A STROUD author has scooped first prize in a major international short story competition.

John Holland the Stroud Short Stories organiser has since taken time off his promotion of the event to claim his second award in just a few months - earlier this year he won the Dorset Fiction Award and bagged £500.

Speaking to the SNJ, John gave details of his latest publication.

"Lips is the story of a man called Ellsworth and his wait to kiss Dorothy, the woman he loves," John explained.

"Each month when they meet for coffee he moves his lips one millimetre closer from her cheek towards her lips, the story unfolds over a period of 8 years and 4 months."

John's story Lips came first in the To Hull And Back International Short Story Competition for humourous stories, and netted him £1,000, as well as publication of his story in the forthcoming anthology.

"I am absolutely delighted by this win, To Hull And Back is one of the very few competitions for humourous stories, so it seemed like the best fit for my story," John added.

"To have competed with more than 450 other stories entered and to have come out on top is a huge boost for my writing."

Read more about John's victory on the To Hull And Back website at christopherfielden.com/short-story-competition