A pair of businessmen are giving aspiring authors the chance to have their stories read aloud to thousands of commuters.

David Keighley and Tony Cook set up their website ABCtales.com to give budding writers the chance to get their work read and reviewed online.

Now the duo are the first to make the literary efforts of contributors available in a talking book format.

Writers can have their stories read by famous actors, or read them themselves, and then have them downloaded as a podcast.

Mr Keighley, of Palmeira Square, said: “Basically the idea is you write your short story, then either read it yourself or have it read by a well known actor.

“You have been able to read short stories online since we set up ABCtales, but now you can download them to listen to on your iPod on your way to work.

“With the increasing number of people downloading podcasts, we thought it was a great way to get the stories heard.”

Mr Cook, of Clifton Road, said: “This is a first. No other site is offering the self-reading option for aspiring creative writers in a place that’s especially reserved for them.

“The demand for good new short stories is phenomenal, and we hope that what we are offering will not only generate some highly exciting and entertaining material, but also give our stable of writers an important new outlet for their talents.

“There are thousands of people who write really well out there – and people love to read their material.

“Our slogan is ‘everyone has a story to tell’ – and it’s true. Now those stories can be heard as well as read.”

Since setting up ABCtales.com, Mr Keighley and Mr Cook have been responsible for helping several authors get their work published.

To mark the launch of ABCtalesradio.com, enthusiastic amateurs are being invited to enter their stories into a competition and the winning story will be read by a nationally-known actor and posted prominently on the site.

Stories must be no more than 2,000 words and contain the phrases “red dress” and “park bench”.

For more information or to enter the competition visit www.abctalesradio.com.