New Short Stories 12 – first look

From Willesden Herald Books, an imprint of Pretend Genius Press

The best of the Willesden Short Story Prize 2020

Short fiction by David Butler, Helen Harjak, Catherine McNamara, Andy Mead, Jackie Morris, Diana Powell, Peter Newall, Anju Sharma, Lui Sit, Zakia Uddin

With an introduction by Jarred McGinnis

Launch: The Performance Space, Willesden Green Library, 8 November 2022, from 7pm


Cover by Stratos Fountoulis based on an original photo by Stephen Moran

LA Times review: Two Nurses Smoking: Stories by David Means

“That’s how we salvage the past, locating the small stories and passing them carefully into the future,” a grieving mother confides in “Stopping Distance.” At the same time, she continues, “The story of my loss isn’t something I want to pass on. The only thing I can pass on is the silence.”

From LA Times’ review of Two Nurses Smoking: Stories by David Means

David Means was the judge for Willesden Herald New Short Stories 7 (2013).

Willesden Short Story Competition 2022

We’re back with a competition for inclusion in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 12. Open to international entries. Closing date will be August 31, 2022. Entry fee £5. There are ten prizes, as follows:

  • 1st prize: £300 + one-off inscribed Willesden Herald mug
  • 2nd: £200
  • 3rd: £100
  • 7 x £50
  • Plus you get a copy of the anthology when it’s published.

Judge: Jarred McGinnis (updated 20 Feb. 2022)

Please visit our submittable.com page for full details and to Submit

The Obscure Object of Desire

Photo: One-off Willesden Herald mug inscribed “Willesden Short Story Prize 20xx”

Searching: Belfast 1971 by Bernard MacLaverty

A story from “Blank Pages”, the latest collection by the brilliant short story writer and novelist, Bernard MacLaverty.

“Maclaverty is the author of five previous collections of stories and five novels, including Grace Notes, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and Midwinter Break, shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. Born in Ireland, he now lives in Glasgow, Scotland.” (LitHub)

2022 One Dublin One Book: “Nora” by Nuala O’Connor

“Every year we choose a book that we hope will capture the imaginations of the people of Dublin, of all ages and walks of life, and I know that Nora will prove a rewarding reading experience for all who engage with One Dublin One Book 2022. For the centenary of the publication of Ulysses, it’s important for us to honour the contemporary writers Joyce has inspired, as well as the woman who inspired him. We look forward to working with Nuala O’Connor to create a programme of events next April that we hope will encourage many discussions and conversations.”

Dublin City Librarian, Mairead Owens

Leave Society – a new novel by Tao Lin

1. New York Times article. 2. Penguin Leave Society by Tao Lin. 3. About Willesden Herald Stories

Tokyo – a novel by Nicholas Hogg

Nicholas Hogg’s short story Paradise was included in the first Willesden Herald New Short Stories anthology. He has gone on to great things. Visit NicholasHogg.com.

Johnny Boy – a novel by John Califano

JOHNNY CARUSO IS BORN into the urban turmoil of 1950s and ’60s working-class Brooklyn. Wedged between the limited worldview of his parents—alcoholic and abusive Bellisario and browbeaten, unstable Maria—and his liberal-minded older brother and sister, young Johnny struggles to navigate his childhood and adolescence.

Verve House Books

Thank you to John Califano for including Willesden Herald New Short Stories in the Acknowledgments for Johnny Boy. His story Independence Day was our Story of the Month, August 2018.

Want to buy from proper bookshops?

Short Stories: Listings of Willesden Herald books from websites that support local bookshops
Poetry: Last Night’s Dream Corrected (2006)
Poetry: Southernmost Point Guest House (2014)
To browse all our back issues, click Anthologies. Maybe buy one or two? Go wild.

* All Covers by Stratos Fountoulis

Successes in 2019 for New Short Stories contributors

2019 Highlights

November 11: V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize 2019 goes to Ursula Brunetti for “Beetleboy”.

October 2: BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University 2019: “The Invisible” by Jo Lloyd

September 27: Out Now: “The False River” short story collection by Nick Holdstock

September 20: Double chapbook launch. “Past contributors to WH New Short Stories, Brian Kirk and Jill Widner, enjoyed a double win at the Cork International Short Story Festival 2019.” (See also Feb. 15)

September 12: Danielle McLaughlin takes The Times/ Audible Short Story Award 2019

August 24: Book launch: “Like Water and Other Stories” by Olga Zilberbourg

July 3: Book launch: “Chalk Tracks” by Gina Challen, twice contributor to New Short Stories

March 13: Danielle McLaughlin receives Windham-Campbell award

Feb 15: Friends of Willesden Herald take both Southword fiction chapbook awards 2019

It’s our own trumpet, we can blow it if we want.

Latest

Willesden Herald New Short Stories 11 is available from High Street Bookshops Online as well as Amazon (UK), Amazon.com and other booksellers. Link: More details including author pictures and profiles.

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