Scattered stories

Future Way Grace, Toby, Judy, DavidLast week I had the uncommon pleasure of walking a story trail I’d contributed to. Two of the other writers who’d written pieces featured in the Redcliffe Future Way story walk, plus Toby who’d set the whole thing up, met outside St Mary Redcliffe and took a wander, pausing to pick up snippets of site-specific stories along the way.

We had a brilliant time. Toby had cunningly picked out intriguing lines from each section of our tales to tempt passersby into scanning the QR codes with their smart phones.

Judy Darley_UnderTheSurface

Here I am beside the first part of my story Under The Surface, which reimagines this area of Bristol deluged by water. Toby chose the line “its only parishioners are fish and eels”.

Grace Palmer’s story Redcliffe Mornings comprises four sections evocatively connected by the sense of smell. The one pictured below is from the POV of a fox and features the line “He smells man”.

Grace Palmer by He Smells Man

The brief was to set each work of fiction in the future, and David J Rodger’s tale, Redcliffe Requiem, takes you right to the brink of the end of the world. You can find the final part of his story in front of one of my favourite Bristol sculptures.

David J Rodger_Redcliffe Requiem

The goal of the trail is to make you experience this part of the city in a new and thought-provoking way – weaving together real, physical places with fantastical imaginings. It’s also a fun and unusual way to share fiction. Highly recommended both as a user and participant! To find trail points, check out the Future Way Map and visit

Follow a story trail

Tag3 Lamppost on Redcliff Hill cr Judy DarleyVery happy to say that my short story Under The Surface has been selected as part of Redcliffe Future Way, a Dream of a Shadow story trail around Bristol’s Redcliffe area.

The organisers describe the venture as “an amazing first-of-its-kind, art project collaborating with published authors, budding writers, artists, architects and community groups to challenge the way we view our city.” The featured stories each explore, in their own way, how these streets will look in years to come.

Tag1 lamppost btwn The Ship Inn and St Mary Redcliffe cr Judy DarleyHow exciting! I’m one of four contributing writers and am chuffed to bits to have had my story chosen.  The other members of the gang include Grace Palmer of Novel Nights with her tale Redcliffe Mornings, David J Rodger with Redcliffe Requiem and Angela Brooks with Don’t Look Back.

I’m really intrigued about how the trails will play out. The trail opens Friday 1st May 2015 at 1pm and running indefinitely. The advice on the website is that the stories are ‘tagged’ to locations within Redcliffe “forming a series of fictional trails to be followed through the physical city. These tags can be scanned via QR codes, and accessed via a password located on the tag, revealing a virtual fiction which immerses the reader between realities in a format used by the Bristol Story Trail.”

To find trail points, check out the Future Way Map and visit