Thursday, 10 July 2008


After the furore last year, Zadie Smith has resigned (or been pushed?) as judge of The Willesden Herald international short story competition. This from the Willesden site:

Roll up, roll up! Throw your stories at us and win a mug. Judge: Rana Dasgupta. Closing date: 19 December 2008. Opening date: to be announced. Details to be announced. Meaning of life to be announced.

Rana's story 'The Flyover' which was shortlisted for the National Short Story Prize in 2006 was stunning and clever. I've never forgotten it and how it made me feel. See his fun website here for more about the man and his books, which include Tokyo Cancelled.


Tania Hershman said...

Ha, very interesting! This should change the nature of the comp somewhat. Will we ever know what happened to Zadie?

I love Rana's website, amazing. Reviews of his work talk about magical realism and surreal writing, so he might be more open to stories that are a little more experimental, eh? Fingers crossed.

Women Rule Writer said...

Yes, wouldn't that be great!! Mind you, the stories have to get through the team of readers first...

Re Zadie: I'd imagine the negative publicity made her step down, so that they could start the comp afresh. Or something like that!

If you can get your hands on the 2006 Nat S/Story comp anthology do. Rana's story is stunning. So clever & disturbing. Though it's probably in his collection, now that I think of it. Ramble ramble. Forgive me, I was at a launch last night. Another tonight. I'm not used to all this activity in my hometown!

Women Rule Writer said...

Oooohh, I just twigged it says 'win a mug', which was the prize in previous years also. They may have done away with the monetary aspect of the prize on the suspicion that it caused a lot of the problems last time. Aha!

BarbaraS said...

Oh I remember all the kerfuffle about Zadie... off to look at the website now!

Vanessa Gebbie said...

I'm delighted they have landed a great judge again.

And am reading for them this year.

ayomorocco said...

Seems that Rana has been removed or has not been confirmed. He is not listed on the Willesden website as a judge (I just checked).

Women Rule Writer said...

V - hope you find some gems among the pile you get to read.

Ayo - Welcome!! If you go to the Willesden site, right at the top there's a banner, in red, that reads:
'willesden short story competition da capo'. Click on that and it will bring you to the announcement of Rana as judge. HTH!