Short stories

This Isn’t The Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like Youa collection of short stories. Some of the stories were published or broadcast before the publication of the collection:

  • In Winter The Sky (under the title of ‘What The Sky Sees’) – Granta 78, 2002
  • That Colour – published as a limited and signed edition letterpress print, 2011
  • Keeping Watch Over The SheepProspect Magazine. December 2011
  • If It Keeps On Raining – BBC National Short Story Award 2010 anthology, Comma Press and broadcast on Radio 4, October 2010.
  • If It Keeps On Raining – BBC National Short Story Award 2010 anthology, Comma Press
  • Fleeing ComplexityGranta, 2007
  • Which Reminded Her, LaterGranta 99, 2007
  • Close – broadcast on Radio 4, October 2007. First published in The Sea of Azov, Five Leaves, 2009
  • We Wave And Call – first published by the Guardian Weekend magazine, July 2011
  • Wires - BBC National Short Story Award 2011 anthology, Comma Press and broadcast on Radio 4 in September 2011
  • BBC National Short Story Award 2011 anthology, Comma Press
  • Years Of This, NowThe New Statesman,  January 2012
  • I Remember There Was A Hill – The Manchester Review, October 2011
  • I’ll Buy You A ShovelZoetrope: All Story, Winter 2011/2012.


Jon writes on the anti-bypass protests that changed his life as a teenager in the Observer‘s “Once Upon a Life” series (13/02/11).

“Portrait of My Father”
Commissioned by Granta, Jon wrote a short piece about his father, based on a family photograph. The Guardian magazine reprinted it, along with some others in the same series.

“Die Stille zwischen den Tagen”
This article, commissioned by the Swiss newspaper Neue Zurcher Zeitung, loosely based on the theme of ‘Waking Up’, is about getting the idea for If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things whilst standing on the roof of a house in Bradford. (True story. Almost.) The published version doesn’t seem to be available online, so you can read the original, in English, here.

“We’re Going To Do It Anyway”
This was published in PenPusher magazine: Jon’s minor contribution to the atmosphere of fear and foreboding which should be being generated by the march of the ebook.

“Forgotten Man of The Antarctic”
In late 2004, Jon was a writer-in-residence with the British Antarctic Survey, spending 6 weeks on board their research vessel the James Clark Ross. During a stop at South Georgia he came across the story of Duncan Carse, a surveyor and adventurer who attempted to live alone for an indefinite period on the south coast of the island, and later wrote this article about him.

He’s still working on the great Antarctic Novel.

“The Anchor That Couldn’t Hold Him”

A piece for Guardian Weekend about Jon’s grandfather, Alfred “Mac” McGregor, who left a shipbuilding family in Sunderland to train as a nurse in the 1930s. This story was one of the inspirations behind So Many Ways To Begin, so it was fitting that the article was published at the same time as the book. (And, obviously, not a coincidence).


Cinema 100
was a collection of short stories, published in an anthology by Pulp Faction in 1998. The collection consisted of a hundred 100-word stories, with a 100 chapter preface in which every chapter consisted of one word, two words, three words… ninety-nine words, one hundred words. It was a very deliberate exercise in editing. It’s probably out of print by now.