Successes in 2019 for New Short Stories contributors

2019 Highlights

November 11: V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize 2019 goes to Ursula Brunetti for “Beetleboy”.

October 2: BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University 2019: “The Invisible” by Jo Lloyd

September 27: Out Now: “The False River” short story collection by Nick Holdstock

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)

September 12: Danielle McLaughlin takes The Times/ Audible Short Story Award 2019

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

March 13: Danielle McLaughlin receives Windham-Campbell award

Feb 15: Friends of Willesden Herald take both Southword fiction chapbook awards 2019

It’s our own trumpet, we can blow it if we want.


Willesden Herald New Short Stories 11 is available from High Street Bookshops Online as well as Amazon (UK), and other booksellers. Link: More details including author pictures and profiles.

Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 11


Front cover of New Short Stories 11 – first look

“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.”

The 15 best international short stories, as submitted to the Willesden Herald in the past year. Editor: Stephen Moran. With an introduction by Gina Challen.

Available from

isbn: 978-0-9995277-6-4


JL Bogenschneider 2019

JL Bogenschneider is a writer of short fiction, with work published in a number of print and online journals, including The Aleph, Cosmonauts Avenue, Strix, Isthmus, 404 Ink, PANK and Ambit.

Ursula Brunetti

Ursula Brunetti is a Faber Academy graduate from the Isle of Wight. Her fiction has been shortlisted for the Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Competition 2019 and is the winner of the Royal Society of Literature’s V.S. Pritchett Short Story Competition 2019. She has been published by Popshot, The Londonist, Fairlight Books, Liar’s League and Cinnamon Press. She is currently working on a novel and short story collection.

Gina Challen

Gina Challen: Born in London, Gina moved to West Sussex in 1979. Although originally a city girl, the  Downlands stole her heart, and are the inspiration for her writing. She holds a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester. Her work can be found in The Bristol Short Story Prize Volume 8, the Willesden Herald New Short Stories 8 & 9, The Cinnamon Press Short Story Award anthologies 2012 & 2013 and Rattle Tales 2. Two stories were shortlisted for the prestigious Bridport Prize and in 2018 a further story was longlisted for the RSL, V S Pritchett Price. Other stories are online with Seren Books, Ink Tears and Storgy magazines, and her critical essays at Thresholds Short Story Forum. Her collection of short stories, Chalk Tracks, was published in July 2019. She can be found at @ginabchallen

Carol Dines

Carol Dines lives in Minneapolis and has recently finished a collection of stories, Distance of Closeness. Several stories from the new collection have been published. She has also published two novels for young adults, Best Friends Tell the Best Lies (Delacorte), The Queen’s Soprano (Harcourt) and a collection of short stories for Young Adults, Talk to Me (Delacorte.) In addition, she has published numerous poems and stories in magazines and anthologies.

Derek Dirckx

Derek Dirckx is a writer living in St. Paul, Minnesota, in the United States. He’s studied writing most recently at the Loft Literary Center. “Dark in Here” is his first publication.

Sarah Evans

Sarah Evans has had many short stories published in anthologies, literary journals and online. Her stories have been shortlisted by the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and awarded prizes by, amongst others: Words and Women, Stratford Literary Festival and the Bridport Prize. Her work is also included in several Unthology volumes, Best New Writing and Shooter Magazine.

Jeff Ewing

Jeff Ewing is the author of the short story collection The Middle Ground, published by Into the Void Press. His fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Crazyhorse, Southwest Review, ZYZZYVA, Willow Springs, Subtropics, and Saint Ann’s Review. He lives in Sacramento, California with his wife and daughter.

David Frankel

David Frankel is a writer and artist. His short stories have been published in anthologies and magazines including Unthology 8, Lightship and The London Magazine. He has been shortlisted for a number of competitions including The Bath Short Story Award, The Willesden Herald, The Hilary Mantel Short Story Competition, and The Fish Memoir Competition. His MA in creative writing, from Chichester University, was awarded the Kate Betts Memorial Prize. David was born in Salford and now lives in Kent.

Ray French

Ray French writes fiction, memoir and essays. He was born in Wales to Irish parents and a central preoccupation is the experience of being torn between two cultures. He is the co-editor of I Wouldn’t Start From Here: The Second Generation Irish in Britain and End Notes: Ten Stories About Loss, Mourning and Commemoration. He is the author of The Red Jag & other stories and the novels All This Is Mine and Going Under. He is one of four male authors featured in Four Fathers, a collection of memoirs about having and being a father. His short story ‘Migration’ was included in Best European Fiction 2013.


N. Jane Kalu is a Nigerian woman, a short story writer, scriptwriter, and playwright. Her work has appeared in Munyori Journal, Kalahari Review, Jalada, and others. In 2015, she was shortlisted for the Writivism short story prize. She’s currently an MFA student and Core Writing Instructor at the University of New Mexico. She’s known on social media as @njanekalu.


Marylee MacDonald is a former carpenter and author of Bonds of Love and Blood, Montpelier Tomorrow, and The Rug Bazaar. Her short stories have won the Barry Hannah Prize, the Jeanne M. Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award, the Matt Clark Prize, the Ron Rash Award, the American Literary Review Fiction Prize, and come in 2nd and 3rd in the Faulkner-Wisdom Short Story Competition. Her fiction has appeared in American Literary Review, New Delta Review, North Atlantic Review, Ruminate, The Bellevue Literary Review, StoryQuarterly, The Briar Cliff Review, The Chattahoochee Review, The Sandy River Review, The Superstition Review, Yalobusha Review, and more. “Caboose” is one of the stories in her forthcoming short story collection, Body Language.

Jaki Mc Carrick photo © Bobbie Hanvey L1003353 (10)

Jaki McCarrick is an award-winning writer of plays, poetry and fiction. Her play LEOPOLDVILLE won the 2010 Papatango Prize for New Writing, and her most recent play, THE NATURALISTS, premiered in New York to enthusiastic reviews in the New York Times, The New Yorker and elsewhere. Her play BELFAST GIRLS was developed at the National Theatre Studio, London, and was shortlisted for the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the 2014 BBC Tony Doyle Award. It premiered in the US in Chicago to much critical acclaim. Her short story “The Visit” won the 2010 Wasafiri Short Fiction Prize and appears in the 2012 Anthology of Best British Short Stories (Salt). Jaki’s short story collection The Scattering (Seren Books) was shortlisted for the 2014 Edge Hill Prize.

Gerard McKeown

Gerard McKeown’s work has been featured in The Moth, 3:AM, and Litro, among others. In 2017 he was shortlisted for The Bridport Prize, and in 2018 he was longlisted for The Irish Book Awards’ Short Story of the Year. His story Detachment was recently featured in the anthology Still Worlds Turning (No Alibis Press).


Jay Merill lives in London UK and is Writer in Residence at Women in Publishing. Jay was runner up in the 2018 International Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize, a Pushcart Prize nominee and the winner of the Salt short story Prize. She is the author of two collections, God of the Pigeons and Astral Bodies, and has work published or forthcoming in literary magazines, including 3:AM, Crannog, Prairie Schooner, SmokeLong Quarterly and a list of over twenty more.

Diana Powell photo

Diana Powell’s stories have won, or been featured, in a number of competitions, including the 2019 ChipLit Festival Prize (winner), and the 2014 Penfro award (winner). They have also appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies, including The Lonely Crowd, Crannog and The Blue Nib. Her novella, Esther Bligh was published last year by Holland House Books, and her short story collection Trouble Crossing the Bridge will be published in December by the Blue Nib Press.


John Saul made the contribution from England to the Best European Fiction 2018 anthology published by Dalkey Archive (in previous years: AS Byatt, Hilary Mantel). In the UK his short fiction has been brought together in four collections. He was shortlisted for the international 2015 Seán Ó Faoláin prize, was runner-up in the 2018 Forge short fiction competition and had work included in Best British Short Stories 2016. He is a member of the European Literature Network.

Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 11 – Preview

The 15 best international short stories, as submitted to the Willesden Herald in 2019. Editor: Stephen Moran. With an introduction by Gina Challen.

Front cover for New Short Stories 11. Photo and design by Stratos Fountoulis.

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)

Available from

isbn: 978-0-9995277-6-4

Valley Press: “Chalk Tracks” by Gina Challen

“A debut collection; brooding short stories of haunted lives and fragile hopes.”

“Lillian helps people to die. Ruth encounters an unsettling stranger on the towpath. Kathy obsesses over a painting. Robyn puts her trust in a fox. Mags is a forager; he takes the things he wants.

“Rooted in the landscape of the South Downs, where the chalk hills roll out to the sea, this incisive debut collection of short stories by Gina Challen explores the places where the familiar can become threatening.”

‘Mesmerised and amazed me in equal measure. How does the author cram such a richly textured narrative into such a small space? How does she manage to say so much with so few words?’ Katy Darby

Twice contributor to New Short Stories Gina Challen’s debut collection of short stories can be purchased direct from Valley Press. Also available on etc.

Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 9


  • “The Volcano” by Anna Lewis
  • “The Cliffs of Bandiagara” by Catherine McNamara
  • “Supersum” by Barbara Robinson
  • “Twisted” by Tracy Fells
  • “The Mayes County Christmas Gun Festival” by David Lewis
  • “Undercurrents” by Gina Challen
  • “Love and Hair” by Olga Zilberbourg
  • “Last Call at the Rialto” by Daniel Waugh
  • “Looking for Nathalie” by Susan Haigh
  • “All that Remains” by Rob Hawke

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.

With an introduction by 2016 judge, Katy Darby

Available from:

isbn: 978-0-9852133-7-4


Continue reading “Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 9”

Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 8


  • “Ward” by Nick Holdstock
  • “Cotton-Fisted Scorpions” by Medina Tenour Whiteman
  • “Postman’s Knock” by Angela Sherlock
  • “The Beekeeper’s Daughters” by Gina Challen
  • “Piercings” by Jo Barker Scott
  • “Rock Pools” by CG Menon
  • “Rip Rap” by Dan Powell
  • “Rash” by Megan Taylor
  • “The Stealing” by Lindsay Waller-Wilkinson
  • “Such is her Power” by Joan Brennan

Sensual and atmospheric, embattled and defiant, in the throes of turbulent events and viewing from a distance, these stories are windows that open onto the men, women and children of our twenty-first century world. The people portrayed do not seek our pity nor our love but with each turn of a page, we may feel that we want to reach out to them to say, I know, I know, I know – you are not alone.

Available from:

isbn: 978-0985213336

Contributors (2014)

Continue reading “Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 8”