Talking Tales #3 Round-up – 17th August 2015

Talking TalesWe held the third Talking Tales on Monday at Leftbank in Stokes Croft, Bristol.

We heard a range of stories from nine writers, some ‘regulars’ (three times must be ‘regular’, right?) and some …err… ‘irregulars’? We heard from some awesome writers anyway, through a range of genres, and the night was compèred by me – Mel Ciavucco – which was…

…interesting. (Note to self, must try harder to hold in the verbal diarrhea).

We did of course record the evening as usual so there will be a podcast coming up at some point. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more info.


First Half

Mel Ciavucco

Mel Ciavucco

I kicked off the stories with ‘Wonder Woman’s Birthday Party.’ This story was inspired by a recent party I went to, but as a disclaimer I should point out (mainly to my mum…hi mum) that I did actually enjoy the party and don’t really hate the Fratelli’s, Blur, or Oasis. Well, Oasis a bit. Post ‘Definitely Maybe’ was crap. (Note to self…doing it again).


Nick Edwards

Nick Edwards


Up next we had Nick Edwards.

Nick is a member of Stokes Croft Writers. He is a freelance journalist, Archers fan and one-time stormtrooper. He read the opening chapter of his novella ‘The Story of Jake and Levin’ which he says he plans to finish soon, though he has been saying that for the last five years.


Simon Waltho

Simon Waltho


Then we had Simon Waltho, a newbie to Talking Tales, reading ‘From the Far Side of Twilight’.

Simon has a collaboration with Lisa Rose Illustration which you can check out here.

‘If Simon Waltho exists, I don’t think you can say he’s evil, but at best you’d have to say he’s a bit of an underachiever.’


Kath Embling

Kath Embling



Next we heard from Kath Embling, another newbie to Talking Tales, reading ‘The Machine Man’.

Kath is an inch shorter than an emperor penguin (they are 5 foot 2). She lived in Australia for a year and worked as a tractor driver for a while, driving up and down fields whilst being chased by courgette picking backpackers. She writes stage plays, and by day she works as a copywriter, writing adverts.



AA Abbott

AA Abbott



The last performer of the first half was AA Abbott, reading ‘Jago Comes to Dinner’.

AA Abbott is her pen name, she normally goes by ‘Helen’, and she recently published her third crime thriller ‘The Brides Trail’. She belongs to Bristol Fiction Writers’ Group and hopes they’ll include ‘Jago Comes to Dinner’ in their next anthology of short stories, which will be focussed on crime.


Second Half

Angela Brooks

Angela Brooks


First up after the break was Angela Brooks, one of our Talking Tales regulars now! She read ‘The Legend of Jack Downey’.

Angela writes short stories locked away in a den at the top of her house. She is not allowed out until the work is done. Honest.




Mark Rutterford

Mark Rutterford


Then we had another favourite, Mark Rutterford (apologies for the misprint the set list Mark!), reading ‘Self Expression’, which involved music snippets, pogoing and obscene finger gestures.

On the occasions when Mark has been asked whether a story he has written is true, he’s been delighted. The story he read was about a bloke having a mid-life crisis, who likes writing, quirky shops and is far, far too influenced by music. Please do not spoil Mark’s day by asking the question.



Tim Popple

Tim Popple

Up next was the man with the magnificent beard and the philosopher-style name…Tim Popple. He read ‘A Fiction Affliction’. Tim proceeded to ‘test’ me on Twitter to see if I could name the writers references in it, to which I had to admit I’d been more focussed on my high-strategy compèring responsibilities (by which I mean I was trying to decipher the ‘Finish the Lines’ – more about that later).

Tim runs Cannoli & Gun, which shows films and serves thematically related food at venues across Bristol. I’m personally excited for Goodfellas/spaghetti & meatballs! Well, what are you waiting for? Buy a ticket, if there’s any left…

Andy Melhuish

Andy Melhuish



Last up was Stokes Croft Writer, Andy Melhuish. He currently does not have a beard. This does not please me.

Andy read ‘Night Reception’ and did some very good ‘wooooo’-ing. Apparently, he recently applied for a job as a night receptionist which was the inspiration for this story, and now has an interview! Please keep us posted Andy!


Finish the Lines

Every Talking Tales event features ‘Finish the Lines’, which is…you guessed it, lines which you have to finish. The idea is that the wonderful compère reads the best ones out at the end without fucking it up, but hey… I can only blame it on everyone’s atrocious handwriting. Naughty audience, naughty. Our next Talking Tales will be for the Bristol Festival of Literature so we expect a higher standard by then. I will be conducting tests on arrival…(Note to self…enough)

Here were the winners, but you can read the others here:

It was late at night on a… windswept and forlorn Wednesday…and Jeff was embarrassed that… his hair was parted to the left due to the wind when it’s usually parted to the right. Damn you natural elements!

If you want to view paradise then simply…take a bus to Braintree, Essex. Walk to the nearest WH Smith, ask for Barry. He will give you a small perspex egg cup. Take this calmly and place it in your left ear drum.


Talking Tales Badge

Talking Tales Badge

The best ‘Finish the Lines’ writers got Talking Tales badges!

‘What can I  do to get one of them?’ I hear you cry. Well, you can either:

1) Perform at Talking Tales (next one will be in October, follow us on Twitter for updates)

2) Write a damn good ‘Finish the Line’

3) Offering sexual favours to the compère? It might work, though the compère for the next Talking Tales is TBC, so you’ll just have to try your luck.


What’s next for Stokes Croft Writers?

If you do some light stalking of the group members you may find them popping up at other storytelling nights such as ‘Let Me Tell you a Story, Jack’ or ‘Show and Tell’. The next Talking Tales will be in October and it’s going to be a big one, on a Saturday night! That’s right, a SATURDAY, not a school night so there can be much drinkage!

Chris Chris FieldenFielden’s humourous short story competition To Hull and Back closes at the end of this month, if you haven’t entered a story already and would like to, you can enter here.

Chris has also just released a really, really, really helpful book called ‘How to write a short story’ which you can buy on Amazon here.



Thanks to all the performers at Talking Tales #3, to Tom at Leftbank, to Max (our sound guy) and to everyone who came along to listen. If you couldn’t make it, or you’d just like to listen again (and why wouldn’t you?), there will of course be a podcast coming at some point.

Until next time…happy scribbling!

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