On April 16th, the writers shortlisted for the Willesden Herald Short Story Competition were invited to the launch of ‘Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 8’ at Brent Artists Resource Gallery, NW2, where the winner and two runners-up were announced – massive congratulations to Nick Holdstock, Angela Sherlock and Joan Brennan!
As well as the prize-giving, excerpts from six of the stories were read by the talented actors from Liars’ League – including, to my great surprise, an extract from my ‘Rash’. It was very strange and strangely wonderful to hear my words brought to life by Helen Belbin Corbett and the whole evening was great, bustling and vibrant. It was a huge pleasure to meet some of the other authors and their friends, along with the brilliant judge, Charles Lambert, and Willesden Herald’s inspirational organiser, Stephen Moran.
Since the launch, Steve has announced that he’s retiring from the competition. While this is an enormous loss to the short story world, Steve has obviously worked tirelessly and generously for years out of a genuine love for the genre. He has enabled us to discover so many different startling voices – reading previous anthologies, I was blown away be the quality of the writing, and the current collection contains some truly unforgettable tales; I still can’t fully believe I’ve been a part of this.
So a massive thank you to Steve Moran, for considering my ‘Rash’, but for so much more. For his keen eye and hard work and enthusiasm, for bringing us all those wonderful short stories. I wish him, and all the other excellent writers I met, the very, very best with their next adventures…