Our Judges for the 5 November 2017 Stroud Short Stories event are Debbie Young and John Holland

Please note that short story submissions are received by our administrator Christiane Nicholson who ensures that no personal information about the authors is passed on to our judges with the stories. The stories are therefore judged 'blind'.

Debbie Young's first love is the short story. She has published three themed collections - Marry in Haste, Quick Change and Stocking Fillers, and her work appears in many anthologies. She read her story The Alchemy of Chocolate at the spring 2015 Stroud Short Stories event and was co-judge of the autumn 2016 event.

Her recent Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries novel series, which kicks off with Best Murder in Show, celebrates rural life in the Cotswolds - despite the odd murder. Although she's lived in a village similar to her fictional creation for over a quarter of a century she hasn't actually bumped anyone off - yet.

Debbie is the founder and director of the annual Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival, and the Publications Manager of the Alliance of Independent Authors.

Catch her if you can at www.authordebbieyoung.com

Recent winner of the prestigious InkTears Short Story Contest £1,000 First Prize, this will be John Holland's ninth Stroud Short Stories event as both organiser and judge. 

A former librarian, library campaigner and satirical gag writer (BBC Radio 4's Weekending, Radio 2, Sky and Punch magazine), John has had more than 50 stories and pieces of flash fiction published online, in magazines and anthologies in the last 4 years. And has been lucky enough to have won or been placed (principally the latter!) in over 30 short story and flash fiction competitions in that time.

John has read at events in London, Cheltenham (including Cheltenham LitFest), Bristol, Bath, Stroud, Worcester and, of course, Hawkesbury Upton. He judged the 2016 Evesham Festival of Words short story competition. 

John lives in Stroud.

More info about John is on his website www.johnhollandwrites.com
Follow him on Twitter @JohnHol88897218