The Parcel Project (a free collaborative novella!)

colourful-gifts 909705 (resized 2 - small)‘The Parcel’ is an eighteen-chapter 26,000-word collaborative novella (free) eBook written by attendees of the 2015 winter-term ‘Creative Writing – Intermediate’ ten-week class hosted by co-contributor Morgen Bailey.

The authors wrote their chapters while knowing only the size, weight and destination address of the parcel, together with the chapters’ starting and ending locations – chosen by the authors themselves (some of whom have other books available on Smashwords). They could choose their own characters – the lead of which entitle each chapter – and plot.

Morgen then collated the stories and made minor edits to turn each chapter into a cohesive novella before designing the cover and upload the finished package today, Monday 30th November, hours ahead of the tenth and final session of the course so all the contributing attendees left the course as published authors!

It is available (free!) on Smashwords and will soon be available on iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, Oyster, OverDrive (which Smashwords describes as the world’s largest library ebook platform serving 20,000+ libraries), Baker & Taylor, Gardners Books, and Inktera (formerly called Page Foundry).

It is available for free, and all the authors hope that you enjoy reading this novella and that it feels seamless to you.

We would love to know what you think and invite you to email Morgen at who will pass your comments on to the relevant authors. We would also be very grateful if you left a review as an encouragement for others to read the novella. Further details (inc. a list of the contributing authors) on this blog’s The Parcel Project 2015 page.

Please do leave a comment (below or on the PP2015 page), especially after you’ve read the novella and hopefully before too long you’ll be able to read those left by other visitors. Thank you for those of you who will go off and download this eBook – your support is much appreciated. Oh, I did I mention that it’s free? 🙂

Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast – short stories episode no.15

Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast ‘short stories’ episode number 15 went live today and contained three flash fiction pieces that have appeared on my blog as ‘Flash Fiction Fridays’. Do email me should you like to submit your own.

This episode contained: Sleep well (727 words) by Christopher Farley, a 626 word story entitled Portraits of a young artist in Istanbul by Gene Parola and Fourth of July (871 words) by DJ Paterson.

See the links above to read the stories… or hear my dulcet tones on the podcast.

The podcast is available via iTunesGoogle’s FeedburnerPodbean (when it catches up), Podcasters (which takes even longer) or Podcast Alley (which doesn’t list the episodes but will let you subscribe).


Christopher Farley.  He lived a sheltered life in the wilds of Kent from where he was saved by the written word.  So much so that he still corresponds with certain people with A PEN AND PAPER!!  Upon moving to London, a bit like Dick Whittington, searching for streets of gold, he happened upon a beautiful Italian lady who later decided to take him to the sunny realm of southern Switzerland, where he can still be found, smiling inanely, continuously in search of Weissbier.  When he is not working or drinking he sits in front of the computer, searching for fictional inspiration. You can find Chris via his blog

Mr Gene Parola is a retired Professor of cultural history at Indiana University and University of Michigan-Flint; the Ministry of Defense, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Koç University in Istanbul Turkey. As a former Naval Air Intelligence officer and a career researcher, he has trained himself to be a keen observer of his surroundings and has acquired a large cultural and social context into which those observations fit. He is a freelance writer of Business (See Honolulu Star Bulletin, July 28, 2002) and Technical (Hurricane Handbook, Sail Net News, Spring, 2003) articles. His short stories have been published in Voices from the Universe and in Bamboo Ridge Press, 25th Anniversary Edition. And the Spring 2006 edition. Mr. Parola speaks frequently to lodges, clubs and service organizations on a variety of topics.

DJ approached his writing with a 20-year run up, which ended on a moment of inspiration and produced a short story called Vampire. This was published on his local BBC website, and in the nine or so years that followed, he has tackled his writing with sporadic enthusiasm.

He has written a number of short stories, flash fiction pieces and completed a YA novel which was ranked in the A&C Black Writers’and Artists’ Yearbook 100th Edition Novel Writing competition to find the best 100 unpublished novels. He has recently started a crime fiction novel, and is a month into his first ever writing group.

He moved from England to New Zealand at the end of 2011, and is pretty sure that one day, he may start thinking about approaching literary agents. DJ is a little guarded about his day job, and says that whilst his hobby is all about being creative, his is paid to ensure that clients are not.

He can be found on Twitter @djpaterson and maintains a random blog at Oh, and if you’re wondering about the profile photo, he won a writing competition and appeared as a character in Meg Gardiner’s The Memory Collector. The photo shows his pleasant surprise when realising his character perhaps had something that DJ could never possess in real life – an Afro!

Thank you for downloading / listening to this short story episode – I hope you enjoyed it. The next episode will be a hints & tips episode then short stories return a fortnight thereafter.

All the details of these episodes are listed on this blog’s podcast page and my email address to submit a short story for critique (or review for the Short Story Saturdays) is

The podcast is available via iTunes, Google’s Feedburner, Podbean (when it catches up), Podcasters (which takes even longer) or Podcast Alley (which doesn’t list the episodes but will let you subscribe).

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.