Stories for Homes in the Wild

Did you know you can buy both editions of Stories for Home in actual, real, bricks-and-mortar shops?

The Brighton Shelter shop did a fabulous window display for our recent reading event there, and has both books in stock. You can find them at 93 Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2LB


The very glamorous Shelter Boutique in Muswell Hill has copies of both books snuggled in with some very fetching fashion. Fabulous shoes and equally fabulous writing can both be found at Boutique by Shelter, 44 Muswell Hill Broadway, London, N10 3RT.

Also in North London, The Big Green Bookshop hosted a wonderful reading event for us in January and are still stocking the book. You can find them at Unit 1, Brampton Park Road, Wood Green, London, N22 6B. They are also very worthy of a follow on Twitter.


In other news, the SfH team put in a good showing at the Monday night quiz at the Alexandra Pub in Wimbledon this week, coming a creditable 7th, only 6 points behind the winning team (photo via Isabel Costello on Twitter).




Stories for Homes Auction raises over £500 for Shelter

Thanks to the generosity of both donors and bidders, our auction raised over £500 for Shelter. One generous winning bidder made a further donation to Shelter when they won their item for less than they had been prepared to bid in total. Combined with sales of Stories for Homes 2 and donations made at events, we have raised nearly £3,000 for Shelter since Stories for Homes 2 launched in September.

Not ready to rest on our laurels, we have plans for another auction later in the year with some truly amazing lots up for grabs. Keep following us here and on Facebook and Twitter to be the first to know.

London reading events, north or south of the river, take your pick!

We have not one but two Stories for Homes 2 events this week, both based in London. On Thursday we’re being welcomed by the famous Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green. On Friday we have a pay-at-the-door event at the community run Ivy House in Nunhead, with music from the Sing Eazy choir as well as readings from Stories for Homes authors. All proceeds, as ever, go to Shelter. Details for both events can be found here.

Don’t forget our fabulous auction – most items close tomorrow (Thursday 18th January). We’d love to top £500 in funds raised for Shelter so do please have a look at our eBay page here. There is something for everyone, from signed books and CDs to the original painting created for the Stories for Homes 2 cover and a signed print by Viz artists Barney Farmer and Lee Healey.


Stories for Homes Auction launches at the Alex.

The Stories for Homes auction is now OPEN! It runs until 18th January, with some truly spectacular, one-of-a-kind lots to bid for.

We kicked off the auction with a live reading event at the renowned Alex pub in Wimbledon. Many thanks to the landlord and punters there for making us so welcome, and for buying copies of both volumes of Stories for Homes. We stayed for what is reputed to be the biggest pub quiz in London, but didn’t cover ourselves in glory, so let’s draw a veil over that…


Head over to our eBay page to take part in the auction. Every penny from the winning bids goes directly to Shelter.

Stories for Homes 2 Auction sneak peak

We are too excited about the Stories for Homes 2 auction lots to keep quiet any longer, so here is a sneak peak of one of our most exciting offerings: an original signed Viz comic strip print, donated to Stories for Homes by artists Barney Farmer and Lee Healey.

4ANDYweputyouupBarney and Lee chose this strip especially for the auction, saying:

Lee and I thought this strip apt, as one aspect of the housing crisis less discussed at present (due solely to the explosion of rough sleeping and homeless itself, it must be said) is the appalling quality of much temporary accommodation into which 80,000 households and 128,000 children – in England alone – are currently dumped. At its worst it ruins health, shatters self-esteem, and is surely the worst possible start in life for all those children.

Barney Farmer and Lee Healey are the creative duo behind Viz magazine’s Drunken Bakers strip, as well as work in Private Eye and Dirty Rotten Comics. We are enormously grateful to them both for donating this art work to our auction.

The auction goes live TOMORROW (Monday 8th January) at 10pm. You can follow us on eBay now by clicking here, and get ready to get bidding!


Are you ready for the SfH online auction?


Our online auction kicks off on Monday 8th January at 10pm on our dedicated eBay page. 100% of the winning bids goes to Shelter – eBay doesn’t take any fees for auctions where all the proceeds go to charity.

The star of our auction will be the original artwork that Sally Swingewood painted especially for our beautiful Stories for Homes 2 cover.


We also have salon treats, meals, signed CDs and books, and a few surprise lots that will blow your socks off! Thanks to everyone who has donated items for the auction – as ever, we couldn’t do any of this without the kindness and generosity of so many people.

The auction goes live at 10pm on Monday 8th January, after our reading event at The Alex (see our events page for more details) and runs until 18th January. Follow our eBay page now so you don’t miss a thing!



Stories for Homes Auction for Shelter – coming soon!

We have been beavering away behind the scenes putting together a new fundraising event – an online auction with all proceeds going to Shelter. Star of the show will be the original painting by Sally Swingewood seen on the stunning cover of Stories for Homes 2.  There will be other exciting lots too. Official launch will be at our reading event on Monday 8th January at the Alex pub in south west London – full details here.

Keep an eye on our social media and this blog for updates and information on how you can bid.



Stories for Homes 2 Official Launch Party

We had a wonderful evening giving Stories for Homes 2 its official launch at the Bookseller Crow on the Hill in Crystal Palace. We were delighted to welcome Laura Wilcox and Talia Pobischan from Shelter, who expressed how much our support means to the charity and its work. The anthologies’ editors Debi Alper and Sally Swingewood hosted an evening of readings, music and celebration of the Stories for Homes community.

Amanda Berriman kicked off the evening with a reading from A Home Without Moles, her story that opened the original Stories for Homes anthology. That story has became the novel Home, due to be published in February 2018.

We had further readings from Sophie Wellstood, Silvana Maimone, Caroline Hardman, Angelita Bradney, Andy Leach and Rachael Dunlop. Ted Bonham closed the evening with his touching and tender opener for Stories for Homes 2, The Life This Is

Several authors – and supporters not included in the anthology – made long journeys to be with us on the evening. We appreciate every ounce of support, and must also mention the generosity of Jon, Justine and Karen of the Bookseller Crow on the Hill in hosting the event and allowing a bunch of rowdy writers to drink wine in their beautiful bookshop!

A highlight of the evening was a musical performance led by Dan Maitland and featuring Amanda Berriman, John Taylor, Cherry Park and Debi Alper on vocals. Their rendition of Neil Young’s Only Love Can Break Your Heart struck a real emotional chord (pun not intended!). You can see an excerpt below.

Our next event will be on 8th January at the Alexandra Pub in Wimbledon – check our Events page for updated details. And we have something really special planned for the New Year – keep following us here and on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest news. We love updates from all our readers and supporters.



Praise for Stories for Homes

Readers have been blown away by the quality of the writing in Stories for Homes 2 and we are pleased to see the immense talent of our contributors recognised. Each and every one donated their work to the project, a most generous gift.

Isabel Costello wrote a wonderful review of the book on her blog The Literary Sofa. She reflects not just on the impact of the stories in the book, but on the way fiction allows writers to access deeper truths in the lives of the ‘other’. She says:

‘it’s noticeable that many of the most powerful and insightful pieces are by authors crossing all kinds of boundaries of identity and experience, with conviction and sensitivity.’

and calls the anthology as a whole:

‘one of the finest short story anthologies I’ve come across, in its consistent quality and exceptional variety of theme, setting and tone.’

You can read her full review here and her pick of the best books of 2017 here (including Stories for Homes 2, we’re delighted to say).

Elsewhere, our co-editor Debi Alper was interviewed by Retreat West’s Amanda Saint – you can read it here and Debi’s own blog about Stories for Homes here. Stories for Homes 2 author Jaqueline Ward wrote movingly about her personal reasons for getting involved in the project here.

And last but most decidedly not least, we were delighted to see the estimable Lit Pig include Stories for Homes 2 on his list of perfect presents for readers this Christmas. His associate Tracy Fells made sure to take a picture of him enjoying his copy. You can find all Lit Pig’s recommendations for idea stocking fillers over on Twitter.

theliterarypig_2017-Dec-08 1




A celebration of words and music in Andover

Despite the freezing weather, we had warm words and music in Andover last night. There were readings from Jacky Gilks, Nicola Judd and John Taylor. Cathy Mason conducted the Andover Museum Loft Singers and Suzanne Coates and Gwilym Stacey provided exquisite music on cello and piano.

Most generously, our hosts St Michael and All Angels West Andover donated the refreshments money originally destined for the church, and we raised at least £370 for Shelter, with more donations still to come.

John Taylor, who organised the event, said: ‘A highlight for me was the chance to read aloud Lorraine Wilson’s haunting Echoes in Stone. In a last minute change to the programme, we left a short silence, and then Suzanne and Gwilym played The Swan, by Saint-Saens. A moment I won’t forget’.

Our next event is the official launch party for Stories for Homes 2 on Friday 15th December at the Bookseller Crow on the Hill in Crystal Palace. We will be welcoming a representative from Shelter at this event, as well as many of our authors and supporters. Do please come if you can! Full details on our events page here.