The stories in this volume were largely the product of a single weekend in November 2016, spent at Temenos, in the village of McGregor in the Western Cape.
The weather was hot and still. Peacocks cried and posed, and writers could be found alone and palely loitering in the shrubbery while contemplating their beginnings, middles and ends.
In addition to the writers at Temenos, others were tethered to the proceedings via email and the internet.
We presented the writers with ten story “seeds” – ideas that they were free to elaborate on, or ignore altogether. We’ve included all ten of these for your interest at the end of this volume. Not all were equally inspiring – only three appear to have been the trigger for stories.
We gave short workshops on some of the skills and techniques involved in writing short stories, and then set our writers free to compose, frantically, in the buzzing Karoo heat. While they were busy, we communicated advice to, and answered questions from, our online contingent.
By afternoon tea on Sunday afternoon, their first drafts were complete. Over the next few weeks, we gave notes, and they edited and revised their stories.
In addition, to fill out what promised to be a slim volume, we invited members of the All About Writing community to submit short stories, promising to include the three or four best in the collection.
What you’ll find here, then, are the fruits of all this labour.
You’ll also find the notes we prepared, the basis for the mini-workshops we gave to the participants, in the hope that they’ll help equip you to take up your own pen – or whip out your own laptop.
Saved by Christelle Connor
I Did What I Could by Darryl Boswell
Porsche Spyder by Gabi Thulkanam
He’s Not Your Father by Gail Gilbride
The Shed by Ian Cameron-Clarke
Happily Evan After by Ingrid van den Berg
Seasons of the Heart by Jane D’Abbs
The Wedding Troll by Jane Vink
A Thousand Tears by Kenosi Rakosa
Mortal Sin by Liz Dewing
Making Her Mark by Margaret Place
Girl in the Shed by Margot Wood
Discovery R by Merle Grace
The Dying Woman by Susan Newham-Blake
Death of a Leopard by Susan Hickey
Agenda by Thandi de Kock
Walking Accidents and How to Avoid Them by Yvette Wilsenach