Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Come all ye

6th annual Willesden Herald international short story competition

Competition entries are now coming in at a rate of about eight per day and rising. I look forward to finding stories with real attack, humour, a distinct and compelling voice, sense of adventure, landscape, time passing, engagement beyond solipsism, perhaps themes that rise a little above the problem of which fork to use for the starter and which for the main, which is not to say that nothing of any interest ever takes place in a tearoom. Didn't the boy eat oysters, shell and all in a Moscow café, and did we hear anything about their annoying neighbours or disgusting spouse? No. Give me something that matters, something that makes me pace like that boy's father. What is it that makes you angry, where is the love, the satire, travel, conflict? I'm sick of the tinkling of teacups and the swimming with waterwings. Do you read Hemingway, Chekhov, D. H. Lawrence, Denis Johnson, David Means, Annie Proulx, George Saunders, Maile Meloy, Hanif Kureishi, James Lasdun, Angela Carter, Lorrie Moore, Bernard MacLaverty, Arthur Shnitzler, Arthur Miller or Arthur Askey and Arthur Guinness? Aim high to allow for the trajectory of the narrative curving towards the target. Or something like that.

Steve Moran

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