Quillery – fiction

Hello Everyone!  A Christmas tradition of mine is to write an annual round robin Christmas letter from the fictional Partridge family, an exasperatingly high achieving bunch whose  one saving grace is that they confine their boasting to a 200 word limit. You can read about their 2017 exploits below, and should you wish to delve into their glorious past, you can also download their 2016 letter.  Happy December!  Rachel

Christmas Round Robin from the Partridges 2017

Dear Friends,

Once again it is time to write our Christmas letter.  How time does fly!  And the Partridges too, of course. Very high.

Douglas: appointed CEO, Pan-Gaelic-and-Global Spurtle Manufacturers Inc.

Phyllida: reappointed CEO.  Life generally.

The children continue to coruscate.  In a year which saw Robin mastermind a student space mission, Paloma take Gold in the European Powerbocking Triathlon and Oriole become the youngest ever Viper Sudoku champion,  Ma and Pa Partridge feel a trifle eclipsed.  We wonder which will be first to achieve international stardom, or a place in the history books?

The garden has been Douglas’s project this year; Phyllida’s, the lute.   Frets and courgettes form the primary topics of dinner conversation, except when Douglas waxes lyrical about the pak choi. Postprandial entertainment takes the form of the Pavane, with occasional sorties into the Galliard.

Some happy events this year; three dear little cousins for the children!  In January, Felicity Laetitia Partridge, King Edward VII hospital, Marylebone.  In April, Bianca Candace Partridge, birthing pool, Hawaii.  In June, Tarka Treehorn Partridge, mudbath, Glastonbury.  All three show prodigious intelligence.

Methusaleh the tortoise is still with us.

Wishing you all seasonal good cheer,

Phyllida, Douglas, Robin, Paloma and Oriole Partridge

Christmas Round Robin from the Partridges 2016

Christmas Round Robin 2016

Homecoming: a new short story from Sarah


The Ne’er-Do-Wells : excerpt from Dominic Watson fantasy piece:


The Nun’s Story: a new short story from Peter

The Nun’s Story

And On That Farm: very rough first draft of a short story set in 1916, by Rachel

And on that Farm FIRST DRAFT

Also ‘Excuses’ – in 230 words

Excuses 230 words


Hey guys, now the site is functioning we need to start filling up these pages!  Surely you must all have work that you would like people to read?







4 thoughts on “Quillery – fiction

  1. Hi Peter,

    Thanks for your latest contribution to this page!

    As with your Final Assignment story, The Nun’s Tale took me to unfamiliar places and times; very interesting to read knowing that it comes from someone who has experience of medicine in Africa. In terms of the telling of the story, my strongest critical reaction is that it very much is ‘telling’. I could almost hear it as a life story being delivered as a speech to a Women’s Institute meeting or suchlike; the directness and honesty would be appreciated in that context but I think in written fiction it possibly feels a too much like being lectured? That said, I myself struggle with how to ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’ in a 1st person narrative where the narrator is also the main protagonist. I have been working on that problem in the piece I have just uploaded (And on that Farm). The only way I found to do it is to introduce some dialogue with one of the other characters. If for example, there could be a few conversations between the nun and Teresa or Father Gerard which revealed something of the story? Just a thought.

    Like the ‘Nun’s Story’ ‘And on that Farm’ has a 1st person narrator who is definitely not me! Different gender, different age, different historical period. I found this fun and interesting to explore but quite a challenge, especially the historical period, as it is the first time I have attempted that. This is a VERY rough first draft, unbalanced between different sections and probably in need of radical cutting, which I intend to come back to and refine at some point. In the meantime if anyone has time to read and comment, that would be great!



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