Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 1

  • “Kid in a Well” by Willie Davis
  • “Mrs Nakamoto Takes a Vacation” by Steve Finbow
  • “Jolt” by James Lawless
  • “Vaselino” by Lee Joans
  • “Paradise” by Nicholas Hogg
  • “The Dead Don’t Do That Kind of Thing” by Wes Lee
  • “Words from a Glass Bubble” by Vanessa Gebbie
  • “Felipe and the Sea” by Jonathan Attrill
  • “Alternative Medicine” by Laura Solomon
  • “Born Again” by Shakti Bhatt
  • “Avoiding the Issue” by Laura Heggie
  • “Charles Magezi-Akiiki” by Olesya Mishechkina
  • “Atlantic Drift” by Arthur Allan

A feast of new stories from Britain, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand and the USA. This is an underground classic: read it on the tube/ subway/ metro and look cool while missing your stop.

Contributors (2007)

Arthur Allan is an Edinburgh-based freelance journalist. Atlantic Drift is his third published story. Inevitably (he says) he’s working on a novel, provisionally titled Nine Monsters.

Jonathan Attrill writes both fiction and poetry. His work has been published in a variety of literary maga-zines and anthologies. In 2004 he won the London Writers’ Competition with his short story “Darker Than Fairytales”. He is a regular reader at venues across London, including Tales of the Decongested’s monthly short story readings at Foyles. He facilitates a creative writing class in North London for people with mental health problems.

Shakti Bhatt is an editor based in New Delhi. She is working on her first novel.

Willie Davis is a native of Whitesburg, Kentucky who currently teaches English at The University of Maryland. “Kid in a Well” (winner of the Willesden prize) is a chapter from The Darktown Strut, his recently completed novel about contemporary Appalachian life.

Steve Finbow is from London. He used to live in New York. He now resides in Japan. A long time, ago he worked for Allen Ginsberg. He once assisted Richard Long. He even did research for Victor Bockris and Barry Miles. Nowadays, he sits around reading and writing. The Guardian, The Independent, McSweeney’s, Stop Smiling, Me Three, and a host of other publications have published his work. Some of his short stories have appeared in anthologies. Some have not. He is an occasional writer with Quarantine Theatre Company. He is a diabetic “but not a very good one” and so “enjoys hospital food and the works of Elmore Leonard, James Kelman, and Martin Amis.” His favourite journey is riding Tokyo’s Yamanote Line loop. His biography “reads better than it lives.” For more information, go to: http://www.seppukumyheart.blogspot.com.

Vanessa Gebbie left behind a career in journalism to focus on creative writing in 2003. Since then her short fiction has been widely published. She’s had success in competitions, “the crown of which,” (she says!), “was a win at Willesden in 2006”. Other wins include BBC Guildford Book Festival competition, Charleston Small Wonder Festival Slam, Cadenza Magazine, The Phoenix Prize 2006, Cotswold Writers, JBWriters Bureau. Her stories have been short-listed three times at Fish International, long-listed for the Bridport Prize, commended at Writers of the Year and Winchester, broadcast by the BBC, read at performance events, and distributed on London Underground in Litro. Vanessa adds that she is working on a novel “but they all say that!” She also teaches Creative Writing to marginalised adults. For more information please visit: http://www.vanessagebbie.com.

Nicholas Hogg was born in Leicester in 1974. After travelling widely, living in Japan, Fiji and America, he is now settled in London teaching literary skills to refugees. Winner of the inaugural New Writing Ventures prize for fiction, and twice short-listed for the Eric Gregory award, he has recently completed his first novel, Show Me the Sky. Online: http://www.nicholashogg.com

Laura Heggie was born in Devon in 1982. She is a graduate of the University of East Anglia Creative Writing MA course, and lives in North West London. She is working on her first novel, about punishment and beauty in mid-20th century France. “Avoiding the Issue was inspired by a Big Issue seller in Bath, who told me to buy a Big Issue from him, then carry it around visibly under my arm, so other homeless people wouldn’t ask me for money.”

Lee Joans is an English-born writer. In her twenties she worked as a nurse and clinical editor. Recently she completed her first novel and she is planning to read for a PhD in literature. Vaselino is adapted from a novel-in-progress. Contact: LeeJoans@hotmail.co.uk

James Lawless was born in Dublin and lives in Kildare. He is an arts graduate of UCD and has an MA from Dublin City University. Recently he took early retirement from teaching to concentrate on writing full time. He has had stories and poems broadcast on radio and published in journals and anthologies in Ireland and England. He won the Scintilla Welsh open poetry competition in 2002, and the Cecil Day Lewis play section award in 2005 for a play entitled, “What are Neighbours For?” At the moment he is working on a novel.

Wes Lee is originally from the UK and currently living in New Zealand. A former printmaker & University Lecturer in Fine Arts, she now works in an art gallery and writes. In 2006 she was awarded First Prize in the City of Derby Short Story Competition and Runner-up in the Writers of the Year Award; the Biscuit Publishing Prize and the Australasian short story competition “Auswrite”. She was a finalist in the Guildford Book Festival/BBC Southern Counties Radio Short Story Competition and the Cadenza Short Story Prize. Her writing has appeared in numerous online and print publications, including: Cadenza, Buzzwords, Opium Magazine, PopMatters, The HazMat Review, Turbine, Trout, Takahe, VerbSap, Snorkel, The Ugly Tree, The BluePrint Review, Blowback Magazine, Misanthropists Anonymous, Mannequin Envy, HeavyGlow, On New Street: Biscuit International Prize-winning Short Stories, The Final Theory & Other Stories, Survival Guides, All Over The Place: Writers of the Year Anthology, The Weather Man: Best of the Skive Short Story Prize. She has work forthcoming in a number of anthologies in the UK.

Olesya Mishechkina is a Perestroyka baby immigrant, hopping from Alaska to Arizona, finally settling in the leafy state of Massachusetts. “Blowing off a free college education after two full years, in hopes of becoming a writer, I found myself 19, working as a grocery store cashier, and sleeping on my mother’s couch. If that’s not idealism, I don’t know what is.”

Laura Solomon was born in New Zealand in 1974, and has lived in London since 1999. She has an honours degree in English Literature (Victoria University, NZ, 1997) and a Masters degree in Computer Science (University of London, 2003) and currently works as an IT consultant. She has published two novels in New Zealand with Tandem Press: “Black Light” (1996) and “Nothing Lasting” (1997). Her first play, “The Dummy Bride”, was produced as part of the Wellington Fringe Festival, and her second, based on her short story, “Sprout”, was part of the 2004 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Her short story “Sprout” won a prize in the 2004 Bridport International Short Story competition and her short story “The Most Ordinary Man in the World” won a prize in the same competition in 2005. She has published various other poems and short stories online and in New Zealand magazines.

Author: Stephen Moran

I was born in Dublin and made my way to London on a bike in my mid-twenties. It’s where I can still be found though ever further out, most recently as far as Harrow. I no longer own a bicycle.

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