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Baby is a Thing Best Whispered

Baby is a Thing Best Whispered is a collection of flash fiction stories with this that involve births and deaths. The dying, lost children and those looking to be reborn.


Each story is one of self-discovery or escape, all of which are tethered to themes family and womanhood. The complex relationships of mother/daughter/sister and the love, rage and confusion that come with them.


At its heart, the collection is a coming-of-age narrative that centres around otherness that leads to revelation.

buy a signed copy of Baby is a Thing Best Whispered


a signed copy with merch for £11

(including postage, UK only)



“In Baby is a Thing Best Whispered, Keely O'Shaughnessy brilliantly charts adolescence, trauma, the causal links between actions and generations, motherhood, and mending parental wounds, all with sublime wordcraft and control. Reframing adverse experiences with fabulism, the ethereal and painfully true, this book finds nostalgia without the rose tint, and its thematic arc builds to a masterful crescendo. This is a book I will never forget."

-Liza Olson, author of Here's Waldo, The Brother We Share, and Afterglow, EIC of (mac)ro(mic)


“There’s something circular and satisfying about Keely O’Shaughnessy’s debut collection Baby is a Thing Best Whispered – a body of literary work about the body, a body, bodies. In twenty-two tiny stories, O’Shaughnessy whispers and shouts and muses about spider crabs, flotation therapy, the cinema, cookies, biology, teeth, sinners, manicures, mazes, plants and – babies. The language and descriptions are rich and lyrical in these memorable flashes as her writer’s voice draws the reader in close with whispers and truths about linked lives, from baby to adulthood.”

-Amy Cipolla Barnes, author of Mother Figures, and Ambrotypes


 “The words in Keely O’Shaughnessy’s debut flash fiction collection, Baby is a Thing Best Whispered shoot off the page, sharp and painful, like a poisoned cupid’s arrow, aimed straight at the heart, where they cut short, but deep, and linger like an open wound. This collection, in its startling beauty and shimmering precision, explores loss and leaving, love and lust, all within the remit of complicated and intimate relationships. An absolute must-read.”

-Laura Besley, author of The Almost Mothers, 100neHundred and (Un)Natural Elements

"Most of these stories are small enough to slip into your pocket and keep there, and you'll want to do so. There is so much texture and energy contained in a small amount of space; the writing dark-edged, nimble, surprising, full of empathy but never sentimental. Fans of Lydia Davis, Roxane Gay and Laura Lampton Scott will love this collection."

-Sam Szanto, author of If No One Speaks

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Copies of Baby is a Thing Best Whispered are now in The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop

Published by Alien Buddha Press

The Swell of Seafoam
a micro-chapbook with
Ghost City Press

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The Swell of Seafoam is a micro-chapbook that was published as part of Ghost City Press' Summer Series 2022.


Exciting news!

I now have hard copies available to buy. 


As the title suggests, the five stories in this miniature collection all connect to the sea is someway. From family days at the beach to the terrors that lurk beneath the waves.


To pay your respects to the sea, in all her might and wisdom, you can download the Ebook/PDF for free from the Ghost City Press


The PDF version of the collection is free, but if you enjoyed

reading please consider using the donate to author button or buy yourself a beautiful print copy.

Buy a signed copy of The Swell of Seafoam for £6 (including postage, UK only) 



"The sea almost takes on a character role in these stories, along with parents, siblings and step siblings. They touch on how complicated familial relationships can be, paralleled with the mysteries of the ocean. I love all of these stories"

- Allison Renner, author of Chapbook Won’t Be By Your Side

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Published by Ghost City Press
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