White smoke has been seen rising from the special chimney on Herald House. Thanks to each and every one who entered for the 340 stories you sent in, each one a work of art. The full results, as judged by David Means, will be announced shortly. Meanwhile, here is the short list for the international Willesden Herald short story competition 2012/13.
All Its Little Sounds and Silences – by Barnaby Walsh
Bolt – by Thomas Morris
Dance Class – by SJ Bradley
Donor – by Nici West
The Gift – by Alistair Daniel
Hangman – by Angela Sherlock
Holidaying with the Megarrys – by Danielle McLaughlin
Last Payment – by Anna Lewis
Rip – by Merryn Glover
Round Fat Moon and Jingling Stars – by Marie Murphy
About the Authors
SJ Bradley is a writer from Yorkshire. Her work has been published in various magazines and anthologies, and she was one of Untitled Books’ New Voices of 2011. She is one of the organising party behind Leeds-based DIY writers’ night Fictions of Every Kind, a venture which aims to give support and encouragement to anyone engaged in the lonely act of writing. Her work as a letterpress printer involves keeping the old skills of letterpress alive through practise and salvage. She lives with her partner and cat.
Alistair Daniel lives in Liverpool and teaches creative writing for the Open University. He was short-listed for the 2010 Bridport Prize and his short stories have been published in Narrative, Stand, Untitled Books, The Irish Times and The Stinging Fly. He is completing his first novel, supported by the Arts Council and a Charles Pick Fellowship from the University of East Anglia.
Merryn Glover is Australian, grew up in Nepal, India and Pakistan, and now lives in the Highlands of Scotland. She writes both stories and plays, with work broadcast on Radio 4 and published in a range of journals and newspapers including The Edinburgh Review, Wasafiri and The Guardian. She has recently completed her first novel, set in India.
Anna Lewis was born in 1984. In 2010 she won the Orange/Harper's Bazaar short story competition, and in 2011 was selected by the Hay Festival to take part in the Scritture Giovani short story project. Her debut poetry collection, Other Harbours, was published by Parthian in 2012.
Danielle McLaughlin lives in County Cork, Ireland. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Long Story Short, The Burning Bush 2, The Stinging Fly, Inktears, Southword, Boyne Berries, Crannóg, Hollybough, on the RTE TEN website, on RTE Radio and in various anthologies. She has won a number of prizes for short fiction including The Writing Spirit Award for Fiction 2010, the From the Well Short Story Competition 2012 and the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition 2012.
Thomas Morris is from Caerphilly, South Wales. He has previously published short fiction in The Irish Times, The Moth, and ETO. In 2012, he received an Emerging Artist Bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland. Currently enrolled in the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia, Thomas is working on a collection of short stories set in Caerphilly, and a novel, Second Best: The Diaries of a Substitute Goalkeeper.
Marie Murphy began to write full-time three years ago. In 2012, she was a finalist in the Novel Fair run by The Irish Writers’ Centre in Dublin. Also in 2012 she was long-listed for the Power’s Short Story Competition.
Marie grew up on a farm in north Cork but has worked in England, France and Ireland (chambermaid, waitress, cook, cleaner, lady’s companion, nurse’s assistant.) On qualifying from University College, Cork, (B.A. H. Dip. Ed.) she taught in England and Ireland. Married with three children, she lives in the country in west Cork where she is currently working on a novel of connected short stories.
Angela Sherlock has worked in engineering and in education but now lives in Devon where she writes full time. She has published reviews and articles but now concentrates on fiction. Her first novel, The Apple Castle, (as yet unpublished) was long-listed for the Virginia Prize and short-listed for the Hookline Novel Writing Competition. She has published some short stories and is currently working on a novel that draws on the history of Plymouth. Hangman, her second story to be short-listed by Willesden Herald is from her collection, Exports, which explores the Irish Diaspora.
Nici West likes to write short stories and is tying her brain in knots trying to write a novel. She was born in Essex and is making her way up North, currently living in Manchester. She recently completed an MA in Creative Writing from The University of Manchester and spends her days writing, looking after two guinea pigs and producing literature projects.
Barnaby Walsh originally studied theoretical physics by mistake, but recently completed his master's in creative writing at the University of Manchester. He lives up north, in Bolton.
Update: And the mug goes to...