Announcement: Results Event and Book Launch, Willesden Library, Nov 8

The Performance Space, Willesden Green Library.
Tues. 8 November 2022, from 7pm to 8:30pm

Who will take the one-off mug inscribed “The Willesden Short Story Prize 2022”? We’re going to have fun along the way with excerpts from stories, saving the results till last. With Katy Darby and Liars’ League.

This is also the book launch of New Short Stories 12. So there will be books [I hope – Ed.] A night to remember.

Event listing on Facebook

Photo: Entrance to the new Willesden Green Library Centre, London NW10

Announcement: Shortlist for the Willesden Short Story Prize 2022

The ten stories shortlisted for the Willesden Short Story Prize 2022 in alphabetical order by author

  • Shoes by David Butler
  • Remembering Not Forgetting by Helen Harjak
  • Vevey by Catherine McNamara
  • Haircut by Andy Mead
  • Cuckquean by Jackie Morris
  • My Last Journey with Baron Baldanders by Peter Newall
  • Empathy by Diana Powell
  • Things we see, things we don’t by Anju Sharma
  • Forecast for Rain by Lui Sit
  • Hotline by Zakia Uddin

Thanks to all who entered for making our selection task so difficult with the high standard of writing. The total number of entries was 371. It was painful having to leave out many outstanding short stories.  

There will be a special event to announce 1st prize and runners-up and to launch the anthology, New Short Stories 12. Details to follow. 

Still time to order a book for Christmas – just!

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 McCarrick

Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 11

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.

Lineup for New Short Stories 11 revealed


Introduction by Gina Challen – vii

JL Bogenschneider – Miss Maughan – 11
Ursula Brunetti – Satellites – 31
Carol Dines – Forgiveness – 47
Derek Dirckx – Dark in Here – 71
Sarah Evans – Only Human – 91
Jeff Ewing – Fireball Outfit – 111
David Frankel – Meadowlands – 125
Ray French – Voyager – 141
N. Jane Kalu – To Have a Ghost Baby – 159
Marylee MacDonald – Caboose – 167
Jaki McCarrick – The Emperor of Russia – 193
Gerard McKeown – Rabbit Season – 211
Jay Merill – Vole or Mole – 223
Diana Powell – The Watcher – 231
John Saul – The garden designer – 241

Notes on Contributors – 257


The book is being put together now. One of the next tasks is the cover design, which will be in the hands of Stratos, who has designed all the covers to date. Watch this space for news on the progress of the production and publication. (Ed.)

The BBC National Short Story Award 2019 – Finalists

The shortlist is:

  • The Children’ by Lucy Caldwell
  • Ghillie’s Mum’ by Lynda Clark
  • Silver Fish in the Midnight Sea’ by Jacqueline Crooks
  • My Beautiful Millennial’ by Tamsin Grey
  • ‘The Invisible’ by Jo Lloyd

The result will be announced on Radio 4 “Front Row” on October 1st.

Ref: Radio 4 British National Short Story Award

Adverts for Literary, Academic or Community Organisations

Your advert in Willesden Herald New Short Stories 12?

Organisations, would you like to help fund our current project, Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 12? We are open to including page adverts of a literary, community or educational nature in the forthcoming anthology. We have never applied for or received any public funding.

In return we will include a permanent “supported by” icon and link of your choice on this website and mention in book publicity.

The Willesden Herald blog regularly receives hundreds of page views per day. Your logo/link and “Supported By” would be displayed alongside posts. This New Short Stories WordPress blog doesn’t have quite that many page views at present but it would also display the “Supported By” credit and link. Visitors to our blog hail from many countries but mainly Britain and America.

We think that readers of our books and visitors to New Short Stories and Willesden Herald websites are likely to be interested in things literary, artistic or academic. They could be aspiring writers or involved in the arts. Remember, adverts in books will be in circulation for a number of years.

The printers we use have production and distribution facilities in the US,  UK and Australia. “Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 12” will be available worldwide by print on demand. We can also arrange print runs on favourable terms when bulk orders are requested. Enquiries to

Previous highlights:

Photo: Liam Hogan introducing results event for New Short Stories 8 at Brent Artists’ Resource, Willesden

Now reading for New Short Stories 11

We are open till September 30 for submissions to the latest in our series of short story anthologies, featuring the best new writing from around the world.

You can find plentiful examples of what we like in our back issues and also in our Story of the Month features, as well as in the periodicals listed under Links. We’re generally looking for literary fiction not genre stories. The only payment we can offer at this time is two copies of the book when it is published.  Full details are set out in the submission form.

“Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 11” will be published simultaneously in the US and UK in early 2020 and will be available from the main online booksellers by print on demand. We can also do print runs on favourable terms when bulk orders are requested.

Please follow our New Short Stories blog and The Willesden Herald for updates and features that may be of interest. (Submit)

New Short Stories 11 on the horizon

London, July 2: In that too rare spirit of international cooperation, the team behind the New Short Stories book series is getting together again to create another issue with the best short stories we can find. There won’t be a competition this time, it will be a good old submit/accept/reject process with arbitrary editorial decisions completely unaccountable to the world. Yes, traditional, if you like. Details to follow. (Ed.)

Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 10


New Short Stories 10
  • “Dark Song” by Roberta Dewa
  • “Art Zoo” by Paul J. Martin
  • “Swimming Lessons” by Douglas Hill
  • “Rictus” by Tanvir Bush
  • “Isa’s Pitch” by Maureen Cullen
  • “The Quarry” by Katherine Davey
  • “The Day John Lennon Died” by Raphael Falco
  • “A History of Fire” by Gerard McKeown
  • “Trespass” by Roland Miles
  • “The Fish that was not my Pa” by Meganrose Weddle

“Here are stories of abandonment, exhibitionism, spontaneous combustion, hysteria, people power, reincarnation, cuisine, race relations, orchidaceous tomfoolery and much more. They will take you to hot beaches and deserted nighttime streets, to disputed urban spaces, to an overheated and under-resourced emergency ward, behind the scenes at a fancy restaurant, and to the chill vicinity of deserted lakes and pools. Three are set in America, two in Africa, one each in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, London and darkest Sussex.”

With an introduction by 2017 judge, Lane Ashfeldt


Available from:

isbn: 978-0-9995277-2-6


Continue reading “Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 10”

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”