2017 – New Short Stories 10

Contents

  • “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

Contributors

Dr Tanvir Bush is a novelist and film-maker/photographer. Born in London, she lived and worked in Lusaka, Zambia, setting up the Willie Mwale Film Foundation, working with minority communities, street kids and people affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Her feature documentary ‘Choka!- Get Lost!’. was nominated for the Pare Lorenz Award for social activism in film in 2001. She returned to UK to study and write and her first novel Witch Girl was published by Modjaji Books, Cape Town in 2015. She is the designer and facilitator of the Corsham Creative Writing Laboratory initiative and an Associate Lecturer at Bath Spa University in Creative Writing. She is based in Wiltshire with her guide dog and research assistant, Grace.

Maureen Cullen lives in Argyll & Bute. She has been writing poetry and short fiction since 2011 after early retirement from her social work career. In 2016, she was published, along with three other poets, in Primers 1, a collaboration between Nine Arches Press and the Poetry School. She won The Labello Prize for short fiction in 2014, and has stories published in Gem Street, Scribble, Prole, the Hysteria Anthology, the Evesham Anthology, Leicester Writes Anthology, Stories for Homes Volume 2, and online at Ink Tears. Her stories have been longlisted and shortlisted at various competitions.

Raphael Falco is a Professor of English at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where he held the 2012-2013 Lipitz Professorship of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. In addition to publishing widely on the early modern period, he writes fiction, plays, and poetry. He lives in New York City.

Katherine Davey was born in Cape Town, South Africa and moved to the UK twice, once temporarily as a teenager and then again to do a post-grad, which she abandoned to work in publishing. She has been writing since she was a child and belongs to the long-established and professionally wonderful writing group called (for reasons she has never understood) Free Lunch, based in Hackney. She lives in Walthamstow, London, and is currently revising a novel for which she is seeking representation.

Roberta Dewa has always written fiction, and in her twenties published three historical novels with Robert Hale. While studying for various degrees she wrote and published poetry and short fiction, including a poetry sequence on the explorer Shackleton and a short story collection, Holding Stones (Pewter Rose Press, 2009). In 2013 she published a memoir, The Memory of Bridges, and a contemporary novel followed: The Esplanade (Weathervane Press, 2014). Since retiring last year from teaching at the University of Nottingham, she has been writing poetry and short stories again, some of it inspired by (but attempting no comparison with) the sublime lyrics of Scott Walker.

Douglas Hill lives in the northeast of Scotland and worked in the regional press as a journalist and editor for many years. Before that he worked as a freelance reporter in Glasgow and wrote features for a number of magazines in the UK and abroad. Born in Scotland, he has also lived and worked in South Africa, Brazil, New Zealand, Spain, and for several years in London. Since devoting more time to writing fiction, he’s been short-listed for a number of competitions, won 2nd place in the Exeter Writer’s competition, and had short stories published in Writer’s Forum.

Paul J. Martin moved to London from Northern California to earn an MA in Novel Writing from City University freeing himself from a high-flying career in the art world to pursue his passion for writing. Residing for many years in American suburbia he is fascinated to know why people live where they do. His work tends towards Suburban Noir, where he delves behind conformist facades and investigates strange tales and complications that lurk behind the mailbox. His first novel ‘When I’m Calling You’ is complete, his second follows close behind and he has a growing catalogue of short fiction from both sides of the Atlantic

Gerard McKeown is an Irish writer living in London. His work has been featured in 3:AM, The Moth, and Litro, among others. In 2017 he was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. He is currently seeking representation for his novel ‘Licking The Bowl’.

Roland Miles has worked as an English and Drama teacher and as a dealer in secondhand books. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Sussex. He is the author of Chaucer the Actor: The Canterbury Tales as Performance Art. Two completed young adult novels and a play sit unpublished in a box beneath his bed. A number of his short stories and flash fictions have been placed in competitions. He is currently close to finishing a collection of short stories about life in schools, of whichTrespass is one. He lives by the castle in the Sussex town of Lewes, in a house built in the fifteenth century, once occupied by a bucket maker.

Meganrose Weddle has a BA in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and is studying for her MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. Her poetry has been published in creative journal Notes and she was shortlisted for the Liars’ League Women & Girls event, for her short story ‘No Strings Attached’. She lives and works in London and hopes, one day, that she can call herself a ‘full-time writer’.

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Complete Results, Biographies and Book Cover etc.

I have just sent a newsletter to our 1762 subscribers, with the cover reveal, biographies, publication details etc for Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 10 and other news. Link to view online: Newsletter.

Many thanks to Stratos Fountoulis for the cover design and once again to Lane Ashfeldt, to Liars’ League for continuing support over the years, and to the much-missed Willesden Green Writers’ Group, who helped keep this competition going through hell & high water. And all writers everywhere, here’s to you!

The publication date is 1 December 2017, so watch this space for how to get hold of a copy of New Short Stories 10. Thank you.

 

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Announcement: Willesden 2017 Results

Our 2017 judge Lane Ashfeldt says she had a great time reading (and re-reading!) all the shortlisted stories, and choosing the top three was a really tough call. She is delighted to pass on the titles of the ten winning stories selected for the book, which she hopes you will buy, read and enjoy*. And she’s looking forward to finding out who wrote them.

So without further ado, here are the winning entries, runners-up and long-listed in this hotly contested year. Congratulations to all, thanks for these marvellous short stories.

And the one-off Willesden Herald mug inscribed “Willesden Short Story Prize 2017” goes to:
1st Prize (£300) –  “Dark Song” by Roberta Dewa

2nd (£200): “Art Zoo” by Paul J. Martin
3rd (£100): “Swimming Lessons” by Douglas Hill

(The remaining seven shortlisted receive £75 each.)

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

Long List
A History of Fire by Gerard McKeown
Air by Angelina Taylor
Art Zoo by Paul Martin
Dancing Her Black Bones Home by Suzanne Conboy-Hill
Dark Rain Falling by Deirdre Shanahan
Dark Song by Roberta Dewa
Isa’s Pitch by Maureen Cullen
Out by the Lough by Sue Lovett
Overnight in the Day Room by Deirdre Shanahan
Reverse Reaction by Anna Glokas
Rictus by Tanvir Bush
Swimming Lessons by Douglas Hill
The Collectors by Michael Antoinetti
The Day John Lennon Died by Raphael Falco
The Fish that was not my Pa by Meganrose Weddle
The Lapidary by Melanie Whipman
The Nationals by Andrew Moffat
The Quarry by Katherine Davey
Trespass by Roland Miles
Winter Kale by Shannon Hopkins

There were 445 entries in total. Thank you to everyone who entered and gave us such delicious torment over the past months trying to see how we could possibly choose between so many fascinating stories.

Coming soon: Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 10. Watch this space for news on its launch and release.

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Names of the 20 Stories on the Long List

We’ve decided to do like some other contests do and announce the names of stories on our long list, but not the authors. Please don’t give the game away if you recognise one of these, as the judging is not yet complete.

We expect to complete the judging and have a short list by the end of the month, at which time we will reveal the authors. Meanwhile, here are the long-listed stories, in crude alphabetical order by story title.

A History of Fire
Air
Art Zoo
Dancing Her Black Bones Home
Dark Rain Falling
Dark Song
Isa’s Pitch
Out by the Lough
Overnight in the Day Room
Reverse Reaction
Rictus
Swimming Lessons
The Collectors
The Day John Lennon Died
The Fish that was not my Pa
The Lapidary
The Nationals
The Quarry
Trespass
Winter Kale

Our judge, Lane Ashfeldt, has reported “being hopelessly distracted from other work by reading the stories on the list.” She also assured us she is enjoying every minute, and is impressed by the high standard of the stories.

Thanks to all who entered, and I can confirm that every entry this year was a valiant attempt and there was considerable contention to get onto the long list of 20 out of 445.

Steve

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Long List Stage Reached

There were 445 entries, which we have now reduced to a long list of 20. About the end of the month or so, we hope to have a short list for you. Thanks to all.

 

 

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Last Call for Entries – 2017

Our “last call” newsletter went out by email to 1755 subscribers. You can read the newsletter online here. It has news about Lane Ashfeldt, our judge for 2017, at the Cork Short Story Festival, and more.

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A few maybes about fiction

The joy of fiction is not in finding out what the writer knows, it’s the writer finding out what we know. Characters the writer hated turn out to be better than the writer imagined. Characters the writer loved were not all they were cracked-up to be. If non-fiction is for us to find out what the author knows then maybe fiction is an exploration in which the author sets out to discover what we know. Then like other discoveries, it sounds obvious when we hear it. We knew that all along.
 
Reading fiction is following with the logic of music, notes that establish a theme, counterpoint, development, allegro, largo, andante, the theme returns, resolution… The music is out there; it’s David in a block of marble, stories in the burble of a café, the susurration of congregants, the gull cries of a spoon stirring medicine in a glass, the sound of a small hammer on tin, which turns out to be a finch, the train sound from miles away that only carries on moonless nights…
 
(And always a basketball bouncing, though nobody round here plays basketball. Always children babbling and shrieking, though there are no children round here. Sometimes a jet flies low overhead though we’re not on any flight path. Helicopters hovering where the streets are too small to land. The same Jehovah’s witnesses call every couple of months, disbelieving the mezzuzah. Visits by the Seventh Day Adventists are settling into a pattern. The Church of Latter Day Saints is overstretched. A hungry teen with crow’s feet round his eyes sells flannels from a tray while a Merc. waits round the corner. The parcelmen knock and run away.)
 
But what does it matter? Turn the page, our hero is going somewhere, to where people are and there will be tea, JD, opium and lashings of ginger ale.
 
We are the lost tribe, the lost tribe of us, enrapt in a florid delusion of consciousness, where spirits live in history, and offerings are made on stage to gods of theatre, and there are such laughable concepts as careers, status, security and wisdom. Where everyone is a shaman drunk on industry, spinning in train carriages of spear-carrying accountants, trouping in powdery makeup through jungles of wire.
 
Originally published in my blog Museum of Illusions
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The Willesden Prize, Stories and Tunnels

How interesting to read Lane Ashfeldt’s take, on judging for the International Willesden Herald Short Story Prize 2017!

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Open for submissions

I’m looking forward to reading your stories each day, and seeing which ones come to the fore early on, and if they can hold that lead all the way through.

That’s what I said in this newsletter that just went out to our subscribers. If you’re thinking of subscribing to our mailing list and want to see what past newsletters were like, here is the archive.

See here for all about the competition and how to enter.

Thanks, cheers! Steve

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Our judge for 2017 – Lane Ashfeldt

We’re delighted to announce that the judge for the International Willesden Herald 2017 New Short Stories competition will be none other than the much admired and super cool Lane Ashfeldt, a writer who is no stranger to the short story form herself.

Lane Ashfeldt. Photo: H.McGinty ©2016

Lane is the author of the fiction collection ‘SaltWater’, a book of twelve short stories and a novella. A contributor to ‘Short Circuit: A Guide to the Art of the Short Story’, her stories have won several international prizes and appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals, among them Punk Fiction, Dancing With Mr Darcy, The Guardian, The London Magazine, and the Dublin Review. (Ashfeldt.com)

Lane has kindly agreed to pick the winning entries from a short list, and hopes to see an eclectic, entertaining and truly international range of writing represented on the list. We’re looking forward to reading the best stories you have, and you’ve never let us down yet. The submission window is from May to August.

The Willesden Herald New Short Stories Competition 2017

Opening date: 1 May 2017
Closing date: 31 August 2017
Word limit: 7500
Any theme

The prize fund of £1225 will be divided among the ten finalists as follows:

  • 1st Prize: The one-off Willesden Herald mug inscribed “Willesden Short Story Prize 2017” + £300
  • 2nd: £200
  • 3rd: £100
  • £75 to each of the remaining seven short-listed

Publication

  • All ten shortlisted stories will be published in “Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 10”.
  • Two copies go to each of the ten shortlisted contributors.

Entry fee: £7.50

Submit: WillesdenHerald.Submittable.com/Submit

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