Home / News…and Thoughts

Hello and welcome! 

I’ll be posting sporadic news, progress and general thoughts here. Click the “follow” button (at the bottom of the page) to make sure you keep up to date. 

You can also follow me on Facebook: @LeeStoddartAuthor

It’s a social world – please like and share (below) and help spread the word.

Now, read on!

Jack in the Green

I’ve been working full time on the 2nd draft of my 4th (or is it 5th?) novel, Seven (confused? I am), and so, I’d completely forgotten that Literally Stories published my short story, Jack in the Green, on the 10th of June. It tells the story of a young priest who steps in to help Jack at the turn of the year. Or something like that.

Well, here it is… enjoy, like, comment and share if you have a will to do so!

Warning: sexual references and a bit of medieval horror!

CLICK HERE>>> Jack in the Green, published in Literally Stories.

Seaside Gothic

I’m very excited to be able to announce that I’m in the very first edition of the new literary magazine ‘Seaside Gothic’ edited by Seb Reilly. Congrats to Seb on getting the first edition out the door, which is now available for pre-order on the website below.


Can’t wait to read my copy!

Ham, Egg and Chips shortlisted for Wells Prize, 2021

I’m absolutely delighted to let you know that my short story—Ham, Egg and chips—has been shortlisted in the 2021 H.G. Wells Short Story Competition for the Wells Prize (the new name for the Grand Prize, aimed at adult authors).

Set in the near future, it’s a dystopian tale of desolation and cannibalism set on the Kent coast.

I’ve had the story kicking around for some years, following a writing provocation at Inspiration Writers Group. The 300 word homework turned into a 1300 word short, which became a 6000 and then 7500 word piece. Following some judicious editing by Karen Ince, and encouragement to keep honing it to the best it could be by Tony Osgood, it ended up at just under 5000—the word limit for the competition. Thanks go to both for their support.

I was previously shortlisted in 2013 and 2015, so here’s hoping that third time is the charm!

One day, it may get expanded yet again… there’s a novel in there that’s fighting to get out. In the meantime, all shortlisted stories will be published in the anthology, Mask, after the final winner is announced in November. Mask will then be available on Amazon as both a high-quality paperback and Kindle download.

Congratulations to all those (seniors and juniors) who shortlisted, and all those who entered—it’s hard exposing your work to the criticism of others. See you at the (online) prize giving!

Click here to read today’s announcement:

H.G. Wells Short Story Competition Shortlist Announcement

‘Clear Blue Water’ published in Le Menteur and Green anthology shortlisted for award

A very quick update to say that my prose-poem, ‘Clear Blue Water’, has been published for the third time in Le Menteur – the Paris based literary and arts magazine. Previously published in the Creative Inspirations anthology Blue and in the now defunct online literary magazine Blue Nib; making it my most published piece by a factor of 3!

Find it here: Le Menteur 2020-21

In (mostly) unrelated news, the Creative Inspirations anthology, Green, has been shortlisted for the National Association of Writing Groups prize for anthologies! Congratulations to all those authors in the anthology, Carol Salter (the group’s chair) and especially to Karen Ince (Editor) who puts so much effort into getting it published. My short story, ‘The Hero’ is one amongst many included.

‘Blue’ anthology Launches

Hello, everyone!

I’m delighted to say that the Inspirations Writers Group anthology, ‘Blue’ has been published and contains two pieces from me: the 300 word prose-poem ‘Clear Blue Water’ and the 5k long short-story ‘Caught Blue Handed’.

Im particularly pleased with CBW as this is the 2nd time it has been published (previously in the literary magazine Blue Nib) and its due to be published in Paris literary magazine Le Menteur in June.

‘Blue’ should be available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats at some point in the near future and as soon as I get a minute, I’ll post a downloadable version of my stories in the downloads section.

In other news, I continue to be very busy. My focus is on the final edits of ‘Lodger’ which has turned into a 140k epic. I’m struggling with where to cut it, or whether to cut it at all. I’m fond of saying it needs to be the length it needs to be, but it will make it harder to sell. I’m unrealistically proud of this one, but its a strange beast that’s hard to pin down: the darkly humorous story of a very middle-class girl growing up with a dead French philosopher living in her head. She struggles with her family, presumed mental illness and her relationships with both the eponymous Lodger and her best friend, Charlie (Charlotte), as they go through school and then university together. It’s a dystopian tale looking at the threat of technology and what it even means to be human.

Initial readers have been very positive about the drafts, so I’m hoping this will be my breakthrough! It feels tangibly different to ‘Waterguard’—a much more challenging read for a start, but dealing with some real, rather than speculative, issues and threats.

At the same time, I’m working up ideas for the next novel, which moves me even further still from my first forays into horror and into more literary work—inspired in many ways by CBW. It’s too early to reveal any more, but I’m very excited by where it’s heading.

Stay safe, and best wishes for a fabulous summer.

Lee, 1st June 2021


‘Clear Blue Water’ can be read, for free, here: ‘Clear Blue Water

‘Caught Blue Handed’ can be read, for free, here: ‘Caught Blue Handed

Free ‘Loch-down’ fiction

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

It’s been a while. Apologies for that, but I have been working on my new novel, Lodger.

The first draft is complete. The second is also complete. The third is abandoned (a complete rewrite) at the end of Act 1. I’m now working on draft four, which is another complete rewrite, following some feedback from a friend and fellow scribbler on draft three.

I’ve been pretty focused on Lodger for the last nine months. I’m not one to skip from one project to another. But, I have managed to squeeze in a couple of pieces of flash fiction in the last year or so and a couple of articles for a car magazine.

Clear Blue Waters came from a piece of writing homework (pre-lockdown), from the Inspirations Writers’ Group. Just 300 odd words (some not so odd), developed over about five days—it became the first piece of work I’ve done I would categorise as ‘literary’. Some have described it as a tone poem.

What it has taught me is that the length of a work is no measure of the joy it can bring to the author (and hopefully the reader). I sweated and stress tested every word in this piece and am absolutely delighted with it. Yet, there’s no plot, no payoff, no big reveal. I know what I had in my mind when I wrote it, the reader is free to interpret it and make of it what they will.

At the suggestion of Tony Osgood, I submitted it to the literary mag Blue Nib for consideration, and was delighted when it was published in August on their website. To date, I think this is perhaps my most prestigious publication. I hope it shows a growing maturity in my craft skills and on my journey as a writer.

You can read it, for free, on my website, here: Clear Blue Waters.

CBW will also be published in the forthcoming anthology ‘Blue’, edited by Karen Ince, for the Inspirations Writers’ group. I also managed to sneak in a longer piece (about 5k words) called Caught Blue Handed—the tale of an obsessed and deluded man.

I’m trying to build some of the lessons I learnt on CBW into the latest draft of Lodger. It’s no horror, but has elements of spec fic. It’s more literary, a dark comedy that might best be defined as ‘commercial literary’.

I hope to finish this draft by the end of February, 2021.

A Couple of New Bits


Hi all.

I hope everyone is bearing up under the restrictions. For some it will be an opportunity to crack on with something creative or they’ve been putting off for a while—like writing, for others the worry of the situation will be too much to focus on anything. My sympathies if you fall into the latter category. I’m somewhere in between, and it really depends on how the day takes me.

Meanwhile, here’s a picture of Harry, our ancient moggie, helping me with my editing.

Despite Harry’s intrusions, I have managed to get a couple of articles into Thanet Writers. Both essays on the practicalities of writing rather than the craft or anything fictional.

I’m hoping the first, Should You Enter a Writing Competition, will be the start of a couple of connected pieces about how to maximise your chances of shortlisting. These draw on my experience as an HG Wells Short Story Competition judge. You can find it here:

Should You Enter a Writing Competition

second is an article on Computer Health and Safety, published today. Ironically, it’s about how to avoid viruses and put yourself in a position not to lose any of your hard work when something goes ping! in your laptop and crashes the disk. Not exciting, but necessary. Find it here:

Computer Health and Safety

I hope to have a short story going live on Thanet Writers very soon, but in the meantime, don’t forget I’ve got an archive of some of my favourites, here.

Stay safe, everyone. Stay home.

And The Hero Makes Five


To celebrate the inclusion of my short story, The Hero, in the Inspirations Writers’ Group anthology, ‘Green’, I’ve made it available as one of my Free StoriesYou can find it here.  It’s the story of a reluctant goblin striving to save her race from the threat of human expansion.

Available on Kindle or as hard copy from Carol Salter’s store. If its not there yet, I’m sure it will be soon! I also have access to copies if you really want one. ‘Yellow’ and the other anthologies in the series – ‘Orange’ and ‘Red’ are also available in her store (or from me). I think they may also be on Amazon.

I only joined the Inspirations group during the development of ‘Yellow’, so I’m not in ‘Red’ or ‘Orange’.  In ‘Yellow’, my contribution is Johnny in the Waiting Room, where Johnny awakes to find himself in an other-worldly waiting room, his eternal future on the line.

There are many fine writers within the pages of Inspiration’s rainbow anthology series. If you can, please support them by buying a copy – or even the whole set – deals available!

My other physical copy publications include a short-listed story in each of the 2013 and 2015 HG Wells Short Story Competition anthologies. I also have an editing credit on the 2019 anthology.

All the HGW anthologies are available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions. Both stories, Diaspora (2013) and Degrees of Separation (2015), can be found on my website in the Free Stories section.

Both IWG and HGW are not for profit organisations that are on a mission to elevate the art of creative writing. It would be great if you could support them!


The Hero, Alone and some Agents


Hi folks!

Just a quick update on a couple of things going on. It’s been busy, busy, busy!

First thing is: I have a very short (sub-500) word piece of flash published today (10th Feb)  on Thanet Writers about a marriage at the end of its tether. Pop on over and have a quick look, go on, it won’t take long!

Alone – flash fiction by Lee

On the 13th Feb Thanet Writers will also be publishing my essay on Are You Sitting Comfortably. Workstation ergonomics isn’t thrilling, but it is important when we sit in front of a screen for hours at a time.

Secondly, my first novel, Waterguard, is now being circulated to agents – very exciting. It’s going out to UK and US agents, focusing on those that deal specifically with horror.

My third piece of news is that the prequel to Waterguard, tentatively titled Ynys Thanatos, is now about 50% through draft. Obviously very rough. I hope to complete it by March. Still, the best laid plans, etc.

My fourth piece of news is that Inspirations Writers Group are launching their Green anthology on Saturday 15th Feb at the Old Kent Market in Margate. I’m delighted to say my short story, The Hero, is included amongst the fifteen odd (and a few not so odd) authors’ contributions. Come along and support the launch if you can – you’ll also be able to buy previous anthologies from the group (including Yellow, which I’m also in) and maybe some of the contributors own publications.

Work on a short story for Blue, the next in the series, begins imminently! Most of my ideas so far have been unprintable in a family oriented anthology, so I’ll have to brainstorm some better ideas!

Inspirations Launch of Green


Spotlight: Robert Calvert


Hi everyone – just a very brief note as today is a round of excitement including the Inspirations Writers Christmas dinner at Quex (always a joy!) and later a recording session for the Thanet Writers New Year Broadcast. Oh, and the hoovering.

Today, I have a brief ‘spotlight’ article published on Thanet Writers about the poet, novelist, playwright and Hawkwind vocalist Robert Calvert. Captain Bob (as he was affectionately known) has always been a bit of a hero of mine and so I was delighted to be able to do some research and find out a bit more about the man.

Please take a look at it here: Spotlight on Robert Calvert.