The matchmaker by John Saul

"Out of the half-dark Josephine stepped up beside him. Buzzing with the electricity of love, he queried her over his pulse rate: could it be accurate with her fingers on his wrist?"
matchmaker photo.jpg

‘The matchmaker’ is a love story with a difference. Fiction, fantasy, identity and fixation weave together elegantly in this new tale from UK writer John Saul. READ 'THE MATCHMAKER'.

Vestigial by Aideen Henry

The cows drift over when there’s a shower, it’s like they’re tethered together by invisible ropes. Once one makes the move they all tug along, squelching in and out of each other’s muddy hoof prints, breathing misty air over each other’s flanks. Flock memory, Niamh calls it.
Photo by Marcino via

Photo by Marcino via

'Vestigial', by Irish writer Aideen Henry, is a story of innocence and experience, looking at the lives of teenagers as they fumble towards connection, growth, lust and love. A selection by guest editor Madeleine D'Arcy. READ 'VESTIGIAL'.


Romance and Revolution by Kevin O'Rourke

There were no walls in the shack and no interior doors. When Louise and Big Hank had sex in the night, ten-year-old Padraig covered his ears. It did not help. The grunting and moaning kept him awake. 

'Romance and Revolution' by Kevin O'Rourke of a coming of age tale of a young man's struggle with poverty and racism, and his transcendence of the institutions that attempt to confine him. A selection for Long Story, Short Journal by guest editor Jamie O'Connell. READ 'ROMANCE AND REVOLUTION'.

Come Home, Son by Donal Moloney

"With these paintings, it’s vital that I don’t go on autopilot. Either they are imagined stroke for stroke or they are bogus gestures. This morning I set up the fruit and the lights, I mixed the paints, but soon my mind wandered."

Image via Pixabay

Image via Pixabay

As constellations shift in the heavens a vulnerable son leaves home, his father observing both from a distance, waiting for a chance at reconnection in Donal Moloney's 'Come Home, Son'. Story selection by guest editor Madeleine D'Arcy. READ 'COME HOME, SON'. 

'Lamu' by Noel O'Regan

As Aisling drives, Noah struggles to match the abandoned streets that now stream past his window with the city he has experienced the past few days – gone is the feeble crawl of traffic, the strangling smell of diesel, the stutter through roundabouts where knuckles harried closed car windows, and hands offered roasted corn on a stick, fresh mangoes, pineapple, and, one time, a kitten.
Photo by Miville Tremblay, via Flickr.

Photo by Miville Tremblay, via Flickr.

The August 2017 Long Story, Short offering, 'Lamu', is by Irish writer and Sean Dunne Young Writer winner Noel O'Regan. Join hopeful but uncertain Noah on a road trip with a former flame through Kenya, as they skirt the boundaries of reconnection and dissolution. READ 'LAMU'.

The Frieze of Life by M.S. Pallister

Seven in the morning, I came down to the reception with a duvet wrapped over my pyjamas. The heating in my room had stopped working, again.

'What's the nature of your complaint?' asked the receptionist.

'You're joking, right? I was down here three times yesterday.'

She stared at me, unflinching.

'The nature of my complaint is that my fingers are too bloody numb to type a text to my ex-girlfriend.'

A story of gentle humour and humanity to cool you off in the July heat! M.S. Pallister brings her readers to wintry Oslo in 'The Frieze of Life', where a lovelorn man wanders the Munch museum, dines with strangers in hotels, and spends long afternoons in coffee shops waiting for his last love to come back into his life. READ 'THE FRIEZE OF LIFE'.

Salisbury Beach by Sean Conway

Our father, Charles Hartley II, hanged himself in the attic in the spring of 1977. I was five years old. My brother Kelly was eleven. May 25th: the same day that Star Wars opened, though I didn’t make that connection until later.

'Salisbury Beach' is the May 2017 offering from Long Story, Short Journal, by author Sean Conway. Visit a seaside town on the decline, where a young boy's life is spinning wildly on carnival's tilt-a-whirl, from his first tastes of both love and bereavement. READ 'SALISBURY BEACH.'

The Brothers Kaplan by J.A. Bernstein

To the casual observer, the interior of the Pittsfield Building, in the Jewelers Row District of downtown Chicago, resembles the setting for some seedy film noir. The Gothic-style, marble-faced atrium, replete with burnished brass mail chutes and antiquated shops – mostly other obsolete jewelers – struck Sid Kaplan as a cell, one in which he had been confined for the last thirty-six years of his life, ever since he agreed, however hastily, to continue the family trade.

Long Story, Short's April 2017 edition is by Hackney Prize and Knut House Prize winning writer J.A. Bernstein. 'The Brothers Kaplan' brings readers into the confidence of two men whose private lives are hidden from each other, their estrangement exacerbated by one's acceptance, and the other's rejection, of family legacy. READ 'THE BROTHERS KAPLAN'.

'Entrusted' by Fiona Whyte

Something had caught hold of her at the grave, had reached inside her and awoken a tremendous urge to go home once more. Now nothing would do to set it aright other than to head out at once for Ballinlough before it was too late. Mary Frances accompanied her, muttering all the while that Annie wouldn’t appreciate unexpected visitors.

The March 2017 edition of Long Story, Short Journal is 'Entrusted' by Irish writer Fiona Whyte. Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, we have a tale of two countries -- of the Irish who travelled to America for work, adventure or escape -- and the inevitable impact such a distance would have on a family. READ 'ENTRUSTED' BY FIONA WHYTE.

Makeup Tips for the Mature Woman by Rhoda Greaves

Jude removes the filmy plastic and hanger. She holds the new dress against her bare skin and kicks a leg out in front of her. Positions the dress against it to get a feel of how it might hang. It doesn’t work like she expects it to. The arc of her dimpled thigh is exposed: raw sausage.

February 2017 brings us Rhoda Greaves's unique short story, 'Makeup Tips for the Mature Woman'. Against a backdrop of editorial advice for aging gracefully, this story's heroine grapples with grief, aging and identity with human awkwardness and vulnerable dignity, leading her to an unpredictable and transcendent encounter with youth. READ 'MAKEUP TIPS FOR THE MATURE WOMAN'.

Geographies of the Heart by Caitlin Hamilton Summie

The night our grandfather died was a night without stars, the snow falling in endless repeat, first veiling the moon, the constellations, then the sharp edges of buildings – our whole world. Toward the end, when my grandfather seemed only to be lingering of his own will, I stood outside the main entrance of the hospital, looking for headlights; stunned by the deep and unsettling quiet of St Paul under snow and then by the long keening wail of a siren inching toward Emergency, the neon lights there obscured by snow and ice and hope.

January 2017's wintry offering is Caitlin Hamilton Summie's beautifully composed 'Geographies of the Heart'. Readers will find themselves within snowstorms, observing not only grief and loss, but also a thawing of what was once frozen, with the promise of new growth. READ 'GEOGRAPHIES OF THE HEART'. Story selected by guest editor Madeleine D'Arcy.

The Aerialist by Morgan Downie

Albert felt the strong weight of work in his shoulders, a hot glow at the base of his back, tight up into his neck. It was not the career his mother might have planned – in the old country, Albert, a clerk is a fine thing to be – but a brief apprenticeship in book-keeping had at least been enough to get him here and here was so unexpected, so wonderful, that for Albert to be here was enough.

The November 2016 edition of Long Story, Short Journal is 'The Aerialist' by Morgan Downie. Witness the trapeze act of a well-loved mathematician living out an alternative reality that might have been his, given all the potential that time and space holds, both in science, and in fiction. READ 'THE AERIALIST'.