Listowel Writers’ Week Irish poem of the year: Birthday by Brian Kirk

By coincidence, after we setup a page for occasional poetry, one of our past contributors* won a national award for an occasional poem. Link: Read “Birthday” by Brian Kirk, and two other shortlisted poems.

* Brian Kirk’s short story That New Girl was our story of the month for November 2018. 

Fictive Dream: Barbara Robinson “Everybody Smokes in Heaven”

“…an invisible force pins me to the surface of the road. I feel broken inside, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle in a sealed plastic bag, then warm, liquid numbness floods me. I see sky, then the inside of my eyelids.” 

Superb writing from another of our past contributors, Barbara Robinson, whose evocative and affecting story “Supersum” was in our New Short Stories 9.

“Cull” a novel by Tanvir Bush goes to press

From Unbound:

“Alex has a problem. Categorized as one of the disabled, dole-scrounging underclass, she is finding it hard to make ends meet. Now, in her part time placement at the local newspaper, she’s stumbled onto a troubling link between the disappearance of several homeless people, the new government Care and Protect Bill and the sinister extension of the Grassybanks residential home for the disabled, elderly and vulnerable. Can she afford the potential risk to herself and her wonderful guide dog Chris of further investigation?”

‘Laugh and weep! With wit, flair and imagination, Tanvir Bush unfolds the secret life of a nation on benefits. Our nation….’ Fay Weldon

Tanvir Bush’s short story “Rictus” about the meeting of modern medicine and faith healing in a rural clinic in Africa, featured in our own New Short Stories 10.

Salt Publishing: Best British Short Stories 2018

Unless you’re rich in both time and money, it’s unlikely you subscribe to all the journals featuring short stories and read all the collections in any given year, so this is a good way to get a “best of” selection and keep in touch. The 2013 edition contained a story that originated in our own New Short Stories anthology that year (“Curtains” by Charles Lambert.) Here’s a direct link to Best British Short Stories 2018.

Steve Finbow: The Murder of Andreas Baader | MIR Online

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 O. Henry Prize Stories 2018 | PenguinRandomHouse.com

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

nss3 back cover detailLooks 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).

Amity and Sorrow by Peggy Riley – Pandora’s Looking-Glass

“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.

Spelk: The Burnt Moth by Gerard McKeown

If that evocative and insightful flash struck home, you can read more by Gerard McKeown, his prizewinning 2017 short story “A History of Fire” in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 10.

Granta | Sheila Heti and Tao Lin discuss writing

A conversation about their experiences writing books under contract and dealing with editors, agents etc. Tao Lin’s story “Sasquatch” was short-listed for the Willesden Herald prize in our first year (2005/6).