Announcement: Willesden 2017 Results

Our 2017 judge Lane Ashfeldt says she had a great time reading (and re-reading!) all the shortlisted stories, and choosing the top three was a really tough call. She is delighted to pass on the titles of the ten winning stories selected for the book, which she hopes you will buy, read and enjoy*. And she’s looking forward to finding out who wrote them.

So without further ado, here are the winning entries, runners-up and long-listed in this hotly contested year. Congratulations to all, thanks for these marvellous short stories.

And the one-off Willesden Herald mug inscribed “Willesden Short Story Prize 2017” goes to:
1st Prize (£300) –  “Dark Song” by Roberta Dewa

2nd (£200): “Art Zoo” by Paul J. Martin
3rd (£100): “Swimming Lessons” by Douglas Hill

(The remaining seven shortlisted receive £75 each.)

Shortlist
The following will be published in “Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 10”:
A History of Fire by Gerard McKeown
Art Zoo by Paul Martin
Dark Song by Roberta Dewa
Isa’s Pitch by Maureen Cullen
Rictus by Tanvir Bush
Swimming Lessons by Douglas Hill
The Day John Lennon Died by Raphael Falco
The Fish that was not my Pa by Meganrose Weddle
The Quarry by Katherine Davey
Trespass by Roland Miles

Long List
A History of Fire by Gerard McKeown
Air by Angelina Taylor
Art Zoo by Paul Martin
Dancing Her Black Bones Home by Suzanne Conboy-Hill
Dark Rain Falling by Deirdre Shanahan
Dark Song by Roberta Dewa
Isa’s Pitch by Maureen Cullen
Out by the Lough by Sue Lovett
Overnight in the Day Room by Deirdre Shanahan
Reverse Reaction by Anna Glokas
Rictus by Tanvir Bush
Swimming Lessons by Douglas Hill
The Collectors by Michael Antoinetti
The Day John Lennon Died by Raphael Falco
The Fish that was not my Pa by Meganrose Weddle
The Lapidary by Melanie Whipman
The Nationals by Andrew Moffat
The Quarry by Katherine Davey
Trespass by Roland Miles
Winter Kale by Shannon Hopkins

There were 445 entries in total. Thank you to everyone who entered and gave us such delicious torment over the past months trying to see how we could possibly choose between so many fascinating stories.

Coming soon: Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 10. Watch this space for news on its launch and release.

Open for submissions

I’m looking forward to reading your stories each day, and seeing which ones come to the fore early on, and if they can hold that lead all the way through.

That’s what I said in this newsletter that just went out to our subscribers. If you’re thinking of subscribing to our mailing list and want to see what past newsletters were like, here is the archive.

See here for all about the competition and how to enter.

Thanks, cheers! Steve

Our judge for 2017 – Lane Ashfeldt

We’re delighted to announce that the judge for the International Willesden Herald 2017 New Short Stories competition will be none other than the much admired and super cool Lane Ashfeldt, a writer who is no stranger to the short story form herself.

Lane Ashfeldt. Photo: H.McGinty ©2016

Lane is the author of the fiction collection ‘SaltWater’, a book of twelve short stories and a novella. A contributor to ‘Short Circuit: A Guide to the Art of the Short Story’, her stories have won several international prizes and appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals, among them Punk Fiction, Dancing With Mr Darcy, The Guardian, The London Magazine, and the Dublin Review. (Ashfeldt.com)

Lane has kindly agreed to pick the winning entries from a short list, and hopes to see an eclectic, entertaining and truly international range of writing represented on the list. We’re looking forward to reading the best stories you have, and you’ve never let us down yet. The submission window is from May to August.

The Willesden Herald New Short Stories Competition 2017

Opening date: 1 May 2017
Closing date: 31 August 2017
Word limit: 7500
Any theme

The prize fund of £1225 will be divided among the ten finalists as follows:

  • 1st Prize: The one-off Willesden Herald mug inscribed “Willesden Short Story Prize 2017” + £300
  • 2nd: £200
  • 3rd: £100
  • £75 to each of the remaining seven short-listed

Publication

  • All ten shortlisted stories will be published in “Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 10”.
  • Two copies go to each of the ten shortlisted contributors.

Entry fee: £7.50

Submit: WillesdenHerald.Submittable.com/Submit

New Short Stories 9: Awards and Launch

Willesden Green Library Centre, December 8th

Katy Darby announces the overall winner and runners-up in the Willesden Herald international short story competition 2016, and shares her responses to each of the stories. In the audience were all but one of the writers whose stories were short-listed, including some who travelled from as far away as Italy, France and America.

Towards the end of the video, it becomes clear which story has taken first prize, and we proceed to the presentation and a charming acceptance speech.

And the winner is…

First prize and the one-off mug, inscribed “Willesden Short Story Prize 2016”, and Champagne goes to Love and Hair by Olga Zilberbourg.

Katy also announced equal runners-up, receiving consolation prizes:
The Mayes County Christmas Gun Festival by David Lewis
Undercurrents by Gina Challen

In accordance with the rules, the prize fund of £750 was divided equally among the finalists, who also received two copies each of the anthology.

Here is Miranda Harrison, reading from the opening of Love and Hair by Olga Zilberbourg.

To find out who really sent the text, and what happens in the end, you will have to read Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 9. Available from Amazon.co.uk (for UK, Ireland and Europe) and Amazon.com (US and rest of the world) and other online booksellers.

The ten best short stories of 2016, are presented in the random sequence in which they were originally read, as good a system as any!, and together present a pleasing selection of contemporary fiction, or to put it more snappily:

Unspeakable secrets, disappeared husbands, bisexual love triangles, revolutionary conspiracies and African odysseys: from Sixties Paris to San Francisco, Arundel to Latin America, poets, murderers, musicians, schoolkids and festive firearms fanciers stalk these pages, waiting to greet you.

Winning Stories: Undercurrents by Gina Challen; Twisted by Tracy Fells; Looking for Nathalie by Susan Haigh; All That Remains by Rob Hawke; The Volcano by Anna Lewis; The Mayes County Christmas Gun Festival by David Lewis; The Cliffs of Bandiagara by Catherine McNamara; Supersum by Barbara Robinson; Last Call at the Rialto by Daniel Waugh; Love and Hair by Olga Zilberbourg

With an introduction by 2016 judge, Katy Darby

Shortlist for the Willesden Herald short story prize 2016

Katy Darby, our judge for 2016, confirms that the shortlist for this year’s award, and therefore the stories to be published in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 9, are as follows, in alphabetical order by title:

Title Author
All That Remains Rob Hawke
The Cliffs of Bandiagara Catherine McNamara
Last Call at the Rialto Daniel Waugh
Looking for Nathalie Susan Haigh
Love and Hair Olga Zilberbourg
The Mayes County Christmas Gun Festival David Lewis
Supersum Barbara Robinson
Twisted Tracy Fells
Undercurrents Gina Challen
The Volcano Anna Lewis

(Update 3/11/2016: One story was withdrawn at the last minute, and so the shortlist of ten has been updated accordingly.)

And now you will have to wait till the results event to find out who takes the prize for overall winner this year! We’re excited and can’t wait for the actor readings and the book. We’re hoping to meet some of the writers in London, if you can make it. Over the next few days, we’ll be working on the book cover art and details of the event.

Thanks to all who entered and congratulations to the shortlisted. It has been a privilege and an adventure reading the stories sent in, appreciating the painstaking art that has gone into them, and experiencing the never-failing wonder of the short story form.

supported by

A literary agent to read our winning stories

We are delighted to announce that agent Carrie Kania of literary agency Conville & Walsh has kindly agreed to read the ten winning stories this year. Here is a link to Carrie’s profile. Among her many credits, she launched an imprint that racked up 13 New York Times bestsellers. She also works for leading writers in the short story world, including Simon Van Booy, who won the Frank O’Connor award in 2009 for his collection of stories Love Begins in Winter, and Paul McVeigh. So once again, please send us your best short stories. Each one will be carefully read and considered. Thanks. (Steve)