Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 12

Contents

“I can just say read these wonderful wonderful stories. They were an absolute pleasure to read and I hope you too will enjoy these writers as much as I did.”

Jarred McGinnis

Available from (latest info)

isbn: 979-8-9859089-1-6

Contributors

David Butler’s most recent short story collection is Fugitive (Arlen House, 2021). His novel City of Dis (New Island) was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, 2015.


Helen Harjak was born in Estonia, studied literature and philosophy in Scotland, and now lives in London, where she works as a freelance journalist and copy-editor. Her fiction has been published in Okay Donkey, Visual Verse, Fudoki Magazine, and Small Good Things, an anthology by Dahlia Books.


Catherine McNamara grew up in Sydney, ran away to Paris to write and ended up in West Africa co-running a bar. Love Stories for Hectic People won Best Short Story Collection in the Saboteur Awards 2021. The Cartography of Others was finalist in the People’s Book Prize. Catherine lives in Italy and her stories have been published widely.


Andy Mead is a retired teacher who was brought up in Jamaica in the 1960’s and still retains strong links with that island he still regards as home. He has an MA in creative writing from the University of Chichester and is now a private tutor, writer and storyteller.


Jackie Morris is a recent graduate of The Open University’s MA in Creative Writing (2021). She writes short form and flash fiction and spends far too much time on Twitter. Her husband has no interest in chickens.


Peter Newall was born in Sydney, Australia, where he worked variously in a naval dockyard, as a musician and as a lawyer, but has since lived in Kyoto, Japan, and now in Odessa, Ukraine, where he sings for a popular local r’n’b group, the Newall Band. He has been published in England, Hong Kong, Australia and the USA.


Diana Powell’s stories have featured in a number of competitions, including the 2020 SoA ALCS Tom-Gallon Award (runner-up) and the 2019 ChipLit Prize (winner) and most recently the Bristol Short Story Prize 2022 (winner). They have also been published in several anthologies and journals, such as ‘Best (British) Short Stories 2020’. Her novella, ‘Esther Bligh’, was published in 2018 by Holland House Books. Her collection, ‘Trouble Crossing the Bridge’ came out in 2020. Her novella, ‘The Sisters of Cynvael’, won the 2021 Cinnamon Press Literature Award, and will be published next year.


Anju Sharma grew up in Uttar Pradesh, India, majored in history from Delhi University, worked as a copy-writer, taught copywriting, then went back to being a student – this time of literature – purely through the act of intense reading. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Maine Review, The Margins, The Forge and Nelle. She is shortlisted for Bridport Short Story Prize 2022 and longlisted for Desperate Literature Short Fiction prize 2022. She is presently working on a novel.


Lui Sit writes in multiple genres including adult short fiction, memoir and children’s middle grade books. She is an alumnus of several writers’ development schemes including A Brief Pause, London Writers Award and Penguin WriteNow. Her stories are published in journals and anthologies including MAINSTREAM, Superlative, Short Good Things, Fudoki, City of Stories and Out of The Box. Update: Writing for children, Lui Sit has just won the Faber FAB Prize 2022 for text with “The Legend of Linger Island” (Puffin).


Zakia Uddin is a short story writer whose previous work has been published by The White Review, The Stinging Fly and Granta. Winner of the Willesden Herald short story prize 2022. She lives in London.


BBC 2022: “Blue 4eva” by Saba Sams

You can read the winning entry in the BBC National Short Story Award 2022 below this report in Guardian Online: Blue 4eva by Saba Sams.

“Blue 4eva is [also] available to listen to on BBC Sounds, appears in the BBC National Short Story Award 2022 (Comma Press, £7.99) and in Saba Sams’ debut collection, Send Nudes (Bloomsbury, £14.99)” (Guardian) 

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).

Story of the Month, July 2022

A guest story to cool the air this summer. Sean Brijbasi has kindly lent us this far out story as a reprint from his unknowed book of the same name. Sean is one of the unknowed people behind the Willesden short story competition. Please do not write in to tell us that unknowed is not a word! (Ed.)

The Willesden Herald Story of the Month

July 2022: The Unknowed Things by Sean Brijbasi

… To my surprise, I received a response, stating that a vice admiral couldn’t be blamed for the consequences of my ingratitude. Such a knowing people, I thought. It was true. Lily had given me everything even when I didn’t ask, appearing with unexpected gifts even when I deserved nothing. She told me the most beautiful stories that I, in turn, told to others as if they were my own …

Sean Adrian Brijbasi lives in America. 

Sometimes he writes.

“You get the feeling that NO ONE CAN SEE THE WORLD I LIVE IN by Sean Brijbasi is the kind of book inspired by people who will most likely never read it.” –Rail Drinks Magazine (?)

Story of the Month, February 2022

Greetings to our friends in Ukraine and also in Russia. Here's a wish that your differences may be settled by diplomacy and not more war. I have to say something constructive when I'm about to share with you a short story in which a young woman asks, "Have the Russians won everything yet?" Ed. 

The Willesden Herald Story of the Month

February 2022: Triple Axel by Yelena Furman

“In the Soviet Union, with its ritual of daily obstacles and anti-Semitism, the U.S. had seemed a haven, a far-away hope of her life’s opposite. She was young when the exodus of Jewish refugees, as they were officially called, started in the 1970s, mostly to North America and Israel. Suddenly, everyone knew someone, or was someone, who was leaving. Her mother’s coworker. Her father’s cousin. The girl who sat behind her in school.”

Yelena Furman

Yelena Furman lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches Russian literature. Her fiction has previously appeared in Narrative.

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)

Story of the Month, January 2022

We're delighted to welcome the author of one of our first stories of the month back to these pages. In a tweet, M.E. Proctor describes her latest as a slightly nostalgic, slightly magical story and invites you to have a read friends and listen to the "Boardwalk Oracle."

The Willesden Herald Story of the Month

January 2022: Boardwalk Oracle by M. E. Proctor

…Even in the fading light of the day that concealed the worst scars of decrepitude, the seediness of the place could not be ignored. Many shops were boarded up and metal curtains were down on those that weren’t. The coin-operated machines were battered, nicked and banged metal, flaked-off paint. Relics from the early age of automation...

M.E. Proctor

M.E. Proctor lives in Livingston, Texas. After forays into SF (The Savage Crown Series), she’s working on a series of contemporary detective novels. Her short stories have been published in Bristol Noir, The Bookends Review, Beat to a Pulp, All Worlds Wayfarer, Shotgun Honey and others. On Twitter: @MEProctor3

Jo Lloyd’s Stories on Strong Edge Hill Shortlist 2021

(It’s always gratifying to see a mention for our own short story competition. Ed.)
Full shortlist and selected stories online: Announcement – 2021 Edge Hill Shortlist.

New Yorker Fiction: “The Depletion Prompts” by David Means

A series of paragraphs in the form of suggestions about how to write this story itself, complete with an audio reading by the author. David Means was a judge for our short story competition one year.

Story of the Month, December 2021

Not much sign of mystical religious experience in contemporary short stories, is there? We are here to remedy that with another unusual story of the month. Prepare to be conveyed to the boundary between the here and now and the ineffable beyond. Ed.

The Willesden Herald Story of the Month

December 2021: Not Like a River, But a Tree by James Roderick Burns

Seated again, he closed his eyes. Now and then he had sampled High Anglican services (had, in fact, dragged along both Maureen and the children) where the priest broke out the censer, smoking the pews like a beekeeper gently rousing his charges, but he preferred things here in the cathedral: high enough, quite solemn to be sure, but musical and slightly imperfect; human, somehow, and all the better for it. Sometimes he’d invited people from the office.

James Roderick Burns

James Roderick Burns’ short story collection, Beastly Transparencies, is due from Eyewear Publishing in 2022. He is the author of three collections of poetry – most recently The Worksongs of the Worms (2018, haiku) – and a short fiction pamphlet, A Bunch of Fives. His work has appeared in a number of journals and magazines, including The Guardian, Modern Haiku, The North and The Scotsman.


Story of the Month, November 2021

Give your mind a workout with a short story that I, for one, will not forget any time soon. Ed.

The Willesden Herald Story of the Month

November 2021: The Blood of Our Virtue Smells Like Dirt by Jessica Fogal

Her mouth is wide and painted royal blue, her teeth stark white in comparison as she bares them at the ceiling in thought. She can pass for a corpse pulled cold from the salty water of the ocean outside her window, frail and blue and perfectly preserved.

“What do you want to be?” She asks me.

Jessica Fogal lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest (USA), where she’s a full time legal assistant, amateur street photographer, and author. She’s been published in The Ilanot Review and has had many prints showcased in art galleries such as Terrain Spokane, and continues to use her lifelong passions for performance, visual, and literary arts as an inspiration for her creative writings.

Lucy Caldwell Takes BBC National Short Story Award 2021

Twitter: Lucy Caldwell shares links to some of her stories online

Three-time nominated Lucy Caldwell has won the sixteenth BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University (NSSA) with ‘All the People Were Mean and Bad’, a story taken from her 2021 collection, Intimacies. The news was announced live on BBC Front Row by 2021 Chair of Judges, James Runcie. Caldwell, a multi-award-winning writer from Belfast, was previously shortlisted in 2012 and 2019.

BBC Radio 4 National Short Story Award 2021