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A collection of short stories inspired by the dark.
Designed and published by Conway and Young Small Press

Murk (variant spelling Mirk/Mark) - darkness, gloom, night, obscurity; first known use before the 12th century. Pit Mirk - early 17th century Scots for as dark as a pit, complete darkness.

A village celebrates the dark season with an annual parade into the woods. A young woman descends into a cave for the first time. A patient finds a moon garden in the hospital. A series of women of different ages encounter the magic of dark water. An owl surveyor finds no owls but something else. And a grieving woman is visited by a small wren in winter.

This collection of short stories is about the importance of the darkness. Drawing on literal and metaphorical darkness each story follows a journey through or to a dark place. On the edge of magic, leaving space for mystery, based in nature, and taking inspiration from English and Irish folk customs. 
By centring darkness the collection hopes to champion the unknown, the incomplete and the curious. And make a case for the essential qualities that darkness allows, in a time when darkness is continually threatened by our obsession with the light.

The collection draws on the author's own experience of grief and loss, and time spent in the dark valleys of West Yorkshire, where some of the stories are set.


MERRY WINTER SOLSTICE 2022! To celebrate the longest darkness of the year I have made two recordings; extracts from The King of Winter and Cave. Thanks to artist Rachael Clerke and sound artist Yas Clarke.