Two years ago and we’re drying Conor and Fionnuala in the heartbeat and steam of the bathroom on a Saturday. Pyjamas fetched from the hot press, walls beaded with condensation. It’s like being in the hot core of love.
From “Between the Waves” by Colin Walsh, Hennessy New Irish Writing: June 2018’s winning story in The Irish Times
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
The winning entry from this year’s Francis MacManus Short Story Competition, “Ashes” by Claire Zwaartman. “Ashes” is the story of a pair of siblings scattering their father’s ashes. It is about the complicated nature of family, disharmony and moving on. In their early twenties, Mike and Emer must let go of anger and resentment with this final act.
MA in Creative Writing student at UCC, Claire Zwaartman, has scooped the £3,000 first prize in the excellent Francis MacManus competition, established in 1986. “Past winners have gone on to receive national and international acclaim, including Claire Keegan, Molly McCloskey, Ivy Bannister, Anthony Glavin and Nuala O’Connor, and many more. Every year, the winning and shortlisted stories are produced and broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 in a season of new writing, read by leading actors.”
Link and reading: RTÉ Radio 1 Short Story Competition – RTÉ Radio 1
A widow in her sixties is given a lift home from a party by a mysterious stranger. She wonders what will happen when he stops the car in a quiet lane well past midnight.
New Short Stories is not the only site featuring monthly stories. Here’s one from The Incubator.
via September 2018 – The Lift | the incubator
The author Kevin Barry chose not one but two of Caoilinn Hughes’ stories as his prizewinners in this year’s Moth Short Story Prize, which he judged anonymously. Psychobabble takes first prize, and is, according to Barry, “a story that walks a difficult road in terms of its tone or note – it’s a dark situation dealt with not lightly but with an effervescence in the line, in the sentence-making, and it’s this vivacity that elevates the piece above the rest. It’s both poignant and very funny, emotional yet sardonic. The writer has great control.”
via Debut novelist Caoilinn Hughes comes first (and third!) in The Moth Short Story Prize
Follow the links to read Kevin Barry’s comments in full and the three prizewinning stories in The Irish Times 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.