Story of the Month, June 2018

Announcing the inaugural New Short Stories Story of the Month

Our series kicks off with Con Chapman’s engrossing account of a relationship in trouble, and what can you do but go for a run? Let’s see how that goes.

June 2018: Read The Woman Who Listened to Britten by Con Chapman

Con Chapman

Con Chapman is a Boston (USA) based-writer, author of two novels. His short fiction has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and other print publications. He is currently writing a biography of Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington’s long-time alto sax player, for Oxford University Press.

New Short Stories – Story of the Month

Announcing a new magazine style feature, “Story of the Month”. There will be a rolling submissions process, with one from the submissions being selected and published each month as story of the month.

No submission fee, a book for recompense, all for love of the short story genre. There are no obligations or restrictions, except for permission to publish on this website. Aside from that, copyright remains entirely with the author.

To ensure quality, and also to make things easier for me, there will not necessarily be a new story every month. It will be treated like a magazine with rolling submissions, no deadline, and stories accepted or rejected ad hoc.

All the details are on the Submittable submissions form. Please read carefully before submitting. Word limit: 1500-4500. Generally literary, not keen on generics. Only one submission at a time, please, and wait for the response to that before making another submission. (Steve)

Updated 9 July 2018

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.

 

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.

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.

Stephen Moran

Originally published in my blog Museum of Illusions (2011)

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