Monday 12 April 2010


A great event on Saturday. An evening at The Dickens House Museum, in Doughty St, London, with readings from some of the authors shortlisted for the 2009 WH Short Story Prize, and a chance to tour this terrific little museum (the only house remaining in which Charles Dickens lived with his family.)
Great to see Stephen and Tess Moran, Anne Mullane and Lane Ashfeldt (organiser, partner thereof, supporters and benefactors of the WH Prize),
Great to also see/meet contributors Henrietta Rose Innes, Nuala ni Chonchuir, Tom Vowler, Wena Poon and Peggy Riley.
Great to see supporters Adam Marek, Julia Bohanna, Claudia Boers, Rob Shearman, Tania Hershman Nuala reading poetry in the back kitchen
Tom Vowler reading in the library.Henrietta Rose Innes

A private guided tour round this great place was followed by readings in the library and the back kitchen. Poetry from Nuala, and stories from the others. And the nailbiting moment where Mr Willesden Herald himself opened the envelope telling him and us who had won this year -
"The Architects" by Wena Poon is the winner. And equal runners up are: "Emily Strabnow's Freckles" by Willie Davis and "Falling" by Henrietta Rose-Innes.

Wena Poon, looking happy about something..Judge Richard Peabody says of Wena’s story:
"In my next life I'm coming back as the brainy talented author of "The Architects." Talk about brazen, submitting a story about a contest to a writing contest. Does it work? Check. The focus might well be on writers—the same dynamics of love, jealousy, sex, and mentors, applies. New York City is captured in amber. Check. Foreign-born exiles get their due. Check. Authentic dialogue squeezes out sparks. Check. Jokes? Check. Do the juggled balls remain in the air? Check. Yes, I want to be this author, who like a sly child with an Erector Set creates miraculous buildings out of thin air."

Congrats to Wena, and to all the finalists this year.
All the winning stories and the shortlisted and commended ones, can be found in Short Stories 3. Available from Pretend Genius Press HERE
Contributors: Wena Poon, Toby Litt, Julia Goubert, Willie Davis, Nuala NĂ­ ChonchĂșir, Kevin Spaide, Carys Davies, Jonathan Attrill, Peggy Riley, Tom Vowler, Paul McGuire, Jo Cannon, Jarred McGinnis, Henrietta Rose-Innes. ($10/£6.5/€7.5)
Lane Asfeldt, introducing the readers.
Frank O'Connor Festival Class of 2008, Rob Shearman, Tania Hershman, self, Nuala Ni Chonchuir, Wena Poon, Adam Marek.
Also - check out Adam's story here, finalist in the Sunday Times Short Story competition.


  1. Yay! Lovely report, Vanessa. Great to see you there. N x

  2. I made it - at last....if only to the blog!!!

    Great pics - looks like a fab time was had all round.