The story so far

We are thrilled and honoured to announce that David Means has kindly agreed to be the judge for the eighth annual Willesden Herald international short story competition.

David Means portrait by Max Means (detail)

David Means’ stories have a diamond-like sharpness and clarity, in which we visit locations, society and climates as vividly as in a waking dream. I couldn’t point to Sault Ste Marie on the map but I feel I’ve been there. I’ve never hung onto a train but I sort of know what it’s like now. I’ve never lived in an apartment in New York or slept rough but…you get the picture? Writers, you have your work cut out for you.


Wikipedia: David Means
The Spot by David Means review by James Lasdun in the Guardian
Interview with David Means in the New York Times
Short stories by David Means in The New Yorker
NY podcast: David Means reads Chef’s House by Raymond Carver
David Means’ author page at Faber and Faber

So intercept a story when it stops at traffic lights, shine its windscreen with a piece of tissue paper the size of a coin, run home, type it out and send it to us as soon as electronically possible. Or whatever your process is. Closing date: Friday, 21 December 2012.

Update, January 2013

Mary O’Shea’s story was runner-up in the London Magazine short Story competition. The prizes were awarded at a champagne reception on the House of Commons terrace on Tuesday 22nd January 2013. The judges for the competition were Edna O’Brien, Cathy Galvin and Alison Macleod.

The New Short Stories book series has a sparkly new website. Oh, you’re already here.

Update, November 2012

Jenny Barden’s novel Mistress of the Sea has been published by Ebury Press in hardback, with the paperback to follow. The word is it has been a runaway success in bookstores, including at Heathrow airport. Jenny’s story “Propitiation” in New Short Stories 3 was an excerpt from her then work in progress.

Brian Coleman, whose emotional story The Bedroom was included in New Short Stories 5, has published a collection of his stories called Bright Ripples in a Dark Pool for Amazon Kindle.

Duotrope have interviewed Steve Moran here for their listing of the Willesden Herald competition. You might not be able to read it after December, as they have announced that starting from January 2013, there will be a membership fee to access their literary markets database in full.

Update, October 2012

October 2. Henrietta Rose-Innes has taken the runner-up prize of £2,500 in the BBC 2012 international short story competition for her story “Sanctuary”. The results were announced at a ceremony in London, broadcast live on Radio 4 arts show Front Row. Miroslav Penkov took the first prize with “East of the West”. Details

October 24. A. J. Ashworth has won the Negative Press short story competition. Judge Evie Wyld says: ‘It was the voice that attracted me and Nicholas Hogg to this one. Her story is strong and understated at the same time.’ Details

You can read stories by A. J. Ashworth and Henrietta Rose-Innes in the New Short Stories series. (See sidebar for links.)

Update, September 2012

“Sanctuary”, a new short story by Henrietta Rose-Innes, has reached the short list for the BBC International Short Story Award 2012. The short-listed stories will be read by some of Britain’s most popular actors on Radio 4. Subscribe to this BBC podcast series to receive them as they are broadcast.

Update, May 2012

Emma Martin of New Zealand has won the

Commonwealth short story prize
for the Pacific region with her story “Two Girls in a Boat”. Emma’s story “Victor” was included in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 5.

Charles Lambert’s story “Bad Romance” is runner up in the Short Fiction competition 2012. His story “Curtains” features in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 6.

Somewhere Else, or Even Here, a short story collection by A.J. Ashworth,
has been short-listed for the Edge Hill prize. A.J’s story “Overnight Miracles” was also included in New Short Stories 5.

Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 6 is now available on Kindle

And the result is…

12 April 2012: The results of the international Willesden Herald short story
competition 2012 as judged by Roddy Doyle were announced
at Willesden Green library centre tonight.
First prize went to “Winter Lambing” by Virginia Gilbert.
Equal runners up were “Curtains” by Charles Lambert
and “Frost Heave” by Geraldine Mills.

“Liars’ League actors read extracts from six stories shortlisted for the international fiction prize, plus the winner and runners-up are revealed.” The actors in order of appearance on the night: Susan Moisan, Camila Fiori, Silas Hawkins, Rob Witcomb, Adam Diggle, Will Goodhand. (More)



Read all the short-listed stories in New Short Stories 6 from:

The Willesden Bookshop, Library Centre, 95 High Street, Willesden, London NW10.
Please support our local bookshop. Website

Available worldwide. To order from your preferred supplier, please quote:
“Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 6” (Publisher Pretend Genius Press, 2012).
ISBN: 978-0-9778526-6-6

Update, April 2012

Jo Lloyd, who won our 2009 competition, has a story
in Salt Publishing’s

Best British Stories 2012
. This is the second in their annual
series selecting the best
stories by British writers published in the previous year, and
includes luminaries like Jeanette Winterson, Jon McGregor and
Alison MacLeod etc etc, as well as some newer names.

New Zealand writer and Willesden Herald New Short Stories 1 contributor,
Wes Lee has been chosen as one of the final five on the
shortlist for The Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award,
judged by Christine Dwyer Hickey in Ireland.

The Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award
(2,000 euros) is one of the most
prestigious Irish prizes for an individual short story,
and is administered by
Listowel Writers’ Week

Update, March 2012

Update, February 2012

Announcement of the short list


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