Where do stories take you?

We are all on a quest, storyteller and readers together.

Whom does a writer write about? Herself or you?

Does an artist paint a self-portrait or a picture of you?

A book is a doorway, a painting a window, into another world.

Enter, explore, and discover.



What is storycraft?

The skill of making understandable stories is storycraft.

I paint to explore ideas and feelings. I write to explore connections and conflict. But, to communicate, the storyteller must be understood. Then stories create community, and are shared and loved and challenged in community.

My passion has led me to develop my crafts over many years, because these stories are not just for me.

I want to hear from you.



What is storylight?

We all live adventurous lives. We have secrets to hide and reveal, missions and ambitions to fulfil.

We each have a story to tell. Some of us have many.

Each of us loves to hear stories: to be afraid, horrified, shocked, delighted, comforted, pleased and thrilled.

Stories are lights that we share to guide us through the nights of our days.



What is storypower?

Storypower is a story's 'fightback' capacity. A fightback is an act of resistance, or an affirmation of resilience.

The world changes, opinions alter, history is rewritten. Youth's certainties prove false. Misinformed people made mistakes; we ourselves have erred.

How can we find a way forward? Whom do we trust? Where is hope? Where love?

Let's tell stories that fight back against cynicism and exploitation. Resist anything mean, petty, or unkind. Believe in equality, generosity and freedom.

Hello, I'm Ruth Hartley

I was born into a quiet world with books for companions, not all of them suitable for a child. My thoughts, imagination and dreams flourished. I read of heroes and warriors. Certain I would be both, I gradually discovered that the silent and the unimportant have stories, and so do the fearful, who are also brave. I decided that the stories I want to tell are those of ordinary people whose lives flavour the earth with salt.

Storyteller Ruth Hartley owns the atypical books imprint. In this logo a large brown lowercase "a" sits atop the word "atypical" in bold black letters followed by "BOOKS" in fine caps, all on a white background.

I am a Storyteller

To be a human, to be alive, is to learn and discover. The world is wonderful and shocking. Simply trying to understand the world and myself is tough and creative work. Writing and making art help me do it. So does reading. This writing-reading circle brings me to share my stories. And yet, I try to minimise my words, and I make art to share ideas and feelings that can’t always be expressed in words.

Our digitised world is dense with words and images that provoke and anger and manipulate us. I aim to write common-sense stories that are thought-provoking, funny, and gripping. Sharing my stories in my own words and images is my "fightback", my way to affirm our common humanity. So I'm anti-verbiage and pro-significance and I write atypical books for you.


Ruth Hartley

Storyteller Ruth Hartley smiles at the camera. She is wears a pixie haircut and a patterned top with a geometric design in shades of purple and white, with matching silver necklace and earrings.

🤩 Ruth Hartley wins 🤩
Charroux Short Fiction Prize
2020 Runner up award
Truth, Dare, Command

The Shaping of Water book coverThe Love and Wisdom Crimes Book CoverThe Spiral-Bound Notebooks book coverDust and Rain book coverWhen I Was Bad book coverWhen We Were Wicked book coverThe Tin Heart Gold Mine book cover

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