The Willesden Herald New Short Stories Story of the Month
January 2019: Disappearing by Barbara Robinson
… Later, John places the kettle on the hob. I’m sitting at his kitchen
table again, rolling another joint. My eyes are level with his waistband
as he leans across me to take cups from a shelf, the tip of his tan-coloured
leather belt close to my face. I yank it …
Barbara Robinson has an MA in Creative Writing from MMU and reads at literary events in Manchester. Her short story Supersum was short-listed for the 2016 Willesden Herald prize and her novel Elbow Street shortlisted for the 2018 Andrea Badenoch Fiction Award and longlisted for the Grindstone Literary 2018 Novel Prize. She has had short stories published in Ellipsis Zine and Fictive Dream.
“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.
Past contributor to New Short Stories Nuala O’Connor is the presenter for this episode of The Book Show on the topic of historical fiction.
Three naked men sit on a rock. Before them, laid out on the ground, swaddled in bandages, two babies.
A nightmarish story, apparently inspired by the painting of the same name. Steve Finbow was one of the contributors to Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 1 (plug plug). He has gone on to publish several books of outstanding fiction and non-fiction. Follow the link for more details.
Read: Steve Finbow’s “The Murder of Andreas Baader” | MIR Online
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.
via The O. Henry Prize Stories 2018 | PenguinRandomHouse.com
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.”
via The Red Dirt Road as a dark Wizard of Oz: Amity and Sorrow by Peggy Riley – Pandora’s Looking-Glass
Peggy Riley’s poetic short story “Pearl” was included in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 4.