Thursday, October 19, 2006

Annual short story competition - announcement

Update 2007 results announced

The Willesden Short Story Prize 2007

Prize: Ed's Big Ugly Mug1 special edition inscribed "The Willesden Short Story Prize 2007" and the option, if you choose, to read or have your story read as part of the Radio Free Willesden podcast series. Not forgetting immortality.

The Herald is honoured to announce that local author Zadie Smith has graciously agreed to adjudicate again this year.


There is no theme and no word limit other than our editorial team's variable attention span. If you can hold their attention you deserve a prize. They have read a lot of great short stories and want to read as many more as possible. If your entry is not a short story they will know, so don't send a novel. If it's a chapter from a novel, don't tell us - it should stand alone. If it stands alone, we don't care whether it's part of a bigger work, but we don't want to know beforehand.

Closing date: December 24th, 2006. The winner and those who were short-listed will be notified by email early in the new year. Winner and shortlist will be announced simultaneously.

Please send your entry by email to as attachments in either Microsoft Word or RTF format.

It is important not to include your name with the text of your story, but please do include it in your accompanying email. Pen names are acceptable but we would like to have a real name as well.2 Anonymity will be maintained, if required, with the help of St. Jude and the good judgement of the bartenders of Willesden. Your details will not be used or shared with anybody for any other purpose.

Entries must be in English, your own original work and previously unpublished. We're not worried about previous workshop versions lying around somewhere, but blogged and ezined stories are considered published. Suggestion: cunningly delete them from online before sending them in.

This year it's only one entry per person, please.

Copyright remains with the author at all times, of course.

We reserve the right to withold the prize if entries of a sufficient standard are not received.

This is a genuine competition. No purchase required, as they say. Entry is free and open to all.

The results will be announced here in The Willesden Herald and on several other websites, and the title winner of the Willesden short story prize 2007 will be yours.


There is no official anthology linked to the competition but short-listed entries may be considered for inclusion in "New Short Stories", an occasional anthology planned for inauguration next spring. It will be entirely optional, thus enabling you to preserve the unpublished status of your story, if that is your choice.

Where are they now?

Joint winner for 2006, "Secure" by Mikey Delgado was subsequently published by Guardian Online (here).

The other joint winner, "Dodie's Gift" by Vanessa Gebbie also won another prize (under a different title) and has been published by Cadenza magazine. The same author has won or been second in numerous short story competitions, as well as inconsiderately beating the Herald's own spy at the Small Wonder short story slam on the clapometer. [Sounds painful. Ed]

One of our short-listed authors, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, was long-listed along with Alan Bennett and others for the 35,000 euro Frank O'Connor prize for her short story collection "To the World of Men, Welcome" along with the eventual winner, Haruki Murakami.

January 2007: "Sasquatch" will be included in Tao Lin's collection "Bed" to be published by Melville House in April 2007. (More)

The Cone of Silence

Every entry received is acknowledged by return email. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, your entry might have been blocked wrongly by email-filtering software. Alternatively the acknowledgement might have fallen into your bulk email folder.

Please enquire if you have not received an acknowledgement after 48 hours. If you cannot get a response from stories, there is an alternative email address, see above right "Letters / Submissions".

Feargal Mooney

1 Rare. Very few in existence. The first is in the possession of Red Woodward (here seen drinking Irish Tea).

2 It would be a good idea to include in your email your name, address [optional], the name of the story you are submitting and pen name, if applicable. For short-listed entries full details may be requested, at the editorial team's discretion, to verify. Ed

Updated: 2006: November 1st, 13th, 21st, 29th. 2007: January 19th


J. Tyler said...

i have read this.

Anonymous said...

I have read this as well. But I am not going to boast about it.

I just wanted to congratulate the staff at the Willesden Herald for managing to get ZS to judge this again.

You see? I am not bitter about not being short-listed last year.


Anonymous said...

Great, Zadie Smith again. I was delighted to think The Mighty One (congrats on the Orange btw) had read my s/listed story last year. Gloat, gloat previous bitter anon.....

Anonymous said...

Any progress? Results?! Has Zadie spoken?

Eddie "Red" Woodward (flounder) said...

The special chimney has been installed above Willesden Herald House. If you see black smoke that means the ballot papers have been burned and another round of voting is underway. If you see white smoke that means "Habemus Scriptorum" [Carmencita, please check the Latin with Fr Horniman. Ed]. Meanwhile please do not come to Willesden unless you have accommodation booked, as the tented village is too huge already. The world media will be informed in due course.

SallyQ said...

Any mangers spare?

I won't have any fingernails left soon.

Agence Sphagnum / Wreuters said...

Breaking news. White smoke "has been seen." Unconfirmed. More follows.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but...???!

Ossian said...

The winner and short-listed writers have been notified by email. Official. Please check front page later for full details and updates.

Thanks to everyone who took part.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

I have just started a site for writers and cartoonists (Authearth) with monthly prizes for book reviews, poetry, book chapters etc.

Hope I am not amiss in posting here in order to ttry and encourage people to enter.