The Read More Project

The Read More Project features some of the best prose, poetry, and narrative non-fiction around. We regularly publish work from a variety of writers, with a special focus on new and emerging writers. These works will span genres, styles, forms, voice, and more – we want our corner of the literary world to be as varied, as eye-opening, as challenging as possible.

If you’re interested in submitting something to us, you can find more information here.

All Poems and Stories

The Ruy by Richard Garcka

Anita stirred her morning coffee and imagined a Sargasso swirl of letters and numbers, tumbling, gyrating. As the rotation slowed, they conjoined, drifting up from the surface: e4; bg7; g6; nc6. She shaped the display into a merry-go-round and began mentally ordering the sequences, formulating, composing. Continue reading The Ruy by Richard Garcka

The Man in the Rain by David Christopher Johnston

They sat in the tiny bus shelter, hoods up, huddled together to ward off the bitter wind. The whole structure shuddered and creaked like it could collapse at any moment. Nathan tore through his burger like a starved cayote devouring a fresh kill. Cassie ate hers slowly, taking small bites and savouring the taste, enjoying the warmth in her stomach. She watched Nathan shovelling food into his mouth and laughed. Continue reading The Man in the Rain by David Christopher Johnston

Quemperi by Camila Torres

Two white men arrived in Quemperi in the morning. They were two white blemishes in the perfect brown and green of the rainforest. They were no children of Mama Sacha, and their mere presence disturbed her eternal peace. To the white men, it seemed as if the grass and bushes were becoming taller and thicker; as if mosquitos’ bloodthirst was growing, biting their eyes, ears and necks; and as if the mist was becoming warmer and wetter only to suffocate their airways. Continue reading Quemperi by Camila Torres

Fish by Amita Basu

A couple in ice-blue jeans, silk kurtas, and sunhats turn to glare. I understand: they’re policing social distancing. I await my turn outside. Fingering their PM-95 masks for a perfect seal, they turn away. Continue reading Fish by Amita Basu

Butterfly Stitches by Jeremiah K. Balko

Dad’s still only twenty minutes away, which is why he can still see us all the time. He’s not like these dads you hear about who don’t want their kids. Mum made it seem like she got us during the school week because she was the mum and he got us on the weekend, like it was the law. Mum doesn’t make us do chores, so we like that, and Rita would’ve picked her anyway. She hates Dad. She has no taste in things. Continue reading Butterfly Stitches by Jeremiah K. Balko

Oh Baby by Sam Burt

To stave off hunger, he does another line. He pulls a chair to the table and delights in the newfound compliance of physical objects. He wants music, so gets up and puts it on and there it is! It wanted to be heard. He sits down again but suddenly knows there should be different music and a different drink, something fruity to take the edge off, and the curtains drawn, and then enough time will have passed to check his messages again. Continue reading Oh Baby by Sam Burt

Sink by HLR

I stare at him for a second too long and then flick some ash off my tights. We watch it fall one two three four floors down until it disappears. The air has changed, as if charged with uncomfortable static. I only came here for a fuck, and now he seems… upset.  Continue reading Sink by HLR

My Name is Abbas Abdullah by Wayne McCray

He did it so easily. No one looking like him had done that in a while. Most boys don’t play girlish street games. Except for one, but he didn’t stay around here. That was for sure. But the more Abbas saw of him, the more recognisable he became. It dawned on him: “damn, that’s my son!” He hadn’t seen him in years, but knew it was him by his swagger, and the occasional stoppage of children and neighbours, all clamouring to talk to him. His son would arrive shortly. Now Abbas wished he had left earlier, but it was too late now.  Continue reading My Name is Abbas Abdullah by Wayne McCray

The Red Romper by Eleonora Balsano

When life hasn’t turned out the way you hoped, nor have you found a way – yoga, God, Prozac – to make peace with it, you dream that you’re pregnant. Your baby needs clothes and bottles and a pram and a playmat. You dream of the brood of mums-to-be waddling out of your living room arm in arm. A folded pram in their boot, a bag containing a scented layette on their lap. Your baby’s pram, your baby’s layette, your baby’s scent. You want it all back. Continue reading The Red Romper by Eleonora Balsano

The Tide by David Micklem

I forget about the men. Not actively, like it’s something I need to remember to do. But naturally, as I pull the water around the kayak. I know that this should be a good time to think about work, about how much longer I can stand being in the same room as the pair of them. Or about dating again. It’s nine months since Suzanne left me, and I’ve not seen anyone since. Continue reading The Tide by David Micklem

The Summit by David Micklem

It took two hours to get to the snowline. There they dropped their packs on a triangle of grass. Jerry took Karl’s map and studied it without sharing. Karl noticed how his brow ruffled, how close he held the map to his face, and wondered whether he needed glasses.  Continue reading The Summit by David Micklem

Sag Harbour by Nicole Sellew

On the beach in Sag Harbor with yet another boy, he’s from Shelter Island, or he’s there for the summer at least, and he works on the North Fork. “I’ve never been to the North Fork,” I tell him, and then I worry that it makes me seem common but then I remember that I’m in the Hamptons, which always makes me feel like I’m seeming common.  Continue reading Sag Harbour by Nicole Sellew

That Thing I Lost by Tara Van De Mark

On my knees, I reach behind the toilet, but my phone isn’t there. I crawl to the mattresses and reach into the space between bed and wall, finding only used tissues, hairbands and dust. I shake out the sheets and toss the pillows. Nothing. I dig through the clothes on the futon until I reach the dirty red slipcover. Still no phone, not even a handful of coins for a payphone. Continue reading That Thing I Lost by Tara Van De Mark

No Particular Place to Go by Bonnie Meekums

Stella feels a pang of guilt, remembering her carer. Did she say she had recently lost a brother to the virus? It’s hard to recall details like that, these days. She didn’t mean to be unkind, about the wages. Poor woman is only doing her job, and compassionately at that. She’s the one that gives Stella a kiss goodnight and tucks her in bed before she goes off shift. Continue reading No Particular Place to Go by Bonnie Meekums

Leave No Trace by Nora Thurkle

It looked like someone had poured concrete on top of the roots of this tree to try and hold them in place. There was a rutted, pocked mound like the caldera of a volcano, from which the tree’s belligerent trunk erupted upwards. It looked like at any moment it could pull itself upwards and take a step.  Continue reading Leave No Trace by Nora Thurkle

Her Last Catch by Leila Martin

Something small rustles furtive by her feet. Absently she braces her hand on a gnarled trunk and follows its contortions with her fingers. Chatter punctuates the air. A ripple of mocking laughter, and too late she’s seized by memory’s bright claws: pale wax, a stain on patterned fabric. Wiry hair glinting in lamplight. Continue reading Her Last Catch by Leila Martin

Finding Closure by David Rudd

He had been eight years older than she was and at the time she saw him as her saviour. St George rescuing her from the family home where, after her mother’s untimely death from cancer, she had seen herself becoming trapped with her demanding father. He had been another man who was always right. Out of the frying pan, as her friend Betty always said.  Continue reading Finding Closure by David Rudd

Eagle by Thomas Morgan

Statistically, there’s about a one in 11,000,000 chance that you’ll be involved in a plane crash, while there’s a one in 5000 chance that you’ll be involved in a car accident. So on paper, I had nothing to worry about. Continue reading Eagle by Thomas Morgan

BFH by Jacqui Pack

The evening started like most of my evenings: in the kitchen preparing a vegetarian stir-fry. With the vegetables sizzling in the wok, I reached for the soy sauce. Somebody coughed. I froze mid-splosh, the soy wavering over the hob. The sound had come from the empty living room. Continue reading BFH by Jacqui Pack

Spilt Milk by A. K. Shaw

Mike leant against the fridge as he upended his bottle. I hadn’t heard him come in. The thoughts left my mind like doves out of a magician’s hand and I shrugged, smiling at him in a way I hoped was endearing. All I could hear was swishing sounds as he rinsed the dregs of beer around his mouth. His dentist had told him to stop doing that.  Continue reading Spilt Milk by A. K. Shaw

Stolen by Joshua Hoft

murky window in its pane and sending groans through the walls. It does not rouse the brat, who sleeps soundly in his basket. Mrs Moray feels no great emotion as she listens to the girl speak of her husband’s antics, save mild surprise; the man she knew was at best a lapsed Baptist, with little time for church save Christmas and Easter. Continue reading Stolen by Joshua Hoft

Every Cloud by SJ Townend

For a time, in my teens, I would experiment with the compass from my trigonometry kit. When I had mastered some control over my power, I used it to my advantage. I’d etch cross-hatched eyes and a wobbly grin with a tongue poking from it onto the back of my hand – Nirvana – and I’d wait for the rain to come. Continue reading Every Cloud by SJ Townend

New Feedback Service Launched

From now on, we’ll only be offering a feedback service for works not submitted to us to our Patrons. Patrons will be able to request feedback on one piece a month (pieces must fall within our standard submission criteria: that’s between 250 and 3500 words for prose/non-fiction, and less than 50 lines for poetry) as a thank you for supporting us. Continue reading New Feedback Service Launched

The Spot by Alan McCormick

In the middle of the sofa seat is a large damp spot. Richard bends down to have a closer look and puts his finger tentatively on the spot. It’s cold and sticky. He recoils, his brain notching up a gear: It couldn’t be? And, anyway, if it was he’d surely try and hide it? And I’m not checking, sniffing. But he does sniff and closes his eyes when he does, he’s not sure why. “Fuck! Fucking hell!” He thinks about checking the bedding in the bag. It feels too much, sordid, but also straightforwardly forensic, a conclusive step down the line to confirming something he’s not sure he wants to confirm right now. But against this instinct, a stronger impulse makes him pull the sheet from the bag. The same spot is on the sheet and when he places the sheet on the sofa the spots merge in a perfect match. Continue reading The Spot by Alan McCormick

Copycat by Phoebe T

Some children did dances and jokes. One did an impression of Homer Simpson, but most of us sang to each other. My number was in the second half, and I spent most of the fire taking indecipherable photos on my disposable camera, trying to decide what I should sing. Continue reading Copycat by Phoebe T

The Big Change by Steven Bergmark

Another week passed and he still had no way to conclude the prank, which he wasn’t quite sure qualified so much as a prank as an outright lie. He considered the possibility of simply becoming all three, thus rendering it no longer either a prank or, more importantly, a lie. Although then he would be faced with a lifelong prank and lie against himself. Clearly that was no way to live. Continue reading The Big Change by Steven Bergmark

ToadGirl by Kerry Byrne

“Your pa’s Toadman. Your pa’s Toadman,” the boy sang over and over as he followed her home from the market. He scuffed the scree along the path, provoking dust and picking up stones to pelt her back. A sliver of flint ricocheted off her right ear, a misthrow, drawing blood. She wanted to turn around then and face him, to bare her knuckles like teeth and punch-punch-punch his freckled nose until his vest matched the rust of his hair. Continue reading ToadGirl by Kerry Byrne

Rise and Shine! by Hannah Miodrag

Welcome to your Emerald Rated (Level 4) Bumper Subscription Pack! We’ve got some top-notch treats for our loyal subscribers, themed around Earth’s sister planet – just for us ladies! Our affordable, tailor-made subscription packs are carefully designed to complement your busy life and natural cycles. So when your skin, your job or the planets are getting you down – give yourself a boost! And if everything seems to be on your side – give yourself something to celebrate!  Continue reading Rise and Shine! by Hannah Miodrag

Slices by IJ Fenn

Jane and Mick and Tina arrived together in that order. It was the same order they arrived anywhere. Tina drove from Brighton on the English south coast in her Mercedes that looked like a luxury liner cruising across the oceans of English countryside and the waves of the English Channel and the vagues deferlantes of La Manche and the French route nationals, with Jane in the front passenger seat and Mick in the luxurious expanse of the back seat. Tina was in control. Jane was second-in-command. Behind them, Mick was already a part of their past, trying to catch up. Continue reading Slices by IJ Fenn

Fast Train to Zion by L M Rees

At eight o’clock, just before the electricity gets turned off for the night, Tata lights some candles on the kitchen table. He shares a chair with Mama and I sit opposite them on Uncle Zalman’s lap. I can tell it’s going to be good night; it’s past my bedtime, we’ll all have plenty to eat and Tata will tell us stories. Continue reading Fast Train to Zion by L M Rees

The Only Man in the World to Feel Pain by Olivia Baume

She justified it to herself by saying that he was happy for a moment at least, and that was more than she could say about herself. Who’s to blame a person for being happy? For taking the reins, the steering wheel, and turning the dial on their penchant for misery. That was certainly more than she could say about herself. Or most people, for that matter. She admired that about him. He never over-analysed. Or thought much at all. Continue reading The Only Man in the World to Feel Pain by Olivia Baume

Adjustment by Frances Boyle

She had fumbled out of half-sleep in Jacko’s bed. She registered the sound, the bright flashes, in the way you count off lightning to thunder. The flashes were pulse-accelerating, though they had nothing to do with her – they marked someone else’s emergency. Continue reading Adjustment by Frances Boyle

Missing by Amy Elizabeth Doherty

I stop dead, startled. Her image catches my eye, small and desolate, staring out from the laminated paper. A monochrome photograph with a screaming pink border – it’s hard to miss. Someone has neatly attached the poster to a street light opposite the river, so that anyone walking toward Stratford centre will see it. Continue reading Missing by Amy Elizabeth Doherty

The Lemon Grove by Maria Clark

For a country that prides itself on lemons, we only have three groves in the town. One is perched high above the cliff road, the tree roots sprawling over the brick wall. The other is a private residence, and you can only glimpse it from the right side of the house, the lemons flashing like orbs of light. Continue reading The Lemon Grove by Maria Clark

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