AN AUTHOR has landed her first fiction writing break after her vegan-themed short story was selected to feature a new anthology.

A Taste of Something New by Ramsbottom freelance writer Sara Hodgkinson has been published as part of the Vegan Tales collection, after coming out on top of shortlisted competition entries.

Based on Ms Hodgkinson’s experiences as a waitress, the light-hearted story tells the tale of a down-on-its-luck Lancashire cafe, home to a patchwork of regular customers who know just what they like.

However in order to breathe some new life into the establishment a bold waitress sets about secretly changing the menu to include more vegan options, and manages to win over some converts in the process.

Ms Hodgkinson, who is not vegan herself, said: “The idea behind the story is that we just need to give vegan food a chance. It’s not that weird and can be really tasty, and often tastes not that different to meat dishes.”

A lover of literature and writing since her childhood, Ms Hodgkinson says she has “always scribbled stories down”, taking inspiration from her life and surroundings.

The last few months have been particularly busy for her as four months into her PHD studies in Perth, Australia, she decided that she would drop it all to pursue a career in writing ­— making her debut fiction submission for publication with A Taste of Something New.

Ms Hodgkinson said: “This was one of the first stories that I have sent off so it was really nice to get the recognition and it has really encouraged we to work at this.”

She added: “It does vary what I write about and I try to walk a lots, Ramsbottom has some gorgeous places to walk around, and I find that my stories come to me from my environment. Whether that is a small Lancashire town or someone that I have met and said just one sentence to, and that sparks me.”

Ms Hodgkinson has been a Ramsbottom resident for most of her life, where she lives with her two feline writing companions, previously living in Singapore and Australia, and currently writes for travel search engine Trivago and a London florist.

The Vegan Tales anthology is one of the first in adult literature with exclusively vegan themes, and features contributions from international writers celebrating and criticising the vegan approach to food animals and the environment.

Vegan Tales is out now via Squaw Pies.