Thursday 24 June 2021

National Flash Fiction Day & Summer Reading Special Offers

V. Press is delighted to share a new buy one, get one free special offer to help readers celebrate National Flash Fiction Day on June 26, 2021 and stock up on their summer reading!

Order Three Men on the Edge by Michael Loveday (for U.K delivery only) direct from us before the end of July 2021, and we will also send you a free copy of a narrative in poetry, A Bluebottle in Late October by John Wheway.*

Order any of the print edition fiction pamphlets/chapbooks (typically titles with monochrome covers) from our online Bookshop (for U.K. delivery only) by the end of July 2021 and we will send you a free copy of one of our narrative poetry pamphlets (Scare Stories by David Clarke, Checkout by Kathy Gee or Winter with Eva by Elaine Baker). *

If any readers would prefer a copy of one of Sarah Leavesley's pocket novella Kaleidoscope or Always Another Twist as their free title, please email Sarah on lifeislikeacherrytreeATyahooDOTcom (within 24 hours of purchase) with a copy of the paypal receipt for a valid V. Press order.*

* These offers apply to U.K. delivery of print fiction orders only and are only valid until the end of July 2021.


We're delighted to reveal the authors and titles of the new flash fiction chapbooks taken on from the submissions window earlier this year.

V. Press's 2021 flash fiction titles will be Set a Crow to Catch a Crow by Mary-Jane Holmes and a longer chapbook, Family Frames, by Alison Woodhouse.

Editor Sarah Leavesley is already very very excited to share both these chapbooks with readers soon!

Meantime, here's an introduction to both authors.

Photo by NB-Design
MARY-JANE HOLMES' work features in Magma, Mslexia, The Lonely Crowd, Prole, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Barren, Spelk, Cabinet of Heed, Firewords, Flashback Fiction, Fictive Dream, Best Small Fictions 2014/16/18/20 and Best Microfictions 2020. She has won the Bath Novella-in-Flash Prize 2020, Reflex Fiction and Mslexia Flash Prize. Her novella is Don’t Tell the Bees (Ad Hoc Fiction). She has a Creative Writing MA (Distinction) from Kellogg College, Oxford, and is studying for a PhD, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, in poetry and translation at Newcastle University.

ALISON WOODHOUSE's short fiction has been widely published and anthologised, including In the Kitchen (Dahlia Press), With One Eye on the Cows (Bath Flash Fiction), Beguiled by a Wild Thing (Reflex Press) and Life on the Margins (Scottish Arts Trust Story Awards). She has won and been placed in many competitions, including HISSAC (flash & short story), Hastings, NFFD micro, Flash 500, Biffy50, Farnham and Limnisa. Her debut novella is The House on the Corner (AdHoc Fiction, 2020). She has an MA (Distinction) in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, teaches Creative Writing and is on the Bath Short Story Award team.


Something so wild and new in this feeling

“Carrie Etter nails it when she mentions Sarah Doyle’s ‘felicities of phrasing, musicality and ideas.’ Collaging other writings can feel haphazard and awkward or too forced but this is never the case in this pamphlet which feels like both a collaboration and translation. […] Sarah Doyle’s re-imaginings are astoundingly successful and I thoroughly recommend this pamphlet.”
Pam ThompsonLondon Grip, full review here

For a sample poem, more information or to order a copy of Something so wild and new in this feeling, please click here.


“Re-imagining the research of Laing and Esterson, Alex Reed’s multi-vocal knots, tangles, fankles asks important questions about sanity, madness and the family in a time before the digital became part of the story. This story revolves around Hazel, a young working class girl with the odds stacked against her, and it is both everyday and appalling. A shifting constellation of voices, overheard from behind closed doors, animates an insightful and sensitive collection of poems to think, learn and feel with. Carefully choreographed, all the protagonists earn our sympathy. They hold up a mirror to the human predicament – in black and white, compelling and filmic, concealing as much as they reveal, getting under your skin and staying with you long after reading the last page.” Linda France

“Alex Reed’s debut poetry collection knots, tangles, fankles tells the powerful, heart-breaking story of Hazel, sixteen years old and diagnosed as schizophrenic. Demonstrating a deft, versatile, and compassionate hand, Reed unveils Hazel’s true plight, not only through the surreal imagery of her thoughts, but also through the voices of those both hindering and healing her: from alarmed and hyper-protective parents, to institutionalised hospital staff, to the grounding, reassuring, real-life Dr Aaron Esterson, who along with R. D. Laing sought to uncover the source of mental illness in families using unconventional theories and methods. Though this is Hazel’s journey, each of Reed’s characters is undergoing their own personal struggle and anguish. In a setting similar to Ken Kesey’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and based on true cases, Esterson enables Hazel ‘but for the first time to hear [her] own voice’. It speaks to Reed’s ability as a poet that such a moment is so keenly felt and quietly celebrated by the reader, especially in the light of what follows.” Charles G Lauder Jr

Knots, tangles, fankles is a very poignant and very penetrating poetic sequence in multiple voices.

ISBN: 978-1-8380488-3-9

84 pages

R.R.P. £10.99

A sample poem from the collection can be found below.

PRE-ORDER knots, tangles, fankles NOW using the paypal options below. [Knots, tangles, fankles is published in October 2021, pre-orders are sent out in the week of publication.]

knots, tangles, fankles (including P&P)

N.B. Any international customs/duty charges are the buyer's responsibility.


clackety-clack     rattity-tat
fast as my clockwork legs can take me

past the room where the nurses drink tea
a voice on the telly is talking about me

this is a story about the woodentops
mummy & daddy woodentop

their woodentop girl whose name was hazel
& the biggest spotty dog you ever did see

one day daddy came home for his dinner
mummy was busy in the kitchen

little hazel was nowhere to be seen
that girl was always disappearing

mummy woodentop said to daddy woodentop
the girl’s not right, we’ll have her mended

let’s call for the woodentop doctor
he’ll saw her head open, hack out the rot

paint her fresh eyes & a pretty red mouth
fix her with glue just like new

clackety-clack     rattity-tat
down the corridor to meet the doctor

but dr esterson didn’t have a saw
never did much, just sat in his room

smiled when she came through the door
then lit up his pipe & winked as he asked

did you ever wish to be real
not made of wood?

Also available from V. Press: These nights at home by Alex Reed, with photos by Keren Banning.