Results of the international Willesden Herald short story competition 2013

Short List

All Its Little Sounds and Silences – by Barnaby Walsh
Bolt – by Thomas Morris
Dance Class – by SJ Bradley
Donor – by Nici West
The Gift – by Alistair Daniel
Hangman – by Angela Sherlock
Holidaying with the Megarrys – by Danielle McLaughlin
Last Payment – by Anna Lewis
Rip – by Merryn Glover
Round Fat Moon and Jingling Stars – by Marie Murphy

And the winning entry in the 8th international Willesden Herald short story competition 2013, as chosen by David Means is:

“Holidaying with the Megarrys” by Danielle McLaughlin.

Equal runners-up:
“All Its Little Sounds and Silences” by Barnaby Walsh
“Round Fat Moon and Jingling Stars” by Marie Murphy

Thanks to all who entered and to everyone who has supported the competition over the years, especially this year’s judge, David Means.

If you would like a masterclass in short story writing, David Means will be leading WordTheatre Writers’ Workshop & Retreat on July 5-July 12, 2013 in Edale, England.

The story so far

We are thrilled and honoured to announce that David Means has kindly agreed to be the judge for the eighth annual Willesden Herald international short story competition.

David Means

David Means’ stories have a diamond-like sharpness and clarity, in which we visit locations, society and climates as vividly as in a waking dream. I couldn’t point to Sault Ste Marie on the map but I feel I’ve been there. I’ve never hung onto a train but I sort of know what it’s like now. I’ve never lived in an apartment in New York or slept rough but…you get the picture? Writers, you have your work cut out for you.


Wikipedia: David Means
The Spot by David Means review by James Lasdun in the Guardian
Interview with David Means in the New York Times
Short stories by David Means in The New Yorker
NY podcast: David Means reads Chef’s House by Raymond Carver
David Means’ author page at Faber and Faber

So intercept a story when it stops at traffic lights, shine its windscreen with a piece of tissue paper the size of a coin, run home, type it out and send it to us as soon as electronically possible. Or whatever your process is. Closing date: Friday, 21 December 2012.

Continue reading “The story so far”

2012 – New Short Stories 6


  • “Half” by Nick Holdstock
  • “Curtains” by Charles Lambert
  • “In the Service of the Demon” by Jo Barker Scott
  • “Frost Heave” by Geraldine Mills
  • “Winter Lambing” by Virginia Gilbert
  • “Slimebank Taxonomy” by Eliza Robertson
  • “The Coastal Shelf” by Dermot Duffy
  • “Relativity” by Mary O’Shea
  • “Clingfilm” by Francis Scappaticci
  • “Artist” by Y.J. Zhu

The best of the Willesden Herald international new short stories competition 2012, bringing you stories are set as far afield as Canada, China, Iran as well as Britain and Ireland.

Available from:

isbn: 978-0977852666

Contributors (2012)

Jo Barker Scott was born in London, but spent most of her childhood overseas, in Kenya, Pakistan and Iran, with a fluctuating number of siblings, foster-siblings, ayahs, lodgers and animals. These days she lives in Winchester, and her adventures are purely of the literary kind.

Dermot Duffy was born and remains in Coolock, North Dublin, “a town which has just one chocolate factory but many many Willy Wonkas”. The Coastal Shelf is his first short story.

Virginia Gilbert is a BAFTA nominated, award-winning writer and director. She writes and directs for film, radio and television. Her screenwriting work has been placed on the BritList and she was named as a ‘Star of Tomorrow’ by Screen International. She also writes short fiction, and has been published internationally. Her short stories have been shortlisted for the RTE Francis MacManus award and BBC Radio 4 broadcast a season of her work. Her debut collection of short fiction was shortlisted for the Scott Prize 2011. She is currently preparing her debut feature film as writer-director, shooting April 2012.

Nick Holdstock’s work has previously appeared in n+1, the London Review of Books, and The Southern Review. The Tree That Bleeds, a book about his time in western China, came out from Luath Press last year.

Charles Lambert has published two novels, Little Monsters and Any Human Face, and a collection of short stories, The Scent of Cinnamon, the title story of which won an O. Henry Award. He lives in Italy.

Geraldine Mills is a poet and short fiction writer from Galway, Ireland. Arlen House published her two short story collections Lick of the Lizard (2005) and The Weight of Feathers (2007). She has had two collections of poetry published by Bradshaw Books, Unearthing Your Own (2001) and Toil the Dark Harvest (2004). An Urgency of Stars (2010) and The Other Side of Longing (2011), a collaboration with U.S. poet, Lisa C. Taylor, were published by Arlen House. Her short story collections are taught at the University of Connecticut and Eastern Connecticut State University.

Mary O’Shea’s ambition to have an ordinary life sprang, more or less directly, from one summer spent working as an undercover agent at a Butlins Holiday Camp in North Wales, and another waiting tables at a Mafia-run restaurant in Newport, R.I. Ordinary living led her to the practice of fiction. Stories have become her passion. She published some (New Irish Writing, London Magazine, New Short Stories 5), won awards for some (Hennessy, William Trevor, and the Willesden Herald International Short Story Prize 2011). She lives with her husband in Cork.

Eliza Robertson is a Canadian who has found her way to the UK to pursue her Masters in Prose Fiction at the University of East Anglia. Her work has appeared in numerous journals across across Canada, and has been short-listed for National Magazine Awards and the McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. She is the 2011-2012 recipient of the University of East Anglia’s Man Booker Scholarship.

Francis Scappaticci was born in Ireland in 1960 and raised in Clones, County Monaghan. He has progressed from Art School dropout to London-based illustrator and can currently be found writing and painting on the Costa Brava where he lives with his partner and five cats.

Y.J. Zhu, a Beijing native, now lives in San Francisco. Her stories have appeared in anthologies and won awards. She recently completed a collection of short stories and is writing a novel.

2011 – New Short Stories 5


  • “Apartment” by Y.J. Zhu
  • “Blue Raincoat” by Teresa Stenson
  • “Dancing with the Flag Man” by Nemone Thornes
  • “Gusul” by Adnan Mahmutovic
  • “Homecoming” by Alex Barr
  • “Out of Season” by Mary O’Shea
  • “Overnight Miracles” by A.J. Ashworth
  • “Set Dance” by Angela Sherlock
  • “The Bedroom” by Micheal Coleman
  • “The Place” by David Frankel
  • “Thingummy Wotsit” by Adrian Sells
  • “Victor” by Emma Martin

‘Every human type and taste is here – sad, funny, fresh, sharp, gripping, sour and sweet – delicious small mysteries that suddenly reveal their secret hearts.’ (Maggie Gee)

The best of the Willesden Herald international short story prize 2011. Twelve new stories set as far afield as China and New Zealand, Sweden and the US as well as several from Britain and Ireland.

nss5backAvailable from

isbn: 978-0974726151

Contributors (2011)

A. J. Ashworth was born and brought up in Lancashire and is a former journalist who now works in publishing. She has an MA in Writing (distinction) from Sheffield Hallam University and her stories are published or forthcoming in Horizon Review, Tears in the Fence, Crannóg, The Yellow Room, Lablit and the Voices anthology.

Alex Barr’s short stories have been broadcast on radio 4 and have appeared in magazines such as STAND. He has published two poetry collections, LETTING IN THE CARNIVAL (Peterloo 1984) and HENRY’S BRIDGE (Starborn 2006) and won third prize in the National Poetry Competition 2000. He is currently collaborating with Peter Oram on a translation of RILKE’S French poem sequence VERGERS and a series of books for children. He has worked as a journalist, architect and lecturer, and now lives on a small holding in West Wales with his wife Rosemarie, a ceramic artist.

Michael Coleman is a 60 year old Archive Conservator from Belfast. He has 3 children, 3 grandchildren and has been besotted, and sometimes dumbfounded, by his wife Patricia for the past 42 years. He loves sailing and jumping in puddles. He writes short stories, poetry and has a completed novel for teenagers waiting on a publisher.

David Frankel was born in Salford, but can now be found lurking around the darker corners of Kent, where he lives and works as an artist. He has been a secret writer most of his life, and is now working on the final stages of his first novel and a collection of short stories. He won the Earlyworks short story prize in 2009.

Adnan Mahmutovic is a Bosnian Swede, a homely exile who teaches literature at Stockholm University in daytime, and works with people with mental disorders at night. His book Thinner than a Hair came out in 2010 as the winner the Cinnamon Press first novel competition. His short stories have appeared in Stand, The Battered Suitcase, Rose&Thorn Journal, Cantaraville, SNR, and anthologised in [Refuge]e (Konstafack), and We’re Créme de la Crem (Biscuit publ). (

Emma Martin lives in Wellington, New Zealand, arguably the windiest city in the world. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the Victoria University of Wellington. In previous lives she has been a taxi driver, circus worker and film censor.

Adrian Sells is married with a young daughter and lives in London. As a global markets strategist, his only published works to date have been in the financial press. He read English at Cambridge and, after many years recovering from the experience, now writes in his spare time. He has completed numerous short stories and is currently seeking representation for his second novel, a thriller set in South London called “Thirteen Days in Winter”. Away from work and writing, he loves opera (twice a judge on the Olivier Awards opera panel) and the theatre. ‘Thingummy Wotsit’ will be his first published work of fiction.

Mary O’Shea’s ambition to have an ordinary life sprang, more or less directly, from one summer spent working as an undercover agent at a Butlin’s Holiday Camp in North Wales, and another waiting tables at a Mafia-run restaurant in Newport, R.I. Ordinary living led her to the practice of fiction. Stories have become her passion. She published some (New Irish Writing, London Magazine), won prizes for some (Hennessy Literary Award and runner-up in the William Trevor International Short Story Competition), designed and presented a course to encourage like-minded others (U.C.C. 2005-2008). She lives with her husband, in Cork.

Angela Sherlock has worked in information retrieval; as a chefs’ assistant and as a (not very good) coil winder. She taught English in secondary schools in London and in Devon, where she currently resides, as wife, mother and fiction writer. Leaf Writers’ Magazine has published two of her short pieces. Her first novel (as yet unpublished), The Apple Castle, was long-listed for The Virginia Prize and shortlisted for the Hookline Novel Competition. Set Dance is from her second novel, Exports, a collection of interlinked short stories about the Irish Diaspora.

Teresa Stenson’s short fiction has been published in various places, most notably the 2009 Bridport Prize Winners’ anthology. She is 29 and lives in York, where she balances two jobs with her writing ambitions. Along with writing short stories, Teresa is in the midst of creating a longer piece of fiction.  She keeps a blog about her writing at

Nemone Thornes was born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, and studied Philosophy at Newnham College, Cambridge. At nineteen, she sold her first story to The Yorkshire Post, and her humorous short stories appeared in the Post for the following eight years. Since starting to write serious short fiction in 2007, Nemone has won prizes or been shortlisted in over twenty literary competitions. Her stories have been published by Leaf Books and Writers’ Forum, and are awaiting publication at Dark Tales magazine.

Y.J. Zhu is a native of Beijing, China who now lives in San Francisco. Her first published work describes racing a motorbike across the Taklamakan Desert. She has also delivered a yacht to Mexico, sailed up the Mekong River, and cruised down the Irrawaddy River. Materials for stories come from a variety of life experience, including biking across France, exploring Angkor and Machu Picchu. She currently makes her living managing projects for financial institutions.

2010 – New Short Stories 4


  • Wena Poon – The Architects
  • Toby Litt – Veronika and Roger-Roger
  • Julia Goubert – In the Land of Flies
  • Willie Davis – Emily Strabnow’s Freckles
  • Nuala Ní Chonchúir – Letters
  • Kevin Spaide – Monkey Hat
  • Carys Davies – Precious
  • Jonathan Attrill – Love and Longing in the Marvellous City
  • Peggy Riley – Pearl
  • Tom Vowler – Busy. Come. Wait.
  • Paul McGuire – Hope Street
  • Jo Cannon – Shutters
  • Jarred McGinnis – Learning Stick
  • Henrietta Rose-Innes – Falling

Fourteen of the best short stories of the year 2010 from brilliant new and award-winning authors, seven by men and seven by women. The stories are set in Australia, Ireland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, UK, US and more.

Available from

isbn: 978-0977852659

Contributors (2010)

Jonathan Attrill is 41 and lives in North London. He writes fiction and poetry and has contributed to London Writers’ Anthology 2004, Tales of the Decongested vol.1, New Short Stories 1, The New Writer et al. He also practises Tai Chi and plays guitar and drums. In the eighties he avoided the new romantics by forming neo-rockabilly outfit The Nitros, making an album with them in 1988. He has a fondness for lemurs, especially sifakas, so much so that in 2008 he spent eight weeks living with them in the forests of Madagascar. 

Jo Cannon is a Sheffield G.P. Her stories have appeared in The Reader, Myslexia, Cadenza, Brand and New Writer among others, and in anthologies including Route and Leaf Books. Competition successes include firsts in HISSAC and Writers Inc, and runner up in Fish International.

Carys Davies‘s short stories have won prizes in national and international competitions, including the Bridport, Asham, Orange/Harpers & Queen and Fish. They have been published in magazines and anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Her debut collection of short stories Some New Ambush (Salt, 2007) was shortlisted for the 2009 Roland Mathias Prize, longlisted for the 2008 Wales Book of the Year Prize and a Finalist in the 2008 Calvino Prize in the US. She lives in Lancaster with her husband and four children.

Willie Davis, a native of Whitesburg, Kentucky, has had fiction appear in The Guardian and The Kenyon Review amongst other journals. He is the winner of the 2007 Willesden Herald Prize and The 2007 Katherine Ann Porter Prize. “Emily Strabnow’s Freckles” is an excerpt from his recently completed novel, Honeysuckle Season. He currently teaches English and Creative Writing at The University of Maryland.

Julia Sarah Goubert writes a wide range of fiction, usually under the pseudonym Natalya Lowndes. Her three novels, Chekago, Angel in the Sun and Snow Red, were all published by Hodder and Stoughton. She has contributed short fiction to Iota, The Frogmore Papers, Grist and to BBC Radio 3, Nightwaves. In 2005 she was elected to a Hawthornden Writing Fellowship, in 2006 a residency at the Chateau de Lavigny and in 2008 received an award from the Society of Authors. She teaches at the University of Essex and lives in a village near Colchester. 

Toby Litt grew up in Ampthill, Bedfordshire. He is the author of two collections of short stories, Adventures in Capitalism and Exhibitionism, and nine novels, including deadkidsongs, Journey into Space and the forthcoming King Death. He is a Granta Best of Young British Novelist. His story “John and John” won the 2009 Manchester Fiction Prize. His website is at

Jarred McGinnis was born in the New Mexico, grew up in Florida, lives in London and pines for Edinburgh. “Learning Stick” is an excerpt from a novel that has been curing in his desk drawer since winning the People’s Choice award at a Novel Pitch competition. Maybe he should try to get it published or something. What do you think? He is

Paul McGuire writes for the influential Just Liverpool Magazine and has written plays for the Bunbury Banter Theatre Company and been broadcast on Hayes FM and Audio Book Radio. He was a 2008 Year of Culture writing finalist and won the First Writers International Short Story Competition and The Comma Press Short Story Award. Paul can be heard performing his work in Borders bookshop, Coffee Union and in the Third Room of the Everyman Theatre and also contributes to local radio. He has an M.A. in Creative Writing from Liverpool John Moores University. 

Nuala Ní Chonchúir is an award-winning fiction writer and poet, born in Dublin in 1970, now living in County Galway. Her third short fiction collection Nude was published by Salt in September 2009. The Irish Times called it ‘a memorable achievement’. She is one of four winners of the 2009 Templar Poetry Pamphlet and Collection competition. Her pamphlet Portrait of the Artist with a Red Car was published in November 2009; a full collection The Juno Charm is due November 2010. Nuala’s novel You will be published by New Island in April 2010. She received an Arts Council Bursary in 2009 and she is fiction editor of Horizon Review.

Wena Poon, 36, is the author of two short fiction books, Lions In Winter and The Proper Care of Foxes, a quartet of magic realist novels collected in The Biophilia Omnibus, and a forthcoming novel Alex y Robert, about an American woman matador in Spain. In Asia, her books have been nominated for CNN Singapore’s ‘Best Book Gift of the Year 2009’, the Singapore Literature Prize, and Malaysia’s Readers Choice Awards. In Europe, she was longlisted for the 2008 Frank O’Connor Short Story Award and was awarded the 2010 Hawthornden Castle Fellowship. Originally from Singapore, she lives in the United States.

Peggy Riley is a writer and playwright. Her short fiction has been broadcast on BBC Radio Kent and was shortlisted for the 2009 Asham Award. She has recently finished her first novel. As a playwright she has had work produced, commissioned and developed at a number of off-West End and regional theatres, as well as tours and residencies in site-specific spaces including historic churches, houses, and a former women’s internment camp. She regularly runs creative workshops in schools, arts centres and prisons, and runs East Kent Live Lit, a live literature network. Originally from Los Angeles, Peggy Riley lives in Whitstable on the North Kent coast. 

Henrietta Rose-Innes is a novelist and short-story writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. She has written two novels, Shark’s Egg and The Rock Alphabet (2000 and 2004), and edited a miscellany of South African writing, “Nice Times!” (2006). Her short stories have appeared in a variety of publications in South Africa, the UK and Germany. Her writing has been translated into German, Arabic and Romanian, and Dream Homes, a collection of short pieces, appeared in German translation in 2008. In 2008 she won the Caine Prize for African Writing, for which she was shortlisted the previous year, and in 2007 she received the Southern African PEN short story award. She has held writing residencies in Germany, Switzerland, the USA and South Africa. She can be found online at

Kevin Spaide is from Auburn, New York. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Witness, Per Contra, The Summerset Review, Short Fiction, Identity Theory, Frigg, Opium Magazine, and several other places, both online and in print. His short story collection Chancing Vertigo is currently making the rounds of the publishers, and he has just completed a novel. After spending six years in the northwest of Ireland, he moved to Spain. He lives in Madrid with his wife and son.

Tom Vowler lives on the edge of Dartmoor. His short stories have appeared in various places, won a competition or two, and his first collection is currently shortlisted for the Scott Prize. An Arts Council grant allowed him to research and write his second novel, unencumbered temporarily by the need for proper employment. In his spare time he is the Assistant Fiction Editor of the literary journal Short FICTION.

2009 – New Short Stories 3

front coverContents

  • “Work” by Jo Lloyd
  • “The Travellers” by Carys Davies
  • “Tokyo Chocolate” by Morowa Yejidé
  • “Amy” by Nick Holdstock
  • “Ebb Tide” by Margot Taylor
  • “Ante-Purgatory” by Carol Farrelly
  • “The Imperfect Roundness of Things” by Claudia Boers
  • “Propitiation” by Jenny Barden
  • “Mina and Fina and Lotte Wattimena” by Jill Widner
  • “The Hate Club” by Ben Cheetham

“A while back, when I was going through a bit of a tough time, this guy I knew, Paul, bought himself a restaurant, and when it was still pretty new and he’d spent all his money on forks and skewers and real people who knew how to run a restaurant, he asked if I would help out, and I said yes because I didn’t have a job and I didn’t seem to be capable of getting a job and I didn’t have a clue how to get myself out of the hole I’d fallen into.” (The opening sentence of Work by Jo Lloyd).

nss3 back cover detailAvailable from

isbn: 978-0977852635

Contributors (2009)

Jenny Barden trained as an artist, then a lawyer, and for several years worked for one of the leading firms of commercial solicitors in the City of London. Chance research into a painting triggered a passion for writing. Journeys in South and Central America then led to ideas for a novel set in the New World during the Age of Discovery. That novel is now close to completion, and Propitiation derives from one of the chapters in an early draft. Jenny is represented by Jonathan Pegg of the Jonathan Pegg Literary Agency. For more about her writing visit:

Claudia Boers is originally from Johannesburg and now lives in London. She left behind a career in fashion to focus on writing in 2007. She’s been published in Your Messages (a collection of flash fiction) and was commended in the Ilkley Short Story Competition 2008. Claudia’s currently working on her first collection of short stories and is fascinated by the imperfect roundness of life.

Ben Cheetham lives and writes in Sheffield. His short fiction has been published or is forthcoming in The London Magazine, Dream Catcher, Staple, Transmission, Momaya Annual Review 2008, Swill, Hoi Polloi and various other magazines.

Carys Davies’s short stories have won prizes in national and international competitions, including the Bridport, Asham, Orange/Harpers & Queen and Fish. They have been published in magazines and anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Her debut collection of short stories Some New Ambush (Salt, 2007) was one of ten books longlisted for the 2008 Wales Book of the Year Prize and was also a Finalist in the 2008 Calvino Prize in the US. She lives in Lancaster with her husband and four children.

Carol Farrelly is currently a student of Glasgow University’s MLitt in Creative Writing. She has lived in Italy, London, Oxford and Brighton. Italy and London are the places she still misses. She has had several short stories published in magazines such as Litro and Random Acts of Writing.

Nick Holdstock’s work has appeared in Edinburgh Review, Stand, and The Southern Review. He recently edited the Stolen Stories anthology.

Jo Lloyd grew up in Wales and now lives in Oxford. Her stories have been longlisted for the Bridport and Asham prizes. She is not [sic] working on a novel.

Margot Taylor is an ex lollipop lady who lives with her husband and two teenagers in Somerset, UK. Her spare time is divided between her passions for boating, running on the nearby Quantock Hills, and writing short stories.

Jill Widner was the recipient of a 2007 Artist Trust/ Washington State Arts Commission fellowship; she was a resident at Yaddo in 2007 and 2008; and she is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. “Mina and Fina and Lotte Wattimena” is an excerpt from her novel in progress, The Smell of Sulphur, which fictionalizes her experience growing up in Indonesia in the 1960s. Other excerpts have been published or are forthcoming in North American Review, Hobart (online), and Kyoto Journal. Her fiction has also appeared recently in Memoir (and), 971 Menu, and Hitotoki (New York). She lives in Yakima, Washington.

Morowa Yejidé is a native of Washington, D.C. She was educated at Kalamazoo College, where she received her degree in International Relations, and graduated from an international exchange program at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. Her short stories have appeared in the Istanbul Literary Review, Ascent Aspirations Magazine, The Taj Mahal Review, and Underground Voices, and others. Her stories often focus on the layers of relationships and the inner landscapes of her characters’ minds. Tokyo Chocolate is a tapestry of her own experiences and impressions. She currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and three sons.

2007 – 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.

Available from

isbn: 978-0977852628

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:

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:

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:

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:

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.

2006 – Fish Drink Like Us

The Willesden Herald International Short Story Prize 2005-6

Short ListFish Drink Like Us front cover

  • “Abe and his Girlfriend” by Jacqui Rowe
  • “Dodie’s Gift” by Vanessa Gebbie (joint winner)
  • “In Summer” by Michael McCudden
  • “Sasquatch” by Tao Lin
  • “Sé” by Nuala Ní Chonchúir
  • “Secure” by Mikey Delgado (joint winner)
  • “Ta’waaf: Circling the Holy Ka’aba” by Bilal Ghafoor
  • “The Finding” by Valerie Trueblood
  • “The History of Imagining About Blue Horses” by Sean Brijbasi
  • “Who Would’ve Guessed?” by Raewyn Alexander

“Secure” and “The History of Imagining About Blue Horses” have been published in the anthology Fish Drink Like Us.

Fish Drink Like Use back cover (detail)

Available from