Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Announcement: Willesden 2017 Results

Our 2017 judge Lane Ashfeldt says she had a great time reading (and re-reading!) all the shortlisted stories, and choosing the top three was a really tough call. She is delighted to pass on the titles of the ten winning stories selected for the book, which she hopes you will buy, read and enjoy*. And she’s looking forward to finding out who wrote them.

So without further ado, here are the winning entries, runners-up and long-listed in this hotly contested year. Congratulations to all, thanks for these marvellous short stories.

And the one-off Willesden Herald mug inscribed “Willesden Short Story Prize 2017” goes to:
1st Prize (£300) –  “Dark Song” by Roberta Dewa

2nd (£200): “Art Zoo” by Paul J. Martin
3rd (£100): “Swimming Lessons” by Douglas Hill

(The remaining seven shortlisted receive £75 each.)

Shortlist
The following will be published in “Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 10”:
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

Long List
A History of Fire by Gerard McKeown
Air by Angelina Taylor
Art Zoo by Paul Martin
Dancing Her Black Bones Home by Suzanne Conboy-Hill
Dark Rain Falling by Deirdre Shanahan
Dark Song by Roberta Dewa
Isa’s Pitch by Maureen Cullen
Out by the Lough by Sue Lovett
Overnight in the Day Room by Deirdre Shanahan
Reverse Reaction by Anna Glokas
Rictus by Tanvir Bush
Swimming Lessons by Douglas Hill
The Collectors by Michael Antoinetti
The Day John Lennon Died by Raphael Falco
The Fish that was not my Pa by Meganrose Weddle
The Lapidary by Melanie Whipman
The Nationals by Andrew Moffat
The Quarry by Katherine Davey
Trespass by Roland Miles
Winter Kale by Shannon Hopkins

There were 445 entries in total. Thank you to everyone who entered and gave us such delicious torment over the past months trying to see how we could possibly choose between so many fascinating stories.

* Coming soon: Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 10. Watch this space for news on its launch and release.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Update: Names of the 20 stories on the long list

We’ve decided to do like some other contests do and announce the names of stories on our long list, but not the authors. Please don’t give the game away if you recognise one of these, as the judging is not yet complete.

We expect to complete the judging and have a short list by the end of the month, at which time we will reveal the authors. Meanwhile, here are the long-listed stories, in crude alphabetical order by story title.

A History of Fire
Air
Art Zoo
Dancing Her Black Bones Home
Dark Rain Falling
Dark Song
Isa’s Pitch
Out by the Lough
Overnight in the Day Room
Reverse Reaction
Rictus
Swimming Lessons
The Collectors
The Day John Lennon Died
The Fish that was not my Pa
The Lapidary
The Nationals
The Quarry
Trespass
Winter Kale

Our judge, Lane Ashfeldt, has reported “being hopelessly distracted from other work by reading the stories on the list.” She also assured us she is enjoying every minute, and is impressed by the high standard of the stories.

Thanks to all who entered, and I can confirm that every entry this year was a valiant attempt and there was considerable contention to get onto the long list of 20 out of 445.

Steve

George Saunders on the art of the story



Short story writer George Saunders, winner of the Man Booker prize for 2017 for his debut novel Lincoln in the Bardo, on "how to tell a compelling and humanizing story—and how to avoid the pitfalls of a bad one."

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

(Seven years ago)

Don't look harshly on
the cold season that comes,
embrace it like an old friend
you might never see again.

Say something to the spring,
it's not without fears,
it's destined for the tragedy
of completeness.

Summer wants you,
summer is not shy.
Summer won't bite you,
at least say hi.

Take autumn to the theatre,
something serious. Read
free verse from before the war.
But hurry.

Friday, October 13, 2017

(Four years ago)

All the happy moments have whirled and twirled
and flown south for the winter. This morning
a few crazy stragglers defy the rain, and down here
the heavy minutes, shaking out their feathers.