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In this edition we speak to poets and poetry editors for Seren Books Rhian Edwards and Zoe Brigley and to poet and director of The Sylvia Plath Literary Festival, Sarah CorbettYou can listen to preview editions and subscribe to the Seren Poetry Podcast by searching “The Seren Poetry Podcast” in your favourite podcast app or by clicking the link below and selecting the platform on which you’d like to listen The podcast formally launches on Thursday 6th October, the UK’s National Poetry Day, with an edition featuring poet Polly Atkin and her collection “Much With Body” You can find out more about Seren Books and buy books and poetry collections here You can follow Seren Books on twitter here on Instagram here The Sylvia Plath Literary Festival takes place over the weekend of 21st, 22nd and 23rd October and is based in Hebden Bridge and Heptonstall in West Yorkshire.   Our interview is with poet and festival director Sarah Corbett.  The interview commences at  42.30 You can find out more about the festival and book tickets for events here the festival on twitter here on Instagram here Contact Alternative Stories by email at office@alternativestories.comThe presenters in this edition are Chris Gregory and Tiffany ClareThe interviewer is Chris GregoryProduction, sound design and editing are by Chris GregorySupport the show
In this edition we talk to audio drama creators about their shows, their production processes and tips for other creators.  We speak to Christina Castaneda, creator of Venice Magic Shop, David Johnson and Jodie Jasmine Hicks of Death in Podville, Emily Inkpen of The Dex Legacy, Jackie Jorgenson of Tales from the Aether and Lucy Gibb-Smith of Darkstead. Thank you to the creators who joined us for this special edition.  We are hugely grateful to all of them for taking the time to chat with us in this special edition.  We have links to their shows, websites and social media below so please follow, subscribe, link and download to support their workPlease note, this episode contains some swearing in the episode clips and trailers.  Christina Castaneda's podcast is called "The Savvy Creative" and you can listen to Venice Magic Shop and her other dramas here Christina and her work on twitter instagram Johnson and Jodie Jasmine Hicks of the Fenland Films Initiative's website is here can follow them on twitter instagram can listen to Emily Inkpen's drama The Dex Legacy (which is produced by Alternative Stories) here follow Emily in twitter here Instagram here addition you can read Emily's scripts and find out more about The Dex Legacy at the show's website here You can listen to Jackie Jorgenson's podcast Tales from the Aether here follow Jackie on Twitter here instagram here Lucy Gibb-Smith's drama Darkstead can be found here you can follow the show on twitter here instagram here the show
In this midsummer edition we continue the theme of nature writing .  We feature  Walking on Skylark Ridge by artist and writer David Suff.  The book charts David’s daily walk along the same route for a year beginning at the start of the UK’s first national lockdown in which we were restricted to an hour of outdoor exercise per day.  It discovers the changes in the nature along the route as the seasons change and explores the meaning of community as David shared his weekly updates in paintings and emails to his friends and followers locked down around the world Thank you for listening to Walking on Skylark Ridge from The Alternative Stories and Fake Realities Podcast.  The presenter  is Chris Gregory and the readers are Chris Gregory, Marie-Claire Wood and Tiffany Clare.Sound design and editing is by Chris Gregory  You can buy a copy of Walking on Skylark Ridge, the book directly from David’s website and where you’ll be able to see more pictures and read a bit more about it.   Visit David’s Instagram page to see more of his art here  The music in this podcast is “The January Man” written by Dave Goulder and performed by Lau and Karine Polwart.   Vocals and guitar by Karine Polwart and Kris Drever Martin Green played Accordion and Wurlitzer  Aidan O’Rourke played Fiddle We are grateful to Mark Whyles and Tom Rose for their permission to use the track which you can find on the Evergreen EP by Kau Vs Karine Polwart  You also heard “Searching For Lambs” by Andrew Cronshaw which featured  Andrew Cronshaw playing maronvantele and zitherRecorded at home, May 2022Courtesy of Cloud Valley Music / David SuffYou can find out more about the musicians you heard in this podcast by visiting their websites Lau Polwart Cronshaw And to find out more about the work of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds visit their homepage here If this is your first time listening to the Alternative Stories podcast please consider subscribing in your favourite podcast app to have all our future editions delivered directly to your feed the moment they are released.  You’ll also have access to our archive of over 120 past editions.  Walking on Skylark Ridge is an Alternative Stories  2022 production for the Alternative Stories and Fake Realities podcast. Support the show
In today’s podcast we speak to two writers for whom nature, landscape and horses are important in their work.  Catherine Munro is the author of “The Ponies At The Edge of The World” about her life in Shetland and Madeleine F White whose poetry collection “The Horse And The Girl” explores riding, the environment and the landscape of Kent.  Thank you to Catherine Munro and Madeleine F White for taking the time to speak to us for today’s podcast.  We’d like to thank Rider, an imprint of Penguin Random House and Lapwing Publications for allowing us to reproduce extracts from their books in this podcast.  Readings are by the authors, Catherine Munro and Madeleine F WhiteInterviews, editing and music were by Chris Gregory You can find out more about The Ponies At The Edge Of The World and buy a copy via Penguin Random House through this link out more about Catherine Munro and read her blog entries here You can follow Catherine on twitter here Rider Books on twitter here Penguin here  Follow Madeleine F White on twitter for news of the release of The Horse and The Girl and how you can buy a copy when it is released later in June 2022 collection will be published by Lapwing Publications and you can visit their website here pre-order by emailing them on Find out about and purchase Madeleine’s novel Mother of Floods via Good Reads here During her interview Madeleine mentioned poetry and other writing that had influenced her work.  These were as follows ·       Seamus Heaney – Digging and the Wishing Tree,·       Exiled writers Jennifer Langer and Elena Croitoru,·       Iraqi poetry, so closely bound up to land and suffering - Rain Song Poem by Badr Shakir al-Sayyab.·       Equestrian writing : Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling -natural horsemanship, which is so much about the bond and connection between horse and rider and the language/ non verb If you would like to listen to Alternative Stories’ other podcasts you can find them here Our science fiction drama serial The Dex Legacy podcast for writers, Write On! Audio the show
In this edition we look at The Half Life of Snails, the debut novel by writer and academic Philippa Holloway.   The novel deals with issues surrounding nuclear energy and the communities it affects and we talk about Philippa's trip to the Chernobyl exclusion zone as part of our interview.  We have excerpts from the book read by Phoebe HolmesIn the Half-Life of Snails you heard the voices of Philippa Holloway and interviewer Chris Gregory.  The interview took place at Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker in Cheshire.  Our excerpts were read by Phoebe Holmes and reproduced with the kind permission of Parthian Books.Sound design, production, editing and music were by Chris Gregory You can pre-order a copy of The Half Life of Snails by visiting the Parthian website at  www.parthianbooks.comFind out more about Philippa Holloway by following her on social media where she posts as You can follow Parhtian Books on twitter here Instagram here You can find out more about Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker by visiting their website at follow then on Instagram at You can read Philippa Holloway's response to the Ukraine crisis here find out about her academic work at the University of Staffordshire here has also written about psychogeography including this article Finally – please check out the other podcasts mentioned in this edition Write On! Audio Dex Legacy Chaika  Support the show (
Ghostlore is an anthology of writing inspired by the folklore of ghosts and the supernatural. Edited by writer and audio dramatists Lyndsey Croal our second episode Hauntings, features the work of 11 writers and explores folklore from around the world. The readers are Sally Walker Taylor, Marie-Claire Wood, Lindz McLeod, Lyndsey Croal, Hadiya Morris, Chris Gregory, Amy Boucher and Christina CastanedaOur pieces and writes areThe Witch by Amy Boucher Amy Boucher is a passionate advocate of her native Shropshire’s folklore, ghostlore and local History. You can find her blog her and on twitter @g0blineggWe Cower in a Ruined Castle and Hope Not to Hear a Ghost by Elou CarrollElou Carroll likes to tell ghost stories. You can find her work on www.eloucarroll.comGhost Feet by Ellen ForkinEllen Forkin is a writer and artist living in the magical Orkney Islands. Find her on Instagram @ellen_forkin and Twitter Unrest by Vanessa JaeVanessa Jae writes horrifically beautiful anarchies, reads stories for Apex Magazine and translates for Progressive International, Enchantress, Murderess by Lyndsey CroalLyndsey is a writer, audio dramatist and editor from Edinburgh. Find out more about her and her work here Home by Ai JiangAi Jiang is a Chinese-Canadian writer, an immigrant from Fujian, and an active member of HWA. Find her on Twitter @AiJiang_  and online http://aijiang.caNaart Stuyck by Signe Maene Signe Maene is a writer, folklorist and audio dramatist from Belgian.  Her work has been featured frequently in this podcast and a new audio play is in preparation. Ye Tak The Ghost Road by Callum McSorleyCallum McSorley is an author based in Glasgow. His short stories have been published by New Writing Scotland, Gutter Magazine, Shoreline of Infinity, and Monstrous Regiment among others. Accordionist by Anna OrridgeAnna Orridge is a writer from Croydon, whose short story 'Backdrop' was adapted for a an acclaimed Alternative Stories audio drama. You can find out more about her activism and writing on Twitter Fate Worse by Marisca Pichette Marisca Pichette writes speculative fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. She is on Twitter as  and Instagram as @marisca_write. Her website is: www.mariscapichette.comThe Island of Dolls by Sam W PisciottaSam W Pisciotta is a writer and visual artist who believes, with his whole heart, that the glass is half-full.  Follow him on Instagram @silo34 and Twitter Music and production are by Chris Gregory More bio notes on our participants Sound effects are from freesound.orgSupport the show (
Ghostlore is an anthology of writing inspired by the folklore of ghosts, spirits and the supernatural. Edited by writer and audio dramatists Lyndsey Croal this first edition, Wilderness, features the work of 11 writers and explores folklore from around the world.  Ghostlore Part One, Wilderness is presented and edited by Lyndsey Croal.  The readers are Sally Walker Taylor, Marie-Claire Wood, Maria S Picone, Lyndsey Croal and Chris Gregory. The featured pieces and writers are The Goatherd by Cormack Baldwin Cormack Baldwin is a speculative fiction writer and editor who emerged from the Alaskan bush one day and mosied down to Oregon. Ghost of Bones and Bark by Alexandra BeaumontAlexandra’s debut fantasy novel based on Tudor astrology and star-magic, Testament of the Stars, was published in April 2021. Sorrow To The Sea And the Waves Will Answer by Lyndsey CroalLyndsey is a science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction writer from Smiling Folk by E L Crocker E L Crocker is a writer from Manchester. He cut his teeth in horror stories, but in recent years has turned to writing fantasy novels from “Mischief Acts” by Zoe GilbertZoe is a prize winning short story writer, novelist and teacher based in Folkestone.  Her latest novel, Mischief Acts is published by Bloomsbury is Neither Man Nor Ghost by Gessica Sakamoto MartiniGessica Sakamoto Martini is a writer from Italy. Her writing has been published in Corvid Queen and featured in Alternative Stories podcast. She holds a PhD in Anthropology and tweets about folklore at Story by Maria S PiconeMaria S. Picone/수영 ( @mspicone on Twitter) is a Korean American adoptee and multigenre writerYour Name Repeated by Tamara RogersTamara writes mainly dark, surreal tales with a touch of science fiction. You can find her at and is an Instinct by Melinda SalisburyMelinda Salisbury is the three-time Carnegie nominated and bestselling author of multiple young adult novels, including the Sin Eater's Daughter series, the State of Sorrow duology, Hold Back the Tide, and Her Dark Wings.www.melindasalisbury.comThe Hobby Lanterns by Cat VoleurCat Voleur is a writer, gamer, and podcaster. You can find her and more of her work through Twitter @Cat_Voleur and on her website Hollow Secret God Sleeping by Lorraine WilsonLorraine’s debut novel, the wilderness dystopian This Is Our Undoing, was released last year, and her second, The Way The Light Bends, a dark folkloric novel, is coming out in August this year. She tweets Music and production are by Chris GregoryMore bio notes on our participants effects are from freesound.orgSupport the show
In this first edition of season 6 we look at the other podcasts Alternative Stories have been working on.  We chat with novelist Madeleine White about the pdcast for writers, Write On! Audio and novelist and audio dramatist Emily Inkpen about our new science fiction audio drama The Dex Legacy.  We also preview some of the content you’ll be able to hear in season 6.  In this edition you can hear an interview with the editor of the Write On! suite of publications, Madeleine White. You can listen to Write On! Audio by searching for “pen to print” in your favourite podcast app or by clicking the link below. You can hear Madeleine White’s audio drama The Ark by clicking here order her novel “Mother of Floods” here and at the usual book retail outlets follow her on twitter here Find out more about author and dramatist Emily Inkpen and her new audio drama podcast The Dex Legacy by visiting the podcast’s website here You can listen to the Dex Legacy by searching “the dex legacy” in your favourite podcast app or click the link below You can follow The Dex Legacy on twitter here follow Emily on twitter here You heard an excerpt from Zoe Gilbert’s forthcoming novel “Mischief Acts” read by Sally Walker Taylor.  Mischief Acts will be published on 17th March and you can order a copy and find out more about Zoe via the Bloomsbury website here Zoe on twitter here Also out on 17th March will be the memoir “Sins of My Father” by Lily Dunn and you heard a short excerpt in the podcast read by Lily herself.  You can order a copy at all the usual book outlets and via the W&N website here Lily on twitter here Also in this podcast you can hear ·      the poem “Scent of Oleander” by Amantine Broduer read by Tiffany Clare·      An excerpt from a forthcoming interview with artist David Suff about his book “Walking on Skylark Ridge” ·      And an excerpt from an upcoming interview with writer, actor and dramatist Jackie Jorgenson which we’ll be sharing as part of our storytelling season soon.  We look forward to welcoming you to season six starting with our Ghostlore audio drama anthology which will be out on 18th March.   Support the show
Midwinter Monologues

Midwinter Monologues


Midwinter Monologues is a collection of seasonal short fiction by 13 different writers.  We feature stories written and performed by Alternative Stories regulars such as Lewie Watson and Marie-Claire Wood and introduce some new writers and voices.  This anthology will put you in in a festive mood and help you to consider some alternative versions of Christmas.  We all have our own midwinter stories – what’s yours?  “The Hidden People” by Bean Swayer performed by Sally Walker Taylor“To All A Good Life” by Lewie Watson performed by Lewie Watson“Winter Monologue” by Marie-Claire Wood performed by Marie-Claire Wood “Home for the Holidays” by Jackie Jorgenson performed by Jackie Jorgenson“The Sunday Morning Club” by Sally Goble read by Tiffany Clare “The Golden Ball” by Gessica Sakamoto Martini performed by Sally Walker-Taylor“Turkey Story” By Jude Whiley-Morton read by Jude Whiley-Morton“The Pond” by Carolyn Stockdale read by Tiffany Clare “Solstice” by Daniel Draper read by Daniel Draper “The Sun Stones” (A Solstice Story) by Kevan Manwaring read by Kevan Manwaring“Monologue” By Ford Dagenham read by Chris Gregory “Trouble and Strife” By Janet O’Donnell read by Janet O’Donnell“Unread Stories” By Maggie Sawkins read by Maggie Sawkins Thank you to all our writers and readers for their contributions to this podcast.  Special thanks to Lily Dunn, Zoe Gilbert and Ennis Welbourne of London Lit Lab for their help in finding us so many brilliant new writers for this edition. You heard trailers for 2 new Alternative Stories productions in this podcast.Find out more about the Dex Legacy by visiting our website subscribe to the podcast here to hear our first episodes as they are released in JanuaryFollow The Dex Legacy on twitter here Write On! Audio from Pen to Print is a podcast aimed at writers everywhere.  You can subscribe here or by searching “Pen To Print” in your favourite podcast app follow Pen to Print on twitter here We also shared a trailer for our recent audio drama Real Boy by Cailean Steed.  Listen free here We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our listeners an enjoyable festive season and a creative, exciting and story-filled 2022.  From all at Alternative Stories, thank you so much for listening in 2021 and please join us again for season 6 next year. If you would like to contact us while we're away please email us at or follow us on  social media Support the show (
In this special edition guest-edited by Signe Maene we look at the folklore and folk stories associated with animals, beasts and familiars.  Our guests are Terri Windling, Zoe Gilbert, Willow Winsham, Icy Sedgewick and Natalja Saint-GermainThank you to Signe Maene, Terri Windling, Zoe Gilbert, Willow Winsham, Icy Sedgwick and Natalja Saint German for being out guests on the podcast today.  We’ve posted links so you can find out more about our guests and follow their blogs, podcasts, websites and social media as part of these show notes. Find out more about our guests by visiting their websites, listening to their podcasts and following them on social media  Signe Maene also co-edits the Wyrd Wednesday hashtag on twitter which you can follow here Terri Windling Zoe Gilbert teaches creative writing, often with a folkloric twist, with London Lit Lab.  Find out more here Icy Sedgewick where you can link to her books and her wonderful Fabulous Folklore PodcastTwitter Instagram Willow Winsham You can find Willow’s books for sale here follow Folklore Thursday which she co-runs with Dee Dee Chainey here Natalja Saint-GermainTwitter also co-hosts the Swamp Sunday hashtag on twitter which you can follow here You can listen to all our folklore and fairytale podcasts via this podchaser link  Support the show (
In this edition we resume the theme of storytelling, this time looking at the art and techniques of telling stories from real life. Our guest, Lily Dunn is a novelist, memoirist and teacher whose debut memoir, Sins of My Father will be out in March 2022.  Excerpts from Sins of My Father in this podcast are read by Lily DunnThe interviewer is Chris GregoryProduction, sound design, music and editing are by Chris Gregory Lily Dunn is a writer, teacher and lecturer in creative writing and narrative nonfiction at Bath Spa University. She is the author of one novel, SHADOWING THE SUN, and co-editor with Zoe Gilbert of A WILD AND PRECIOUS LIFE, an anthology of recovery stories.You can find out more about Lily by visiting her website here follow Lily on social media Via twitter Instagram's memoir, Sins of My Father will be published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in March.  We think W&N for permission to use excerpts from the book in this podcast. Lily and Zoe Gilbert co-founded and teach for London Lit Lab.  If you have enjoyed listening to Zoe and Lily chatting about storytelling and the art of writing please visit their website at the address below to find out about and book onto their courses and workshops. updates about London Lit Lab courses and activities follow them on social media here Via twitter Instagram You can listen to part one of our Storytelling series with Zoe Gilbert and Tiffany Clare here out for future podcasts about storytelling featuring professional storyteller Ilaria Passeri and playwright and scriptwriter Lucy Kaufman If you have enjoyed this or any of our podcasts we would be grateful if you could provide us with a rating and review preferably on Apple Podcasts here Podchaser here and if you would like to contact us, submit work or enquire about our actors, production services or course and workshops please drop us a note via Support the show
Real Boy: An Audio Drama

Real Boy: An Audio Drama


Mastrocherry is a tech company making poppets - highly realistic replicas of real humans.  Senior engineer Catherine Antonio and Junior Reclaim Engineer Fox Cameron have a problem.  A poppet has been returned by a VIP customer and they must diagnose the reasons for some alarming behavioural traits it has been displaying.  Can it really be possible that the poppet has become self-aware and started to display violent tendencies?Real Boy is written by Cailean Steed and was the winner of the 2021 Pen To Print Audio Play Competition.  In Real Boy you can hear Alex White as FoxKelley Costigan as CatKirsty Woolven as CarloCarl Wharton as FatherHadiya Morris as Motherand Verity Blyth as AzureMusic, sound design, direction and production are by Chris GregroyCasting and character direction are by Chris Gregory and Cailean Steed Sound effects are from The script for Real Boy is copyright Cailean Steed and the produced audio drama copyright Alternative Stories / Cailean Steed.  Find out more about our writer Cailean Steed by following  them on twitter at We would like to thank Cailean for their invaluable work in the production of this drama.   Real Boy was the winner of the 2021 Pen to Print Audio Drama writing competition. If you are a dramatist and would like to enter the 2022 competition, please visit for details of how to do so or to join an audio drama writing workshop.  These workshops are run by Chris Gregory from Alternative Stories and the next one will be on Thursday 20th January.  If you have enjoyed listening to Real Boy please check out our other audio dramas via our podcast feed.   Real Boy is an Alternative Stories 2021 production for the Alternative Stories and Fake Realities Podcast 
In this podcast we look at the art and techniques of storytelling.  We speak to novelist Zoe Gilbert about the ways in which she uses folklore and folk tales as inspiration and backdrop for her storytelling and actress Tiffany Clare about telling stories through characters and narration. Our first guest in this edition is Zoe Gilbert.  Zoe won the Costa Short Story prize in 2014.  He debut novel Folk was published to considerable acclaim and featured on BBC Radio.  Zoe's second novel Mischief Acts will be published in 2022.  She co-founded London Lit Lab with novelist and memoirist Lily Dunn who we'll be featuring in part two of this short series. Find out more about Zoe and her work by visiting her website here can follow her on twitter here Find out more about London Lit Lab and sign up for their courses and workshops here You can buy Folk as paperback, e-book or audiobook through all the usual outlets. Tiffany Clare is an actress working on stage, screen and in audio drama.  She has appeared in many Alternative Stories dramas being nominated for two audio verse awards for her appearances in our dramas The Adults in The Room and No Words.  The latter represented the UK at the International Radio Drama Festival in 2020.  Tiffany works as a voice artist in commercials, presents podcasts and has worked as a voice actor for video games.  If you would like to work with Tiffany you can contact her via her website In this podcast you can hear extracts from the following  Two extracts from Mischief Acts by Zoe Gilbert read by Sally Walker-TaylorAn extract from Folk by Zoe Gilbert read by Tiffany ClareAn extract from The Seeing Trees by Kaitlin Felix featuring Tiffany Clare and Charlie Richards An Extract from The Adults in the Room featuring Tiffany Clare and Catherine D’Addario We would like to thank Bloomsbury, Zoe Gilbert’s publisher for permission to recreate extracts from her books for this podcast.  You can visit Bloomsbury here follow them on twitter here In our next podcasts you’ll be able to hear ·      Storytelling Part Two featuring Lily Dunn·      Real Boy, a new audio drama by Cailean Steed ·      A folklore special edition about creatures, beasts and familiars in folklore guest-edited by Signe Maene·      Midwinter Monologues – our Christmas 2021 edition featuring short seasonal monologues from a variety of writers. Support the show (
Bonds is the debut short story collection by poet, dramatist and friend of the podcast Sarra Culleno.  Dealing with the bonds between mothers and children as its main theme it skips genres between science fiction, fantasy and folklore.  We have an interview with Sarra and excerpts from the stories. You can order a copy of Bonds directly from the CAAB Publishing website here’s also available from Waterstones and AmazonFollow Sarra Culleno on social media here follow CAAB Publishing on twitter here readings from the story Machina Ex Deus which appears in Bonds were by Tiffany Clare and Alex WhiteIn the excerpt from The Hares of Horsenden Hill you heard the voices of Stevie Skinner and Amy Forrest.  Music was by Inge Thompson The excerpt from Greenman was read by Annabelle BroadContact Alternative Stories at to enquire about upcoming audio drama writing workshops as mentioned by Sarra in the podcast. 
In this edition of the podcast we look at “Somebody Loves You”, the debut novel by acclaimed poet Mona Arshi.  We’ll bring you extracts from the novel read by actress Rakhee Sharma, an interview and some of Mona’s poetry. The presenter in this edition is Sally Walker Taylor, the readers are Rakhee Sharma and Tiffany Clare. and the interviewer is Chris Gregory. Sound design, production and music are by Chris Gregory We would like to thank Mona Arshi for her time and support in the making of this podcast.  We’re also grateful to And Other Stories for allowing us to feature Somebody Loves You and reproduce extracts from it. If you would like to buy “Somebody Loves You” you can do so directly from the publisher by visiting  where you can buy or pre-order a paperback or e-book version of the novel.    You can also buy the book through all the usual outlets  Alternative Stories is pleased to recommend – all purchases from this retailer support local bookshops of your choice.  You can find out more about Mona Arshi by visiting her website And follow her on social media where she posts as And Instagram where she is   You can visit publisher And Other Stories’ website here them on twitter via on Instagram If you have enjoyed this edition of the podcast please consider subscribing to have all our future editions delivered directly to your podcast feed.  We make audio drama, poetry and fiction podcasts as well as writer interviews and writing advice.  Coming soon on Alternative Stories we’ll be sharing a new audio drama, “Real Boy” by Cailean Steed and we’ll be chatting to novelist Zoe Gilbert, memoirist Lily Dunn and other guests about the art of storytelling.  Support the show (
In this edition we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Seren Books, the publisher from south Wales responsible for launching the careers of many poets and for putting out a series of memorable poetry collections including a few featured previously on Alt Stories  In this podcast you can hear an interview with Seren’s outgoing poetry editor Amy Wack who leaves the press at the end of October 2021.  She looks back at her time with Seren and the changes to the style and readership of poetry since she joined.  The presenter of this podcast is Nadia Wyn Abouayen and the readers from Alt Stories are Tiffany Clare and Chris Gregory We feature the following poems in this podcast  “We are coming” by Kim Moore is taken from her recently published collection “All the men I never married” and is read by Tiffany Clare  “Yet, he remembers Baghdad” by Abeer Ameer from the 2021 collection “Inhale / Exile” read by Tiffany Clare  “Air Camera” by Christopher Meredith from his collection “Still” is read by Chris Gregory “Wrack of Summer” is taken from Polly Atkin’s latest collection “Much With Body” and is read by Tiffany Clare  “Karaoke King” is the title poem of Dai George’s latest collection which came out in June.  The reader is Chris Gregory.  “Paean for a cliff railway driver” is written and read by Paul Henry and is taken from the upcoming collection “As if to sing” to be published by Seren in 2022 From the collection “Let Me Tell you What I saw” by Adnan Al Sayegh, the recording we include features the voice of translator Jenny Lewis reading the text in English whilst Adnan Al Sayegh reads the original Arabic version.  The music in the background is called “The Moon Fades” and it is reproduced here with the kind permission of Naseer Shamma Production, sound design, editing and music are by Chris Gregory unless stated.  We would like to thank Sarah Johnson of Seren Books for her invaluable help in the making of this podcast and Amy Wack for sharing her thoughts on her time at Seren with us.  We’d also like to thank all of the contributing poets for allowing us to use their poems. If you would like to find out more about Seren Books and buy the collections featured you can do so by visiting the press’s website here can also follow Seren on social media here You can also follow our featured poets Kim Moore Atkin Ameer Henry George Meredith Al-Sayegh Please follow Alternative Stories on twitter at for information on our upcoming drama, poetry and fiction podcasts as well as our workshops and writer / publisher services Support the show (
In this edition of the podcast we hear from poet and activist Roy McFarlane.  Roy has two collections from Nine Arches Press and a third collection to be published in 2022.  In the podcast we share a selection of Roy’s poetry and hear about what inspires and influences his work.In this podcast you heard the following poems  Papers read by Kam ElliottClinton McCurbin 1987 read by Kam EliiottJoy Gardner 1993 read by Hadiya MorrisHow it Feels to Be Free read by Kam Elliott and Hadiya Morris To the Heron who stood with me in the ruins of another black man’s life read by Kam Elliott Sound design and editing are by Chris Gregory If you would like to find out more about Roy McFarlane and his work you can visit his website follow him on twitter where he posts as You can buy Roy’s poetry collections “Beginning with your last Breath” and “The Healing Next Time” from publisher Nine Arches Press via their website here out more about Nine Arches and follow them on twitter here websites in your area to find out about Black History Month events taking place near you.  Next on Alternative Stories we feature Seren Books, the South Wales based publisher celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2021    
Joshua Gillingham is a fantasy writer whose work is heavily inspired by Norse Mythology and the Icelandic  sagas.  In this edition of the podcast we have an interview with Josh and we hear his short story "An Empty Thing" Read by Alex C StewartThe presenter in this edition is Sally Walker-TaylorSound design and music are by Chris GregoryThe interview with Josh Gillingham was recorded over zoom and we apologise for the sound variations in the recording.The interviewer is Chris GregoryYou can find out more about Joshua Gillingham by visiting his website  https://www.joshuagillingham.caand following him on twitter where he posts as You can buy Josh’s book The Gatewatch directly from Crows Nest Books here this episode we featured a trailer for the new audio drama "Darkstead" by Lucy Gibb Smith.   You can subscribe to Darkstead via the podcast’s website here follow Darkstead on twitter here can book onto the Alternative Stories audio drama workshop with  London Lit Lab on 6th November here And book for the Introduction to Audio Drama for Science Fiction Writers with Chris Gregory of Alternative Stories and Sci Fi writer Emily Inkpen on 8th November here the show
Welcome to our special anthology podcast celebrating the UK’s National Poetry Day 2021. We have a mix of poems from the podcast in the past year and new poems in forthcoming collections. The presenter is Tiffany Clare Readers (where not read by the poets themselves) are Marie-Claire Wood, Niall Wright and Charlie RichardsSound design, soundscapes, and production are by Chris GregoryKim Moore : “All The Men I Never Married”  performed by Kim Moore with music by Dave Boraston.  This is taken from Kim’s new collection of the same name, published this week by Seren Books Polly Atkin : “Epiphany Insomnia” and “Frog Season” peformed by Polly Atkin from her Seren Books collection “Much With Body”Mona Arshi “Egg” and “Hurry (A Migration Song)” read by Tiffany ClareSalena Godden “The Red Tower” from “Mrs Death Misses Death by Salena Godden (originally published as part of our podcast with Salena in July) read by Salena GoddenPhoebe Stuckes “Baby, You Know What I want” and “Dolly Parton Enters a Dolly Parton Lookalike contest in a gay bar and does not place” read by Marie-Claire Wood from the Verve Poetry Press pamphlet “The One Girl Gremlin”Sarra Culleno “Tantrum” from her forthcoming collection “Bonds” read by the authorCarolyn Jess-Cooke “Peeling The Skin”read by the writer from  her forthcoming Seren Books collection “We have to Leave The Earth”Hannah Ingeborg “Brumation” read by the author and Joanne Sutton Smith “ A New York City Keening”  read by Marie-Claire Wood taken from the Rare Swan Press Collection “100 Words of Solitude” Lisa O’Hare “Lockdown Life, A Roller-coaster of Emotions” from her Master House Publishing collection of the same nameGregory Leadbetter “Optics” read by Charlie Richards and taken from his Nine Arches Press collection “Maskwork” James O’Leary “Holding Joe” read by Niall Wright and Maggie Sawkins “Script” read by Tiffany Clare from the collection “A Wild and Precious Life edited by Zoe Gilbert and Lily Dunn. Follow our poets on twitter Kim Moore Atkin Arshi Godden Stuckes Culleno Jess-Cooke Swan Press (100 Words of Solitude publisher) O’Hare Leadbetter out more about Seren poets, Kim Moore, Polly Atkin and Carolyn Jess-Cooke and buy their books via the Seren website and listen out for some special podcasts with Seren coming soon Nine Arches Press You can find out much more about National Poetry Day on 7th October by visiting the website  and  twitter the show (
A Wild And Precious Life

A Wild And Precious Life


In this special edition we look at “A Wild and Precious Life” an anthology of writing on the theme of recovery which was published by Unbound in May 2021.  We have a selection of pieces from the collection read by our actors and insight from some of the writers who submitted pieces to the collection.  We also speak to Lily Dunn and Zoe Gilbert who had the idea for the anthology, compiled and edited it. **Trigger Warning** This podcast contains references to drug use, trauma and bereavement as well as swearing.  Listeners likely to be affected by any of these should avoid this podcast. In this podcast you heard the following pieces “Script” by Maggie Sawkins Read by Tiffany Clare “The Last Summer” by Susannah Vernon-Hunt read by Marie-Claire Wood “Silence” by T K Saeed read by Tiffany Clare “Begging For Change” by Gary Bryan read by Charlie Richards “Lucky” by J L Hall read by Sophie McNair “Holding Joe” by James O’Leary read by Niall Wright“Matt’s Song” by Helen Rye read by Sophie McNair “Last Orders Ladies and Gentlemen please” by John Pearson read by Chris Gregory“What’s all this time for” by Ford Dagenham read by Chris Gregory“Are You Intoxicated” by Rob True read by Chris GregoryThe podcast is presented by Tiffany ClareThe interviewer is Chris GregoryMusic, sound design and soundscapes are by Chris GregoryWe are proud to feature insight from the following writers on their contributions to A Wild and Precious Life: Rob TrueJ L HallMaggie Sawkins John Pearsonand Helen RyeBuy a copy of A Wild and Precious Life From  From publisher Unbound (including e-book version) the UK you will also  find copies in many book shops.  Outside the UK you may find copies on Amazon and local online booksellers Follow Lily Dun on twitter here via her website here Follow Zoe Gilbert on twitter here at her website here And follow London Lit Lab on twitter here more information on courses and workshops via their website here book onto our Writing for Audio Drama workshop on 6th November please click here Support the show (
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