Established 2003. Now incorporating The Sudbury Hill Harrow and Wherever End Times

Thursday, April 28, 2011

3D: I wouldn't give you 3p for it, unless...

Make the screen do the work of causing the image to appear 3D, with two layers of screen, with polarising filters on the first one or something like that. The work of making the image 3D should be done by the projector and the screen, once, not N times by stupid spec's, where N = the number of people who want to see the effect. Besides, the specs don't work properly with some contact lenses and they are just generally stupid beyond belief. If you make millions out of this idea, send me some luncheon vouchers.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dublin Writers Festival

Programme (May 23-29)

A great excuse to visit Dublin in May - if any were needed. I think this would be the event I would book first, to hear Adam Zagajewski from Poland and four Irish poets about Milosz. The first event to be sold out (instantly) is the one with Michael Palin.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Maggie Gee's verdict

Thanks to Maggie Gee for sharing her thoughts about judging the competition and for generous comments about the finalists. Thanks also to Liars' League for the videos from the results event. More pictures and links

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

2011 results event in real time

Introduced by Sam Taradash. Presented by actors Carrie Cohen, Sarah Le Fevre, Silas Hawkins and in Part 2 Elizabeth Bower. Thanks to Liars' League. Sponsored by Willesden Green Writers' Group.

Three more excerpts read by actors from Liars' League, followed by announcement of the results and prizegiving. Maggie Gee describes the judging process, comments on each of the finalists and announces the prizes for runners up and first place. Maggie Gee's commentary starts from about 29 minutes in.

The recordings are in real time, unedited, from welcome till goodnight and fade out. More pictures and links

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Welcome to the West Bank

Bidisha: Jerusalem: Who Is Your Father?

"Maybe, as they asked the questions, these soldier babies were crying on the inside. Who knows? Last year the writer Susan Abulhawa, author of the excellent memoir Mornings in Jenin and director of Playgrounds for Palestine, which organises kids’ recreational activities, was detained all day without food or water, shaken down and slapped full-handed straight in the face."

Our top 10 YouTube music videos of all time (playlist)

YouTube is blocking some of the ten from being embedded. Here is a link to the complete playlist on YouTube of our top 10 YouTube music videos of all time. The embedded playlist above is missing "Atomic" by Blondie.

Jacintha B. Pukka & Bartell Darcy

Friday, April 22, 2011


It is the hour of waking alone.
A jet is unzipping the sky.
Boxwood hedges await me
And watch my feet go by.

The pines are hiding their scent
With the privet for tonight.
They hold no interest this morning,
Enervated by so much light.

The dead grocer is still alive,
Surly, serving in the shop,
Henpecked in a biscuit coat
At the parade where buses stop.

Joan Gentle is near me now,
Worth marrying just for the name.
She often gets on the sixteen,
But she is dead just the same.

Two girls linking arms as always
On the path by the flower bed
Will never get to hear about TaTu,
Aids or crack, because they’re dead.

The conductor with nothing to say
Still hears the sister squeal
“That’s my brother, that’s my brother!”
He too has passed under the wheel.

Maisie of the hot pants is a zombie
In the kiosk selling cigarettes
And I will buy ten Senior Service
And inhale without any regrets. 

There’s where Vicky lives over the shop.
She cuts hair and makes mothers blonde.
They still share tea and drink gossip
Even though they’re beyond the beyond.

Their blueprints are filed under gone
Missing, and presumed unknown.
Although we are dead, we’re alive -
All in the hour of waking alone.

Stephen Moran
From Last Night's Dream Corrected and Day of the Flying Leaves

(Edited, updated June 2022, May 2023)

Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 5 (excerpts)

Liars' League at The Space, Willesden Green Library Centre, 7 April 2011 presenting excerpts from the short story competition finalists. Introduced by Sam Taradash. Sponsored by Willesden Green Writers' Group.

The readings above are excerpts from six of the finalists. You can read all of the twelve best stories of 2011 in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 5. Thanks to Maggie Gee and all who helped get these new stories out there.

In this video, judge Maggie Gee describes the judging process, comments on each story in turn and announces the results.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tell me more and more and then some

Update 21 April: With a silly mixture of being gobsmacked, proud and humble all at the same time, this is to let you know that the judge for 2011-12 will be none other than the renowned Mr Roddy Doyle of Dublin city. So please weave more stories and get ready for September when the submissions window reopens.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cloud manoeuvres

Mary O'Shea accepts the 2011 short story prize

Maggie Gee congratulates Mary O'Shea who speaks on accepting the award for her story "Out of Season". The occasion is only slightly spoiled by some wino who gatecrashed the event and tried, as they always do, to become the centre of attention. (Congratulations to the camerawoman on a valiant attempt to foil the interruption.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

AV - more power to your vote

Voting reform: 'yes' camp reeling as support collapses (Guardian)

If you want your vote to count, chances are AV is for you. At present if you vote for the Socialist Workers Party you might split the Labour vote, for example. With AV, you can vote Labour second, meaning that if your SWP candidate is eliminated your vote will move to Labour. It's more power to your vote and who would want less?

Cherry blossom, Bryan Avenue

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Diageo's teatime alcoholisation continues

This time it's Bailey's cream liqueur. 5:50 pm on Channel 4 - teatime again - lacing a children's theme with hard liquor. Half price Baileys at a supermarket is "a little more grown up than Easter eggs". Previously there have been adverts in the ITV teatime news sponsored by Diageo and pushing Gin and Ginger Ale. You don't have to be Einstein to work out that they are trying to instil a taste for hard liquor into children round the TV at teatime. A cynical calculation is that these children will associate childhood pleasures with Diageo's hard liquor brands. It's really child abuse.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Queens Park book festival 2011

"The festival will be in Queen’s Park itself, kicking off at 11am and running all day. About 30 authors, many living locally or with local links, are signed up so far. There will be a large marquee near the bandstand with author events all day long – interviews, talks, readings and discussions. Fiction will be explored across a range of styles, as will biography, history, politics, memoir, comedy, sport and children’s books." (More)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sidney Lumet r.i.p.

Sidney Lumet career in clips | Film |

His films combined popular appeal, high drama and thoughtful themes. He joins the pantheon of cinema greats.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Pictures from last night

"The Space" upstairs at Willesden Library Centre

Carrie Cohen reading from "Apartment" by YJ Zhu

Elizabeth Bower reading from "Gusul" by Adnan Mahmutovic

Sarah Le Fevre reading from "Overnight Miracles" by AJ Ashworth

Silas Hawkins reading from "Out of Season" by Mary O'Shea

Sam Taradash, chairman of Willesden Green Writers' Group, introduces Maggie Gee

Before announcing the results Maggie Gee spoke about all the stories and described the judging process.

Steve Moran tries to steal the priceless 2011 WH prize mug from Mary O'Shea

And the winning entries, as chosen by Maggie Gee, are:

1st Prize:
"Out of Season" by Mary O'Shea (Ireland)

Equal runners up:
"Apartment" by Y. J. Zhu (USA/China)
"Homecoming" by Alex Barr (Wales)

Thanks to everyone who made the competition and the event possible, starting with the all the writers who create new short stories, pellucid visions of worlds we would never otherwise see.

More  photos, reports and videos

Supported by Willesden Green Writers' Group

International short story prize 2011 results announced

Willesden, April 7: The winning entries, as chosen by Maggie Gee, are:

1st Prize:
"Out of Season" by Mary O'Shea (Ireland)

Equal runners up:
"Apartment" by Y. J. Zhu (USA/China)
"Homecoming" by Alex Barr (Wales)

Thanks to everyone who made the competition and the event possible, starting with the all the writers who create new short stories.

About the stories and authors here

About the actors here

Pictures and reports