“Who will take the coveted one-off Willesden Herald inscribed The Willesden Short Story Prize 2022? All will be revealed on the night. Plus ten cash prizes to the writers of the stories in New Short Stories 12. From The Performance Space, upstairs in The Library at Willesden Green.”
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 2022for 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.
Jarred McGinnis was chosen by the Guardian as one of the UK’s ten best emerging writers. His debut novel ‘The Coward’ was selected for BBC 2’s Between the Covers, BBC Radio 2’s Book Club and listed for the Barbellion Prize. The French edition won the First Novel Prize and was selected for the prestigious Femina prize. He is the winner of the 2023 Eccles Centre & Hay Festival Writer’s Award. His short fiction has been commissioned for BBC Radio 4 and appeared in respected journals in the UK, Canada, USA and Ireland. JarredMcGinnis.com
Congratulations to David Butler on winning this competition, which is part of the Omagh Literary Festival, and named in honour of the great Irish short story writer Benedict Kiely. It’s always gratifying to see past contributors making more waves. (Ed.)
For the fourth in our summer lockdown series, a story of desperation. What could be more appropriate? And you know that light at the end of the tunnel? It's an oncoming train. Yes, it's being so cheerful that keeps us going. Ed.
“April. A figure is loitering in the vicinity of the bus station of a provincial town. He’s not the only stranger in the bus yard. There are strangers with almost every arrival and departure. There’s nothing about this man to suggest he’s a foreigner. But all the same, something in his aspect attracts suspicious looks.”
David Butler’s third novel, City of Dis (New Island), was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, 2015. His second short story collection, Fugitive, is forthcoming from Arlen House.
Unless He Is Born Again was originally published in ‘No Greater Love’ by David Butler (Ward Wood, 2013)