“They are ﬂames, moving up the hill from the village, torches lighting faces in the crowd. The voices build.”
— For Books’ Sake (@forbookssake) April 15, 2019
“Alex has a problem. Categorized as one of the disabled, dole-scrounging underclass, she is finding it hard to make ends meet. Now, in her part time placement at the local newspaper, she’s stumbled onto a troubling link between the disappearance of several homeless people, the new government Care and Protect Bill and the sinister extension of the Grassybanks residential home for the disabled, elderly and vulnerable. Can she afford the potential risk to herself and her wonderful guide dog Chris of further investigation?”
‘Laugh and weep! With wit, flair and imagination, Tanvir Bush unfolds the secret life of a nation on benefits. Our nation….’ Fay Weldon
Tanvir Bush’s short story “Rictus” about the meeting of modern medicine and faith healing in a rural clinic in Africa, featured in our own New Short Stories 10.
Dating back to the 1920s, this vital showcase of shorter fiction was relaunched in 2011 under the editorship of novelist, editor and anthologist, Nicholas Royle | Discover Best British Short Stories now https://t.co/xMFa6vUE2f pic.twitter.com/rlQ4OKR6lI
— Salt (@saltpublishing) November 4, 2018
Unless you’re rich in both time and money, it’s unlikely you subscribe to all the journals featuring short stories and read all the collections in any given year, so this is a good way to get a “best of” selection and keep in touch. The 2013 edition contained a story that originated in our own New Short Stories anthology that year (“Curtains” by Charles Lambert.) Here’s a direct link to Best British Short Stories 2018.
Faber Stories presents masters of the short story form at work, with stories from Samuel Beckett and Sylvia Plath to Kazuo Ishiguro and Sally Rooney, here are all the covers for the first time #Faber90 pic.twitter.com/P9SXV27vUp
— Faber & Faber (@FaberBooks) October 30, 2018
The first of these extremely desirable individual short story editions, celebrating 90 years of publishing the best new writing, is due in January 2019 according to Faber & Faber on Twitter.
— Comma Press (@commapress) September 22, 2018
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.
ABOUT THE O. HENRY PRIZE STORIES 2018
The O. Henry Prize Stories 2018 contains twenty prize-winning stories chosen from thousands published in literary magazines over the previous year. The winning stories come from a mix of established writers and emerging voices, and are uniformly breathtaking.
Looks like the O. Henry Prize anthology includes a new short story by Jo Lloyd, whose story “Work” took the Willesden Herald short story competition first prize in 2009, as judged by Rana Dasgupta. You can read it in New Short Stories 3. The mesmerising opening line from “Work” is also featured on the back cover of the book (see image).
“The first novel from Kent-based American author, Peggy Riley, Amity and Sorrow is a mesmerising exploration of the tension between the familiar and the unknown, of extremes of faith and the lengths to which people can be caught up in the fantasies of others.”
Peggy Riley’s poetic short story “Pearl” was included in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 4.
- “Dark Song” by Roberta Dewa
- “Art Zoo” by Paul J. Martin
- “Swimming Lessons” by Douglas Hill
- “Rictus” by Tanvir Bush
- “Isa’s Pitch” by Maureen Cullen
- “The Quarry” by Katherine Davey
- “The Day John Lennon Died” by Raphael Falco
- “A History of Fire” by Gerard McKeown
- “Trespass” by Roland Miles
- “The Fish that was not my Pa” by Meganrose Weddle
“Here are stories of abandonment, exhibitionism, spontaneous combustion, hysteria, people power, reincarnation, cuisine, race relations, orchidaceous tomfoolery and much more. They will take you to hot beaches and deserted nighttime streets, to disputed urban spaces, to an overheated and under-resourced emergency ward, behind the scenes at a fancy restaurant, and to the chill vicinity of deserted lakes and pools. Three are set in America, two in Africa, one each in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, London and darkest Sussex.”
With an introduction by 2017 judge, Lane Ashfeldt
Dr Tanvir Bush is a novelist and film-maker/photographer. Born in London, she lived and worked in Lusaka, Zambia, setting up the Willie Mwale Film Foundation, working with minority communities, street kids and people affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Her feature documentary ‘Choka!- Get Lost!’. was nominated for the Pare Lorenz Award for social activism in film in 2001. She returned to UK to study and write and her first novel Witch Girl was published by Modjaji Books, Cape Town in 2015. She is the designer and facilitator of the Corsham Creative Writing Laboratory initiative and an Associate Lecturer at Bath Spa University in Creative Writing. She is based in Wiltshire with her guide dog and research assistant, Grace.
Maureen Cullen lives in Argyll & Bute. She has been writing poetry and short fiction since 2011 after early retirement from her social work career. In 2016, she was published, along with three other poets, in Primers 1, a collaboration between Nine Arches Press and the Poetry School. She won The Labello Prize for short fiction in 2014, and has stories published in Gem Street, Scribble, Prole, the Hysteria Anthology, the Evesham Anthology, Leicester Writes Anthology, Stories for Homes Volume 2, and online at Ink Tears. Her stories have been longlisted and shortlisted at various competitions.
Raphael Falco is a Professor of English at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where he held the 2012-2013 Lipitz Professorship of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. In addition to publishing widely on the early modern period, he writes fiction, plays, and poetry. He lives in New York City.
Katherine Davey was born in Cape Town, South Africa and moved to the UK twice, once temporarily as a teenager and then again to do a post-grad, which she abandoned to work in publishing. She has been writing since she was a child and belongs to the long-established and professionally wonderful writing group called (for reasons she has never understood) Free Lunch, based in Hackney. She lives in Walthamstow, London, and is currently revising a novel for which she is seeking representation.
Roberta Dewa has always written fiction, and in her twenties published three historical novels with Robert Hale. While studying for various degrees she wrote and published poetry and short fiction, including a poetry sequence on the explorer Shackleton and a short story collection, Holding Stones (Pewter Rose Press, 2009). In 2013 she published a memoir, The Memory of Bridges, and a contemporary novel followed: The Esplanade (Weathervane Press, 2014). Since retiring last year from teaching at the University of Nottingham, she has been writing poetry and short stories again, some of it inspired by (but attempting no comparison with) the sublime lyrics of Scott Walker.
Douglas Hill lives in the northeast of Scotland and worked in the regional press as a journalist and editor for many years. Before that he worked as a freelance reporter in Glasgow and wrote features for a number of magazines in the UK and abroad. Born in Scotland, he has also lived and worked in South Africa, Brazil, New Zealand, Spain, and for several years in London. Since devoting more time to writing fiction, he’s been short-listed for a number of competitions, won 2nd place in the Exeter Writer’s competition, and had short stories published in Writer’s Forum.
Paul J. Martin moved to London from Northern California to earn an MA in Novel Writing from City University freeing himself from a high-flying career in the art world to pursue his passion for writing. Residing for many years in American suburbia he is fascinated to know why people live where they do. His work tends towards Suburban Noir, where he delves behind conformist facades and investigates strange tales and complications that lurk behind the mailbox. His first novel ‘When I’m Calling You’ is complete, his second follows close behind and he has a growing catalogue of short fiction from both sides of the Atlantic.
Gerard McKeown is an Irish writer living in London. His work has been featured in 3:AM, The Moth, and Litro, among others. In 2017 he was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. He is currently seeking representation for his novel ‘Licking The Bowl’.
Roland Miles has worked as an English and Drama teacher and as a dealer in secondhand books. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Sussex. He is the author of Chaucer the Actor: The Canterbury Tales as Performance Art. Two completed young adult novels and a play sit unpublished in a box beneath his bed. A number of his short stories and flash fictions have been placed in competitions. He is currently close to finishing a collection of short stories about life in schools, of whichTrespass is one. He lives by the castle in the Sussex town of Lewes, in a house built in the fifteenth century, once occupied by a bucket maker.
Meganrose Weddle has a BA in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and is studying for her MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. Her poetry has been published in creative journal Notes and she was shortlisted for the Liars’ League Women & Girls event, for her short story ‘No Strings Attached’. She lives and works in London and hopes, one day, that she can call herself a ‘full-time writer’.
- “The Volcano” by Anna Lewis
- “The Cliffs of Bandiagara” by Catherine McNamara
- “Supersum” by Barbara Robinson
- “Twisted” by Tracy Fells
- “The Mayes County Christmas Gun Festival” by David Lewis
- “Undercurrents” by Gina Challen
- “Love and Hair” by Olga Zilberbourg
- “Last Call at the Rialto” by Daniel Waugh
- “Looking for Nathalie” by Susan Haigh
- “All that Remains” by Rob Hawke
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.
With an introduction by 2016 judge, Katy Darby
Gina Challen is originally from London. She moved to West Sussex in 1979. In 2012, she left her job as an insurance broker to complete a masters degree in creative writing. This she fondly refers to as her mid-life crisis. Although originally a city girl, the farmsteads and woods of the downlands hold her heart, they are the inspiration for her writing, the landscape to which she knows she belongs. Previously, her stories have been anthologised in The Bristol Short Story Prize Volume 8 2015, the Cinnamon Press Short Story Award collections 2012 & 2013, and the Willesden Herald New Short Stories 8, 2014 and Rattle Tales 2, 2012. Two of her stories were shortlisted for the prestigious Bridport Prize in 2014. You can also find her stories and critical essays online with Ink Tears and Storgy magazines and Thresholds Short Story Forum. She is currently working on a short story collection. www.ginachallen.co.uk
Tracy Fells lives close to the South Downs in glorious West Sussex. She has won awards for both fiction and drama. Her short stories have appeared in Firewords Quarterly, The Yellow Room and Writer’s Forum, online at Litro New York, Short Story Sunday and in anthologies such as Fugue, Rattle Tales and A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed. Competition success includes short-listings for the Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize, Brighton Prize, Fish Short Story and Flash Fiction Prizes. Tracy completed her MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University in 2016 and is currently seeking representation for a crime mystery novel and her short story collection. She shares a blog with The Literary Pig (tracyfells.blogspot.co.uk) and tweets as @theliterarypig.
Susan Haigh returned to northeast Fife in 2013, having spent eight years living in a cave house in the Loire Valley. She had previously worked on a series of short stories, supported by a Scottish Book Trust mentoring scheme, and continued to write stories and a novel in a caravan under a vine by a river (not as glamorous as it sounds!). Her work has won several awards in Britain and the USA and has been published in Mslexia, Cadenza Magazine, Sunpenny Anthology, New Writing Dundee 8, Beginning Anthology, the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Awards website, the Women of Dundee and Books anthology and a number of American journals and anthologies. In 2016 she appeared on a short list of six for a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award and published poems in Scottish literary journals, Northwords Now, Gutter Magazine and the StAnza Map of Scotland in Poems. She was also a finalist in the 2016 Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition. She reviews and interviews for a number of journals, including Dundee University Review of the Arts. She teaches German at Dundee University.
Rob Hawke lives and works in Camberwell, London. His short fiction has featured in Momaya Short Story Review and Shooter Literary Magazine, and he holds an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from University of Sussex. He is currently working on his first full length novel, a political drama set in South West England. To support his writing Rob works part time at a psychology institute.
Anna Lewis’s stories have appeared in journals including New Welsh Review and The Interpreter’s House. Her stories and poems have won several awards, and she was short-listed for the Willesden Herald short story prize in 2013. She is the author of two poetry collections: Other Harbours (Parthian, 2012) and The Blue Cell (Rack Press, 2015). She lives in Cardiff.
David Lewis grew up in Oklahoma, did an MA at UCL in London and now lives in Paris. His short stories and essays have appeared in J’aime mon quartier, je ramasse, Chelsea Station, Liars’ League, The 2013 Fish Anthology, Indestructible and Talking Points Memo. He irregularly posts essays and translations on Medium, as @dwlewis.
Catherine McNamara grew up in Sydney, ran away to Paris to write, and ended up in West Africa running a bar. She was an embassy secretary in pre-war Mogadishu, and has worked as an au pair, graphic designer, translator, English teacher and shoe model. Her short story collection Pelt and Other Stories was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor Award and semi-finalist in the Hudson Prize. Her work has been Pushcart-nominated and published in the U.K., Europe, U.S.A. and Australia. Catherine lives in Italy.
Barbara Robinson was born in Manchester where she still lives, writes and works. She writes short stories and is currently working on her first novel, Elbow Street.
Daniel Waugh was born in London and has lived in France and Yorkshire. He lives in Wimbledon with his wife, three-year-old daughter and black cat. ‘Last Call at the Rialto’ is his first short story.
Olga Zilberbourg grew up in St. Petersburg, Russia and moved to the United States at the age of seventeen. Her English-language fiction is forthcoming from World Literature Today, Feminist Studies, and California Prose Directory; stories have appeared in J Journal, Epiphany, Narrative Magazine, Printers Row, Hobart, Santa Monica Review, among others. She serves as a co-facilitator of the weekly San Francisco Writers Workshop.
“Penguin is publishing a new anthology, The Penguin Book of the Contemporary British Short Story, “a literary treasure trove” of “30 great short stories published in the last 20 years”, featuring contributors such as Zadie Smith, Irvine Welsh and Neil Gaiman.” (The Bookseller)