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

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Willesden Herald New Short Stories 12 - unboxing

Makes a good present for Christmas or Hannukah. International, all sorts of stories, well worth reading. More

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Competition accounts 2022


I always like to be open about where the money comes from and goes to in the Willesden Herald short story competition. You can also find the previous years' accounts by clicking on the accounts tag below. Note: the annual competition began in 2005/6 but did not run in 2015, 2018, 2020 or 2021 (ref. History of the competition.) 

We're probably in the red when all is finalised but it all depends on whether the library charges for the use of the Performance Space. These are my own accounts, I no longer run a limited company and I don't make any money from the sale of books online, which all goes to the publisher.* That also runs at a loss by the way - as the number of sales doesn't even cover the annual Ingram fee but let's leave that aside for now. We do it for fun, really.

In the rare case when an author asks me to organise a "short run" print of 10 or more copies for themselves, I send them at cost plus £1 per copy for my trouble, which makes it virtually at cost as my time is next to worthless (full disclosure!) 

I have the itemised details on a spreadsheet here, but the totals are as follows, using $ exchange rates that were current at the time, where applicable. Submittable .com collects the entry fees which they then remit in $USD minus $0.01 per entry + 5% of the total via PayPal and PayPal take their cut too when converting to £GBP. 

Money in

  • Entry fees for 371 entries @£5 after Submittable's percentage, paid in dollars: $1646.28 into PayPal, after conversion to pounds at the then rate and PayPal's cut, we got: £1390.95
  • Book sales at results/launch event, 17 x £5 = £85
  • 10 extra books sold direct from order received. £51.44
  • TOTAL: £1527.39

Money out
  • Prizes to contributors: £950
  • Fees for book designer and judge's introduction (only fair as all the writers are paid): £200
  • Book setup and Ingram annual catalogue fee $80 + $12 = $92, paid in pounds: £84.16.
  • 47 books ordered including p&p: £188.96
  • One month Spotify sub paid to get music for the event build up (yes, I did & cancelled): £9.99
  • Postage to UK, France, Ireland, India, Australia & Greece + prize mug + Jiffy bags: £92.07
  • TOTAL: £1525.18
If you build it, they will come!
(They did eventually.)

We're up £2.21 but we have yet to receive an invoice from the library for the space and we're hoping they will see the cultural value in the Willesden short story competition and waive the fee. Otherwise we'll be out another £80. (And if that lands, I will update this report.) So probably down £77.79.

Note. I haven't counted domain renewal for ($10 p.a.) and ($10 p.a.) and the WordPress subscription for New Short Stories ($45 p.a.). I suppose I get fun out of those, so - whatever. I don't run a server anymore, quit that when I closed the limited company.

Stock of books
In: 47
Out: 16 gratis to contributors to the book and the launch, 27 sold, total 43.
Balance: 4

(I get to keep one for myself, yeah? Ed.)

Steve M

Willesden Herald is an imprint of Pretend Genius Press

Friday, November 11, 2022

AVAILABLE now at New Short Stories 12

At the time of writing, is showing "10+ copies in stock" with free delivery in the UK. To view, click this direct link. Other suppliers are lagging behind at present but can order on demand. (Ed.)

Update 13 Nov. '22: Now also in stock at (UK free delivery with Prime) and Barnes & Noble (with free delivery US) and Can available on request in the UK from Waterstones.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Over the sky to sea



Two views of a telegraph pole with radiating wires in all directions under and over the blue and cloudy sky.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Announcement: Results of the Willesden Short Story Prize 2022

Zakia Uddin
The Willesden Short Story Prize 2022 was revealed at Willesden Library this evening. First prize went to "Hotline" by Zakia Uddin

Runners-up were "Vevey" by Catherine McNamara and "Cuckquean" by Jackie Morris. 

Thanks to Claire Lacey and Katy Darby for bringing the stories to life and making the event go with a zing. 

Thanks to Jarred McGinnis for judging and to the writers of all ten shortlisted stories, as every one is a prize-winner in this short story competition. (Ed.)