FLASH FICTION COLLECTIONS
A Tricky Dance
My new novella-in-flash A Tricky Dance was published by Alien Buddha on 7 January 2024.
You can hear me read a couple of stories from the novella here
If you would like to buy a copy of A Tricky Dance, please click on the link above.
Praise for A Tricky Dance:
A Tricky Dance is a delightful immersion into the life of Elspeth, a 1970s young teenager always on the edge of not belonging, but never giving up. The day-to-day situations Elspeth negotiates at school and at home are vividly depicted and realistic. Diane Simmons is brilliant at showing the ups and downs of friendships and life in a single parent family and how Elspeth’s longing to dance is finally realised. From the first page, you’ll be with this feisty, yet sensitive girl all the way.
~Jude Higgins, writer and Director of Ad Hoc Fiction
Diane Simmons explores the tricky dance of adolescence in this affecting novella-in-flash. My heart ached for Elspeth whose tough as nails exterior hides a young girl’s yearning to fit in. As the story concludes, Elspeth begins to find her place on the dance floor, with this reader cheering her on. Endearing, moving, satisfying.
~Damhnait Monaghan, author of the award-winning novel New Girl in Little Cove
My historical novella-in-flash, An Inheritance was published by V. Press on 28 February 2020. I held an online launch on March 2nd and you can access it via Facebook here.
If you would like to buy a copy of An Inheritance, please click on the link above.
An Inheritance was shortlisted in the Best Novella category of the 2020 Saboteur Awards.
Joanna Campbell had this to say about An Inheritance:
An Inheritance is a gem of a novella. It succeeds in spanning seventy years and four generations of one family, exquisitely capturing their relationships, secrets and divided loyalties. The historical changes wrought by each decade are delicately interwoven throughout the twists and turns within the family’s life. This captivating narrative will make you weep and smile.
Finding a Way
My flash fiction collection Finding a Way was published by Ad Hoc Fiction in February 2019. A collection of fifty-one flashes on the theme of grief, Finding a Way, follows a family over a three and a half year period as they navigate loss.
If you would like to buy a copy of Finding a Way, please click on the link above.
Finding a Way was shortlisted in the Best Short Story Collection category of the 2019 Saboteur Awards.
I have created a YouTube channel where you can see me reading stories from the book and watch me being interviewed by Ad Hoc Fiction's Jude Higgins. You can watch here
Here is what Dr David Swann, author of The Privilege of Rain, said about Finding a Way:
What gives the book its power is the writer's commitment to the everyday. Without a hint of melodrama, Diane Simmons shows how ordinary life is altered, and made strange, by the death of a loved one. I was moved beyond words by this fine, modest, under-stated and perceptive book.
Amazon reviews can be read here
I am a writer, editor, Co-Director of National Flash Fiction Day UK and a former director for the UK Flash Fiction Festival. I am an editor for FlashFlood, a former reader for the international Bath Short Story Competition and have been a judge for several flash fiction competitions including Flash 500, Micro Madness, Hysteria, NFFD Micro Competition and numerous online flash fiction festival competitions. Finding a Way, my debut collection of flashes on the theme of grief, was published by Ad Hoc Fiction in February 2019 and my historical flash fiction novella An Inheritance was published by V. Press in February 2020. Both of the books were shortlisted in The Saboteur Awards. My new novella-in-flash A Tricky Dance was published by Alien Buddha on 7 January 2024.
I started writing in 2007 whilst studying creative writing with The Open University. My first writing success was in 2009 when I entered ITV's This Morning short story competition in association with She magazine. As one of five finalists I was invited to the London studios to appear on the TV programme with Phil and Fern. A chauffeur driven ride through early morning London started the day (after a complimentary night in a hotel) and the day got no less surreal. After a trip to make up, I met my fellow finalists and after nervously eating pastries in the Green Room, we were ushered through to the studio where we had the rather terrifying experience of appearing on live television and having to watch the judges critique our stories and mark them out of ten.
Highlights of that day for me included spotting The Tardis in a corridor, being praised by judge Jacqueline Wilson and being told by Paul Ross (brother of the more famous Jonathan), that my story had made him blub like a baby. The competition was in collaboration with She magazine and one of the prizes for the winner was publication in their magazine. I came second, losing by one mark.
So, encouraged, I continued entering competitions. Other successes followed and although they have not been quite as glamorous, they have been no less exciting.
In 2011, I completed a flash course with Fish Publishing and declared that I didn't think flash was my thing. I was wrong. I now concentrate on writing flash and enjoy performing my stories.
I have had many writing highlights, but perhaps one of my favourites was when Ian Rankin sent me a tweet about my NFFD prizewinning micro story A Weekend Away. I'd tweeted him a copy of the story as he gets a mention in it and he replied: 'That's a powerful wee story, Diane. Congratulations!'
You can follow me on twitter: @scooterwriter
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org