A group of amateur writers from across Preston have gone to the top of the charts with their first compilation.
The group of around 30 men and women, aged from 20 to 60-years-old meet every Sunday at Ham and Jam in Lancaster Road, where they challenge themselves to write ‘flash fiction’.
Now they are sharing their Christmas efforts on Amazon, and within a week have shot to the top of the compilation charts for the UK with their mixture of blood-curdling horror, comedy and neighbourly love.
“The idea is that we’ll have a theme and then have 15 to 20 minutes to come up with 100-150 words that’s a full story or a poem”, said member Janice Cumberlidge, from Longton.
“You have to get through them quite quickly and there’s a lot of pressure, but it’s amazing what you can produce.”
The web designer, 45, added: “A couple of weekends ago we had a theme of Christmas, using some prompts.
“At the end of the meeting we had 12 little stories and I said, why don’t we make them into an ebook and share them?”
Janice, who has been a best-selling Amazon author with a book on website design, encouraged others who had not used the platform before.
She said: “I wanted to show people that it can be done and it’s actually quite easy. More and more then submitted work and we ended up with 26 pieces of work by 16 authors.
“For it to go to number one in a week is really nice, people can’t believe it.
“It’s been a bit of fun, but hopefully it will encourage people to have another go with other things.
“As a group we’re also looking at maybe releasing a Valentine’s Day collection.”
The stories and poems range in length from one to five pages long and can be downloaded for free or bought for £3.99 as a paper back version by searching Seasonal Shorts: An Anthology of Christmas Stories and Poems on Amazon.
There is also a Facebook group called Just Write.
Janice said: “We’re all interested in writing and different ways of doing it. It’s nice to meet people who share a common interest.”
Copies of the compilation will also be available at Ham and Jam.