This Year’s Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Momaya Short Story Competition 2018

MomayaShortStoryReview2018

Order The Momaya Short Story Review 2018

First Place The Avocet, Clare Reddaway

Second Place Howl, Ellis Logan

Honourable Mention
Lucia and Her Search For Home, Olaya Barr
My Father’s Court, Mark Farrington
The Landmark, Diane Jackman
Mangoes, Karishma Jobanputra
Bits Of Coloured Glass, Carolann Malley
Sunbeams, Laura Muetzelfeldt
All We Notice Is, Sandy Norris

More Stories on the theme of Coming Age
Birthday Girl, Claire Barnard
The Cobbler’s Child, Martin Blayney
Free White Milk, Talya Boerner
Boarding House, Camille Capriglione
Peyton Got His Gun, Tom Chambless
Life as a Series of Caves, Leon Davey
After a Certain Age You Can Either Have Good Shoes Or Good Feet, Jane Fraser
A Passing Front, Jane Fraser
From the Dining Room Table, Deborah Freeman
Swimming Middle River, Leah Holbrook Sackett
The Old Warm World, Nick Jackson
The Summoning, Tushar Jain
Immortal Pudding, Ellis Logan
Snow Angels, Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki
A Lovely Ugly, Gwenda Mitchell
Coming Of Age, Margaret Morey
Good Fortune, Ellen J. Perry
The Point Of Return, Mark Simpson

 

About the Authors

 

1st Place

Clare Reddaway writes short stories and plays. She likes merging stories into performance, so she runs a regular spoken word event here in Bath called Story Fridays. Her stories have been published online, in magazines and anthologies, and have won and been shortlisted for national competitions – including a previous honorable mention and publication by Momaya in 2013. Her plays have been staged in the south-west, where she lives, and elsewhere in the UK, including an outing at the Edinburgh Festival for the first time this year. For more information visit her website clarereddaway.co.uk.

What was the inspiration for your story?

My story was inspired by a recent trip to the Suffolk coast. I was reminded of many childhood holidays spent sitting on the beach at Minsmere, and that was the trigger for my story. Thereafter, it stops being autobiographical!

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

It’s wonderful being published by Momaya. I have been lucky enough to be published in the anthology before, but to be the overall winner of the competition is very special indeed. I know the quality of the stories that Momaya receives is high, so it’s a great honour.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

As for the future, I have a number of plays that I’m itching to write. Once they’re finished I’d love to get them produced. Last year, I wrote some stories for a site specific event that I curated with some theatre colleagues. I’d like to do some more of that kind of writing – it’s quite a challenge. I have never tried to put together my own collection of short stories, and I’m thinking that maybe this year might be the right time.

 

2nd Place

Ellis Logan is the author of three fantasy series in the paranormal, science fiction and YA genres: Inner Origins, Starseeds and Full Disclosure. Her body lives in Connecticut but her mind spends most of its time in the stars and the hidden realms of the fae. When her family is settled down and the owls begin to sing, you’ll find her typing away and munching on dark chocolate while unseen spirits whisper stories in her ear. Visit her at www.ellislogan.com.

What was the inspiration for your story?

The story for ‘Howl’ came to me in a dream one night after discussing the joys of perimenopause with a circle of friends. I saw the woman’s journey so clearly, I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I finally sat to write it down a few days later. ‘Immortal Pudding’ arrive as a simple thought: Why do Zombies always have to be horrible, scary cannibalists? What if they were just a bit more like senile tumbleweeds, instead? And it evolved from there.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

A great deal! I have been writing full-length fantasy novels for several years now, but had not written a short story in over twenty years when ‘Howl’ came to me. It was so different from what I usually write, both in style and theme. Still, it was fun, and I went on to write a few more, and then more. The simple fact that both the stories I submitted are devoid of dialogue is unusual and I wasn’t sure anyone would like them. The fact that ‘Howl’ won second prize is hugely uplifting and encouraging for me.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I have a short story collection in the works, since I’ve found that the shorts help dissolve chapter fatigue when working on the longer novels. I am also working on a new sci-fi fantasy called Post Magic. It’s a magical off-world crime thriller with steampunk elements, with a main character who works for the Post Office – basically The Dresden Files meets Firefly meets Charmed meets Castle.

 

Claire Barnard originates from Norwich, England but in a bid to escape her family moved to Bristol in 1983 where she still lives.  Born in 1964 she didn’t have the confidence to write fiction until she was in her forties.  She studied dance as a mature student and now works as a mental health advocate. Wishing to inform as well as entertain, her writing is predominantly about mental health with an edge of humour and always about the human.

What was the inspiration for your story?

I received a present for my 50th birthday that initially made me feel nonplussed.  This was the starting point but the rest of the story is not autobiographical.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

It makes me feel that I’m doing something right and encourages me to do more.  I have had poems and articles published but never a short story so it is very exciting. I can’t wait to see it in print.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

Lots of plans! I am currently compiling a collection of short stories on mental health themes and have written a standup comedy script, which I will soon be performing at a charitable event.  I wrote my first novel a few years ago and have never finished it so that is an on-going project.  And it’s always tempting to start something new…

 

Olaya Barr is a translator, photographer, and writer living in New York. She was awarded the De Alba Fellowship for excellence in fiction writing as an MFA student at Columbia University, as well as a grant to attend artist residency Obracadobra in Oaxaca, Mexico. As an educator, her interests are centered on immigrant communities, bilingual speakers, and those affected by autism. She writes about biculturalism, food, and the multifarious identities that fall under the umbrella of Hispanic culture; she photographs Brooklyn subcultures and street litter. You can see more at www.olayabarr.com.

What was the inspiration for your story?

“Lucía and her search for home” is part of a larger coming of age novella about a girl trying to make sense of her bicultural
identities, of the asynchrony of feeling both like an insider and an outsider in her family and community. It is inspired by my own memories of feeling simultaneously lost and proud, confused and all-knowing, as a child growing up with a Spanish mother, British father, in the suburbs of Los Angeles.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

I am excited to have my work published in Momaya Press, particularly in an issue devoted to “Coming of Age” because I feel that this theme is ripe with important, vital stories. We’ve all experienced growing pains, felt in-between child and adult, struggled to comprehend the world around us (and many of us still do!). I believe coming of age stories teach us a lot about our human impulses and capabilities, and I’m happy to be part of a literary community of authors who also see the power in the stories of young adults.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

Since writing this piece, I’ve become drawn to nonfiction and memoir. I’ve begun to explore how biculturalism and bilingualism has affected me not only as a child, but as an adult. Either through fiction or nonfiction, I plan to continue writing about the experiences of those who feel like outsiders, and creating photographs that mirror this sentiment of non-belonging.

Martin Blayney is a retired Primary School teacher. He is a member of a writing group ‘Outside the Lines’ in Belfast. He has previously been longlisted for The Fish short story award and The Fish Memoir award and short listed for the ChipList short story award. This is his first publication. He concentrates mainly on short story writing but is presently attempting to write a novel.

What was the inspiration for your story?

My inspiration for The Cobblers Child was an overheard conversation in a café. Two young teenagers were complaining about how their parents were geeks who never seemed to have time for them. They were planning to run away somewhere and get jobs and a flat. They were all shiny-eyed with the excitement of it. It made me think of The Cobbler’s child who had no shoes and how he must have felt neglected and probably felt like running away too. Running away somehow symbolised the need for independence, breaking away from parents and the safety of home, like Tom Sawyer going to Jackson’s Island.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

I am absolutely delighted and thrilled to be getting published. This is my first time so it’s a kind of Coming of Age for me too. I am very grateful to Momaya Press for this opportunity.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

Having been selected for publication feels great and has spurred me on to keep writing. Knowing that someone out there appreciates your work is a great confidence builder.

 

Talya Boerner Talya Tate Boerner draws inspiration from nature, hoards old books, and believes a side of collard greens will improve almost any dish. Deep down, she trusts her debut novel, The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee, will find its magical way to the big screen via Reese Witherspoon’s desk. She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas, one of the best kept secrets of the southern United States.

What was the inspiration for your story?

I drew inspiration from my childhood school days and remembered how even the smallest thing, like a box of free white milk, could separate students into groups.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

Writing is a solitary endeavor, often performed without feedback. I am grateful to receive recognition for my work and the additional exposure publication brings.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I am currently editing my second novel, a story about aging and mid-life.

 

Camille Capriglione is a journalist, artist and fiction writer. She has written for the Lehigh Valley Press in Pennsylvania, their Arts & Entertainment section, since 2006.

What was the inspiration for your story?

I was inspired to write “Boarding House” by the pervasive ability we have to connect on social media with people from our past. As a Generation X-er, this is still startling to me. I thought, what if we decided NOT to and simply relished in the memories? Sometimes the past is best left in the past.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

It’s thrilling to be published by Momaya Press! They are so supportive of aspiring writers. This is really a dream come true, as I’ve never entered a fiction writing competition before.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

Future plans: Presently seeking representation for my middle-grade children’s novel ‘The Ghosts of Cratchit Castle,’ which is a Dickensian mystery set in Victorian England.

 

Tom Chambless retired from the U.S. Army some years ago after twenty years of service and began writing as a hobby. During his military service, as a senior Noncommissioned Officer, they required him to take a DOD course for military style writing. It has been the extent of his formal writing training.
Tom joined an online group called The Write Practice. There he learned and continued to improve his writing of short stories and longer works. The community in the forum there has helped him learn and grow.

What was the inspiration for your story?

Peyton is a part of me. When I was a young teen, I had above average intelligence, like him. I had a mother who could be hard as vinegar. I grew up in a home with an abusive father. I had a couple of incidents at school and came home to these parents. If I had had an imaginary “gun,” like Peyton’s, I would have used it.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

I am over the moon. My wife is in Utah visiting the grandchildren. I called her right away and read her the email. She didn’t get past the first four words before heaping praise on me. I couldn’t finish it. We both laughed and cried. We will buy many copies of the book for our family and friends. Being published by Momaya means credibility, respectability, and things I don’t know right now. Just getting something out there is such a giant step forward.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

As I move forward in the writing business, this will no doubt be a huge boost for my platform. I am a prolific writer. I continue to write short stories. I’m editing a new one now. I am also finishing the first draft of a novel. I love the novel, but my focus is on short stories. I plan to publish as many things as I can while I can. Money does not motivate me but telling a compelling story to an absorbed audience does.

 

Leon Davey is a full-bodied Yorkshireman with a hint of the fens, a smattering of the North East and a bitter aftertaste of London. He started writing fiction seriously in 2004 and had a story published in the Momaya Annual Review 2005. In response to that success, he promptly moved to Japan and neglected his writing for the next ten years to study Japanese. He lives in Tokyo, where he works as a translator by day and fills the hard drive of his computer with novels and short stories by night.

What was the inspiration for your story?

The dentist I had when I was 17 inspired the story by being a bit of an arse during a check-up one day in the 1990s. He asked me about my plans for the future and I told him I planned to study philosophy and theology. ‘Well that sounds useful,’ he scoffed. A number of possible responses ran through my mind as I lay there on that dentist’s chair, many of which were obscenity-filled observations about his beer belly and his rancid breath. I mean, why did he keep telling me to floss when he clearly couldn’t follow his own advice? In the end I just muttered something about different people liking different things, which was probably the wisest option given that he was standing over me with sharp instruments in his hands at the time.

When I wrote the story I imagined what would have happened if I’d allowed the condescension of people like my dentist to influence my future. A coming of age is usually seen as a journey from ignorance to knowledge, but in my story I wanted to depict the kind of transition in which the pressure to conform pushes a young person away from what comes natural to him towards what he thinks will please or impress others. That kind of pressure can be well intentioned but it can also come from a place of ignorance and bitterness. It’s the kind of thing I imagine Philip Larkin had in mind when he wrote the line, ‘Man hands on misery to man.’

The story was also inspired partly by current events. Like most people I find it hard to remember the details of what I studied 20 years ago, but one thing that has stayed with me is how my degree forced me to treat glib assertions with skepticism, to pick apart the arguments of others and to back up my own ideas with reading and research. In view of recent history, if I could go back in time to that dentist’s room I’d take him aside and say: ‘Yes, critical thinking is useful. Now carry on scraping the residue of six months of Big Macs from that zitty teenager’s teeth.’

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

It means a lot to me. I’m a big fan of your short story competition. Having to think about a theme not only gives me a ready-made topic to write about but also forces me to think about what I’m trying to say. I’m also grateful that you published my first short story back in 2005.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

In recent years I’ve been focusing on writing novels. My first one was an attempt to create a kind of grungy sequel to Alain-Fournier’s Le Grand Meaulnes set in the English fens in the 1990s. That one is currently languishing on my hard drive for obvious reasons, but I was able to use a character from it as the rather pompous protagonist in this story, so it was a useful exercise in the end. I have also written the first draft of a second novel. Most of my writing time this year is likely to be spent trying to polish that story into something that others might want to read.

 

Mark Farrington is program director for the Johns Hopkins M.A. in Teaching Writing Program. He has published short fiction in CARVE, The Valparaiso Fiction Review, and other journals, and has recently completed a novel, Manion in Darkness. A native of New England, he currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

What was the inspiration for your story?

My father was the janitor at the local high school when I was about the age of the boy in the story. He once took me to a game while he was working, although what happens after that in the story is purely fictional.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

It’s always an honor to have your work recognized, especially by a prestigious press in a contest with so many applicants. I’ve also found that my stories are sometimes more well received by English readers than American ones, although I’m not sure why that is.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I just recently finished a short story that was quite a departure (in style and process) for me, so it’s got me excited to continue experimenting. There’s also another novel brewing in my head, though I’m not yet ready to sit down and put words to paper.

Jane Fraser lives, works and writes in Gower, south Wales where by day she is co-director of NB:Design and by night, a writer of short stories, memoirs and a first novel in progress. She has an MA (distinction 2013) and PhD (2017) in Creative Writing from Swansea University. Her work has figured in international short story competitions: 2nd place in Fish Memoir Prize 2018, finalist Manchester Fiction Prize 2017, runner-up in the Rhys Davies Short Story Prize and longlisted in ABR Elizabeth Jolley Prize. In 2018 she was selected as one of Hay Writers at Work for a creative development bursary. She has been published by New Welsh Review, The Lonely Crowd, TSS, Fish, and previously by Momaya Press in 2013. Her first single-authored Short fiction collection entitled, The South Westerlies is to be published by Salt in 2019. She is grandmother to three beautiful girls, Meg, Flo and Alice. Join her on twitter @jfraserwriter or at www.janefraserwriter.com.

What was the inspiration for your story?

Though obviously my stories are not real, they are rooted in the reality of personal experience and later re-cast to make fiction. ‘A Passing Front’ grew out of the image of wasps easing their way into my conservatory to find warmth in December, the image not going away until I wrote it away. In the story, the ‘broken’ wasps are used a metaphor for the broken relationship of a middle aged man who in the end realises the futility of trying to put the wasps, or his marriage, back together again.

‘After a Certain Age You Can Either Have Good Shoes or Good Feet’ sprang from the combination of a quote I once heard from actress, Kathleen Turner, and the potent image of my mother-in-law’s slippers at the side of the chair in her bedroom after she had suddenly passed away. It was as if her very being was held in the impressions of her feet left in the soft fabric. I tried in my fiction, to turn grief into a positive experience of love and explore the lengths we as human beings go to in order to come to terms with loss.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

I am honoured to this year have 2 of my stories selected for publication by Momaya Press  whom I regard highly for the value placed on both the short story genre and emerging writers, of all ages and backgrounds. Writing can be a lonely business so the opportunity to share my work is exciting and I am very grateful for this opportunity.

 

Deborah Freeman is a playwright (Candlesticks, The Song of Deborah, Xanthippe, Fat – BBC Radio – The Scapegoat.)  Her new play Remedies is being prepared for a production this year, after a development workshop at The White Bear Theatre, London. Her recent short story `By Madeleine Black` appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of Stand Magazine, and her new story `Waving in the Wind,`  is published on the website Words for the Wild. She is currently writing a story set in Ashkelon in the nineteen seventies, called The Man on the Roof. She has published occasional poems, in Poetry Review, Jewish Renaissance, and other journals. She will be participating in Unbroken, a festival of arts and mental health, at the end of the summer, contributing a writing workshop and a new short play called Hanna.

What was the inspiration for your story?

I have always been fascinated by the topic of what people believe, and why. Each of my plays has tackled the subject, one way or the other.

`From the Dining Room Table`  is a coming-of-age story, but my protagonist reaches an advanced age before being able to look back, and reflect on her own particular journey – emotional, psychological, social –  to the land of Not Believing Too Much.

Inspiration? A story about growing up. Not really what I saw, learned, and believed in childhood. More – what I imagined I did. The setting may be autobiographical but the characters and events are definitely not.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

Pleased, of course.  Interested to learn more about it, and of course I intend to read all the anthology, not to mention several previous ones.  Thank you.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I am currently in discussion with a director regarding `Remedies,` and am working on a short story. I hope to publish some of my plays online this year, specifically the ones that have had several productions – albeit fringe, and small – and of course the odd good review.

This year I will be revising and submitting my novel, Mrs Faust.

Meanwhile I am branching into directing – about to direct `Hanna` for the Unbroken Festival, in August, in Barnes, South London.

 

Leah Holbrook Sackett is a short story writer and adjunct lecturer in the English Department at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. This is where she earned both her B.A. in English and M.F.A in Creative Writing. She lives with her husband and daughter in Webster Groves, MO, where she enjoys writing side-by-side with her daughter (a published short story writer).

What was the inspiration for your story?

The inspiration for my story was based on my Mother’s childhood in the 1950’s when childhood was idolized and unprotected.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

I feel honored to be published by a press that has their finger on the pulse of creation.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I plan to continue writing short stories, but I also plan to delve further into my upcoming novel.

 

Diane Jackman’s work has appeared in Rialto, Happenstance, Snakeskin, small press magazines and many anthologies.  Starting out as a children’s writer with seven books and more than 100 stories published, she now concentrates on poetry and short stories. She is passionately interested in Anglo-Saxon literature and medieval rabbit warrens.

What was the inspiration for your story?

The inspiration for my story came from my grandfather’s experience in his first job on a farm.  He worked for a year for board and £5, but when he came to draw his wages, his father had arrived earlier and taken the money to pay the coalman.  This piece of family history was one of the many stories handed down and told again and again with very little variation.  In the end it insisted on being written.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

It is such an encouragement to receive an Honorable Mention in the Momaya Press Short Story Competition.  There are so many good writers who have been published by you, that it is truly a privilege to join their ranks on this occasion.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I have mostly been writing poetry in recent years, but I feel I would like to write more short stories.  They give so much scope for exploring ideas and developing characters.  It will be a change of direction, but I’m sure will still call on the past and a sense of place.

 

Nick Jackson’s work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including the Amazon-bestselling “Dark Minds” (Bloodhound Books), “Twisted’s Evil Little Sister” (Create50) and “The Anthropocene Chronicles” (3rd Story Productions), and will shortly feature in “The Singularity” (Create50). He is a regular guest blog contributor, and a member of Script Yorkshire. He lives in Leeds, and can often be seen talking to cats.

What was the inspiration for your story?

My favourite book is “The Great Gatsby” – which is surprising, considering my writing usually leans towards horror and science fiction. I wanted to create something that acts as a homage to F Scott Fitzgerald’s evocative prose, and a tale about coming of age was the perfect setting for the nostalgia and longing that is the heart of Gatsby.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

It’s an honour to be following in the footsteps of bestselling authors like CL (Cally) Taylor. Momaya Press offers a much-needed platform for new voices, for different voices, and I’m proud that mine is joining them.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I started out by writing a novel, and the time feels right to tackle a new one. I have more short stories planned for specific markets, and I’m also adapting one into a full feature script. At some point, I’ll join the 21st century and set up my own website as well.

 

Tushar Jain is an award-winning Indian poet and writer. His debut collection of poetry, Shakespeare in the Parka, is to be published in 2018. His debut novel, Dragonwatching, is to be published in early 2019. His work has been published in myriad literary magazines and journals such as Aaduna, Papercuts, The Nervous Breakdown, Antiserious, Raed Leaf India, The Young Ravens Review, The Bangalore Review, Streetcake Magazine, The Sierra Nevada Review, Into the Void Magazine, The Cape Rock Journal, Miracle, Dryland Magazine, Edify Fiction, Gramma, decomP Magazine, Priestess and Hierophant Magazine, and elsewhere.

What was the inspiration for your story?

The inspiration for my story was witnessing a séance and watch it go horribly wrong.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

It means a lot to me to be published by Momaya press. For a new
writer, Momaya has presented a thrilling opportunity for experience and exposure!

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I’m currently working on my next novel.

 

Karishma Jobanputra is an English writer currently based in New York City where she is finishing up her MFA in fiction at Columbia University. She has been interviewed by Columbia Journal and her work can be found online at Columbia Journal, The Guardian, the Columbia Our Word Journal and The Boar. She writes about the body, femaleness, hierarchies and tradition, and is currently at work on her first novel as well as a collection of nonfiction essays.

What was the inspiration for your story?

I love writing about tradition and expectation. This story feels like
it’s very much about that and also touches on other things that I love
thinking about, like gender, failure and societal values. For this
specific story I had been thinking about the image of glass burrowing into skin for a while and it was always accompanied by a boy running through a street in India. I sat down to see where the image might go and the story just happened, I think it was already there, bubbling under the surface of the images and it sprung from the sorts of themes I usually write about.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

I’m so thrilled because this is my first piece of fiction to be published!  It feels fitting because it’s the first story I wrote that I
didn’t have to write, the first story I wrote that allowed me to
entertain the idea that I might be a writer. I’m so pleased that it
found a home at Momaya in particular because I love that you really
understand the importance of community and how powerful words and stories can be.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I’m just finishing up my thesis for my MFA and it’s a collection of
short stories, so I’m hoping to work up the courage to send some of
those out and maybe see them published. And now I’m at work on a novel and also some nonfiction essays. So a lot of writing! I’m a little
terrified about leaving school and having to juggle writing time around real life, but I’m in denial about that at the moment and it’s going well.

 

Carolann Neilon Malley is a retired journalist, a fiction writer and a poet. She was a news reporter for The Republican newspaper for many years, taught journalism at the University of Massachusetts and creative writing in the public schools, and led writing workshops for inner city teens and women. Her fiction awards include: Editor’s Choice from Shaye Arehart, Faulkner Wisdom finalist for a novel-in-progress, Faulkner Wisdom short story finalist, Carrie McCray Literary Award, and the Historical Novel Society’s short story award. Publications include: The MacGuffin, Black Magnolia, Santa Clara Review, Sojourner, America’s Intercultural Magazine, Larcom Review, River Oak Review, Peregrine, and several themed anthologies. As a journalist, she covered everything from presidential elections and national conventions to courtroom trials, and written restaurant and book reviews, a political column, investigative pieces and travel articles.

What was the inspiration for your story?

“Bits of Coloured Glass” was previously published in Sojourner. It was inspired by real life events.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

It is an honor to join the ranks of those known and unknown writers published by Momaya Press.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I am working on a linked collection of short stories that take place in a lower-income neighborhood in Holyoke Massachusetts between 1930 and 1970.

 

Gwenda Mitchell has indulged her life-long ambition to write since retirement. She has made the short-list in Writing Magazine competitions and publication in Scribble – a quarterly magazine.

What was the inspiration for your story?

My story was inspired by my upbringing in a small mining valley in South Wales. The death certificate quoted is that of my grandfather who perished in the pit at the ripe age of forty -nine.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

Being a late starter I am pleased to be accepted by Momaya Press and feel it is one step closer to being a competent writer.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

Although I enjoy writing short stories, I am in the middle of writing a Memoir, which, with any luck I will complete before leaving this planet.

 

Margaret Morey grew up on Teesside, studied English at Manchester University, and spent her working life as a careers adviser, working and living in Newcastle and Northumberland. She has had a lifelong interest in literature and now her three children are grown-up, she has developed her own writing through a local writing group,and has placed in several competitions. She also loves travel, walking, gardening, family, friends and her two cats.

What was the inspiration for your story?

My story is about developing from being a child who has to accept life – or in this case death – in the way which grownups define it, to becoming an adult who is able to exercise choices. But those choices are still defined by the experiences of childhood. The story is based on my own experiences and explores the way we react to situations in our lives which we do not feel able to cope with, but where society makes assumptions about the way we will deal with nightmare scenarios.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

I am happy that my story struck a chord, enough to be noticed, and excited to reach a wider public.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I would like to write something longer, a novel perhaps, or maybe study for an MA in Creative Writing.

 

Laura Muetzelfeldt is a teacher, writer and silversmith who lives in Glasgow with her family. She writes short stories and has been published in journals such as The International Literary Quarterly, Foxglove Journal, and Ink, Sweat and Tears; her story, ‘Anna on the Wing’, was highly commended in The Federation of Writers Scotland Competition 2018. She also writes young adult fiction and her novel, Perfect Memory, was longlisted for Fish Publishing’s Young Adult Novel Contest.

What was the inspiration for your story?

This had an inauspicious start, beginning as a paragraph I wrote in response to a creative writing exercise. The two people to my right in the workshop provided a character (Bruno, age 6) and a setting (a fish market, evening). The next day, I kept writing and it was one of those rare stories (for me) that felt like it wrote itself. If the first draft came easily, editing took a little longer; ten years passed before I was happy enough to send it off.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

Although I have been published online, this is the first time I will be able to flick though a book and find one of my stories. I love books – the feel of them, the smell of them. And so this means a lot. It means my writing has now become something I can hold, something tangible. In my head, it means I am now actually a writer.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I am currently trying to chisel out small bits of time in between teaching and looking after my two sons in order to redraft my first novel. Being published by Momaya Press has given my confidence a massive boost – as well as giving me a real sense of urgency – and I hope next year to have a final draft I am proud of.

 

As an English teacher turned writer, Sandy Norris’ first success came in 2005 when my children’s historical adventure story: “Run Away to Danger” set on Henry VIII’s ship the Mary Rose, was published by the National Maritime Museum. Since then, I have achieved Short List placing/publication in several international competitions including Momaya Press Awards (2014 + 2016) and 1st Prize in the R H Cunningham Memorial Short Story Competition last year.

What was the inspiration for your story?

The inspiration for my story came from my debut novel: “The Scent of Roses”, which focusses around the ferry pilots in the 2nd World War who flew the aircraft from factories to the front for the men to use in battle. Aged between eighteen and thirty-eight, these women not only had to learn to fly many different types of aircraft – they also had to ride out the bigotry thrown at them by many of the general public who were against women pilots. A definite ‘coming-of-age’ tale

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

Being published by Momaya for the third time, makes me feel good. While I am still trying to find an agent who will take on my novel, Momaya keeps me confident that I will get there in the end.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

My plans are to continue writing novels. “The Scent of
Roses” is my third ‘debut’ and my writing continues to mature. Being
a writer rather than a teacher is much more challenging, but also
something I could not do without.

A native of western North Carolina, Ellen J. Perry’s academic interests include 17th- and 18th-century British life and literature, Restoration drama, and Southern/ Appalachian culture. Her story “Milk, Bread, Soft Drinks” was awarded First Place in Fiction by the Bacopa Literary Review. Ellen enjoys teaching her amazing college students, working on projects related to women’s rights activism, and playing with her stylish cat, Ms. Coco Chanel. For more information please visit http://ellenjperry.com.

What was the inspiration for your story?

“Good Fortune” was inspired by my interest in the phenomenon of the Kentucky Derby and finalized after a trip from the South to the West (USA). I am most interested in what happens to natives of the American South, particularly women, when they encounter obstacles and dare to move beyond cultural and regional expectations.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

I love that Momaya Press values, on a global scale, the triumph of individual expression: “Most of our waking hours are spent doing things that are functional. It’s a celebration of life to take time out to write a piece of fiction that exists for no purpose other than as an expression.”

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I am a full-time teacher but enjoy writing on the side. I hope to find the right publisher for my short story collection entitled ‘Milk, Bread, Soft Drinks’ and Other Stories of the South.

 

Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki is an emerging writer and visual artist living in Vancouver, Canada. She was born in former Yugoslavia from where she emigrated in the nineties. Her work has been published in the American Fiction Anthology by the New Rivers Press and won awards in literary competitions in Canada, as well as an honorable mention by The Glimmer Train. Tatjana is presently working on a novel in stories set in Serbia and Canada.

What was the inspiration for your story?

The inspiration for snow angels came to me from three sources. One was the media coverage of the Syrian refugee crises with the seemingly endless trail of displaced families. The second was a puzzling image from the cover of a literary magazine I was reading at the time, featuring a snowy landscape with a tree and a ladder. The binding agent was the NYC Midnight Challenge Competition that required a love story with a theme of moving in together and a character who is a restaurant critic. From these unlikely ingredients emerged a story of a Syrian girl in love with a Canadian boy.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

Being published by Momaya Press is like joining an international family of writers and readers who support each other and highly value the literary craft. I feel deeply honored to be associated with this inspiring community.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

For the past couple of years, I have been working on a collection of
short stories linked by the characters of one family. The stories are
set in Serbia and Canada and they span the time period from WWII to the present time. I expect to complete this book by the end
of the year. After that, I am planning another collection of stories
inspired by the lives of uprooted eastern Europeans who make their homes in foreign lands.

 

Mark Simpson has been teaching English at secondary level for over ten years, and always written bits and pieces here and there, but in the last few years he’s made an effort at writing with more intent and focus to craft short stories on a range of topics.  Writing continues to be a great way of thinking about language, ideas and style from the inside out.

What was the inspiration for your story?

I have always been interested in the way we recall and remember the past and the potential unreliability of that, as well as the power that the past can hold over people and the extent to which it can be re-moulded.  ‘The Point of Return’ is an abridged version of a longer story, and attempts to look at the point or reason why a person might return to childhood and the possible impact of that.

What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press?

When you are writing a story over a period of days and weeks, and then come to a final version of it, it can be very hard to look at the writing objectively.  You are suddenly uncertain whether the endeavour has produced anything worthwhile.  To have external readers find something of quality in a story enough to publish it, as Momaya have done here, is some suggestion that perhaps you should persist in developing whatever skill there is.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I aim to continue writing short stories, for my own interest and for people who might like to read them.  If I can develop my writing skill and application, then it would be amazing to create quality writing of greater length.

 

Previous Momaya Press Awards:

Momaya Press Awards Ceremony 2017
Momaya Press Awards Ceremony 2016
Momaya Press Awards Ceremony 2015

Momaya Press Awards Ceremony 2014
Momaya Press Awards Ceremony 2013
Momaya Press Awards Ceremony 2012
Momaya Press Awards Ceremony 2011
Momaya Press Awards Ceremony 2010
Momaya Press Awards Ceremony 2009
Momaya Press Awards Ceremony 2008
Momaya Press Awards Ceremony 2007
Momaya Press Awards Ceremony 2006
Momaya Press Awards Ceremony 2005
Momaya Press Awards Ceremony 2004