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Still time to order a book for Christmas – just!

Okay, you know I’m promoting our own book but really, send someone any book of your choice. There’s still time and Amazon will gift wrap it for you if you click “contains a gift” in the checkout process. You can also customise the message. How about this for a message, “Dear … I’m sending you this copy of New Short Stories 11 for your Christmas present. It’s fabulous and so are you.”

Ahem! So, yes, you can order the book we’re trying to hypnotise you into ordering by clicking this link (Book Depository, a subdivision of Amazon, free delivery worldwide) or this link (Amazon .com) or this link (Amazon UK).

Here’s the start of one of the stories, hopefully to intrigue and fascinate you*. When you finish reading this you will awake, go and order the book and remember nothing about what you read here. 1. 2. 3. Awake!

“I could hear my father singing in the lower field. In between the lines of the poorly-sung Joe Dolan number he would call for me, each time more demanding, though he did not bother to draw near to where I actually was, which was at the back of the house, pegging his newly-washed clothes to the line. I knew I’d give in eventually to his calls, but I wanted him to hurt his voice as much as possible with the screeching.”

* From: “The Emperor of Russia” by Jaki McCarrick

Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 11

V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize 2019 goes to Ursula Brunetti for “Beetleboy”

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The Royal Society of Literature’s prestigious V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize for 2019 has gone to Ursula Brunetti for her story “Beetleboy”. By a happy coincidence, our soon-to-be-published New Short Stories 11 also contains a story by Ursula. 2019 is something of a golden year for writers in New Short Stories, when it comes to winning major prizes. (Ed.)

2019 – New Short Stories 11

Contents

nss11_cover22.10.19
Front cover of New Short Stories 11 – first look
  • “Miss Maughan” by JL Bogenschneider
  • “Satellites” by Ursula Brunetti
  • “Forgiveness” by Carol Dines
  • “Dark in Here” by Derek Dirckx
  • “Only Human” by Sarah Evans
  • “Fireball Outfit” by Jeff Ewing
  • “Meadowlands” by David Frankel
  • “Voyager” by Ray French
  • “To Have a Ghost Baby” by N. Jane Kalu
  • “Caboose” by Marylee MacDonald
  • “The Emperor of Russia” by Jaki McCarrick
  • “Rabbit Season” by Gerard McKeown
  • “Vole or Mole” by Jay Merill
  • “The Watcher” by Diana Powell
  • “The garden designer” by John Saul

“Contemporary fiction from Britain, Ireland, America and Nigeria, from huge cities to very small towns and on several journeys. We’re at work, at school, in homes, gardens, cities, in the countryside and on the road. There are crises, violence, tragedy, vengeance, reflection and reconciliation. Here are vividly evoked times and places, characters of every kind, and insights into their circumstances and relationships.”

The 15 best international short stories, as submitted to the Willesden Herald in 2019. Editor: Stephen Moran. With an introduction by Gina Challen.

Available from

isbn: 978-0-9995277-6-4

Contributors

Continue reading “2019 – New Short Stories 11”

Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 11 – Preview

The 15 best international short stories, as submitted to the Willesden Herald in 2019. Editor: Stephen Moran. With an introduction by Gina Challen.

nss11_cover22.10.19
Front cover for New Short Stories 11. Photo and design by Stratos Fountoulis.

Contemporary fiction from Britain, Ireland, America and Nigeria, from huge cities to very small towns and on several journeys. We’re at work, at school, in homes, gardens, cities, in the countryside and on the road. There are crises, violence, tragedy, vengeance, reflection and reconciliation. Here are vividly evoked times and places, characters of every kind, and insights into their circumstances and relationships.

Editor: Stephen Moran. Fiction by JL Bogenschneider, Ursula Brunetti, Carol Dines, Derek Dirckx, Sarah Evans, Jeff Ewing, David Frankel, Ray French, N. Jane Kalu, Marylee MacDonald, Jaki McCarrick, Gerard McKeown, Jay Merill, Diana Powell, John Saul. With an introduction by Gina Challen.

Here are fifteen stories transporting us, like the dreams of fifteen nights. In one we remember a beloved teacher, a hated one and our friends. In another we are on a bus somewhere in Britain, on the way to losing our virginity. On another night we wake from a heartbreaking haunting in the changing seasons of Lagos, Nigeria. Or we’re in Northern Ireland practicing with a friend’s shotgun, and wondering if we can trust him. Then again we’re in the Irish borderlands in a tale of neglect and revenge. We travel through remote parts of the US, a fugitive from the past, and hook up with a loner in his last days. Or we’re in a surreal family circus, with a remarkable cast of characters, living out a poignant adventure. A nun travels on leave through small town America in search of family history and closure. We agonise over a doctor’s ethical dilemma and a professor’s marital crisis, drenched in a rainstorm. We’re in Newport in Wales, trying to stay off the booze and achieve a reunion. We take something that’s not really ours and turn over in our minds what would have happened if we hadn’t. We spy on a swimmer as she swims naked in the sea every day till it all goes wrong. In a nightmare, there’s a river, a forestry work camp, two labourers living on-site, and a dead body. We meditate and scroll through thoughts on the people, situations and how we interact with those around us, friends and neighbours. (SM)

The New Yorker: “Are You Experienced?” by David Means

David Means

‘Means is the author of the novel “Hystopia” and five story collections, including “The Spot” and “Instructions for a Funeral,” which was published earlier this year.”‘

From the point of view of this blog: David Means was the judge for the 2013 Willesden Herald international short story competition, awarding the prize mug to a story by Danielle McLaughlin, which you can read in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 7.

Valley Press: “Chalk Tracks” by Gina Challen

“A debut collection; brooding short stories of haunted lives and fragile hopes.”

“Lillian helps people to die. Ruth encounters an unsettling stranger on the towpath. Kathy obsesses over a painting. Robyn puts her trust in a fox. Mags is a forager; he takes the things he wants.

“Rooted in the landscape of the South Downs, where the chalk hills roll out to the sea, this incisive debut collection of short stories by Gina Challen explores the places where the familiar can become threatening.”

‘Mesmerised and amazed me in equal measure. How does the author cram such a richly textured narrative into such a small space? How does she manage to say so much with so few words?’ Katy Darby

Twice contributor to New Short Stories Gina Challen’s debut collection of short stories can be purchased direct from Valley Press. Also available on Amazon.co.uk etc.