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)
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.”
“Contemporary fiction from Britain, Ireland, America and Nigeria, from huge cities to very small towns and on several journeys. We’re at work, at school, in homes, gardens, cities, in the countryside and on the road. There are crises, violence, tragedy, vengeance, reflection and reconciliation. Here are vividly evoked times and places, characters of every kind, and insights into their circumstances and relationships.”
The 15 best international short stories, as submitted to the Willesden Herald in 2019. Editor: Stephen Moran. With an introduction by Gina Challen.
“A debut collection; brooding short stories of haunted lives and fragile hopes.”
“Lillian helps people to die. Ruth encounters an unsettling stranger on the towpath. Kathy obsesses over a painting. Robyn puts her trust in a fox. Mags is a forager; he takes the things he wants.
“Rooted in the landscape of the South Downs, where the chalk hills roll out to the sea, this incisive debut collection of short stories by Gina Challen explores the places where the familiar can become threatening.”
‘Mesmerised and amazed me in equal measure. How does the author cram such a richly textured narrative into such a small space? How does she manage to say so much with so few words?’ Katy Darby
And yes, believe it or not, Toby Litt is a previous contributor to New Short Stories. We have an embarrassment of riches, in that sense, though still seeking adverts (zero so far) for our latest edition, the eleventh in the series.