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  • Writer's pictureBelle Kenyon

The Ones Who Flew The Nest: Meet our 2023 anthology authors!

Four stories of feathers, blood and eggs. A girl chases a different future on the back of a Suzuki 250. A sibling seeks her brother, hoping answers will heal. Inside the walls of her speaking house, a ‘kept’ wife tries to learn to be content with her identity. A young woman falls in love with a Goose and grows wings. These are journeys fuelled by love, loss and self-discovery, in which characters must fight or take flight.

Stories by Helen Kennedy, Katie Hale, Louise Finnigan and Jacqueline Ward.

Allow me to introduce our authors!

'You Can Let Yourself Be Swept Away or else Become the Flood' by Katie Hale

Katie Hale is the author of a novel, My Name is Monster, and two poetry pamphlets. She is a former MacDowell Fellow, and winner of the Palette Poetry Prize, Munster Chapbook Prize, and Prole Laureate Competition. Her short fiction has been longlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award. Katie also runs Dove Cottage Young Poets for Wordsworth Grasmere, and is a Core Team Member of the Writing Squad. In 2022, she won the Northern Writers’ Award for Fiction for her second novel – and her debut poetry collection, White Ghosts, comes out with Nine Arches in March 2023.

(photo credit - Phil Rigby)

Possibly the quirkiest of tales in the collection, Hale's story focuses on a woman who falls in love with a goose, and so grows wings, allowing her the freedom to belong in both the human and the animal world. Is it possible to escape from your roots entirely? Or will something...imperfectibly human... always bring you back to home?

'The People's History Museum Is Closed' by Helen Kennedy

Helen Kennedy is Mancunian writer who has just completed an MA in Creative Writing in Oxford. Her short stories have been shortlisted for the Bristol Prize (2022) , the TSS Cambridge Prize (2021) and her flash fiction by Reflex Fiction , National Flash Fiction 2021 as part of their new writer series. She is currently writing a debut novel, ‘Blessed Women’ and a collection of Flash Fiction ‘ Manchester Fishing.’

This tale features a long-overdue meeting of a brother and a sister, reunited since their separation due to being assigned different adoptive parents in 1972. The sister feels she has never belonged anywhere. Perhaps there is a chance that home can be found, instead, in a person? Vivid in setting, any Mancunians will reminisce over place names and Moss Side riots.

'Ivy Wife' by Louise Finnigan

Louise Finnigan is a short story-writer and novelist from Manchester. She has been longlisted for the Mairtin Crawford Award and shortlisted for the Manchester Fiction Prize, the Cambridge story prize and the Bristol prize. Her story Muscle and Mouth made its debut with Fly on The Wall Press as part of their 2021 shorts series. She has a particular interest in fiction that explores social barriers, as well as the conflict and confusion that arises when we attempt to push against them. She lives with her husband and two daughters, and has recently acquired a very lively puppy who facilitates the writing process by keeping her awake at night.

The Ivy Wife has agreed to stay home and manage the garden. This is her side of the marriage. Her new podcast, 'Hearthwife' guides her through this new lifestyle and the devices throughout the house are synced with fertility notifications. This new life will bring happiness and, undoubtedly, a baby. Won't it?

'Dancing, Not Floating' by Jacqueline Ward

Jacqueline Ward is a writer from the Oldham. She is a psychologist and her debut NOVEL, PERFECT TEN, was published by Corvus Atlantic Books in 2018. Her second NOVEL, HOW TO PLAY DEAD, was published in November 2019 and both received positive nation reviews including The Literary Review. Jacqueline runs courses on social media strategy for authors and resilience for writers and organises NaNoWriMo annually for then Oldham region. She holds a PhD in narrative and storytelling which produced a new model in identity construction. Jacqueline has worked with victims of domestic violence and families of missing people and

was honoured to receive an MBE for services to vulnerable people in 2013.

In this tale, a girl is desperate to escape from a house that represents silence and abuse. The sound of a Suzuki 250 and a rebellious boy might do it. When it doesn't, she tries dating men who her parents like, side-lining her own happiness. Because if she shines too bright, no one will want her...right?

'The Ones Who Flew The Nest' will be out on Friday 12th of May.

To interview our authors please get in touch on or to register interest in reviewing for a platform.

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