, selecting an order of preference and then discussing (and disagreeing!) with the other judges, we finally came up with a points system to choose the final seven. We debated again over the top three.  But we got there in the end, of course.

I’m proud that I was allowed to enter one of my stories, Milanese Feast, into the heady mix  of narratives, mine’s more about keeping the peace, but I think this still counts within the ‘peacekeeping’ category!

Some of my very good friends have stories in there too – Mark Brayley, Petra McQueen and Nesreen Salem all studied Creative Writing at the University of Essex with me, so the reading events are a bit of a social occasion now.