In the early hours of 14 June 2017, a fire engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London, killing at least 72 people and injuring many more. An entire community was destroyed. For many people affected by this tragedy, the psychological scars may never heal.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that affects many people who have endured traumatic events, leaving them unable to move on from life-changing tragedies. In the immediate aftermath of the fire, the focus was rightly placed on providing food, shelter and health care for those left homeless – but it is important that we don’t lose sight of the psychological impact this fire will have had on its survivors.
24 Stories is an anthology of short stories, written on themes of community and hope, by a mix of the UK’s best established writers and previously unpublished authors, whose pieces were chosen by Kathy Burke from over 250 entries.
Contributors include: Irvine Welsh, A. L. Kennedy, Meera Syal, John Niven, Pauline Melville, Daisy Buchanan, Christopher Brookmyre, Zoe Venditozzi, Nina Stibbe, Mike Gayle, Murray Lachlan Young, Barney Farmer.
From some of the stories featured in the book
by Irvine Welsh
"She was falling off the roof of a building in New York City. It was seventeen stories high. To everybody looking over in horror, it was like a life going by. It started slowly and picked up speed as she receded from them. Now Melinda Pallister understood: how old people seemed to be lurching slowly to the grave, but that was only on the outside. Internally they were sprinting at breakneck velocity, or at least it must have felt like that, as, like now, the world uncompromisingly hurtled by in the opposite direction.
Melinda was accelerating to her death."
By Nina Stibbe
“We must’ve been in the village half a year when my mother jack-knifed the car and pony-trailer in the lane beside our house and no amount of revving and manoeuvring seemed to help. The more she inched forward the tighter the angle became. Just when she was about to scream or run away and never come back, Jim - the quiet husband of Ramona (who’d had the hot Ribena) - suddenly appeared. He jumped behind the wheel, sorted out the vehicular crisis and even patted the roofs of the half dozen or so cars queuing to get along the lane as they passed. In return my mother gave him a glass of whisky and, as far as the village was concerned, stand-up sex in the back of the trailer. And the next day someone left a bunch of white roses (secret love) at our back door.”
by John Fidler
"Yeah, you’ve probably seen me, mate. I stand on the high street most weekdays and every weekend, just near Holland and Barrett. It’s a good spot. Gold suit and raincoat, gold shoes and socks, gold hat, gold briefcase, gold shirt and tie. And of course gold paint on my face and hands - any exposed bit of skin. Used to need a tin of metallic hairspray too, but I’m bald now. Probably because of the metallic hairspray."
by Sue Barsby
"3.30am and no-one about. The illuminated Council House dome reached into the black above, the light combining with the moon to reveal his goal. He put the bag down and stood staring, his pounding heart ruining the silence. A deep breath, a little shake, and he opened the rucksack to get his skates out."
The book is in the final stages of production and now the limited edition crowdfund copies are sold out! Incredible. Don't forget to tell anyone who has an e-reader that the e-book edition of 24 Stories is still available here for £10 with the majority of the sale price going to charity.
Of course since it is distributed by Penguin it can be pre-ordered via several large, popular…
Here's an update on all things 24 Stories.
Firstly, the book. It's now being typeset so soon there will be a version that the editor and contributors can look at and make any necessary amendments. Once that's done we will be looking at a final proof and, if all things go to plan, we will be publishing on June 14th 2018, the first anniversary of the Grenfell fire.
What an incredible 3 1/2 months of bringing together 24 authors including chatting up 12 top authors from across a broad spectrum of genres as well as opening the project up as a "competition" to find 12 interesting new authors to be part of our project.
Goodness me, what an amazing response! Come the 31st July deadline we had received hundreds of entries which kept four sharp…
These people are helping to fund 24 Stories.