April 2020: Partly as a response to and respite from the Coronavirus lockdown blues, we’ve opened up the Story of the Month submssions window again. It would be great to hear from writers who have not been featured before in this online series.
Stories previously published in print but not online will be considered. Please advise details so that acknowledgement of the original publication can be included.
We have a rolling deadline of the second-last Friday of every month but often select the featured short story before then.
There is no reading fee. Recompense is limited to one copy of our latest anthology. Copyright: apart from permission to display it on our website online, you retain all rights in your story.
For full details please visit our Our Submittable page.
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)
August 24: Book launch: “Like Water and Other Stories” by Olga Zilberbourg
July 3: Book launch: “Chalk Tracks” by Gina Challen, twice contributor to New Short Stories
Willesden Herald New Short Stories 11 is available from Book Depository, Amazon (UK), Amazon.com and other booksellers. Link: More details including author pictures and profiles.
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.”
* From: “The Emperor of Russia” by Jaki McCarrickWillesden Herald: New Short Stories 11
The 15 best international short stories, as submitted to the Willesden Herald in 2019. Editor: Stephen Moran. With an introduction by Gina Challen.
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.
Editor: Stephen Moran. Fiction by JL Bogenschneider, Ursula Brunetti, Carol Dines, Derek Dirckx, Sarah Evans, Jeff Ewing, David Frankel, Ray French, N. Jane Kalu, Marylee MacDonald, Jaki McCarrick, Gerard McKeown, Jay Merill, Diana Powell, John Saul. With an introduction by Gina Challen.
Here are fifteen stories transporting us, like the dreams of fifteen nights. In one we remember a beloved teacher, a hated one and our friends. In another we are on a bus somewhere in Britain, on the way to losing our virginity. On another night we wake from a heartbreaking haunting in the changing seasons of Lagos, Nigeria. Or we’re in Northern Ireland practicing with a friend’s shotgun, and wondering if we can trust him. Then again we’re in the Irish borderlands in a tale of neglect and revenge. We travel through remote parts of the US, a fugitive from the past, and hook up with a loner in his last days. Or we’re in a surreal family circus, with a remarkable cast of characters, living out a poignant adventure. A nun travels on leave through small town America in search of family history and closure. We agonise over a doctor’s ethical dilemma and a professor’s marital crisis, drenched in a rainstorm. We’re in Newport in Wales, trying to stay off the booze and achieve a reunion. We take something that’s not really ours and turn over in our minds what would have happened if we hadn’t. We spy on a swimmer as she swims naked in the sea every day till it all goes wrong. In a nightmare, there’s a river, a forestry work camp, two labourers living on-site, and a dead body. We meditate and scroll through thoughts on the people, situations and how we interact with those around us, friends and neighbours. (SM)
Nick Holdstock is a three-time contributor to the New Short Stories series and won the Willesden Herald international short story prize in 2014.