Steve Toase

My short story Red Clay, that first appeared in Pantheon Magazine, has been republished as part of the Writers for Calais Refugees project.

Writers for Calais Refugees

Red Clay


From our cab we saw the road obscured by thick red clay, a quilt of receded floodwater washed from crop bare fields on either side. Every so often an abandoned possession poked up through the mud. A mobile phone long out of charge. Three cheap, rusted, pans. The frayed edge of a blanket hooked, flag like, on the splintered corner of a bed. Beyond the blockage we saw what was left of families gathered. They looked for limbs and faces in the surface. Clay hardened to brittle porcelain in the bake of the sun. There was no way for us to reach them.


During the night the potters came, breaking off the crust and digging down to the still moist clay underneath. In plastic buckets they carried away as much as tired shoulders could bear, each tying the razor sharp metal handles to thick rope draped…

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Haunt – Upcoming Events

I’ve a busy few weeks coming up.

This week I’m going into Wordspace Radio at Trinity University to record a podcast about my writing.

Next Tuesday, 27th October we are launching the Haunt anthology at the Royal Pump Room Museum in Harrogate. The event starts at 4:30pm and will include readings of work by the participants, myself and Becky Cherriman, as well as a talk about the background to Haunt.

On the 11th November Becky and I will be performing work from Haunt at Speakers’ Corner in York.

On the 24th November we have the first of two new workshops for people who have experience of homelessness or vulnerable housing in Harrogate. The second will be on 1st December.

We hope you can make some of the events around this project.