Monday, January 08, 2007

Willesden short story prize 2007: Result

Short list

"Born Again" by Shakti Bhatt
"Charles Magezi-Akiiki" by Olesya Mishechkina
"Felipe and the Sea" by Jonathan Attrill
"Jolt" by James Lawless
"Kid in a Well" by Willie Davis
"Mrs Nakamoto Takes a Vacation" by Steve Finbow
"Paradise" by Nicholas Hogg
"The Dead Don't Do That Kind of Thing" by Wes Lee
"Vaselino" by Lee Joans
"Words from a Glass Bubble" by Tobias Williams


And the winner of the Willesden short story prize 2007, as chosen by Zadie Smith, is "Kid in a Well" by Willie Davis.

Willie Davis is a native of Whitesburg, Kentucky who currently teaches English at The University of Maryland. "Kid in a Well" is a chapter from The Darktown Strut, his recently completed novel about contemporary Appalachian life.

Many thanks to everyone who took part and to formerly famous poet Rockwell "Rocky" Rollins and WH media correspondent Amanda Saxonheart for hazarding their eyesight over the strange fonts submitted. Thanks to Zadie Smith for adjudicating.

Judge's report

"Amongst many high concept competitors, 'Kid in a Well' stood out for me for its relative simplicity, neat characterisation, and laconic, relaxed structure. It's a story genuinely interested in its characters rather than fascinated with its own form, and offers the reader humour over authorial hubris. I really enjoyed it. Congratulations, Willie, and enjoy your mug! I have one and I love it." Zadie Smith


The forthcoming anthology "New Short Stories 1" (Pretend Genius, 2007) will feature the winning story together with all but one of the short list and a selection of other stories commended by the editorial team, including (confirmed):

"Alternative Medicine" by Laura Solomon
"Atlantic Drift" by Arthur Allan
"Avoiding the Issue" by Laura Heggie

It will also feature more of the virtuosic series Microworld by 19-year-old Olesya Mishechkina, from which "Charles Magezi-Akiiki" is taken.

Update (Feb '07)

Also including "Dodie's Gift", last year's joint-winner by Vanessa Gebbie


Syndication: Wreuters / Sphagnum


Vanessa G said...

This is like Miss World, a bit. Not a lot, but a bit.

This is last years' big mug winner signing in to say big congrats to Willie Davis and a thank you to the team at the Willesden Herald for this comp.

Vanessa Gebbie

SallyQ said...

Well done to the winner and all the shortlisted entrants. And roll on next year's comp!

Anonymous said...

I think that this is a communist plot to keep the sheep of the world shackled to their posts in the north west corner of a desert of lobsters.