Andrew’s earliest poem dates way back to the sixties but it wasn’t until 2006 that he made his first public appearance in a low-key event in the old Borders bookshop in York. Characteristically this included a poem set in an old people’s home and some other jokier items about York’s out-of-town shopping areas. About this time he also began to write short stories - very short initially - about 300-500 words. The co-founding of a writing group in Harrogate called The Stray Pen later led to the issue of a book of Harrogate ghost stories, appropriately called, Stray Ghosts (2008). Once again this included a ghost in an old people’s home who returns to have his revenge on a hated carer.
But it was later in 2008 when commissioned to ‘do something’ for Harrogate Gilbert and Sullivan Society for a performance in Bedale (they probably meant a song!) but instead he wrote a thousand word story, set in Bedale, called Um-Pah. The local colour and naggy conversational style went down well and a new course opened up and a similarly styled story called Day Out Of A Lifetime won a prize in Knaresborough’s FEVA festival that year.
Andrew is now almost exclusively a prose writer. He’s a regular contributor to the short story slot on Tempo FM, (Wetherby’s own radio station). In 2010 he issued his own short story CD called Andy In Short Shorts (copies still available!) He’s continued to write occasional Gilbert and Sullivan related stories for performance with Harrogate G&S. With Deepdale Creative Writers he’s appeared in the 2010 and 2012 Wetherby Festivals. He’s a regular contributor to The Spoken Word and Speaker’s Corner open mics in York, also Poems, Prose and Pints in Harrogate and Fresh Ink in Hull. In 2011 he had two stories published in a Stairwell Books railway anthology called, Along the Iron Veins.
In August 2012 he had a story included in a second Stairwell Books anthology and also some poems in a book commemorating the 800th anniversary of York’s City charter. In the autumn, Stairwell will produce his own dedicated book of short stories.