A short story may have less words to play with than a novel, but this simply means it must be especially well crafted. Every piece here links to the county of Essex in some way, for instance because the writer is Essex based or because the subject matter or setting of the piece has a link. The nature of these pieces, mainly fiction, though there are some factual pieces too, is intentionally diverse: they link to many an emotion: sad, happy, poignant and more. But they all have in common that they use a comparatively small number of words to very good effect. Farleigh Hospice is a wonderful organisation providing care and comfort to many people with life-limiting illness. The writers featured here volunteered their help and we are grateful to them all; they have not only supported a fund raising project for the hospice, but helped create an excellent body of writing in its own right. Buy! Enjoy!