Archive for the ‘Short stories’ Category

The dog really did that?

Posted: October 4, 2017 in Short stories

I am excited and humbled to have my story called ‘A Lick and a Promise‘ about Shadow the rescue dog, adopted many years ago from TEARS Animal Rescue in Cape Town, published in Chicken Soup for the Soul ‘The Dog Really Did that?’. The book was launched globally in August and royalties go to American Humane. More details about the book can be found on the Chicken Soup for the Soul website.

The Dog Really Did That cover


A gift

Posted: June 18, 2015 in Short stories

I haven’t written much lately, so it was a lovely surprise and boost to receive an email recently to let me know that two of my stories had been selected for publication in the Jalada-Writivism joint anthology. Jalada is a pan-African writer’s collective and Writivism is a programme run by the Centre for African Cultural Excellence (CACE). I wrote the two stories as part of the 2014 Writivism mentorship programme. So… here they are if you would like to read them:

The Gift


Jalada anthology 2015 coverYou can also download the full anthology, My Maths Teacher Hates Me and other stories.







Excerpt from a review by Patsy Mugabi (June 2017):

“Michelle Preen also features in this anthology as she writes with a cool, calm and collected spirit. She describes the gift of time wrapped as a curse. The man that claims a father’s life is the recipient of this gift. In another story, Early, Preen describes the denial of loss of a child in the rawest manner. You know the saying time heals all wounds, well the wound in this womb has not yet been healed.”

Early – a short, short story

Posted: May 27, 2014 in Short stories

I was fortunate to be offered a place, along with about 60 other writers from all over Africa, on the Centre for African Cultural Excellence (CACE) 2014 Writivism programme. Through the programme, my short, short story, Early, has been published on the Deyu African website and on Bookslive.

I am also very excited that my story, The Gift, is on the longlist of 14 and will be published in the 2014 Writivism anthology.




Burning woman

Posted: December 7, 2013 in Short stories
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Afrikaburn, or Burning Man as it’s known in the US, must rate as one of the most amazing experiences ever. I have attended four times and it has never ceased to astound and inspire me. It is truly an ‘Alice down the rabbit-hole’ experience and I cannot imagine what it must be like to find oneself there inadvertently. In fact, we met a few people who did just that during our last trip.

So, when the Short Story Day Africa 2013 competition theme was announced as the fairly bizarre, Feast, Famine and Potluck, what better setting for a story than Afrikaburn. My story, Burning Woman, was shortlisted as one of the top 6 entries and appears in the SSDA 2013 anthology, described as a dazzling collection from across the African continent and diaspora.

Food is at the centre of stories from authors emerging and established, blending the secular, the supernatural, the old and the new in a spectacular celebration of short fiction. Civil wars, evictions, vacations, feasts and romances – the stories we bring to our tables that bring us together and tear us apart.

You can buy a hard copy or an e-book. All of the info can be found here.

A reviewer on wrote:

“Stand out stories for me included Chicken by Efemia Chela, On Time by Achiro Patricia Olwoch, 44 Boston Heights by Catherine Jarvis and Burning Woman by Michelle Preen.”

And the anthology was listed as one of Unsung Stories’ best books of 2015.

Whispers from the wild

Posted: December 3, 2013 in Short stories
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One of my passions is visiting game reserves. Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to spend about 12 days camping in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, a massive park straddling South Africa and Botswana.

My story, Whispers from the Wild, was inspired by, amongst other memories, another such trip – this time to Addo Elephant Park a few years back.

Here is a short excerpt from my story:

How I had hoped and prayed that the stimulation of this new environment and the sight of these strange creatures would trigger a vocal response from Katy. But so far, it was not the case. She was clearly excited and amazed by the experience, but not enough to actually say anything. Katy had not spoken since the incident. And maybe she never would again.

It’s published in an anthology called The Short Story is Dead, Long Live the Short Story!, a collection of short stories and poems celebrating Short Story Day Africa 2012. This collection, published by Black Letter Media, features voices from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Nigeria.