Our Local Books for Ballymena Readers blog posts recently looked at the work of Northern Irish author Tony Macaulay. To read this article please click here. We loved recommending his hilarious brilliant books and enjoyed hearing from Ballymena folks who picked up his books for the first time. Today we want to introduce you to not one, not two but three amazing authors from Northern Ireland. All three are female and have recently written a collection of short stories.

Local Books for Ballymena Readers - Short Stories

Local Books for Ballymena Readers – Short Stories

Short Story collections are the perfect choice for busy people. When your head is full or work, home life, chores and family a novel is difficult to pick up and persist with. However I have found that a collection of short stories quenches your need for literature while being easy to manage and read. These three authors each offer a different type of story but all are excellent places to start if you want to try a short story collection.

1/ Sleepwalkers by Bernie McGill

Local Books for Ballymena Readers - Short Stories

Sleepwalkers is the shortest collection on our list. McGill excels at writing characters and that is what keeps you hooked for every single story.


Some are based in Northern Ireland and you will recognise bits and pieces. Others extend to Italy, or follow travellers as they reunite.

McGill lives in Portstewart and if you think that the name is familiar then you may have heard of her novel “The Butterfly Cabinet”. It has received rave reviews and gained attention from Julian Fellows – creator of Downton Abbey.



2/ Multitudes by Lucy Caldwell

Local Books for Ballymena Readers - Short Stories

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Multitudes after reading one of Caldwell’s short stories in the newspaper. Her writing is excellent and, being from Northern Ireland, I dropped right into the setting for many of the stories. This collection is modern and bright – a masterclass in short stories. Lucy was born in Belfast and her Northern Irish roots shine through in her writing.

3/ The Faerie Thorn and other stories by Jane Talbot

This book is a collection of stories revolving around fairy tales and folklore. Talbot was born in Wiltshire but recently moved to live in Co Antrim. Researching the myths behind these stories and visiting the beautiful locations – Bushmills, Murlough Bay, Ballycastle helped her to settle here. These stories are dark and magical. The perfect read to pack for the last few weekends at the caravan.Local Books for Ballymena Readers - Short Stories

We are happily reading through lots of books by local authors but were especially impressed by these three volumes of short stories. All are available through Waterstones in Ballymena.