(Un)Natural Elements by Laura Besley

Laura Besley is the author of micro fiction collection, 100neHundred (Arachne Press, 2021), and flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers (Dahlia Books, 2020).  

She has been listed by TSS Publishing as one of the top 50 British and Irish Flash Fiction writers. Her work has been nominated for Best Micro Fiction and her story, To Cut a Long Story Short, will appear in the Best Small Fiction anthology in 2021. 

Having lived in the Netherlands, Germany and Hong Kong, she now lives in land-locked central England and misses the sea.

She tweets @laurabesley

Introduction to (Un)Natural Elements

Firstly, I’d like to thank Michelle at Beir Bua Press – not only for publishing (Un)Natural Elements and for trusting my vision for this collection, but also for her dedication to experimental writing and running a press which makes publications like this one possible. 

Many of these stories were written as tweet-length stories from daily prompts on Twitter under the hashtag: Very Short Story 365 (#vss365). After a few people kindly suggested I collate them, I decided to look at all the stories I had written to date and to my delight found myself able to see patterns and themes. There was also a strong use of nature within them and the idea to divide the collection into elements emerged organically.   

Once the structure of nine elements was in place, I completed the collection with some longer stories – some of which have been previously published, whereas others are new. 

To everyone reading this collection – thank you – and I sincerely hope you enjoy these tiny tales.

Preview of (Un)Natural Elements

Praise for (Un)Natural Elements

(Un)Natural Elements is an exquisite jewel of a book. This collection of 45 microfiction stories is separated into nine sections, featuring five different stories in each section. And what incredible stories they are! Each one shimmers with such finely crafted language you’re tempted to believe these are poems. They are not. They’re beautiful little stories created by a writer at the top of her game. Laura Besley is a glistening star destined for literary glory. No doubt about it! 

-Laura Stamps; author of It’s All About the Ride: Cat Mania.

Laura Besley’s collection, (Un) Natural Elements presents snippets of life with a dash of absurdity, sadness, matter-of-factness and humour. There are also undertones of the sinister, the fantastical and twists that come out of nowhere. If you want to read stories by someone who captures the utter complexities of being human, you should read Laura’s work. Sometimes we are lovers, sometimes we are broken, sometimes we are accepting, sometimes we surprise, sometimes we are vengeful – and Laura sets out all of it on the page like a master with a succinctness I greatly admire." 

- Nikki Dudley; Streetcake editor, author and poet.

In (Un)Natural Elements, Laura Besley dazzles readers at the juncture of prose and poetry. A study in microfiction at its best, this collection is unflinching and memorable. Besley draws on sensory details: vinegar-drenched chips, sea salt and overdone steak juxtaposed against salt-of-the-earth characters and often-salty writing. Her microfiction explores motherhood, relationships, loss, pain, joy and regret in small pieces that are easier to swallow, and bear. From therapy to snowmen, to suckling bird babies, Besley offers us nature as mother and a mother’s nature, all with the nuance and reflection of her previous collections. 


- Amy Barnes; author of Mother Figures.

Published by Michelle Moloney King

Bookish and paintish! Mother, wife, teacher, and follower of flow.

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