TALES of 'mermaids, murder, horror, humour, life and death' are being published in a collection of short stories by Dorset authors, out next week.

The collection - entitled Dorset Shorts: Winning Entries From The Dorset Writers’ Prize - is available to buy from Tuesday April 16, and is being published by a Sturminster Marshall-based small press, Little Red Writers.

Among the 17 writers to be published is Weymouth resident Bobbie-Jo Treglown. 

She began her career writing TV voiceovers and sketches in Hollywood during the 1990s.

Her short, The Shambles, is about a woman without status being evicted from her Portland home, and features a darkly alluring female protagonist inspired by the writer's mother-in-law.

Bobbie-Jo said: "While I was studying at Weymouth Grammar School I spent most of my free time at my biology teacher's house in Fortuneswell.

"She took me on walks around the island, taught me how to forage, about low impact living, and swam at six every morning of the year off Chiswell.

"I later married her son".

Speaking about Dorset as inspiration, she added: "For many of us who grew up here during the cold war, Portland was a mysterious place with dark stories of killer bunnies, escaped prisoners, spies and radiation.

'Portlanders' were mysterious folk across the causeway.

"But to me it was a place of refuge; a strong, wild, rugged friend. A place I have always returned to."

The book is being published by former journalist Tom Roberts and illustrator Jo Barry, who established the Dorset Writers’ Prize to attract material for the collection.

“We wanted to know what Dorset writers were writing about today, and we were rewarded with a great selection of stories from Poole to Portland, Sherborne to Wimborne,” said Tom.

“We have tales of mermaids and murder, horror and humour, life and death. There is a wide range of styles and genres; something for everyone.

“We are delighted that what began as a coffee house-idea for a writing competition has been developed into such a tremendous end result,” says Tom. “This is a little gem of a book. It is a great read, it looks lovely and we are very proud of it.”

Authors included in the anthology are:

Adam Foster (Bournemouth); Daniel Hancoq (Wimborne); Paula Harmon (Blandford Forum); Ninette Hartley (Bridport); David Herring (Corfe Mullen); John Kay (Bournemouth); Richard Kay (Dorchester); Suze Pasparakis (Sherborne); Samuel Pegg (Wareham); Maggie Pearce (Shaftesbury); Anna Smith (Verwood); Jasmine Stockham (Poole); Bobby-Jo Treglown (Weymouth), Jane Wade (Sturminster Newton); KB Willson (Swanage); Elizabeth Woodgate (Shaftesbury); Karen Wright (Bridport).

For information and stockists visit www.littleredwriters.com