The Read More Project

The Read More Project features some of the best prose, poetry and narrative non-fiction around. We publish work from a variety of authors from around the world, with a focus on new and emerging writers. These works span genre, style, form, voice and subject, ensuring our corner of the literary is as varied, eye-opening and challenging as possible.

All Poems and Stories

Ward 31 by David Christopher Johnston

I count the seventy-two ceiling tiles above my head – one for each hour I’ve been stuck in Ward 31. It feels like many more. The room is imprinted on…

The Art of Preserving by Martha Lane

Not a single islander outside the family had ever seen the fossils. Forty-eight of them, perfectly preserved in their meandering parade. There had never been a larger collection reported.

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;…

Bandit Fiction is changing

by Greg Forrester It’s been a while now since we last dropped by and gave you, our truly wonderful community, a little update of how things are looking Bandit-side, but…

Born With Bears by Philip Webb Gregg

They came from the dark warmth of our mothers’ wombs, held tight in our little arms as we slipped into the world. A knot of fluff and claws no bigger…

The Mind’s Eye by Margaret McDonald

The thing wearing Anna’s face is making breakfast. This isn’t how it starts. It starts when Erik is reading in the study, papers scattered across the desk, rubbing circles into…

Monsters Don’t Feel Heat by SJ Walker

When our order was announced, I felt a huge sense of relief. Wasting no time, Hank grabbed my arm and pulled me with him to the counter. With our coffees…

Introducing POINT BLOC

Our regular blog contributor Sam Burt shares another exciting project for readers of Bandit to get behind.

The Girl in the Woods by Megan Pacelli

The door buzzer drills its way into my dream, and I just manage to open one eye and peek out of my blankets at the clock so I can figure…

Life Vacation by Michael Bonnet

His approach was becoming untenable. He couldn’t say he was busy all the time and he’d already squeezed about as much mileage as he could out of the time difference…

lucky in love by Becca Fang

I have dabbled in desperate, dirty things, knelt for jesters dressed as kings, pretending to be fooled, although I knew.

The Spare Room by Safiya Cherfi

though if they didn’t, they would be admitting defeat. Or they’d be facing the silence. If they had gone straight home, she would have been able to cry openly, all…

The Lilac Line by Rhiannon Jones

People said Mark was A Good Lad, but sometimes when he ran past my window I could taste blood. Feel the terror I felt when he broke my sister’s nose,…

Review: ‘In the Cut’ by Susanna Moore

‘In the cut. From vagina. A place to hide. To hedge your bet. But someplace safe, someplace free from harm’  by Harry Wilding Content Warning: Discussions of sexual violence and…

Review: ‘Sterling Karat Gold’ by Isabel Waidner

Sam Burt Describing the story of Sterling Karat Gold, Isabel Waidner’s third, Goldsmiths prize-winning novel, is probably a fool’s errand – a struggle against ‘bullfighters, football players and time-travelling spaceships’,…

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,…

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…

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.…

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…

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 Salesman by Chris Farrington

“Some salesman from earlier, trying to sell me health insurance. I stupidly scanned the QR code for their website, I must’ve inadvertently consented to being contacted.”

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…

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.…

Fire Coral by David Oakley

Stripped to the waist, he checked his mask, placed the weights in his trouser pockets, cracked the ‘Spare Air’ and dived down through the weed. He breathed slowly and economically,…

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…

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…

The Lone Twin by David Micklem

They had done everything together. Erica has never been able to fathom why her sister wasn’t with her then. Sat on her knees, a spade in hand, gathering fistfuls of…

Pretty Girl, Perfect Teeth by Nicole Sellew

When I was thirteen or fourteen, they took my braces off, which would normally be a great thing except when they did mine they ripped off chunks of my teeth.

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…

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…

The Deep Dive by Robert Runté

“Feel?” Dr Revio was always asking how she felt. Like I’m wasting my time. Like this whole thing is ridiculous. But Meghan had committed to the process, so she forced…

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.…

Seven Cups by Katy Naylor

I settle for Earl Grey. At home it was the tea that sat in the other caddy, the one we saved for a treat. A cup still feels like a…

Straight Expectations by Anna Ross

As always, he looked over as if startled by its existence and the possibility that he could have taken more than a few moments of my time. “But there’s more,…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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.…

Kindness, of a Sort by Jacqui Pack

Marfa rises to her feet. This is no time to wallow in the past. One child has turned to dust within its grave and the other did not know her…

Book by Book: ‘The Oresteia’

This week’s walk through the classics focuses on questions of the morality of war and the human capability for justice in Aeschylus’s timeless trilogy ‘The Oresteia.’

Isolated by Rick Houghton

‘I’m young enough to be President of America.’  Tracey shook her head and her bun wobbled like the stumped tail of a cheery bulldog. ‘That may be, John, but right…

You, Me, Them, It by Mark Barlex

All dogs are descended from wolves. Some more recently than others. The little blue handbook given to us with Sadie at the animal sanctuary said, Husky-German Shepherd Cross. The young…

The Weekend by Katie Swabb

here was only one desk chair, but we were both small enough to fit, and we tried to spin ourselves round as many times as we could while the internet…

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…

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…

Home Under Review by Joshua Potts

“Never in my whole life. I am so ready for peas rent-free.” “We’re happy to go the extra mile for our tenants,” she says brightly. “Consider, for instance, the ocelot.”

Playing for Keeps by Rachael Grant

There’s a stand-off, gunslinger style. Mari’s at one end of the sitting room, next to the man-tel. Tim’s at the other, filling the space underneath the archway leading into the…

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…

How Could You? by Hazel Urquhart

I tried to tell you, once, at least I think I did unless I confused the hollow sound  of silence with my own voice.

The Orange Berry by Douglas J. Ogurek

When he finished, he shut the door, then sat on his throne and admired his work. He opened the window and watched the birds, the neighbour’s children playing on their…

The Healing by Maureen O’Leary

It seemed like God wasn’t listening, but my mother was used to that. She petted the peach fuzz on my arm and prayed so hard her soul lifted off from…

The Burial by Hazem Shekho

Someone stopped me in the street. He was obviously a homeless man, surrounded and mounted by many pigeons; two on his shoulders, one on his head and others circling him,…

To Absent Friends by Sam Fairlea

Ladies and Gentlemen, now that you have all finished the cake – we avoided fruitcake and nuts for obvious reasons – it’s speech time. First, I need to point out…

Father and Son by John Grey

He’ll listen to me all right.He knows what’ll happenif he doesn’t. He’ll be down any minute.You’ll see.Or he knows what he’s in for,the little monkey. I’m going to call him.…

Book vs Film: Short Cuts

Pitting the written word against the moving image in a battle to determine the best fiction.

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…

Broken by Jonny Rodgers

We arrive in the car park long after the last worshipper has gone. In undersized wellies and inherited trackies, I receive an armful of tools then hover by the boot…

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…

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…

Review: ‘Zorrie’ by Laird Hunt

Zoë Wells Finishing Zorrie and finding out, through his acknowledgements section, that Laird Hunt kept a copy of Virginia Woolf’s The Waves on hand throughout the writing process is the…

Juniper by Nicholas John Greenfield

Maybe that was why Franny liked Dot. He had roughly cut hair and used to smoke rolled cigarettes that smelled like damp leaves and thunderstorms. He called me Topper, which…

The Brothers Karamazov in Eight Memes

Michael BirdFeedback and Editorials Editor Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brother’s Karamazov is a cornerstone of classic literature centering on the emotional, philosophical turmoil and legal fallout of the murder and robbery…

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…

The Kite Surfer by Sarah Thunder

It’s a good day for flying with a tall wind.Surf backs up on the glassy sand.The sea is as it should be, graveand on the other side of the silt…

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…

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…

Know Thy Neighbours by Slawka G. Scarso

You bump into them on the stairs, in the lift, while picking your post from the letterbox. Some you’ve known for years. You say hello, ask about their grandchildren, or…

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…

Book vs Film: French Exit

Pitting the written word against the moving image in a battle to determine the best fiction.

The Procedure by Nicholas John Greenfield

The whole thing had begun two years before when we were travelling through Chile. We’d never had kids, but the absence hadn’t left us unmarked and, as we sat in…

Gargantua by Justin Bryant

The first time I saw the spider, I was two bites into a midnight bowl of store-brand generic Cheerios.  Movement caught my eye, something fast and primal, flashing behind years-old…

Book by Book: ‘The Iliad’

A walk through your favourite classics, one book at a time. Michael A. Arnold Who enjoys playing war games? Me. Call of Duty, Battlefield, You do too (I assume) they…

Storm Beckoner by Judy Darley

Those memories ruffle the monotony of water gnawing on rock, gulls and kittiwakes harrying the wind. She glances up, glimpsing her reflection in the window. Transparency scrubs her face clean…

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…

A Faux-Symmetrina by Sean Chua

We kissed once, during first year. I spat afterwards, laughing. She mixed tea leaves in her dorm room for friends. Dried, packed with tiny bows. Mine always tasted rather tart.…

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