Colin Will

Short Stories

Wanting a break from writing poetry, in 2015 I began writing short stories, and discovered
just how much I enjoyed that. Of course, the writing didn't come out of nowhere; I had always
enjoyed reading short stories, by Alice Munro, Raymond Carver, Ernest Hemingway, de Maupassant,
Chekhov and others. And while I don't claim to be influenced by anyone else, I have learned a lot
about writing my own stories by reading the work of others.

My first short story collection, a short pamphlet, was published by Postbox Press, the literary fiction
imprint of Red Squirrel Press, in 2016. It's now available from me directly - please email me.
book cover

After the success of this collection, my first full-length collection of short stories, Word Play, was published in 2018,
and it has now sold out. I have a few copies at home - please email me for details.

book cover

In 2021 my new collection of longer short stories, Long Shorts, was published. It's available from
Red Squirrel Press.

Long shorts cover

Short story (samples)

Opening lines

Here are the opening paragraphs of some of the stories in Long Shorts.

Social Distances

Nine oil tankers are moored in the Forth Approaches, with the May Island looking like a tenth, giant one. Each sits on a layer of haze, far offshore, so he can't easily tell where sea ends and sky begins. Both are blue, pale blue. Between blue and blue is a flotilla of oil reservoirs, waiting for demand to catch up with supply, with the rapid fluctuation in oil prices caused by Opec squabbles and then the virus.

Grace me no grace

The shoes my mother wore for her second marriage took my breath away. They were gorgeous, but I knew she wouldn't be able to dance in them for very long. Black patent FMP's, with four inch heels. I mean shoes like that have only one purpose in life, and I may be young but I knew what that was. Her dress was right for dancing though, the skirt just above knee length and the bodice well fitted, making the most of her figure.

To get ahead

The fedora said, 'Buy me, I'm perfect.'
You don't argue with a fedora, especially if it's black, size 7, with a black silk band.

The portrait

Thinking about it afterwards, I couldn't make up my mind just when it had started. When was the moment I acknowledged I had a crush on my art tutor?


Tam was doing scales and arpeggios today, changing it up by starting mid-volume, playing louder and then softer - crescs and dims.


I woke up feeling the warmth of the sun on my face. My eyelids were stuck together, and I had no sensation in my arms, so I couldn't raise my hands to feel what was wrong with me.

Copyright © Colin Will 2021