The Girl Who was Made of Shortbread

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The Girl Who was Made of Shortbread

4 years ago


Fiona joined Shortbread Stories in August of 2008, and after five years of reading, emailing, uploading, writing, and editing, the 16th of September is her last day working with the organisation. Not only has she been instrumental in the development and growth of ShortbreadStories, she has been the face of the institution, the person behind the emails, and probably the only individual to have read each and every story, post, comment and forum on the site. She knows our Shortbreaders and she knows Shortbread. We will miss Fiona terribly, but we hope that she’ll continue on as a member. (Fiona, can we finally get you to post a short story of your own?)

So, with deep fondness we say good-bye to "The Girl Who was Made of Shortbread".

Shortbread and Me

1990 – Six years old, around the time I’d first been introduced to Star Wars.

"What would you like to be when you grow up?"

"A Space Princess!"

1992 - Eight years old, around the time I started watching Doogie Howser M.D.

"What would you like to be when you grow up?"

"A Doctor!"

1994 ­- Ten years old, after a summer of reading Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton.

"What would you like to be when you grow up?"

"I want to read all day… Is that a job?"

2008 – Twenty-Four years old, around the time I started working for ShortbreadStories.

"What do you do?"

"I work as an editor – essentially I read stories all day."


I was twenty four, fresh out of university and looking for that rare and elusive "Proper Job" that everyone talks about when you graduate.

While trawling through job websites, I came across a rather unusual advertisement. An unnamed writing project was looking for an editor to run the site. Thanks to a typo in the job advert, I was the only applicant and subsequently was awarded the job. And thus the unnamed project became Shortbread.

Shortbread was a funny old place to work. The office was in a drafty old barn which never seemed to be warm enough – despite numerous heaters cluttering up the floor. There was the outdoor toilet across the courtyard to contend with – certainly not as glamorous as I'd first hoped and a nightmare during rain and snow. And of course there were numerous chickens, dogs, cats and the occasional horse wandering around. However with copious amounts of hot tea and a healthy supply of Jaffa Cakes supplied by Directors Robin and Will, working for Shortbread was a pleasure. It may not have been "Proper" but it was certainly "Perfect".

Now after five years of working for ShortbreadStories, and after reading close to 5,000 stories, I'm moving on and saying "Goodbye to Shortbread". This job was everything my ten-year-old self had dreamed of because of you, the ShortbreadStories Community. Every day I got to do incredible things, sometimes I would witness down-on-their-luck bankrobbers, or see star-crossed lovers fall in love, sometimes I was hiking up Mount Fuji, or running away from crazed vampire-zombies, and on more than one occasion I was falling in love with a story and an author. Your stories have made me laugh, cry and have haunted me for days, even years. For this I’m so thankful.

Of course I'll miss the stories and I'm not just talking about the huge library of tales I've read during my time here, but all the little interactions, all the friendships and strange moments I've experienced. I'll always remember waking up to a two am phone call from an American lady asking me to talk her through how the website worked. Sleepily I turned on the light and grabbed my laptop from the side of the bed and answered all her questions. Finally she asked what time it was over the pond, and I replied that it was half past two in the morning. "My goodness they work you very hard don’t they!"

It was certainly all worth it, because what I've helped to create is a family of writers -- a place where people from different cultures, different places, and different ages can come together to write, read and share. I for one have benefited so much from reading these stories, and from knowing a little something about the people behind them.  I'm glad the people discovering ShortbreadStories are continuing to grow every day.

And so as my last blog as ShortbreadStories Editor is drawing to a close, I'll leave you with a quote from a literary great, C.S Lewis: "What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from."

If you want to drop Fiona a litte note, go to her ShortbreadStories page.