Published Work


Short Fiction by










‘Hul-LO!’ The voice was getting louder and more furious, ‘EXCU-USE ME!!!’

Arlene turned. A smartly dressed woman and a girl of about twelve stood at one of the unattended cash desks.

‘We’d like to PAY for this, IF you don’t mind!’

For a brief out-of-body moment Arlene saw herself as she must appear to the casual onlooker: Staff. Help. Service. (You have an opportunity to re-invent yourself, Arlene …)

‘IF that’s not too much trouble for you?’ the woman hissed.

Arlene blinked. How swiftly a woman like this could strip her of all her accomplishments: her grade 5 piano (with Distinction), her ballet lessons, her carefully modulated accent, her doctorate – gone, all gone in an instant.

Meniscus Vol 2, issue 2 (March 2014). Meniscus is an online journal published by the Australasian Association of Writing Programs which aims to provide a showcase for the best in contemporary international writing.


HR_43_FINAL_card.inddWe see the signs in English and in Welsh as soon as we enter the hospital: ‘Ward 19.’ Underneath it says, also in English and in Welsh, ‘Bereavement Office / Swyddfa Profedigaeth.’ A clue. There probably isn’t a ward 20.

Grace is huddled in an armchair beside her bed, looking smaller than ever. Her white hair, which has been thinning for a while, is re­duced to a few wisps around her ears. The voice, though, is unchanged. ‘I can’t take much more of this, Vee,’ she whispers as I hug her.


© 2012. Visit Harvard Review Online to download this story for $1



“Over the course of a slightly chaotic supper, Kay, the protagonist of Vicky Grut’s short story ‘Debts’ confronts her social, financial, and emotional obligations. The story is populated by vivid characters – a strange boy who keeps washing Kay’s husband’s car, Kay’s unruly daughter, surprise guests with complicated histories – all of whom come together in a sometimes clashing interaction. Grut brings the story’s various elements together in a thoughtful and moving conclusion.”


To listen to the story read aloud by the author, visit the Boston-based literary platform THE DRUM – “a literary magazine for your ears”.

Click HERE

STRANGER – translated into Mandarin


Chinese Translation Front 001

Chinese Translation Story 001



Dual language selection of work from New Writing 13 published in Beijing in 2010 in association with the British Council. Includes stories by Emily Perkins, Kamila Shamsie, Romesh Gunesekera and Fay Weldon. ISBN 978-7-02-006925-5


Ether story cover‘The public health situation here is desperate,’ she said, wiping sweat from her neck. ‘Aids-related deaths are up to about 300 per hour. Did you know that?’

Clive smiled and toyed with his glass. ‘Softly, softly, dear girl. I was the same when I was your age. I came here with so many plans, but if Africa teaches you anything…’

‘I heard you came to avoid charges of clinical negligence,’ she snapped.

Visit EtherBooksto download this story for iphones & other mobile devices.



Product DetailsFive to five on a Friday morning and Hazel lay in bed, waiting to be woken. It was at quiet times like this that the town seemed to press in on her most, hard and unforgiving. Hazel kept her eyes shut and dived back into her dream where Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were wandering the streets, as they so often did.

Richard Burton wore one of those tweedy jackets with his shirt collar open and a faint shade of stubble on his face. He was drunk — not bloated with beer like the local men, but high-class drunk, with a breath that would burn pure blue if you lit a match. Elizabeth Taylor slouched in a low-cut dress and simple woollen coat, and the two of them wove along together, matching their steps, pulling close and then apart again like gum. You could see they were crazy about each other.


Kate Pullinger (ed.), 2009, Waving at the Gardener, Bloomsbury Publishing.



As soon as he stepped off the plane Marek started to sweat. It was only April, but already this place was far hotter than London. It did his hangover no favours. Inside the terminal building he found a drinking fountain, then sat down and waited until the crush around the luggage carousel had died down. He was one of the last to collect his bag and head out through the glass doors towards the buses and taxis.


Lavinia Greenlaw & Helon Habila (eds) 2006, New Writing 14, London: Granta


A man in his middle thirties came stumbling onto the top deck of the bus, talking to everyone he passed as if he knew them. People looked up with dazed glances but as soon they understood he was a stranger they gathered themselves into their coats and tucked away their eyes.

He flung himself into a seat at the front. ‘That’s better,’ he said.

Toby Litt & Ali Smith (eds.), 2005, New Writing 13, London: Picador; republished in Spotlight magazine in Germany and Austria in Nov 2005


On the third day of the argument Corazón got tired of it. She’d forgotten why she was angry with Robert, if she had ever been angry at all. Surely it was time to celebrate by now?


Alice Thomas Ellis (ed.), 2000, Valentine’s Day, London: Duckworth


When he was still Head of Department, back in the days when Policy and Evaluation still existed as a department, Martin used to like to hold forth on the future of work. ‘In the knowledge-based economy, we will ask people to work “smarter” not “harder”,’ he would say. ‘And until this old place catches on, it’s heading for oblivion.’

The words he forgot to mention, Julianne thought afterwards, were ‘cheaper’ and ‘younger’.


C Buchan (ed.), 2000, Reshape Whilst Damp, London: Serpents’ Tail

South Africa, 1968

Linda sat by herself at break time looking out over the netball courts where the sun lay in merciless sheets over the tarmac. Behind her the six- and seven-year-olds played in the big, fluffy flower bushes. They hopped in and out, crushing the pink and white blooms underfoot, until a teachers came past and screamed that they were not allowed in there. The girls and boys scattered like spilled beads.


Lefanu (ed.) 1995, How Maxine Learned to Love her Legs, London: Aurora Metro Press


Nutters — the world is full of them.

I’m walking in the park with Jackie at the weekend and I say, ‘Jackie, tell me if I’m dreaming or is there a dog up in that tree?’

‘It’s a dog, Steve,’ she says. We stop and watch this great, fat, black dog lumbering from one branch to another. It’s an oak tree. There’s a woman with a wide mouth and a spreading waist standing at the bottom of it, clapping her hands and calling: Good boy! Clever boy! Laughing. Then she holds out her arms and the dog drops straight out of the tree into them.

Elaine Palmer (ed.) 1997, Random Factor, London: Pulp Books

Awards for Short Fiction

2009 – Asham Award, finalist; Narrative Magazine Spring Contest, finalist; The Binnacle Ultra-Short Contest, finalist

2007 – Fish Publishing One-Page story prize, one of 6 finalists

2006 – Chapter One Promotions, International Short Story Competition, first prize

1999 – Asham Award, finalist

1999 – Ian St James Award, finalist

Magazines & Websites

Interview with Vicky Grut ( 2010)

Waiting( 2010)

Late Developer (the Binnacle 2009)

Two Brothers (The Fish Anthology 2007)

‘A Thing I saw’ (, 2006)

A Minor Disorder’ (, 2005)

‘Debts’ (metropolitan magazine 1996)

‘3 Bloody Stories’ (metropolitan magazine 1994)

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