THREE QUESTIONS: 
Nicholas Petty


TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF – HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING? ANY PUBLICATIONS? Do you have a daily writing routine?

I’ve been writing ‘properly’ for a couple of years now, since moving to The Netherlands. The change in environment, and leaving my demanding corporate job in London, has given me the feeling of a fresh start and I try to write at least a little bit everyday. I find early mornings are the most productive, especially if I get to my desk without seeing any news, emails, or social media. My story ‘Down in the Mud on Limehouse Beach’ was commended in last year’s Bath Short Story Award, and I’ve had flash pieces published in the Bath Flash Fiction Award Anthology and elsewhere online. I’m currently on the Curtis Brown Creative Novel-Writing Course, working on a novel that I’m pretty excited about.

SPECIFICALLY, TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR LONGLISTED STORY – THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT, THE WRITING OF IT…

My girlfriend has, at last, convinced me that camping holidays are a good idea. Last year we camped on the Croatian coast, not far from the border with Italy. It was a beautiful spot, but more importantly, it was a great place for people watching. The other campers were either Dutch or German so I couldn’t understand what was being said (my Dutch is a work in progress), but the stories were all there: teen romance, warier interactions between the parents, and then the inevitable goodbyes. Sprinkling in a bit of British awkwardness and two families that have driven as far as they can to avoid conversation with others, and Camp Pomodoro came to life. It was only in the writing that the more tragic aspects of the story came out, as well as the strength of the bond between two families that probably won’t see each other back in the cold and rain. 

NAME THREE SHORT STORY WRITERS YOU ESPECIALLY ADMIRE – WHY?

Wells Tower is top of my list at the moment. His ageing viking story ‘Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned’ showed me the endless possibilities of the short story, and the corresponding anthology is brilliant. I’m also a big fan of Jon McGregor’s declarative, observant style and unusual structures. More classically, I’ll read anything Hemingway.

  • To read Nicholas’s GBP longlisted story, ‘It is summer at Camp Pomodoro’, click here.

  • TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS YEAR’S PRIZE AND HOW TO ENTER, click here.


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NICK PETTY is a British writer. His story ‘Down in the Mud on Limehouse Beach’ was commended in the 2018 Bath Short Story Award and his work has been listed and published elsewhere. He grew up near Manchester, studied chemical engineering at the University of Cambridge, and for several years worked as a management consultant in London. He currently lives in Utrecht, The Netherlands, where he walks dogs and writes.