now incorporating the Sudbury Hill and Wood End Times

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

New Short Stories 9: Awards and Launch

Willesden Green Library Centre, December 8th
Katy Darby announces the overall winner and runners-up in the Willesden Herald international short story competition 2016, and shares her responses to each of the stories. In the audience were all but one of the writers whose stories were short-listed, including some who travelled from as far away as Italy, France and America.
Towards the end of the video, it becomes clear which story has taken first prize, and we proceed to the presentation and a charming acceptance speech.

And the winner is…
First prize and the one-off mug, inscribed “Willesden Short Story Prize 2016”, and Champagne goes to Love and Hair by Olga Zilberbourg.
Katy also announced equal runners-up, receiving consolation prizes:
The Mayes County Christmas Gun Festival by David Lewis
Undercurrents by Gina Challen
In accordance with the rules, the prize fund of £750 was divided equally among the finalists, who also received two copies each of the anthology.
Here is Miranda Harrison, reading from the opening of Love and Hair by Olga Zilberbourg.


To find out who really sent the text, and what happens in the end, you will have to read Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 9. Available from our own shopAmazon.co.uk for UK, Ireland and Europe, Amazon.com for US and rest of the world, and other online booksellers. ISBN: 978-0-9852133-7-4
The ten best short stories of 2016, are presented in the random sequence in which they were originally read, as good a system as any!, and together present a pleasing selection of contemporary fiction, or to put it more snappily:
Unspeakable secrets, disappeared husbands, bisexual love triangles, revolutionary conspiracies and African odysseys: from Sixties Paris to San Francisco, Arundel to Latin America, poets, murderers, musicians, schoolkids and festive firearms fanciers stalk these pages, waiting to greet you.

Winning Stories: Undercurrents by Gina Challen; Twisted by Tracy Fells; Looking for Nathalie by Susan Haigh; All That Remains by Rob Hawke; The Volcano by Anna Lewis; The Mayes County Christmas Gun Festival by David Lewis; The Cliffs of Bandiagara by Catherine McNamara; Supersum by Barbara Robinson; Last Call at the Rialto by Daniel Waugh; Love and Hair by Olga Zilberbourg

With an introduction by 2016 judge, Katy Darby
supported by

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Results and Book Launch – Willesden December 8th

Why not come to our results and book launch event this Thursday at Willesden Library Centre, from 7:30 pm? We’re putting on a terrific show as well as announcing the overall winner for 2016 and prizegiving. Professional actors will bring short excerpts from some of the finalist stories to life.
This is a FREE EVENT, venue capacity 100 seated. Refreshments will be provided. First come, first served.
For more details, see this Facebook event listing.
OUR ACTORS
Courtesy of Liars’ League
Tony Bell. Evening Standard Award nominee for A Man for All Seasons, Tony Bell has performed all over the world with award-winning all-male Shakespeare company, Propeller, playing Bottom, Feste, Autolycus and Tranio. TV includes Coronation Street, Holby City, Midsomer Murders, EastEnders & The Bill. He recently played Brian Clough’s sidekick Peter Taylor in the stage adaptation of The Damned United at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. He also appeared in Phelin McDermott’s Improbable production of The Tempest. He now splits his time between directing in drama schools, acting and occasionally reading great stories. He is also a radio and voiceover artist.

Miranda Harrison Actor, voiceover artist and storyteller, Miranda Harrison is a regular performer with Liars’ League, including performances at The National Gallery and the Literary Pub Crawl. Other spoken word credits include book reading and performance art events. Miranda is regularly cast in rehearsed readings for new theatre writing, and she also runs new writing event Page to Stage. Stage credits range from the classics (e.g. Romeo & Juliet; Blood Wedding) to contemporary (e.g. The Memory of Water; The Vagina Monologues). Voiceover work includes BBC Children in Need, online tutorials and a best-selling English-language teaching pack for Italian teenagers. www.mirandaharrison.co.uk
Peter Kenny has worked for A&BC, The Royal Shakespeare Co. and The BBC Radio Drama Co. An award-winning recorder of audio-books, he has read over 100 titles, everything from Iain M. Banks, Neil Gaiman, and Andrzej Sapkowski to Jonas Jonasson and Paul O’Grady “…from the sublime to the cor blimey!”  Visit peterkenny.com

New Short Stories 9

  • All That Remains by Rob Hawke
  • The Cliffs of Bandiagara by Catherine McNamara
  • Last Call at the Rialto by Daniel Waugh
  • Looking for Nathalie by Susan Haigh
  • Love and Hair by Olga Zilberbourg
  • The Mayes County Christmas Gun Festival by David Lewis
  • Supersum by Barbara Robinson
  • Twisted by Tracy Fells
  • Undercurrents by Gina Challen
  • The Volcano by Anna Lewis

Meet the Authors

Gina Challen is originally from London. She moved to West Sussex in 1979. In 2012, she left her job as an insurance broker to complete a masters degree in creative writing. This she fondly refers to as her mid-life crisis. Although originally a city girl, the farmsteads and woods of the downlands hold her heart, they are the inspiration for her writing, the landscape to which she knows she belongs. Previously, her stories have been anthologised in The Bristol Short Story Prize Volume 8 2015, the Cinnamon Press Short Story Award collections 2012 & 2013, and the Willesden Herald New Short Stories 8, 2014 and Rattle Tales 2, 2012. Two of her stories were shortlisted for the prestigious Bridport Prize in 2014. You can also find her stories and critical essays online with Ink Tears and Storgy magazines and Thresholds Short Story Forum. She is currently working on a short story collection. www.ginachallen.co.uk
Tracy Fells lives close to the South Downs in glorious West Sussex. She has won awards for both fiction and drama. Her short stories have appeared in Firewords Quarterly, The Yellow Room and Writer’s Forum, online at Litro New York, Short Story Sunday and in anthologies such as FugueRattle Tales and A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed. Competition success includes short-listings for the Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize, Brighton Prize, Fish Short Story and Flash Fiction Prizes. Tracy completed her MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University in 2016 and is currently seeking representation for a crime mystery novel and her short story collection. She shares a blog with The Literary Pig (tracyfells.blogspot.co.uk) and tweets as @theliterarypig.
Susan Haigh returned to northeast Fife in 2013, having spent eight years living in a cave house in the Loire Valley. She had previously worked on a series of short stories, supported by a Scottish Book Trust mentoring scheme, and continued to write stories and a novel in a caravan under a vine by a river (not as glamorous as it sounds!). Her work has won several awards in Britain and the USA and has been published in MslexiaCadenza Magazine, Sunpenny Anthology, New Writing Dundee 8, BeginningAnthology, the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Awards website, the Women of Dundee and Books anthology and a number of American journals and anthologies.  In 2016 she appeared on a short list of six for a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award and published poems in Scottish literary journals, Northwords NowGutter Magazine and the StAnza Map of Scotland in Poems. She was also a finalist in the 2016 Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition. She reviews and interviews for a number of journals, including Dundee University Review of the Arts. She teaches German at Dundee University.
Rob Hawke lives and works in Camberwell, London. His short fiction has featured in Momaya Short Story Review and Shooter Literary Magazine, and he holds an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from University of Sussex. He is currently working on his first full length novel, a political drama set in South West England. To support his writing Rob works part time at a psychology institute.
Anna Lewis’s stories have appeared in journals including New Welsh Review and The Interpreter’s House. Her stories and poems have won several awards, and she was short-listed for the Willesden Herald short story prize in 2013. She is the author of two poetry collections: Other Harbours (Parthian, 2012) and The Blue Cell (Rack Press, 2015). She lives in Cardiff.
David Lewis grew up in Oklahoma, did an MA at UCL in London and now lives in Paris. His short stories and essays have appeared in J’aime mon quartier, je ramasseChelsea Station, Liars’ League, The 2013 Fish Anthology, Indestructible and Talking Points Memo. He irregularly posts essays and translations on Medium, as @dwlewis.

Catherine McNamara grew up in Sydney, ran away to Paris to write, and ended up in West Africa running a bar. She was an embassy secretary in pre-war Mogadishu, and has worked as an au pair, graphic designer, translator, English teacher and shoe model. Her short story collection Pelt and Other Stories was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor Award and semi-finalist in the Hudson Prize. Her work has been Pushcart-nominated and published in the U.K., Europe, U.S.A. and Australia. Catherine lives in Italy.
Barbara Robinson was born in Manchester where she still lives, writes and works. She writes short stories and is currently working on her first novel, Elbow Street.
Daniel Waugh was born in London and has lived in France and Yorkshire. He lives in Wimbledon with his wife, three-year-old daughter and black cat. ‘Last Call at the Rialto’ is his first short story.


Olga Zilberbourg grew up in St. Petersburg, Russia and moved to the United States at the age of seventeen. Her English-language fiction is forthcoming from World Literature Today, Feminist Studies, and California Prose Directory; stories have appeared in J Journal, Epiphany, Narrative Magazine, Printers Row, Hobart, Santa Monica Review, among others. She serves as a co-facilitator of the weekly San Francisco Writers Workshop.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Routemasters redux

Routemasters are out of retirement for the Piccadilly Line bus replacement service. The Uxbridge branch has been closed due to "shortage of trains". Hard to believe? So many of them have had wheel damage following wheels locking after braking on lines with leaves on them, that they have knocked out the whole branch and reduced the service on the Heathrow branch. Go ahead and make up your own jokes. It's not much fun for people who go to and from work along the Uxbridge line though.

Whitton Avenue this morning