Pretence or Genius? (James Topham, The Roundtable Review)
"New Short Stories 1, sees [Pretend Genius] team up with another rather eccentric and marginal artistic project, the Willesden Herald blog. A community blog written by the people of the London borough of Willesden [...] Overall, the collection showcases writers who are technically gifted, who are craftsmen and craftswomen with stories to tell and an assured way of telling them."
Of course, I've neglected to quote his more critical comments, but I ask you, people of the London borough of Willesden, can you blame me? We have worked our fingers to the bone (and that is just a medical fact, not a cliche, the bones are actually sticking out through the skin) to bring this august organ to vibrant life. And what do we get, we get it thrown back in our faces, that's what we get. Still he does recognise that great writer who is a good friend of Willesden, puts him on a par with people who have no par. The non-pareil. The reviewer is not devoid of all percipience.
The list of contributors to New Short Stories 1, together with last year's Willesden finalists continue to prove an outstanding literary form guide. Only this week Canongate signed up Nicholas Hogg. Today, the Daily Telegraph announces Vanessa Gebbie one of five winners out of over 2,300 entrants for their novel in a year competition.
Both writers read recently at the launch of New Short Stories 1.