Inspiring night at Costa Coffee for the Short Story Night, with writers Jo Lloyd, Jill Widner, and Margot Taylor. Wise words from Rana Dasgupta who this year replaced Zadie Smith as judge of the Willesden Herald prize and awarded top place to Jo Lloyd (pictured) for her story ‘Work’.
After praising the shortlisted stories Rana offered the advice that: “Short stories don’t have to be small in their scope.” Brains behind the Willesden Herald Stephen Moran arrived on cue with a box of books fresh from the printer. How he published it so fast remains a mystery, but he had a smart-looking anthology ready double-quick, and in the counter-recessionary spirit blowing round people chose not to go out for dinner, and spent on paper instead. Every last book was sold (Rana’s new novel as well as the Willesden Herald anthology). It was fun to meet the writers, all of whom came a long way to read. Big thanks to Rosemary Gomez who worked wonders with sound, and Steve who took photos when my camera battery dried up. (Perhaps it’s time to trade in the indestructible Nokia brick for something fragile that doubles as a camera.)
In April the short story night would have fallen Easter Monday, so a break seems highly probable. Check Pulp Net for more info on future events.