Surrey author Alice Fowler, whose debut short-story collection was published to acclaim in 2023, will be talking about her path to publication in a Q&A session at Woking Library next month (February 2024).

Her collection, The Truth Has Arms and Legs, has been praised for its humanity and depth, and named as a “book of the year” by reviewers and booksellers.

Alice, whose stories have won prizes including the Historical Writers’ Association short story competition and the Wells Festival of Literature short story prize, said: “It really was a dream come true to be published by Fly On The Wall Press last year.

“Like most writers, I’ve spent a long time attending local classes and trying to hone my craft. In my talk at Woking Library, I’ll be exploring what inspires my stories and, I hope, giving encouragement to other writers too.”

Alice, who lives in Guildford, began focusing on her fiction writing after moving to Surrey ten years ago.

“The book is a collection of 12 short stories, written over around five years, many of which have won or been shortlisted in competitions,” Alice continued. “The stories are inspired by the stuff of human lives, love, loss, change, resilience and hope.

“I do have a background in writing, having been a journalist over many years for local and national newspapers. I enjoyed being a journalist, particularly interviewing, but my dream was always to write fiction. I began doing that when my twin sons were young, and as they have grown older, they’re now 17, I’ve had more time to devote to writing.

“I’m working on a historical novel based on two real-life characters in Victorian Guildford. My short stories also draw on local history.

“For example, the first story in the collection, The Race – which won the Historical Writers’ Association short story competition in 2020 – was inspired by reading about the gypsies, as they were called then, who camped at the Hurtwood in the 1920s. Another story is inspired by my walks on Merrow Downs.”

Tickets for Alice’s talk on February 22 cost £6 and can be bought direct from Woking Library, or via Surrey County Council’s “Libraries” web page.

The talk starts at 6pm and will be a Q&A format with a member of library staff. There will be plenty of time for audience questions at the end.

To buy The Truth Has Arms and Legs, see Fly On The Wall Press, Waterstones or Amazon. For more information, visit