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Nobody Told Me It Could Be Like This

Helena Nwaokolo

No seagull on the window ledge this time but...

in a different town

a seaside place

one had been found

when curtains opened to

release the sea from

behind the dirty glass

that separated yet joined us

he stood still

he filled his space

one eye viewed me

the other the sea

until he turned

with an exaggerated blink

and from his long still stare

my space was full

of me.


RE Loten

There are first loves and there are last loves. But what happens when they overlap?

Tom Blythe falls in love quickly. He fell for Olivia the first time they met. The same thing happens when he meets Grace. Pulled in two different directions, Tom has a choice to make. He knows he’s unhappy, but is that enough for him to forget the vows he made? Both women have difficult pasts and Tom is desperate to help them, but at what cost?

Can he let Olivia go and commit his future to Grace? Or will the pull of the past prove too strong?

A Cinque Port Collection

Bright Words

This collection of poetry and prose reflects both Brightlingsea’s maritime heritage and the modern, busy little town it is today. Like the people, the contents of the anthology are varied. At times they are complex, at times, funny. They shine from the creativity the town exudes. The town’s coastal location has long encouraged adventure and exploration; a reaching out into the world at large. Similarly the anthology takes the road out of the town from the security of its home.

The Silent Pool & Other Stories

RE Loten

A collection of short stories that dispel the myth of 'what you see is what you get'.

Bored housewives masquerade as glamorous women.

The older generation hanker after lost loves.

The suave sophisticated gentleman has a darker, hidden side to his character. 

People conceal their true natures from the outside world and this collection of stories examines the truth behind the public image.

Fifty Two

Brightlingsea Lido

In 2022, Brightlingsea Lido celebrated its 90th birthday. As part of the celebrations, local residents and supporters of the Lido were invited to contribute either 90 words or 90 characters about the Lido. These were published, once a week over the course of the year, on the Lido's Social Media pages.Writer in Residence, R.E. Loten and Artist in Residence, Becky Jackson have drawn these pieces together to publish them as a complete collection for the first time. Each piece is accompanied by a beautiful illustration that brings to life the modern Lido.

Dipping Your Toes

Brightlingsea Lido

An anthology bursting with talent - the creative pieces have come from the very young to the very old of Brightlingsea and beyond – as writers have come together to celebrate ninety years of Brightlingsea Lido.

‘Dipping Your Toes’ contains short stories, poems, reminiscences and creative non-fiction all centred around or inspired by, Brightlingsea Lido. There are stories to make you laugh, ones to make you cry and some that will present an unusual picture of Brightlingsea!

Why Would You Go Through There?

Edited by Angela Fitzgerald

Seven Writers. A dozen writing prompts. Twelve months.

When members of the Open University Write Club rose to a challenge to each write a short story or poem every month in response to a prompt, they couldn’t imagine the wide variety of pieces that would emerge.

Why Would You Go Through There? is a collection of creative, individual shorts across various genres and styles. Often, they have nothing in common with each other. This anthology is to recognise that, in the current economic crisis, many people struggle to keep putting food on their plates from one month to the next.

It is also to celebrate the work of the Trussell Trust, supporting over 1,200 food banks, challenging the structural economic issues that lock people in poverty, and campaigning for change to end hunger and poverty in the UK.

100% of the profits from sales of this book will go to The Trussell Trust. The Charity was not involved in writing, collating, or publishing the book, and is not responsible for any of the content within.

Words From Wonderland

Twenty Twenty Club

Mysterious train journeys, adventures in the wilderness, folk tales, twists on Shakespeare and children's stories. This anthology has it all.

The pieces vary in length so whether you want a quick read with a cup of tea or something longer - there is something here for everyone. 

Words from Wonderland comes from a talented group of writers who met during the pandemic while completing their Master's in Creative Writing. They have continued to support one another's writing since then and this is the result.

The Quest of the Summer King (Courts Book 2)

Henrietta Edwards

After their adventures in ‘The Reign Of The Winter King’, Tilly, Sam, Henry and Arthur have continued their training, ready to take their places as the new Summer Court. But they may be called on to do this sooner than they think. 

Arthur’s right to the Summer Throne is called into question and he must prove he is worthy to lead the Court. But the forces of evil are gathering once again and this time Morten and Anna have a mysterious new ally.Can Arthur keep everyone safe, complete his quest and work out who is the power behind Morten and Anna?

The Reign of The Winter King (Courts Book 1)

Henrietta Edwards

Everyone knows the stories of Robin Hood and King Arthur. Everyone knows they’re just legends.

But what if everyone is wrong?

While Sam, Henry and Arthur think they’re going to spend their summer holiday with Uncle Alan, their adventurous relative has other plans.

The Silver Arrow has gone missing, and Robin has been kidnapped. The race is on to find the arrow and rescue Robin, before others beat them to it. Who can be trusted? One wrong move and disaster is sure to follow!

This series is perfect for fans of Susan Cooper’s ‘The Dark Is Rising’ series.

The Mermaid

RE Loten

World War Two 

Headstrong. Impetuous. Brave. Frankie has been called all of them. Her loved ones are doing their bit for the war effort and she is determined not to be left behind. Then she meets Mac and everything changes.

But war has a habit of interfering with the best-laid plans and Frankie finds herself caught in a dangerous game where the stakes are high. 


There are secrets in Hannah’s life that she cannot bring herself to share with anyone, but no matter how deeply they are buried, they always find a way to resurface.

Avonstow is united in trying to save their Lido from closure, but will Hannah find her place in the quiet community or will she once again have to run from the mistakes of her past? 

As Frankie begins to share the untold story of her wartime exploits, there are lessons Hannah can learn. But perhaps some things are best left alone.


RE Loten


Avonstow is at war, but it’s a friendly invasion that forces deeply held secrets to emerge. The arrival of the Australian engineers upsets the equilibrium of the wartime village, while the commander of the village’s naval base is convinced a spy is lurking in their midst. 

The consequences are far greater than anyone might have imagined. 


Ellie Whitemore travels to Avonstow after her great-uncle’s body is discovered on the salt marshes near the town. She sets about unravelling her family’s past and finds that their fortunes are inextricably linked with those of the town itself. 

But there is always a price to pay when secrets are unearthed.

The Solstice Baby & Other Stories

JM Langan

Queens, shoplifters, murderers, teenage lovers or menopausal women, all pass through the pages of JM Langan's anthology of short stories and flash fiction. 

You will pause to consider how repetitive the world can be when reading The Self-Cleaning Woman and wonder at the possibility of magic in The Golden Arrows. 

The Solstice Baby will take you on one couple’s heart-rending journey to hold a child of their own in their arms. 

But if you prefer a bit of a chill, try Green Stones. 

For blood and gore, The Butchers Tattoo will do the trick.

Whether you have five minutes or an hour, you’ll find something within these pages to fill your imagination.

Max - The Brightlingsea Cat

Henrietta Edwards

Everyone in Brightlingsea knows Max. 

Now, Henrietta Edwards and Lucy Weaver have joined forces to bring you the first book to feature Max and his adventures. 

Max loves to meet new people, but what exactly does he get up to on his daily missions? 

And what happens when one day, he goes missing? 

This is the first in a new series of books starring Max and his friends.

Not All There

Jane Barron de Burgh

Claude’s mother is dead. Except she won’t stay that way. She’s back with her family and none of them know what to do about it.

Is there a name for someone who is only sort of dead? And why does Claude feel like he’s the only one celebrating her return?

'Not All There’ is a character study of grief and the people who experience it, told through the eyes of a bewildered child who struggles to make sense of the death of his mother, Mary and her re-emergence as a ghost.

Familial relationships are tested as Claude, Patience and their father try to answer the question - ‘What do we do about Mary?

Splinters In My Brain


Splinters in my Brain is a raw and in-your-face collection of poems, describing experiences and emotions spanning the author’s lifetime. 

For many years isolated, with her true self vanishing and dismissed, after surviving two abusive and controlling relationships mj feels she can now raise her head and roar without the fear of being silenced.

Love & Being

JM Langan

Love & Being has been compiled over many years and reflects on the author’s experiences in this complicated and ever-changing world. 

Whether it's a phobia of velour or living with an abusive partner, this anthology tips between humour and horror as her curious mind tries to understand how one can just be.

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