Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 12

Contents

“I can just say read these wonderful wonderful stories. They were an absolute pleasure to read and I hope you too will enjoy these writers as much as I did.”

Jarred McGinnis

Available from (latest info)

isbn: 979-8-9859089-1-6

Contributors

David Butler’s most recent short story collection is Fugitive (Arlen House, 2021). His novel City of Dis (New Island) was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, 2015.


Helen Harjak was born in Estonia, studied literature and philosophy in Scotland, and now lives in London, where she works as a freelance journalist and copy-editor. Her fiction has been published in Okay Donkey, Visual Verse, Fudoki Magazine, and Small Good Things, an anthology by Dahlia Books.


Catherine McNamara grew up in Sydney, ran away to Paris to write and ended up in West Africa co-running a bar. Love Stories for Hectic People won Best Short Story Collection in the Saboteur Awards 2021. The Cartography of Others was finalist in the People’s Book Prize. Catherine lives in Italy and her stories have been published widely.


Andy Mead is a retired teacher who was brought up in Jamaica in the 1960’s and still retains strong links with that island he still regards as home. He has an MA in creative writing from the University of Chichester and is now a private tutor, writer and storyteller.


Jackie Morris is a recent graduate of The Open University’s MA in Creative Writing (2021). She writes short form and flash fiction and spends far too much time on Twitter. Her husband has no interest in chickens.


Peter Newall was born in Sydney, Australia, where he worked variously in a naval dockyard, as a musician and as a lawyer, but has since lived in Kyoto, Japan, and now in Odessa, Ukraine, where he sings for a popular local r’n’b group, the Newall Band. He has been published in England, Hong Kong, Australia and the USA.


Diana Powell’s stories have featured in a number of competitions, including the 2020 SoA ALCS Tom-Gallon Award (runner-up) and the 2019 ChipLit Prize (winner) and most recently the Bristol Short Story Prize 2022 (winner). They have also been published in several anthologies and journals, such as ‘Best (British) Short Stories 2020’. Her novella, ‘Esther Bligh’, was published in 2018 by Holland House Books. Her collection, ‘Trouble Crossing the Bridge’ came out in 2020. Her novella, ‘The Sisters of Cynvael’, won the 2021 Cinnamon Press Literature Award, and will be published next year.


Anju Sharma grew up in Uttar Pradesh, India, majored in history from Delhi University, worked as a copy-writer, taught copywriting, then went back to being a student – this time of literature – purely through the act of intense reading. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Maine Review, The Margins, The Forge and Nelle. She is shortlisted for Bridport Short Story Prize 2022 and longlisted for Desperate Literature Short Fiction prize 2022. She is presently working on a novel.


Lui Sit writes in multiple genres including adult short fiction, memoir and children’s middle grade books. She is an alumnus of several writers’ development schemes including A Brief Pause, London Writers Award and Penguin WriteNow. Her stories are published in journals and anthologies including MAINSTREAM, Superlative, Short Good Things, Fudoki, City of Stories and Out of The Box. Update: Writing for children, Lui Sit has just won the Faber FAB Prize 2022 for text with “The Legend of Linger Island” (Puffin).


Zakia Uddin is a short story writer whose previous work has been published by The White Review, The Stinging Fly and Granta. Winner of the Willesden Herald short story prize 2022. She lives in London.


Announcement: Results of the Willesden Short Story Prize 2022

The Willesden Short Story Prize 2022 was revealed at Willesden Library this evening. First prize went to “Hotline” by Zakia Uddin (left). 

Runners-up were “Vevey” by Catherine McNamara and “Cuckquean” by Jackie Morris. 

Thanks to Claire Lacey and Katy Darby for bringing the stories to life and making the event go with a zing. 

Thanks to Jarred McGinnis for judging and to the writers of all ten shortlisted stories, as every one is a prize-winner in this short story competition. (Ed.)

BBC 2022: “Blue 4eva” by Saba Sams

You can read the winning entry in the BBC National Short Story Award 2022 below this report in Guardian Online: Blue 4eva by Saba Sams.

“Blue 4eva is [also] available to listen to on BBC Sounds, appears in the BBC National Short Story Award 2022 (Comma Press, £7.99) and in Saba Sams’ debut collection, Send Nudes (Bloomsbury, £14.99)” (Guardian) 

New Short Stories 12 – first look

From Willesden Herald Books, an imprint of Pretend Genius Press

The best of the Willesden Short Story Prize 2020

Short fiction by David Butler, Helen Harjak, Catherine McNamara, Andy Mead, Jackie Morris, Diana Powell, Peter Newall, Anju Sharma, Lui Sit, Zakia Uddin

With an introduction by Jarred McGinnis

Launch: The Performance Space, Willesden Green Library, 8 November 2022, from 7pm


Cover by Stratos Fountoulis based on an original photo by Stephen Moran

Announcement: Shortlist for the Willesden Short Story Prize 2022

The ten stories shortlisted for the Willesden Short Story Prize 2022 in alphabetical order by author

  • Shoes by David Butler
  • Remembering Not Forgetting by Helen Harjak
  • Vevey by Catherine McNamara
  • Haircut by Andy Mead
  • Cuckquean by Jackie Morris
  • My Last Journey with Baron Baldanders by Peter Newall
  • Empathy by Diana Powell
  • Things we see, things we don’t by Anju Sharma
  • Forecast for Rain by Lui Sit
  • Hotline by Zakia Uddin

Thanks to all who entered for making our selection task so difficult with the high standard of writing. The total number of entries was 371. It was painful having to leave out many outstanding short stories.  

There will be a special event to announce 1st prize and runners-up and to launch the anthology, New Short Stories 12. Details to follow. 

LA Times review: Two Nurses Smoking: Stories by David Means

“That’s how we salvage the past, locating the small stories and passing them carefully into the future,” a grieving mother confides in “Stopping Distance.” At the same time, she continues, “The story of my loss isn’t something I want to pass on. The only thing I can pass on is the silence.”

From LA Times’ review of Two Nurses Smoking: Stories by David Means

David Means was the judge for Willesden Herald New Short Stories 7 (2013).

Coming Soon: New Short Stories 12

Announcement: 371 entries received. Ten to comprise New Short Stories 12. “Watch this space.”

Short Story Competition: Closing Date Wednesday 31 August

August 29, Monday. Good morning! The total number of short stories in the inbox as of this morning stands at 279. [Ed.]

Announcement on Twitter

Photo: The picture shows this year’s one-off prize mug inscribed “The Willesden Short Story Prize 2022” standing in an array of books.

2022 Writers, Don’t Let Me Down! Ed.

Your forebears could hunt an epiphany through the great forest of Um without breaking a twig and spear it with words sharpened on the soles of their feet. Arise, put on your leotards and send in your short stories, ye of this century…(Enough, thank you. Get to the music. Ed.)

SUBMIT

One-Off Mug inscribed
The Willesden
Short Story Prize 2022