The Queen of Holloway Castle by Katy Darby

In the year of the 100th anniversary of the first voting rights for women in the U.K., a story by Katy Darby about what the Suffragettes went through, centring around two sisters, one inside Holloway prison, pining, and the other in the street outside, nightly, singing their protest songs.

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.

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.

Faber: Special short story editions to mark 90 years in publishing

The first of these extremely desirable individual short story editions, celebrating 90 years of publishing the best new writing, is due in January 2019 according to Faber & Faber on Twitter.

3AM Magazine: “alight at the next” by Eley Williams

“// A  man // pushes on // to get inside // the carriage before I’ve had time //  to step down

and, without thinking and certainly without hinges I am holding out my hand and placing a finger in the middle of his forehead.

He freezes. The carriage freezes, a carriage steamed-up and bulbous with umbrellas and the slapping batskin wings of waterproof jackets.”

From “alight at the next” by Eley Williams (3AM Magazine).

Listen: BBC National Short Story Award 2018 stories

See if you can choose the winning story, which will get £15,000 for its author. Here’s more about the short-listed stories and the competition (BBC). Men, knock before entering.