About Willesden Herald / New Short Stories




Update, January 2018

Please note, our annual short story competition has now closed. New Short Stories 10 (2017) was the last in the series. It has been, as they say, quite a ride.

Background

The New Short Stories book series presented the best stories each year from the international Willesden Herald short story competition. The first competition was opened by Steve Moran in 2005, with the results in 2006. There was no official anthology in the first year, but two of the short-listed stories appeared in the Pretend Genius anthology, Fish Drink Like Us. Winning stories from 2006 and 2007 were featured in The Guardian modern fiction pages.
For the first three years, entry was free, and partial sponsorship was obtained from friends and the local writing group. At that time the rules stated that there would be no winner selected if a sufficient standard was not reached. After failing to pick a winner in 2008, we decided to introduce an entry fee and also guarantee that winning entries would always be selected.
Accounts for each year are published in the Willesden Herald blog. Reading, judging and book design are all done on a voluntary basis, gratis except for a Willesden Herald mug and a copy of the book. The books are published p.o.d. in the UK and US by Pretend Genius Press, which is now an informal co-operative venture, originally a registered not-for-profit company (Maryland, USA).

History

2006
Judge: Zadie Smith
Joint 1st prize to “Dodie’s Gift” by Vanessa Gebbie and “Secure” by Mikey Delgado
Short List:
“Abe and his Girlfriend” by Jacqui Rowe
“Dodie’s Gift” by Vanessa Gebbie
“In Summer” by Michael McCudden
“Sasquatch” by Tao Lin
“Sé” by Nuala Ní Chonchúir
“Secure” by Mikey Delgado
“Ta’waaf: Circling the Holy Ka’aba” by Bilal Ghafoor
“The Finding” by Valerie Trueblood
“The History of Imagining About Blue Horses” by Sean Brijbasi
“Who Would’ve Guessed?” by Raewyn Alexander
Read “Secure” by Mikey Delgado on The Guardian website

2007
Judge: Zadie Smith
1st prize to “Kid in a Well” by Willie Davis
Short List:
“Born Again” by Shakti Bhatt
“Charles Magezi-Akiiki” by Olesya Mishechkina
“Felipe and the Sea” by Jonathan Attrill
“Jolt” by James Lawless
“Kid in a Well” by Willie Davis
“Mrs Nakamoto Takes a Vacation” by Steve Finbow
“Paradise” by Nicholas Hogg
“The Dead Don’t Do That Kind of Thing” by Wes Lee
“Vaselino” by Lee Joans
“Words from a Glass Bubble” by Tobias Williams
Read “Kid in a Well” by Willie Davis on The Guardian website

2008
Cancelled

2009
Judge: Rana Dasgupta
1st prize to “Work” by Jo Lloyd
Short List:
“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

2010
Judge: Richard Peabody
1st prize to “The Architects” by Wena Poon
Finalists:
“Busy. Come. Wait.” – Tom Vowler
“Emily Strabnow’s Freckles” – Willie Davis
“Falling” – Henrietta Rose-Innes
“Hope Street” – Paul McGuire
“In the Land of Flies” – Julia Goubert
“Learning Stick” – Jarred McGinnis
“Letters” – Nuala Ní Chonchúir
“Love and Longing in the Marvellous City” – Jonathan Attrill
“Monkey Hat” – Kevin Spaide
“Pearl” – Peggy Riley
“Precious” – Carys Davies
“Shutters” – Jo Cannon
“The Architects” – Wena Poon
“Veronika and Roger-Roger” – Toby Litt

2011
Judge: Maggie Gee
1st prize to “Out of Season” by Mary O’Shea
Short List:
“Apartment” by Y.J. Zhu
“Blue Raincoat” by Teresa Stenson
“Dancing with the Flag Man” by Nemone Thornes
“Gusul” by Adnan Mahmutovic
“Homecoming” by Alex Barr
“Out of Season” by Mary O’Shea
“Overnight Miracles” by A.J. Ashworth
“Set Dance” by Angela Sherlock
“The Bedroom” by Micheal Coleman
“The Place” by David Frankel
“Thingummy Wotsit” by Adrian Sells
“Victor” by Emma Martin

2012
Judge: Roddy Doyle
1st prize to “Winter Lambing” by Virginia Gilbert
Short List:
“Artist” by Y.J. Zhu
“Clingfilm” by Francis Scappaticci
“Curtains” by Charles Lambert
“Frost Heave” by Geraldine Mills
“Half” by Nick Holdstock
“In the Service of the Demon” by Jo Barker Scott
“Relativity” by Mary O’Shea
“Slimebank Taxonomy” by Eliza Robertson
“The Coastal Shelf” by Dermot Duffy
“Winter Lambing” by Virginia Gilbert

2013
Judge: David Means
1st prize to “Holidaying with the Megarrys” by Danielle McLaughlin
Short List:
“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

2014
Judge: Charles Lambert
1st prize to “Ward” by Nick Holdstock
Short List:
“Piercings” by Jo Barker Scott
“Such is her Power” by Joan Brennan
“The Beekeeper’s Daughters” by Gina Challen
“Ward” by Nick Holdstock
“Rock Pools” by CG Menon
“Rip Rap” by Dan Powell
“Postman’s Knock” by Angela Sherlock
“Rash” by Megan Taylor
“The Stealing” by Lindsay Waller-Wilkinson
“Cotton-Fisted Scorpions” by Medina Tenour Whiteman

2015Hiatus (R. & R.)

2016
Judge: Katy Darby
1st prize to “Love and Hair” by Olga Zilberbourg
Short List:
“The Volcano” by Anna Lewis
“The Cliffs of Bandiagara” by Catherine McNamara
“Supersum” by Barbara Robinson
“Twisted” by Tracy Fells
“The Mayes County Christmas Gun Festival” by David Lewis
“Undercurrents” by Gina Challen
“Love and Hair” by Olga Zilberbourg
“Last Call at the Rialto” by Daniel Waugh
“Looking for Nathalie” by Susan Haigh
“All that Remains” by Rob Hawke

2017
Judge: Lane Ashfeldt
1st prize to “Dark Song” by Roberta Dewa
Short List:
“A History of Fire” by Gerard McKeown
“Art Zoo” by Paul Martin
“Dark Song” by Roberta Dewa
“Isa’s Pitch” by Maureen Cullen
“Rictus” by Tanvir Bush
“Swimming Lessons” by Douglas Hill
“The Day John Lennon Died” by Raphael Falco
“The Fish that was not my Pa” by Meganrose Weddle
“The Quarry” by Katherine Davey
“Trespass” by Roland Miles

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