Short memoirs

What was once a city

IMG_31071st prize in Fish Publishing Short Memoir Prize, 
& Yeovil Literary Competition

The Fish competition receives over 5,000 entries, world-wide. The top 10 stories, short memoirs, poems & flash fiction (very short stories) are published in the annual Fish Anthology – so it’s full of interesting pieces.

The story: In my first months of working for Save the Children, by accident and totally unprepared, I landed up in the midst of a civil war. This is what happened …

To order,  paperback or e-book.

 Marti Leimbach, Fish Publishing’s judge, said, ‘The terrific energy of the writing conveys the chaos of Mogadishu, and she is willing to not only show us the realities of the city’s war time demise, but her own naïve notions, her frank ignorance, her earnestness and budding bravery in the face of it all.’ 

Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Yeovil Literary Prize judge, said, ‘It gripped me from first page to last. Instantly compelling, with a journalist’s eye for detail and a novelist’s ear for narrative. Voices are distinct, settings brilliantly realised in a few deft strokes. I would have loved to read more. A stand-out piece of writing.’

Marti Leimbach writes for adults & young adults and is the author of several bestsellers. You might like to try her newest book,  Dragonfly Girl. Kiran Millwood Hargrave is a poet and writes fiction for children. Try her The Girl of Ink & Stars winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017.


Short-listed for the Fish Short Memoir Prize, 2021

This one is about my mother-in-law, who as a child was, without explanation, whisked away from home with her mother & sister, away from the father she adored, and the farmland and hills she was riding over independently from the age of 10. She was a complex woman, living through complex times, and perhaps a lot of her difficulties – but also her strengths- came from her early experiences. Impossible to capture in 4,000 words, but I wanted to try.

If you’d like to read it, here’s a copy: Aldersnap by Marion Molteno (pdf)

‘Tales I tell my grandchildren’


 published in a  Knock Twice: 25 modern folktales for troubling times. The anthology was edited by Andrew Simms, director of the New Weather Institute – with contributions from campaigners for social justice, environmentalists and others who agree with Philip Pullman, that ‘Stories are one of the most ancient and most effective ways of making sense of the world.’

to order, paperback or e-book:

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