Announcement: Results of the Willesden Short Story Prize 2022

The Willesden Short Story Prize 2022 was revealed at Willesden Library this evening. First prize went to “Hotline” by Zakia Uddin (left). 

Runners-up were “Vevey” by Catherine McNamara and “Cuckquean” by Jackie Morris. 

Thanks to Claire Lacey and Katy Darby for bringing the stories to life and making the event go with a zing. 

Thanks to Jarred McGinnis for judging and to the writers of all ten shortlisted stories, as every one is a prize-winner in this short story competition. (Ed.)

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

Cork International Festival: Short Fiction Chapbooks Launch Event

As we previously reported, past contributors to WH New Short Stories, Brian Kirk and Jill Widner, enjoyed a double win at the Cork International Short Story Festival 2019. The garlanded stories are set to be launched in chapbook form at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 26th at Cork City Library.

Maggie Gee’s comments on New Short Stories 5 (video)

Frankly, we’re sharing some past glories here to encourage writers to submit and entrust us with their short stories for New Short Stories 11. (Submit)

Distinguished author Maggie Gee was the judge for the Willesden international short story prize in 2011. We were honoured when she came to our results event in the Willesden library centre events studio to announce her verdict. Maggie was also generous with her comments, referring to each of the stories in turn before revealing the winner.

And if you’ve reached the end of that video and want to see what happened next, here’s the answer. The charming Mary O’Shea, all the way from Cork for the night, graciously accepts her first prize award.

“Out of Season” by Mary O’Shea is included in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 5. Maggie Gee’s latest novel is “Blood” (Amazon.co.uk, Waterstones etc.).

Benedict Kiely Short Story Competition: Interview with Louise Farr

To celebrate the launch of the 2019 Benedict Kiely Short Story Competition, we caught up with last years winner, Louise Farr, to hear more about her work and what competitions like this mean to emerging writers. Omagh Literary Festival: Hi Louise. Tell us a bit about your winning short story, Sing to Me, and how […]

via 2018 Short Story Competition Winner, Louise Farr —

Queens Park Book Festival, June 29th: “The Art of the Short Story”

‘When I started I thought I wasn’t a person with a good memory but you tap into uncanny places where you have things saved up that you didn’t know you did until you got to that level.’

Tessa Hadley in The Times (2017) via “How Tessa Hadley Writes

David Means in conversation with Sinéad Gleeson

David Means reading and interview in the Firkin Crane as part of the Cork International Short Story Festival 2017, moderated by Sinéad Gleeson

Link: Cork International Short Story Festival, September 12-15 2018

Introduction 00:00 – 01:13
Reading 01:13 – 21:40
Discussion 21:40 – 51:22

You can read the rest of “Fistfight, Sacramento, August 1950” by David Means online here in Harper’s magazine.

David Means was the judge for our short story competition in 2013. You can read the prizewinning stories in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 7.

An Afternoon Reading, 29 Sept. Cafe OTO, including Steve Finbow

London’s Infinity Land Press and US-based Amphetamine Sulphate combine forces to present a late afternoon of scabrous readings, kinky imaginings and totally free fucking expression. Two publishers. Six writers. Limitless possibilities.

The event is free of charge but please register here as the venue is limited to 50 seats:
https://www.infinitylandpress.com/eventspage

Steve Finbow is a writer and also a reader of prodigious talent. At the launch of New Short Stories 1 at Willesden Library Centre theatre, he gave us an excerpt from his novel “Balzac of the Badlands”. It was awe-inspiring: a rattling, unstoppable torrent of words – all brilliant – with a rhythm and pace, not too rapid but staccato, inexorable – that had beads of sweat rolling down his face. It didn’t let up from start to finish. His story “Mrs Nakamoto Takes a Vacation” is in NSS1.

This picture is of me after the interval at that event, brandishing a mocked-up copy of The Willesden Herald, as the strains of “Tell Me More and More, and Then Some” by Billie Holiday faded out. Oh yes, we had a sound man, mixing desk, theme songs and everything. Those were the days. Or were those later days all jumbled up? Yes, but who actually cares? But, yeah, look at those speakers -and theatre lighting- there. (Steve)

After the interval at the launch of New Short Stories 1

via An afternoon reading with Philip Best + Martin Bladh + Steve Finbow + Shane Levene + Hector Meinhof + Simon Morris ← Cafe OTO

September launch for Subjunctive Moods by CG Menon

Buy: Subjunctive Moods (Dahlia Books, 2018)

Catherine Menon was one of the contributors to Willesden Herald – New Short Stories 8.

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