How do you feel about the things you’ve nearly done in your life? Do you feel bitter regrets or blessed relief? Which close shaves and near misses do you remember, and who do you tell about those quirky / sad / funny / dramatic / bad / odd things that didn’t quite happen to you – or haven’t yet?

I’m writing a novel called WHAT DIDN’T QUITE, and I need your help.


The protagonists of my evolving transmedia fiction are Doctor Freya Seward, songwriter Jamie and the eccentric Gregory Carraday who gather examples of ‘Nearlies’ which they help people to acknowledge and celebrate, turn into actions or help to dissolve into the nearlyverse. If a Nearly Story of your own springs to mind, I’d love to read it, put it on this site – and into my Nearly Book.

On this site you’ll also find the Nearly Manifesto, the latest nearlies gathered, and our growing archive of nearlies, read The Nearly Times for more on nearly events and the novel as it grows; hear a podcast introducing the story of Carraday, Freya and Jamie, writer of Nearly Songs; read drafts of extracts from the whole novel.

– but be warned, it’s only nearly written so will change. You can also read the Contextual essay on Nearlywriting Nearlyology that I’ve written as part of the practice-based PhD I’ve been (really) doing at Bath Spa University.

This website is part of a work in progress, so be prepared for it to change as I explore new ways to create and share fiction. If you want to join this experiment, thank you and welcome. If not, no worries!


Chris Overleaf,  Nearlywriter



Carraday, Freya and Jamie. Puppets by Bee Peak

PLEASE HELP by sending your nearly stories. We reserve the right to put donated Nearlies onto the website and use them in Nearlyological publications. If you’d like to be credited, please let us know, otherwise Nearlies will remain anonymous.