Alli Sangster-Wall is a part time writer and full time military wife and frazzled mum of two. She writes contemporary fiction, exhausted emoji laden text messages and short stories.
Alli currently lives in the South of England with her husband, children and neurotic Schnauzer Millie. She enjoys hiking and swimming, at least she thinks she does, it’s been a while since she had much time for either. Her tastes in fiction are varied; she loves Austen and Truman Capote but will generally read anything she can grab quickly in the library.
Studying Communication and Media at Loughborough University oddly led Alli to a decade working in the care industry. She grew up in North Wales and wrote her first novel at 14, that gem sadly remains unpublished though Alli has higher hopes for her more recent work.
Living in my sixth home in five years of marriage has meant a seemingly endless search for places to find inspiration but I am always happiest somewhere I can really breathe; outside, high up, amongst trees or at the beach.
'A Road to Success'
In 2014 I was shortlisted for the Scottish Arts Club Short Story competition with my entry ‘Road to Success’. At that time I was on the judging panel for the annual short story competition run by my then writers’ group (Wrekin Writers – a wonderful bunch of people) and I started to wonder what might happen if a judge were to receive a blackmail note in the form of a short story. This was the first complete story I had written since leaving school, many, many moons ago, and being shortlisted has certainly been the highlight of my writing career thus far.
As a blackmail note it was ingenious. Nobody knew about that night, other than Kathryn herself and, it would seem, the amateur writer. There was no accompanying note, no demands made; the story had been submitted through the official channel amongst the sea of others. Yet it was unmistakably a threat. If awarded the first prize the story would become public, but as a work of fiction. Kathryn could only assume that if it was not awarded the prize it may very well become public as an account of fact. She had thought many times about that night, about the woman in the red anorak. She had scoured the local papers for weeks afterwards, waiting for the story to be covered, willing it to be an account of the young woman's survival and recovery rather than an appeal for witnesses to a murder. It had never appeared in the local or national news, and the damage to her car had been the only thing that kept Kathryn from convincing herself that it had not really happened, a figment of her intoxicated imagination, a spectre of events yet to come if she continued down her path of self-destruction. But the car had been damaged; a large dent and smashed headlight, and there, caught on the glass, a shred of red material. Weeks later Kathryn had burnt the car, set it alight in the garage one night and claimed it on her insurance, unable to bear the sight of it anymore. It had no longer represented her success, only her failings.
Our first anthology of short stories from The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition 2014-2018