New Kate & Matt short story – SNAILS.

My old university, the University of Nottingham, asked me to write a short story for their alumni magazine recently!

As one of the timelines in The Next Together is set on the University of Nottingham campus in 2039, I decided to write about Kate and Matt during their time at the uni.

The short story is set somewhere between Kate and Matt’s first meeting, and the point when everything goes to hell. So… Chapter 2? :’)

If you’re a Nottingham uni alumni, you can enter a competition to write a 1000 word short story set at a Nottingham campus, to be judged by me! Details here.



“So,” the Head of the School of Life Sciences said, eyeing them both over the rim of her glasses. “Why don’t you tell me how this happened?”

“Kate?” Matt said, in a strangled voice. “Why don’t you explain?”

Kate grimaced. “Well- I mean- I guess-”

“Please.” The Head massaged her temples. “Just tell me how the fire started.”

Kate swallowed. “I suppose it started with the snails.”

Beside her, Matt slowly sunk lower in his seat, deflating like a very embarrassed balloon.

Read the rest here on Wattpad!

Kate and Matt are characters from The Next Together series, published by Walker Books.

Amazon UK | Waterstones | Amazon US | The Book Depository (free international shipping)|Barnes & NobleWordery | Foyles | Kobo | iBooks | WHSmith

You can add the book on Goodreads or subscribe to my newsletter to receive an exclusive short story about one of Katherine and Matthew’s other lives.

In other news: I was interviewed in a few places: on the Author Allsorts blog by Cat Doyle and by Ally Dewing, who had this amazing thing to say:

” I absolutely adored the character of Clove; she was so realistic with her strengths – her intelligence and her passion – as well as her weaknesses – her impulsiveness and stubbornness – making her a well-rounded and easily lovable character. Her actions and reactions were all so understandable; this is something that I think can be overlooked in books, when something crazy or unbelievable happens within a story it can be played off as normal when the characters respond in a way anybody else would, and this is something done so well in The Last Beginning! I also found all the characters were well developed like Clove, in particular Spart and Ella! #CLOVELLAFORLIFE”

Thanks, Ally!

Alice and I did another infamous talking-nonsense video:

I’m obsessed with collecting seasonal pictures of my books. Here’s Spring, SummerAutumn and Winter.


Published by Lauren James

Lauren James is the twice Carnegie-nominated British author of many Young Adult novels, including Green Rising, The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker and The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. She is a RLF Royal Fellow, freelance editor and screenwriter. Lauren is the founder of the Climate Fiction Writers League, and on the board of the Authors & Illustrators Sustainability Working Group through the Society of Authors. Her books have sold over a hundred thousand copies worldwide and been translated into six languages. The Quiet at the End of the World was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and STEAM Children’s Book Award. Her other novels include The Next Together series, the dyslexia-friendly novella series The Watchmaker and the Duke and serialised online novel An Unauthorised Fan Treatise. She was born in 1992, and has a Masters degree from the University of Nottingham, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. Lauren is a passionate advocate of STEM further education, and many of her books feature female scientists in prominent roles. She sold the rights to her first novel when she was 21, whilst she was still at university. Her writing has been described as ‘gripping romantic sci-fi’ by the Wall Street Journal and ‘a strange, witty, compulsively unpredictable read which blows most of its new YA-suspense brethren out of the water’ by Entertainment Weekly. Lauren lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient. She has written articles for numerous publications, including the Guardian, Buzzfeed, Den of Geek, The Toast, and the Children’s Writers and Artist’s Yearbook 2022. She has taught creative writing for Coventry University, WriteMentor, and Writing West Midlands.

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