Saturday, November 14, 2009

Willesden competition trivia

Out of about 2,000 short stories submitted since we started the Willesden competition in 2005, there have (as of November 2009) been 30 shortlisted, 22 published in New Short Stories, 6 nominated for Pushcart prizes, 2 published by the Guardian online & 9 of the authors have subsequently had books published by Canongate, Salt, Sphere, Solidus, Future Fiction, Little Brown, Melville House and Luath Press, inter alia.

When postal entries were allowed the following postmarks were noted: Finland, Japan, Pakistan, India, France, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, USA, Ireland, UK, Singapore, Spain, Malta, Germany, Indonesia, Canada, Belgium, China, Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Malaysia, South Africa, Poland, Philippines, Botswana, Ivory Coast, Romania & Jamaica, again inter alia.

A story that was shortlisted in our competition went on to be second in the gargantuan Fish Publishing competition and became the title story of a collection published by Salt (Words from a Glass Bubble by Vanessa Gebbie).

Jo Lloyd, who had her first success in a competition with her win here earlier this year, has gone on to win this year's lucrative (£1,000) Asham Award.

Local author and old friend of the competition, Zadie Smith, has among many grander honours just had her first novel listed in the top ten of the Telegraph's 100 books that defined the noughties: "Zadie, Nigella, Steig and, of course, the boy wizard. The decade has seen publishing phenomenons like no other, but which books, for better or worse, have summed up the noughties?"


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