Two years ago and we’re drying Conor and Fionnuala in the heartbeat and steam of the bathroom on a Saturday. Pyjamas fetched from the hot press, walls beaded with condensation. It’s like being in the hot core of love.
From “Between the Waves” by Colin Walsh, Hennessy New Irish Writing: June 2018’s winning story in The Irish Times
“// A man // pushes on // to get inside // the carriage before I’ve had time // to step down
and, without thinking and certainly without hinges I am holding out my hand and placing a finger in the middle of his forehead.
He freezes. The carriage freezes, a carriage steamed-up and bulbous with umbrellas and the slapping batskin wings of waterproof jackets.”
From “alight at the next” by Eley Williams (3AM Magazine).
See if you can choose the winning story, which will get £15,000 for its author. Here’s more about the short-listed stories and the competition (BBC). Men, knock before entering.
Three naked men sit on a rock. Before them, laid out on the ground, swaddled in bandages, two babies.
A nightmarish story, apparently inspired by the painting of the same name. Steve Finbow was one of the contributors to Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 1 (plug plug). He has gone on to publish several books of outstanding fiction and non-fiction. Follow the link for more details.
The Willesden Herald Short Story of the Month
October 2018: Everything Comes Together by Frank Haberle
“In your trailer, it’s colder and darker than outside. You pull the wad of bills out and smooth them out in your frozen red palms. There’s a twenty, a ten, and eight singles. For one flashing moment you think of your rent, now ten days late. Then you get up and start walking back to town.”
Frank Haberle’s short stories have won the 2011 Pen Parentis Award, the 2013 Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, and the 2017 Beautiful Losers Magazine Award. They have appeared in magazines including the Stockholm Literary Review, Inwood Indiana, Necessary Fiction, the Adirondack Review, Smokelong Quarterly, Melic Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Cantaraville and Hot Metal Press. A professional grantwriter with nonprofit organizations, Frank is also a volunteer workshop leader for the NY Writers Coalition. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and three children.
The winning entry from this year’s Francis MacManus Short Story Competition, “Ashes” by Claire Zwaartman. “Ashes” is the story of a pair of siblings scattering their father’s ashes. It is about the complicated nature of family, disharmony and moving on. In their early twenties, Mike and Emer must let go of anger and resentment with this final act.
MA in Creative Writing student at UCC, Claire Zwaartman, has scooped the £3,000 first prize in the excellent Francis MacManus competition, established in 1986. “Past winners have gone on to receive national and international acclaim, including Claire Keegan, Molly McCloskey, Ivy Bannister, Anthony Glavin and Nuala O’Connor, and many more. Every year, the winning and shortlisted stories are produced and broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 in a season of new writing, read by leading actors.”
Link and reading: RTÉ Radio 1 Short Story Competition – RTÉ Radio 1
A widow in her sixties is given a lift home from a party by a mysterious stranger. She wonders what will happen when he stops the car in a quiet lane well past midnight.
New Short Stories is not the only site featuring monthly stories. Here’s one from The Incubator.
Link: Text and audio together
The author Kevin Barry chose not one but two of Caoilinn Hughes’ stories as his prizewinners in this year’s Moth Short Story Prize, which he judged anonymously. Psychobabble takes first prize, and is, according to Barry, “a story that walks a difficult road in terms of its tone or note – it’s a dark situation dealt with not lightly but with an effervescence in the line, in the sentence-making, and it’s this vivacity that elevates the piece above the rest. It’s both poignant and very funny, emotional yet sardonic. The writer has great control.”
Follow the links to read Kevin Barry’s comments in full and the three prizewinning stories in The Irish Times online.