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Story of the Month, April 2019

The Willesden Herald New Short Stories Story of the Month

April 2019: Name by Sergey Bolmat

He looks at Anne with marked indifference, as if expecting her to introduce herself and explain the purpose of her visit, and then, after a second, makes a little twitch with the left corner of his lips indicating a smile.

‘Well,’ he says, ‘look who’s here.’ 

Sergey Bolmat photo by Natalia Nikitin (detail)

Sergey Bolmat published his first novel in Russia to great critical acclaim. To date, he has published three novels, two collections of short stories, many articles and essays in various periodicals, and a biography of Nikolay Chernyshevsky. Some of these books were shortlisted for literary awards, translated into many European languages, adapted for radio, and optioned and developed for film. His first short story written in English appeared in The Higgs Weldon.

* Photo: Sergey Bolmat by Natalia Nikitin (detail)

New Yorker: Lore Segal reads “Dandelion” (March 2019)

A lyrical childhood memory piece of nature and family. It is well-read in the author’s beautiful accent, so evocative of the few treasured remnants of the Kindertransport children who made it to London, in this case from Vienna. (Ref. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lore_Segal). Other recent contributors to The Writer’s Voice podcast series include Sally Rooney and Yiyun Li. Introduced by the New Yorker’s fiction editor, Deborah Treisman.

You can also read the story, for the time being, online. It begins:

“That Henry James, when he got old, rewrote his early work was my excuse for revisiting, at ninety, a story I had written in my twenties. I was ten years old when I had to leave Austria, so the day with my father in the Alps must have taken place on our last family holiday, the previous August.” (Lore Segal)

Starting to Write – Toby Litt

“The aim of this Course is to get you writing and reading with energy, to help you avoid some painful mistakes, and to show you how you can rapidly improve your short stories.”

Danielle McLaughlin receives Windham-Campbell award

Congratulations to Danielle McLaughlin on being one of the writers to receive this outstanding award. Danielle was the winner of the Willesden Herald New Short Stories prize 2013, as adjudicated by David Means. You can read her story “Holidaying with the Megarrys” in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 7.

NPR Interview: David Means on his fifth short story collection

“The reader does most of the work. The reader does all of the imagining. You’re just giving them a set of instructions on how to hear and see something.” (David Means)

Thanks to Bristol Prize on Twitter for this link to David Means interview on NPR with Audie Cornish.

Litro: The Stages of Writing (Catherine Cho)

Catherine Cho, according to her Twitter profile is “Associate Agent. Story seeker at Curtis Brown Books Dept.” Read in Litro online.

Irish short story writers, get into this

RTÉ has been a terrific supporter and host for the short story genre, through their annual Francis MacManus short story competition, an opportunity for 10 writers to have their stories featured on Irish national radio as well as a shot at one of the big three prizes. Irish short story writers, you’ll never get a better opportunity to be heard.

Check the rules carefully. For example, each page must end on a full stop; haven’t seen that one before but it makes sense for reading out on the radio. Postal entries only. Follow the rules carefully, check one-by-one. Otherwise you might as well throw your hat at it. (Steve)