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.

Granta: “The Sweet Sop” by Ingrid Persaud |BBC NSSA 2018 winner

In partnership with Commonwealth Writers, Granta publishes the regional winners of the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Ingrid Persaud’s ‘The Sweet Sop’ is the winning entry from the Caribbean, and the overall winner of the 2017 prize.

After taking the Commonwealth Prize for “winning entry from the Caribbean” in 2017, Ingrid Persaud’s story The Sweet Sop has just been awarded the BBC National Short Story award 2018, a whopping £15,000 prize.

You can read the story by following the link to Granta from June 2017 and/or you can also follow links from the BBC’s NSSA 2018 winner announcement page to listen to a reading of “The Sweet Sop” as well as the other short-listed stories. You might question how the same story can win prizes in two competitions in successive years but never mind that, let’s just say congratulations to Ingrid and “More power to her elbow.”

Read: The Sweet Sop | Ingrid Persaud | Granta Magazine

New Irish Writing : “Between the Waves” by Colin Walsh

Two years ago and we’re drying Conor and Fionnuala in the heartbeat and steam of the bathroom on a Saturday. Pyjamas fetched from the hot press, walls beaded with condensation. It’s like being in the hot core of love.

From “Between the Waves” by Colin Walsh, Hennessy New Irish Writing: June 2018’s winning story in The Irish Times