Short stories from our 2023 short story competition, on the theme of ‘Heart’.

20 stories. 20 authors. 20 different ways to talk about heart. 

Release date: 4 March 2023

How to purchase: Heart is currently sold out. If you would like to register your interest for purchasing a copy when we order next, please email 

In his notes, competition Judge Laurie Steed said of the winning story ‘Starry, Starry Cow’ that it has a scope that is in line with Anthony Doerr’s work and an emotional depth that mirrors the work of Alice Munro. High praise, alongside  ‘One of the best stories I’ve read in ages.’  

In this collection, stories responding to the theme of ‘heart’ will genuinely touch you, and in some cases deliver a gut punch. You’ll read stories of families, of lovers; of rescue, betrayal, and loss. Enjoy this heartfelt collection from the inaugural Mansfield Readers and Writers Festival and short story competition.