Toby Wallis

In May 2000, in the last few weeks before I graduated from art school, I was sitting in the college cafeteria wondering what I should do with the rest of my life. For the first time, I had no idea what I was going to do next, no goals, no direction, no plans. I made two decisions that day. First, that I would become a writer. The second, that I would also get a job so that I wouldn’t starve.

My short stories have had some success in contests. In 2016 I won first place in Glimmer Train’s short story award for new writers, and have been shortlisted for The Bridport Prize, The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and The Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story prize. My fiction has been published in a number of places, both online and in print (see the Stories tab for links).

My particular love is for quiet, softly spoken literary fiction that is honest, warm and sympathetic. Some of my favourite writers are Tom Drury, Natalia Ginzburg, Jeffrey Eugenides, Ali Smith, Annie Proulx and Haruki Murakami. Like all writers who have achieved a certain level of cliché, I am never happier than when I am sitting in coffee shops with a notebook or walking around one of my local bookshops hunting for new writers and wonderful novels.

During office hours I am a chemist.

I am a lifelong guitar player. I started when I was thirteen and never really stopped. I never wanted to be in a band or anything, I just like to play. I love music of all kinds and listen to it constantly. According to Spotify statistics I spent one full calendar month in 2019 listening to music. I don’t know if that’s a lot comparatively, but it feels like a good amount to me.

In 2009 I had a brain haemorrhage but I’m okay now.

I live in Suffolk with my wife and our cat. We have a tiny little garden that we grow things in. I love to cook while listening to music, like a character in a Murakami novel. The sky in Suffolk is bigger than where we used to live, and we get amazing sunsets.

Thanks for having a look at my little website. There are links to my stories and if you take the time to have a look, I hope you enjoy them.

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