now incorporating the Sudbury Hill and Wood End Times

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Results of the short story competition 2009

The following were shortlisted for the Willesden Herald short story prize 2009:

"Propitiation" by Jenny Barden
"The Imperfect Roundness of Things" by Claudia Boers
"The Hate Club" by Ben Cheetham
"The Travellers" by Carys Davies
"Ante-Purgatory" by Carol Farrelly
"Amy" by Nick Holdstock
"Work" by Jo Lloyd
"Ebb Tide" by Margot Taylor
"Mina and Fina and Lotte Wattimena" by Jill Widner
"Tokyo Chocolate" by Morowa Yejidé

And the winning short story for 2009, as chosen by Rana Dasgupta, is "Work" by Jo Lloyd.

Equal Runners Up:
"The Hate Club" by Ben Cheetham

"Mina and Fina and Lotte Wattimena" by Jill Widner

The results were announced by Rana Dasgupta at a special Pulp Net Short Story Café event in Costa Coffee in Piccadilly, last night. (Pictures).

The newly available copies of "New Short Stories 3" - yes, hot off the presses - were all sold. Harper Collins were on hand as well and copies of Rana's new novel "Solo" also sold out.

Jill Widner read from "Mina and Fina and Lotte Wattimena", which will become part of her novel in progress. Margot Taylor also read the start and end of "Ebb Tide". Thanks to shortlisted authors Jenny Barden, Claudia Boers and everyone who came to the event - a good turnout and a pleasant evening all round.

The anthology is now available. To read the first paragraph from each story and for details of how to get the book, please visit the dedicated New Short Stories website www.newshortstories.com. Some of the stories will also be featured in a forthcoming edition of Pulp Net.

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Judge's Report

"Work" is a characteristically understated title for a story that concerns itself with the very ordinary, and manages to find there philosophy, politics, and great vistas of melancholy feeling. I admire it intensely: Jo Lloyd is somehow able to write everyday paragraphs that lift off into flourishes of quiet wisdom - a wisdom whose warmth and sensitivity is in poignant contrast to the cold world she describes.

Like all the best short stories, this is a capacious work of literature, and it confronts the reader with big questions. High-flown captions come to mind: it is about the degradations of capitalism, the nature of contemporary friendship, the meaning of work, of risk and of loyalty - but the story itself prohibits such ungainly representation. Jo has found for it a voice of memorable clarity and simplicity, and it speaks perfectly, beautifully, for itself.

Rana Dasgupta

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About the authors

Jenny Barden trained as an artist, then a lawyer, and for several years worked for one of the leading firms of commercial solicitors in the City of London. Chance research into a painting triggered a passion for writing. Journeys in South and Central America then led to ideas for a novel set in the New World during the Age of Discovery. That novel is now close to completion, and Propitiation derives from one of the chapters in an early draft. Jenny is represented by Jonathan Pegg of the Jonathan Pegg Literary Agency. For more about her writing visit: www.jennybarden.com

Claudia Boers is originally from Johannesburg and now lives in London. She left behind a career in fashion to focus on writing in 2007. She's been published in Your Messages (a collection of flash fiction) and was commended in the Ilkley Short Story Competition 2008. Claudia's currently working on her first collection of short stories and is fascinated by the imperfect roundness of life.

Ben Cheetham lives and writes in Sheffield. His short fiction has been published or is forthcoming in The London Magazine, Dream Catcher, Staple, Transmission, Momaya Annual Review 2008, Swill, Hoi Polloi and various other magazines.

Carys Davies's short stories have won prizes in national and international competitions, including the Bridport, Asham, Orange/Harpers & Queen and Fish. They have been published in magazines and anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Her debut collection of short stories Some New Ambush (Salt, 2007) was one of ten books longlisted for the 2008 Wales Book of the Year Prize and was also a Finalist in the 2008 Calvino Prize in the US. She lives in Lancaster with her husband and four children.

Carol Farrelly is currently a student of Glasgow University’s MLitt in Creative Writing. She has lived in Italy, London, Oxford and Brighton. Italy and London are the places she still misses. She has had several short stories published in magazines such as Litro and Random Acts of Writing.

Nick Holdstock’s work has appeared in Edinburgh Review, Stand, and The Southern Review. He recently edited the Stolen Stories anthology. http://www.nickholdstock.com/

Jo Lloyd grew up in Wales and now lives in Oxford. Her stories have been longlisted for the Bridport and Asham prizes. She is not [sic] working on a novel.

Margot Taylor is an ex lollipop lady who lives with her husband and two teenagers in Somerset, UK. Her spare time is divided between her passions for boating, running on the nearby Quantock Hills, and writing short stories.

Jill Widner was the recipient of a 2007 Artist Trust/ Washington State Arts Commission fellowship; she was a resident at Yaddo in 2007 and 2008; and she is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. “Mina and Fina and Lotte Wattimena” is an excerpt from her novel in progress, The Smell of Sulphur, which fictionalizes her experience growing up in Indonesia in the 1960s. Other excerpts have been published or are forthcoming in North American Review, Hobart (online), and Kyoto Journal. Her fiction has also appeared recently in Memoir (and), 971 Menu, and Hitotoki (New York). She lives in Yakima, Washington.

Morowa Yejidé is a native of Washington, D.C. She was educated at Kalamazoo College, where she received her degree in International Relations, and graduated from an international exchange program at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. Her short stories have appeared in the Istanbul Literary Review, Ascent Aspirations Magazine, The Taj Mahal Review, and Underground Voices, and others. Her stories often focus on the layers of relationships and the inner landscapes of her characters’ minds. Tokyo Chocolate is a tapestry of her own experiences and impressions. She currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and three sons. www.morowayejide.com



Views and reviews

Competition home page


Update a year later: 2010 results

3 comments:

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Dear Lord W-H and adjuncts serving under said magnate -

Great evening at Costa. Thanks for the endless supply of booze. I owe you. Fab stories... read a few on my way home, then,

I slept under a hedge, and cant fathom where I am quite yet.

V

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Congrats Jo, Jill and Ben. I'll buy the book soon, when less brokey-scokey.
A great job once again, Wills Herald.

Ossian said...

Thanks for the kind words and to everyone who supported the competition this year and in the past. I can't thank you all enough.