Born in London, raised in Kerry, Ireland, I’m Alison Wells, writer of flash fiction, short stories and novels, and mother of four now living in Bray, Co. Wicklow. I’ve worked as a technical writer and have degrees in Psychology and Communication Studies.
I write fiction on the literary side, with a surreal edge and I always want to do new things. In (Jan 2019) my novel Eat! (arising out of an original flash fiction published in the Stinging Fly) was longlisted/highly commended in the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair. and shortlisted in the John McGahern Award. In 2020 The Exhibit of Held Breaths was selected as finalist in the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair.
My short fiction has appeared in the Sunday Tribune, Crannóg, The View from Here, Metazen and in many anthologies including the Higgs Boson, Voices of Angels, Eighty Nine, Deck the Halls and UK National Flash Fiction Day’s Jawbreakers and Scraps, RTE Arena’s New Planet Cabaret, The Stinging Fly and The Lonely Crowd.
I’ve been shortlisted for Hennessy New Writing and for the Bridport, WOW, and Fish Awards, BBC’s Opening Lines, Over the Edge New Writer and in the Bray Literary Festival flash fiction competition. I won the Big Book of Hope Ebook fiction category with my flash fiction medley Flashes of Entropy and Hope.
In 2012 and 2015 I was awarded writing residencies at Cill Rialaig, Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry
For some time I blogged for the popular and comprehensive writing site Writing.ie (Random Acts of Optimism blog on Writing.ie)
The Exhibit of Held Breaths which explores the power of belief itself when an enthralling exhibit upturns the life of its reluctant curator. Read three chapters
Eat!: Consumption becomes medicine for a girl with pica and a would-be cannibal in this linguistic feast of love, loss and longing set in boomtime Ireland. Read three chapters.
As A.B. Wells: My feel good comedy & science inspired novel Housewife with a Half-Life explores the adventures of Susan Strong a housewife who is literally disintegrating and her god-like fairly god-father (Fairly Dave) who guides her round her parallel universes on a quest for re-integration. Read three chapters
The Book of Remembered Possibilities: a woman destroys her own life by writing the story of her alternate self.
Work in Progress and Future Plans
Unusual Flashes of Light is a collection/novella of interrelated flash fiction tales, interlinked characters affected by love, longing and a belief in UFOs.
Other untitled notes in progress: The story of a man broken by news and his unravelling marriage, told through lists, click bait headlines, phishing emails and other media devices as he tries to find his way back to what is true. A work about women, ghosts, invisibility and making yourself something set in an Octagonal House. And a dystopian novel about electricity, Voltaire, Galvani, lost girls, Edgar Allen Poe, Japanese graphic novels, social media and lots more.
I’m also making notes for a middle-grade series based on some of the kid characters from my sci-fi comedy, so featuring Pluto, Rufus and Andromeda Strong.
SHORTLISTS AND AWARDS
Winner: The Big Book of Hope Competition 2012
Highly Commended: National Flash Fiction Day’s Microfiction competition 2013 (100 words)
2018 Bray Literary Festival
2013 Over the Edge New Writer
Anam Cara competition 2012, Bridport Prize 2010, International Fish Prize 2010, Hennessy XO Literary awards 2009 for New Irish writing, WOW awards Galway 2010
Longlists, Sean O’ Faolain 2010 (Two stories)
Feedback from Hennessey XO Literary Awards 2009 Judge Carlo Gebler
‘I was incredibly taken with this, it’s very poetic, the language is extraordinary, very finely wrought and beautiful. The events described are sinister/ frightening and although it was not realistic, within the context of the story and the rules that apply within the story it makes perfect sense. It’s very short, but what I admired, what we admired was this writer’s ambition which is fantastic.’ Carlo Gebler
Publications (Short Stories)
How I wrote ‘There’s a Café in this story The Lonely Crowd online Sept/17
There’s a Café in this story The Lonely Crowd, July 2017
All that Thinking Literary Orphans, Special Irish Issue, USA, April 2014
Eat! The Stinging Fly, Spring 2014
The Woebegone’s Slaughtered Dreams New Planet Cabaret anthology, New Island, Nov 2013
Random Acts of Optimism Number Eleven, August 2013
Egg Scraps, National Flash Fiction Day Collection, June 2013
Letter Crannóg March 2013
Unfolding Deck the Halls, July 2012
Flashes of Entropy and Hope The New Big Book of Hope, Y books, June 2012
Elsewhere Jawbreakers, National Flash Fiction Day Collection, May 2012
Meringue Angel Collection, Bridgehouse Publishing, Dec 2011
Breaking News Metazen, Oct 2011
If I could turn back time Literary Mix Tapes: 89, 2011
Truth and Silence The View from Here, July 2011
Unwritten Crannog Magazine, October 2010
Supersymmetric: Almost but not quite Higgs Boson Anthology April 2010
Sad about the Plumber’s Uncle WOW anthology, Words on the Street April 2010
Bog Body Sunday Tribune, New Irish Writing, Aug 2009
Last Time I saw Him & Home for Christmas Ireland’s Own, 2002
The Flask Sunday Miscellany: The collection 2006-2008
If we thought that love was gone Poetry for Cancer 2010