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Open for submissions

Update: Lane Ashfeldt's take on judging this year's competition: The Willesden Prize, Stories and Tunnels _______ This is  the...

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Turandot live from the Royal Opera House


A magnificent production of Puccini's Turandot live from the Royal Opera House, London with Roberto Alagna and a spectacular production. This video includes introductory interviews, vox pop from Trafalgar Square, an overview of the storyline etc. The show starts at about 40 minutes into the recording.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Where are the fire extinguishers, the hoses, the sprinklers?

David Lammy MP

Nicola Sturgeon and Ruth Davidson in a lift

Iceland collection for Grenfell Tower this evening

Yusuf of Iceland, Greenford Road, collecting donations and
supplies for those affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Treen

The great trees, tall masted,
Heave away and sail by,
While I, who cannot move,
Reach out and sway to them
As they follow their green way,
For now it's Summer.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Willesden Prize, Stories and Tunnels

How interesting to read Lane Ashfeldt’s take, on judging for the International Willesden Herald Short Story Prize 2017!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Groundwork UK - Brent Volunteering Fair - 5th June

Date and Time

Monday 5 June 2017
1pm to 4pm

Location

The Bridge, Brent Civic Centre
Engineers Way
Wembley
HA9 0FJ

Ever thought about volunteering?

For details and how to register, click here: Event link.

Friday, May 12, 2017

A.B.C. - Always Be Continuing

There is a mnemonic that salesmen swear by, ABC - "Always Be Closing". But in fiction, it might be better to say Always Be Continuing. Not only is there often an unnecessary last sentence in a story, there are sometimes unnecessary last sentences even in paragraphs too. Maybe it's a tendency to want "to tie a ribbon on it". But that goes against the need to unfurl, to expand. After all someone could break a tooth on those unpopped kernels of popcorn. When you come to continue writing in your next session, don't you often delete the last sentence from the time before? This is something I'm trying to remember myself, when I try to write fiction.

Steve

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Monday, May 01, 2017

Open for submissions

Update: Lane Ashfeldt's take on judging this year's competition: The Willesden Prize, Stories and Tunnels
_______

This is the newsletter that just went out to our subscribers. If you’re thinking of subscribing to our mailing list and want to see what past newsletters were like, here is the archive.

See here for all about the competition and how to enter. Thanks, cheers, Steve M.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Newsletter announcing 2017 short story competition

I just sent out this email newsletter to our 1500+ subscribers, with details of the 2017 competition, opening 1 May. Cheers! (Steve)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ancient oak felled in South Vale, Harrow

Uh-oh
The tree has already been cut into sections.
Some of the sections
Hard to count the rings where the saw's been
More than a hundred years? 200?
Never noticed anything different about the tree they've felled, so the question now is what was wrong with this tree, and are the other oaks, along South Vale and trees elsewhere in Harrow, in danger now as well? It's been reported from other areas of the country that privatised contractors are felling trees and replacing them with saplings, because it's cheaper than maintaining the old trees. Could that be happening in Harrow?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Hampstead and Kilburn - Tulip Siddiq

Tulip Siddiq's constituency of "Hampstead and Kilburn" also covers part of Willesden, following boundary changes a few years ago. It was the most marginal constituency in the UK when Glenda Jackson won by just 42 votes in her last term before retirement. Every vote counts! #ge2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Unexpected guest


This is brilliant. It shows the innate good nature of Dubliners, despite the provocations. Hilarious.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Competition accounts 2016

The itemised details go to an accountant at the end of the financial year and thence to the taxman etc. Here's a quick overview.

The prize formula said "either (a) half of all net entry fees OR (b) all net entry fees after the first 150 entries,  whichever is the greater, will be divided equally among the ten short-listed." It was (b) that was activated. These go into the accounts of Object Tree Ltd. except where otherwise stated, e.g. PGP below.

In:
Entries 344 @ £5. Proceeds from Submittable after their commission and dollar conversion: £1320
Sold 11 books at the event: £66
"Wine fund" envelope at event: £4
There was no other income or sponsorship in 2016, other than a bottle of Champagne donated.
Total in: £1390

Out:
Prizes £10 x £75 = £750
Book setup + costs for (2 x 10) authors, actors copies (event), judges and helpers copies, approx £220.
Adwords adverts: Approx £40
Performance space for event: £120 (there is a query over this as we were expecting more and it could go as high as £272, according to our records, but only £120 has been invoiced).
Wine: 6 bottles used (out of 12) at about £6.50 each: £39
Bottled water and pretzels: disregard, took most home.
3 WH mugs: (winner, judge and agent) about £40
Total out: £1239 so far, possibly £1361 if Brent council bills the additional items that were quoted.

Further book sales and costs
There are a few books left over for sale from the New Short Stories shop (about 6?).
Proceeds from sales on Amazon, B&N etc go to the publisher Pretend Genius Press (PGP), a registered not-for-profit corporation in Maryland, US.
There is an annual fee to keep the books available in the Ingram catalogue, which is an ongoing cost to PGP on all the back issues.

You can see for yourself, it's just about break even (or a loss really - see update below). If you want to see previous years' details, click on the Accounts link below. Note, there was no competition in 2015.

Update: After reading the previous year's accounts myself, I see I've forgotten to mention the web server costs. These are ongoing at £230 per year (Webfusion now taken over by Heart ISP). That hosts NewShortStories.com but also several other domains. If that's taken into account, we're running at a loss, of course. (Steve)

Monday, February 27, 2017

24 things NOBODY does better than Trump*


* in his tiny mind

What he really should be saying, what he really is saying, is "I know nothing and I'm completely useless." Self-praise is no praise.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

All about the 2017 international short story competition

We’re delighted to announce that the judge for the International Willesden Herald 2017 New Short Stories competition will be none other than the much admired and super cool Lane Ashfeldt, a writer who is no stranger to the short story form herself.

Lane Ashfeldt. Photo: H.McGinty ©2016
Lane is the author of the fiction collection ‘SaltWater’, a book of twelve short stories and a novella. A contributor to ‘Short Circuit: A Guide to the Art of the Short Story’, her stories have won several international prizes and appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals, among them Punk Fiction, Dancing With Mr Darcy, The Guardian, The London Magazine, and the Dublin Review. (Ashfeldt.com)

Lane has kindly agreed to pick the winning entries from a short list, and hopes to see an eclectic, entertaining and truly international range of writing represented on the list. We’re looking forward to reading the best stories you have, and you’ve never let us down yet. The submission window is from May to August.

The Willesden Herald New Short Stories Competition 2017 

Opening date: 1 May 2017
Closing date: 31 August 2017
Word limit: 7500
Any theme

The prize fund of £1225 will be divided among the ten finalists as follows:
  • 1st Prize: The one-off Willesden Herald mug inscribed “Willesden Short Story Prize 2017” + £300
  • 2nd: £200
  • 3rd: £100
  • £75 to each to the remaining seven short-listed
Publication
  • All ten shortlisted stories will be published in "Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 10".
  • Two copies go to each of the ten shortlisted contributors.
Entry fee: £7.50

Submit: WillesdenHerald.Submittable.com/Submit

Updated March - April 2017, revising prize fund and entry fee
Updated July 2017, adding an additional prize for 3rd place

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Routemasters of Dublin 1965

Among the many wonders of this is the Swastika laundry van about 4:30-ish in. And the skid pan tests at the start, needless to add. You can't overturn a Routemaster, though the cornering of some of the drivers always felt like it would. There's concrete in the base so it can never overbalance.



Thursday, February 09, 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Beethoven ‘Kreutzer’ sonata

Joshua Bell and Yuja Wang
Verbier Festival, 28 July 2010



The best of the best in music

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Our best ever post (dance video)



"Dancing to No One by Alicia Keys.. Watch it if you want to, but if you don't want to - then don't. I don't want to pressure you into anything.." Justin Lawrence Hoyt

Life!
Happy new year (from Alaska)

Friday, January 13, 2017

The coming of the Anti-Worker


It looks like Trump's billionaire's club administration must have said, "Who can we get who would be the most anti-worker person imaginable?" and come up with this Puzder putz for "Secretary of Labor".

And next, whoever is to be put in charge of firefighters will turn them into book burners, as in Fahrenheit 451.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Crow's nest

Crow's nest in an oak tree

At this time of year, you can see where the birds nested, and also why that place at the top of a mast is called the crow's nest. There are a lot of crows around Harrow, as Brendan Behan seems to have known when he wrote "In our dreams we see old Harrow and we hear the crow's loud caw*". You can indeed hear and see them if you walk around here, and that looks like one of their nests at the top of an oak tree.

* At the flowershow, our big marrow took the prize from Evelyn Waugh.