Pain Sluts by Sian Hughes

“Sian Hughes’ delightful imagination and technical talent makes each story a unique treat.”

– Boyd Clack –
Author of High Hopes and Satellite City

“Sian Hughes is an immaculate stylist, and Pain Sluts is one exquisite and harrowing revelation after another. In this magnificent collection, Hughes claims a darkly radiant fictional territory that is all her own.”

– Anthony Trevelyan –
Author of The Weightless World

“In this wonderfully visceral collection, with its echoes of AM Homes and the early transgressive short stories of Ian McEwan, Sian Hughes has fashioned her own brand of distinctly South Walian Gothic, full of bodies and their bloody mysteries, people and their hidden perverse selves.”

– John Williams –
Author of The Cardiff Trilogy

“At a time when, understandably, we’re looking for things to distract us from reality, these stories remind us that there can be beauty, hope, laughter, even inspiration in the everyday. The characters presented in Pain Sluts are full of defiance and a fierce determination not to be overwhelmed by the slings and arrows. A great collection from an author who’s clearly set for big things.”

– Stephen Thompson –
Author of Toy Soldiers and No More Heroes

A teenager performs stripteases in her bedroom window as funeral processions pass by. A grieving mother reunites with her miscarried foetus. A widow takes on the sinister, rapacious treehouse in next door’s garden. Combining pitch-perfect, darkly comic observations with tender touches of humanity, Pain Sluts chronicles the flaws, frailties, and enduring spirit of an eclectic cast of curious characters as they navigate threats to their identity and humanity.

A brave and bold literary debut bursting with calamity and compassion, Pain Sluts is an astonishing collection of stories which lays bare our beauty and bizarreness. Laden with love, loss and longing, this book illuminates Sian’s extraordinary ability to create believable characters that brave our brittle world, often in outlandish or unusual ways. Sharp and tender, true and wise, these stories announce the arrival of a uniquely talented new voice in British fiction.

Sian Hughes is a freelance copywriter, screenwriter, and author whose short stories have been published online and in print and adapted for film and TV, appearing on HTV, BBC Wales, and S4C. An adaptation of her short story ‘Consumed’, starring ‘The Descent’s’ Shauna Macdonald, was premiered in 2021 at the Glasgow Short Film Festival. Having recently completed an MA in Creative Writing, for which she gained a Distinction, Sian also works as a creative practitioner for the Arts Council of Wales. Sian lives in Cardiff with her husband, three children, and a menagerie of wayward animals.

ISBN: 978-1-9163258-4-5
RRP: £9.99

Read Sian’s previously published words below:


God and the Runt
Hughes. S (issue 78 – Summer 2018) God and the Runt, Scribble magazine


Death and the Teenage Stripper

Can You Eat the Wind

Shaving for Dog

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