2017

Congratulations to the winners of the Momaya Short Story Competition 2017

First Place
Liquid, Matthew Di Paoli

Second Place
Stars in Their Eyes, Jane Ryan

Third Place
Kimi and Don’t She Hear the Sound of Grass Growing, Lindsay Fisher

Honourable Mention
The Crossing, Patrick Belshaw
Thicker Than Blood, Erin Deason
The Wall, Antony Dunford
Paradise Acre, Sarah Hegarty
Blue Monsters, Anthony Howcroft
One Wage, Rosalyn Kelly
Don’t Go Blaming Horses, Michael Yates

Additional stories we published on the theme of “Utopia / Dystopia”
Deadline, Katie Donisi
We don’t, Lindsay Fisher
Inversion, Colin Neville
The Power of One, Monisha Saldanha
DK2020, Eryl Samuel
Beyond the Awakening, Philip Stuckey
Dating Sim, E. Lee Schimmel
What We Have, Andrew Taylor
Withershins, Thomas Wadsworth
Miss Giles, Jocelyn Watson

 

About the Authors

First Place

Matthew Di Paoli received his BA at Boston College where he won the Dever Fellowship and the Cardinal Cushing Award for Creative Writing. He was nominated for the 2015 and 2016 Pushcart Prize, featured in “Best of the Net” by The Great American Lit Mag, shortlisted for the Wilbur & Niso Smith Adventure Writing Prize, and won the Prism Review Short Story Contest. Matthew earned his MFA in Fiction at Columbia University. He has been published in Fjords, The Stockholm Review, Post Road, Neon, Cleaver, and Gigantic literary magazines among others. He is the author of Killstanbul with El Balazo Press and teaches in New York City.

What was the inspiration for your story?

Liquid came out of an obsession with stars, doomsday prepping, and those nature shows that Sigourney Weaver always does the voiceover for. Also my distrust of weathermen. I’ve been very interested in what would happen if the world ended for quite some time, and actually wrote my last novel about it. It’s not the end of the world that intrigues me as much as who we are as it happens.

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

I think both what you guys do and your mission are really cool. I love the idea of a community of writers. I’ve always felt that if we helped each other more and fostered each other’s works, it would be beneficial to everyone–better writing, better reading, and more support in an extremely difficult industry, filled with constant rejection. This win, with so many other cool writers and stories in the competition, means a lot to me.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

My plan has always been to get an agent and publish more books. I was very lucky to have my first book published by El Balazo Press. They’re great. Now I’m looking forward to getting my work out to a larger audience. I have two more novels completed, one is shortlisted right now for the Wilbur & Niso Smith Adventure Writing Prize, so we’ll see where that takes me. I’m hoping for good things like this to keep happening.

 

Second Place

Jane Ryan is in the process of getting her teen spy thriller MISSING DAD quartet published – third about to go to publisher, fourth written and good to go.

What was the inspiration for your story?

I was an advertising copywriter in a previous life, so the glitz of the offer in ‘Stars in their Eyes’ was easy to create. So was the depressing cynicism of the government of the day. And the stupid, celebrity-blinded response of the parents. What I enjoyed most was creating the character of the street smart granny, who is also so nurturing of her beloved grandchildren.

‘Stars in their Eyes’ was written in anger.  Firstly, about the shameful way we treat our older people. Secondly, about the idiocy of the cult of celebrity. There was, in fact, very little to make up. We have celebrities signing up for Richard Branson’s rocket trips into space, where one of his prototypes has already killed a test pilot. We have so-called ‘care’ homes where they don’t give inmates enough to eat, and muddle up their medicines to a point where it can kill them.  I am just so grateful that we are able to have my Mum (and previously my Dad) safely with us so that none of these horrors can happen to them.

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

I have had various successes, one in another international writing competition a few years back, but I have always hungered for the Momaya prize. I love the way you set a theme, because that always chucks me right out of my comfort blanket and into scary new territory. And I love your values – your friendly, enthusiastic and encouraging approach to cultivating new writing talent. It is such a thrill to take Silver in the Momaya Writing Olympics!

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I’m a Young Adult writer normally; Teen Spy Thrillers in particular. ‘Missing Dad’ is the story of a teenager, whose dad is a secret agent gone missing while working undercover. The first two books are out there, and loved by local secondary school librarians – they’re using ‘Missing Dad’ as part of their Accelerated Reading programmes. Because the action is fast and furious, the students are loving ‘Missing Dad’ and asking for more.  ‘Missing Dad’ Book 3 is due out in November. The fourth and final in the quartet will be out in early 2018. I’m hugely enjoying spending time with these schools who have adopted me as their local author. And of course, there’s always the next Momaya competition …

 

Third Place

Lindsay Fisher currently has work in ‘Stories For Homes’, an anthology sold in aid of Shelter, a UK based charity for the homeless. Lindsay will also have a story in ‘Stories for Homes 2’. Lindsay has won third place in Fish’s short story competition 2017 and won first place in Fish’s flash fiction contest 2017.

What was the inspiration for your stories?

The inspiration for ‘Kimi’ was a photograph. It showed a girl climbing through a tear in a chain-link fence and long grass on the other side of the fence. That was enough.

The inspiration for ‘We Don’t’ was a writing class exercise where I chose to do something in 2nd Person Plural… I wanted to try and write a whole story in this voice, because it was hard and because it was unusual. Also, I almost lost one of my own children and that was a hard time and it marked me. This story deal’s with that at some level.

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

It means a lot for me as a writer to get recognition. I have read previous Momaya Short Story Reviews and to be included in this year’s is such a boost. And to be there as a prizewinner is beyond what I expected.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

My plans for the future… to keep on writing; to get better and better at telling a story; to get a book out on the shelves of bookshops, or ten books, all with my name on the cover. Isn’t that the dream of all writers-in-waiting?

 

Patrick Belshaw is the author of ‘A Kind of Private Magic’, Andre Deutsch, 1994, and of several published short stories (Comma Press, Mudfog Press, Red Squirrel Press, Byker Books) Recently shortlisted for Irish Imbas Books Celtic Mythology competition.

What was the inspiration for your story?

The inspiration for my story?     Obvious, I suppose.    The future – and the problem of how to sustain a growing population.   Ultimately, will the state be forced to step in?   For the sake of future generations, will the populace become acquiescent and accept some form of state intervention?    I would prefer the reader to pick up my story with no knowledge of this – indeed, even to forget the theme of utopia/dystopia.

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

It means a great deal to me to be published by any press.   But I have submitted to Momaya on (I think) two previous occasions without success, so it is particularly satisfying to find myself ‘third time lucky’!   Over the years, I’ve had over a dozen short stories published by one agency or another – although this is hardly a high ‘hit’ rate when you consider that I have written around eighty pieces of short fiction.   This very modest success doesn’t bother me in the least.   It is of course satisfying to see one’s stories in print, but I don’t write merely with a view to publication.    I write for my own enjoyment, and also because I feel impelled to write.    Consequently, I am usually very lax about sending work away.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

The future?   Well, I love the short fiction form, so I guess I will continue to write short stories.   But I have recently started a novel.   I’m not entirely clear why, because I have written three or four without success – and probably for very good reason.     The novel, unlike the short story, does tend to take over your life for a couple of years.    And at my age (I’m 81) I must be on borrowed time!

 

Erin Deason is a recent graduate of Columbia’s MFA program in Fiction. In addition to fiction, her writing interests extend to film and television.

What was the inspiration for your story?

The gray area between dystopia and utopia has always fascinated me and tends to be something I gravitate towards exploring in my writing. Much of my favorite writing (and cinema) falls within this space. My inspiration for “Thicker Than Blood” was namely my own phobia of getting my blood drawn, and the writing of Margaret Atwood. One day I sat imagining a society where this premise seemed practical, the routine medical collection of blood, yet its radical practicality neglects the individual’s fears and desires.

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

Being published by Momaya Press, particularly among fellow enthusiasts and writers of dystopian / utopian fiction, is a wonderful and humbling experience. It’s my first print publication so far, and has motivated and challenged me to continue writing short stories.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I’m currently working on two separate writing projects: my first novel, a literary sci-fi and dystopian love story set in Los Angeles, and a Virtual Reality narrative series set in near-future New York City.

 

Katie Donisi has been a writer since junior high school. She loves writing, video games, reading, and spending time with her family. She is currently a sophomore at Bowling Green State University.

What was the inspiration for your story?

My inspiration for “Deadline” was a simple question I had after seeing a Facebook post protesting kill shelters for pets: Would they do that to children to curb overpopulation? I imagined a child having to face death because they aren’t adopted. After much development, I introduced Orphan X-795 into the world where orphans die because they are unwanted, much like animals in shelters.

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

Being published by Momaya Press is a huge deal for me, as this is my first time being published. I am ecstatic about this opportunity that has been offered to me. I strongly recommend that other authors submit their work to the Momaya Short Story Review.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I plan on finishing and submitting full length novels for publishing.  I’m studying creative writing at BGSU and I fully intend to graduate with a bachelor’s in creative writing. I aim to write plays for the theater as well.

 

Antony Dunford has been dabbling in writing since he was about six. Hopefully the sentence quality has improved since then. He has no affiliation to any specific genre, though he’s nor so sure about that.

What was the inspiration for your story?

Reading Utopian novels such as News From Nowhere, Erewhon, and Walden Two it struck me that one person’s Utopia is another’s Dystopia – some individuals thrive in structured, controlled environments, others hate them, and vice versa. This, combined with a musing on some of the press and social media coverage of the recent election that often seemed to suggest that it’s much easier for people to be aggressively clear about what they don’t want, but less clear about what they do, led me to want to write something which offered a glimpse of a flight from a dystopian place to a more utopian one, but that the individual fleeing had no real idea of what his ideal place was. A walk past a walled garden somewhere in Yorkshire provided the rest – an image of a perfectly content woman living off weeds, extracting happiness from basic simplicity, as a contrast to the unsettled, active quest of the protagonist for something better that he hadn’t clearly defined. The wall around the utopian garden led to the idea of a wall around a dystopian state, fuelled by the possibility of a wall being build along part of the US-Mexico border.

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

This will be the first time anything I’ve written goes into print in a book, which is very exciting. I have a copy of the 2015 Treasure anthology by Momaya Press, which I much enjoyed, and I am looking forward to reading the other stories from this year.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I start an MA in Crime Fiction at the University of East Anglia in September, which should lead to a reasonably legible novel by 2018.

 

Sarah Hegarty read Mandarin at Leeds University and worked as a journalist before studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University. Her short fiction has been published previously by Momaya, and also by Cinnamon Press, Mslexia, Hysteria 2, Bridge House and on-line. A new story is forthcoming in the 2017 Mechanics’ Institute Review. Her first novel, The Ash Zone, won the 2011 Yeovil Literary Prize. She is working on her second novel, which won the 2014 Yeovil Literary Prize and was shortlisted for the inaugural Bridport Novel Award.

What was the inspiration for your story?

The inspiration for this story? For a long time I had the child’s voice in my head: ‘my pa’s a hunter’. The voice was proud, and seemed happy; but something wasn’t right. I realised that this child is living in a utopian dream; but the reality of daily life is very different.

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

I’m thrilled to be published again by Momaya. Their encouragement has played a vital role in my writing life, and their support for the short story is so important. I’m looking forward to reading the other pieces in the Review.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I’m currently working towards a short story collection, as well as editing my novel with the aim of sending it out to agents later this year. I’m also continuing to expand my creative writing workshops for schools.

 

Anthony Howcroft’s short stories have been published in a variety of US and UK periodicals, including The London Magazine, Writer Magazine USA, Words with Jam, and Riptide. His work has also appeared in numerous anthologies and his first collection, ‘Nobody Will Ever Love You’ was published by InkTears in 2015. Anthony lives in Southern California, and runs an Artificial Intelligence company that enables machines to work together as a team.

What was the inspiration for your story?

The inspiration for Blue Monsters came from a black and white photo of some women picking apples in an orchard, which I saw while listening to an old psychological test about how children ganged up on each other when given mis-information about the capabilities of people with different eye colours. These two random items sparked the story, and I wrote the first half on a train journey. It was probably not until a year later that I wrote the second half, after a friend of mine told me she thought the story wasn’t finished yet.

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

What does it mean to you to be published (again!) by Momaya Press?It’s always a great feeling to be published in a respected anthology like Momaya. As writer’s we go through (brief!) cycles of publication and acceptance, followed by periods of drought where nobody seems interested in your work. After the excitement of publishing my collection a couple of years ago, it has been a quiet period, so in many ways this publication in Momaya feels more valuable than the first.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

 

What are your plans for writing in the future?I have enough stories to put out a second collection, but I’m letting the stories ‘mature’ (i.e. I want to edit them more). In the meantime, I have a couple of non-fiction projects that are progressing at a snail’s pace.

 

Rosalyn Kelly grew up in the magical New Forest in the south of England and has lived around the country as well as in the Middle East and travelled all over the world.  She studied English Literature and Language at Oxford Brookes University before embarking on a PR and marketing career.  After ten years of telling the stories of international brands and businesses she decided the time had come to tell her own and her debut novel MELOKAI (In The Heart of The Mountains, Book 1) was written in 2016 after quitting her job, going travelling for four months and then writing solidly for six.  The inspiration for her epic fantasy trilogy came when she was trekking in the mountains of Nepal’s stunning Annapurna Sanctuary.

When she’s not putting her heart and soul into book two of the In The Heart of The Mountains trilogy, she daydreams about where to travel to next, paints with acrylic, reads voraciously and writes book reviews on her blog.  She also obsesses over fashion and make up, sporadically writing a beauty blog.

What was the inspiration for your story?

The inspiration for my story One Wage came from an article in the UK newspaper, The Sunday Times.  It was a review about two economics books, by editor David Smith.  The headline was ‘Money for everybody. Every adult should get a universal wage from the state, say two idealistic books’.  I read the article and immediately imagined a world where everyone got the same salary, or one wage, and started to delve deeper into how life would be in this world and how it had come about.  Then I asked myself, what would happen if someone wasn’t happy with the system and rebelled.

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

I’m delighted to be published by Momaya Press.  Seeing one of my stories in print is a huge thrill and I feel privileged to be featured alongside other excellent writers in the anthology.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

My debut novel, an adult fantasy called MELOKAI, book one of the In The Heart of The Mountains trilogy, will be published in Autumn 2017 and I’m busy writing book two.  I also continue to write short stories, flash fiction and novellas and have started planning my next trilogy.

 

Colin Neville is a retired university teacher. After retirement he developed and launched a website: ‘Not Just Hockney’, which now features the profiles of 300+ artists from the Bradford district of West Yorkshire, where Colin has made his home.  Since his retirement he has started to explore short story writing, so is delighted to be included in the Momaya Short Story Review 2017.

What was the inspiration for your story?

My inspiration for the story was how the increased use of CCTV has crept stealthily into our lives, with the justification that it is for our protection. There comes a point though, when protection slips into intrusion. ‘Inversion’ images such an intrusive scenario in the near future, perhaps tomorrow.

 What does it mean to you to be published by Momaya Press? What are your plans for writing in the future?

I woke up to a dull day. But your email with the news my story would be included in the Review changed everything. The day immediately brightened – and I began planning my next story. I’m 70 now, so this lovely surprise give me a real buzz and a sense of renewed purpose in life. I’ll keep on writing!

 

Monisha Saldanha’s earliest work was a choose-your-adventure novel that involved storylines about a haunted house and aliens.  Since then, Monisha has turned her hand to a number of genres from romance to literary fiction, and has kept up writing in her journal (nearly) every day.  Monisha has studied the art of writing in various adult education venues, including the Iowa Writers Workshop, Harvard Adult Education, the Mary Ward Centre in London.   She’s proud to have launched the Momaya Short Story Competition with her best friend from boarding school, Maya Cointreau. Monisha is married with two young sons, and has just moved from London, UK to Bonn, Germany.

What was the inspiration for your story?

I had the idea for the story while watching my husband killing time by scrolling through endless pages of his Facebook feed. He commented on one of our common friends who tends to over-share on social media – and wondered aloud about the professional and personal consequences of what she was sharing.  I wrote the story on my laptop while getting a pedicure (a rare treat!) with the idea of taking to the logical extreme the consequences of a world in which we all over-share.

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

This is the first time I have submitted my own writing to the annual competition and I’m delighted that the judges saw my story fit to publish!  The judges don’t see the names of the authors of the stories until after they decide what stories to publish.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

Writing is my passion, which I’ve fit around numerous other personal and professional commitments.  One of the positive benefits of moving to Bonn is that I should have much more time to write. As long as I don’t get distracted by my other interests – playing tennis, practicing yoga, learning German, and hanging out with my young sons and husband.

 

Eryl Samuel is a writer of short stories based in South wales. He has had success in various competitions over the last few years. Most recently, he won the Cardiff writers’ circle short story prize in 2016. This is his first entry with Momaya.

What was the inspiration for your story?

The story was written in haze of gloom and despair in the immediate aftermath of the American presidential election. The dystopian theme was very much influenced by the outcome of that election, the brexit vote and the success of UKIP in Welsh assembly elections – all this against the backdrop of mass migration and international  terrorism. With the rise of populism it seemed at the time that there had been a seismic shift in societal values and behaviours that was likely to lead to the break up of the United Kingdom within the next few years. The title  DK2020 refers to the Divided Kingdom – it has nothing to do with Denmark!

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

When ever you commit a story to paper you are unsure whether anyone else will understand or appreciate what you write. The fact that the story will be published is recognition that it must be reasonably coherent. Because the story is very much of the moment it needed to find an audience as soon as possible and I’m delighted that it will be through Momaya Press, which has such a strong reputation.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I am currently working on a novel set in the Welsh valleys. At the current rate of progress this is unlikely to be completed until after the year 2020 when my story is set. I’m hoping not all the changes I predict in the story will have come to pass by that time or I may find myself with more pressing things to do than complete a novel.

 

Lee Schimmel is a San Franciscan through and through: they have never acquired a driver’s license and instead rely on the city’s thorough but not always reliable system of buses and cable cars to shuttle between their job as an English tutor and local schools in need of a substitute teacher. That said, given that E. Lee grew up on remote vineyards and small towns in Mendocino County, not only does the foggy, pastel urban landscape of their current home often serve as a backdrop to their stories, but sometimes the redwoods of their childhood make an appearance. A genderqueer graduate from San Francisco State University’s Creative Writing program, E. Lee often writes into the ambiguities of identity, sexuality and the body. “Dating Sim” is their first story in print.

What was the inspiration for your story?

Originally, I set out to write a trans sci-fi story about an android who, despite being designed as a female companion for a man, realizes their gender identity defies what humans intended. In early drafts, the android fled from their owner to join an underground movement against the exploitation of all robots, whose struggle operated as a grand metaphor for many “isms” in our society. But when I returned to revise the story, I realized that the relationship between Eli and the protagonist was the lifeblood of the piece and decided to focus on dynamics of power and abuse between men and women.

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

I’ve wanted to be a writer since the first grade, when I started writing my own stories and poetry in my spare time, but it wasn’t until I studied creative writing in college that I really understood the challenges of revision and the submission process. After I graduated, I lost faith in myself and wondered if I lacked the talent or fortitude to be a writer. Being published by Momaya Press has renewed my confidence–I now truly believe I have a future in writing.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

Moving forward, I plan to continue revising stories and poems of mine and hope to publish more of my work in literary magazines. Eventually, I want to write a novel worthy of publication and further my career as a writer. At the moment, I’m in the planning stages of a thriller revolving around a group of private high school students whose cutthroat ambition has deadly consequences.

 

Philip M Stuckey, experienced husband, dad, granddad, singer songwriter, Northumbrian, creative thinker, entrepreneur and all round good egg.

What was the inspiration for your story?

My inspiration for the story stems from my own experience. At times I have longed for certain things and worked hard to achieve them, but when they are in my hands, they no longer glisten as I thought they would. The dream is often better than the reality. The old saying ‘be careful what you wish for’ comes to mind as there is always a price to pay. I believe there is no limit to what the human race can achieve, but should we do something just because we can? If it is possible then someone, somewhere will achieve it…but the unforeseen consequences may well be far reaching.

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

It means the world to me to be published in Momaya Press. Such affirmation is invaluable. I am thrilled to receive your email and feel very proud to have been selected for publication. It drives me on to keep writing and be bold enough to submit my work. This is a really big deal for me as I have just completed a fantasy novel called the Hunt for Moss and Magic and a collection of short stories entitled Matters of Life and Death. I have been nervous about submitting my work and this success has given me enormous encouragement. I can’t thank you enough.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

Moss and Magic is the first in a series of books I hope to complete in the coming months and years. Onwards!!!!!!!

 

Andrew Taylor. Science and law graduate. Worked in oil industry onshore and offshore. Practising solicitor.

What was the inspiration for your story?

I wondered what the perfect day at work would be.

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

It is very exciting to be published by Momaya Press. It’s heartening to know someone enjoyed reading my writing. I hope others do, too.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

My plans are to have my collection of short stories published and to keep writing.

 

Thomas Wadsworth is a writer of speculative fiction. He has been published in the H.G. Wells Short Story Competition’s 2015 anthology: Class, Aesthetica’s Creative Writing Annual, 2016, and in Audio Arcadia’s On Another Plane.

What was the inspiration for your story?

Richard Dawkins, in The Selfish Gene, wrote that population numbers increase with each new generation, so if you widen the gap between the generations you slow population growth. Widening the gap would mean having babies at an older age. And from that the idea for my story was born.

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

To be published by any forum is wonderful, but to have my work published by the prestigious Momaya Press is a blow to the voices in my head that tell me I’m not good enough and it’s a euphoric boost to the soul.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

Currently, I’m working on a series of short stories, all linked around a central idea, but each from a different time and perspective. I may consolidate them into a novel eventually but, for now, I’m enjoying the freedom that the short story format provides.

 

The Asian Women’s Writers Collective was Jocelyn Watson’s first writing home.  In 2016 she received an Arts Council of England Grant to write her novel that she is working on now.  In the same year, her story Suha about a female Syrian refugee was published in Gender and Race Matter: Global Perspectives on Being a Woman.  She has been a winner of the Asian Writer, the Jane Austen, the Freedom from Torture, the SAMPAD and other writing prizes and her work has been published by Dahlia Press, Honno Welsh Women’s Press, Women’s Press, and others. She writes because she believes literature can inspire us to better understand our world, to give us comfort, hope, and the strength we need to fight to create a more civilised, humane world.

What was the inspiration for your story?

Throughout history people have lived in troubled times but it is understanding what that means in our time.  When Thomas More wrote Utopia in 1516, he wrote about an imagined community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens.  I was interested in exploring what I thought young people’s perceptions might be of a world that was humane and decent.

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

I think Momaya Press is a progressive press. I am in total agreement with the ethos of Momaya Press that a piece of writing can bring about change.  Consequently I am honoured and delighted that my story, Miss Giles has been chosen for publication and hope that together with the other stories published, many progressive seeds will be planted in the minds of people all over the world.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I was very fortunate in receiving an Arts Council of England grant in 2016 to write my novel.  Consequently my creative energy is focussed on developing that work. In nourishing my writing skills and the themes of my novel, I read a lot and drinking in the plethora of diversity, culture, art and politics that flourishes in London.

 

Michael Yates lives in Yorkshire, England. He has published short stories in anthologies and magazines and won story prizes from the Jersey Arts Centre, the Armagh Writers Festival, the Wolds Words Festival and the Writers & Artists Yearbook. He has had a dozen plays performed in the north of England – including Leeds, Bradford, Liverpool and Manchester – winning an award at the Sheffield One-Act Play Festival. And he has been Poet in Residence in Whitby, at Wakefield Cathedral and in Wakefield Hospitals.

What was the inspiration for your story?

I’d always read science fiction but had difficulty writing it. Then, a couple of years ago, I realised that for me sci-fi wasn’t about science at all: it was about a world of magic and religion, re-interpreted. So for my Momaya story, I re-wrote the Garden of Eden myth with a scientific slant.

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

It means public recognition and a boost to my self- esteem. And the concrete evidence of this is the published book itself.

What are your plans for writing in the future?

I intend to write more short stories, but I’m also working on a comic novel about Renaissance artists in Italy.

 

About the Judges

Meredith DePaolo is an American screenwriter living in Kuala Lumpur. She’s worked as a television writer and producer for networks including CBS, HBO, Oxygen and Bloomberg Television reporting from New York, London and Dubai. A graduate of Yale University, Meredith was a winner of the  2016 Meryl Streep Writers Lab award.

Frances Jessop is an editor at Random House, dividing her time between Vintage paperbacks and literary sports books at Yellow Jersey Press. She started her career in academic publishing, where she worked at Blackwell Publishing in Oxford managing social sciences journals, before moving to trade publishing and London via a year in a literary agency at the William Morris Agency.

Gillian Pink is a Research Editor at the Voltaire Foundation (University of Oxford), where she works as part of a team to publish the first ever critical edition of Voltaire’s complete works. She has recently completed a doctorate on Voltaire’s marginalia, set to be published by CNRS Éditions (Paris). She has studied and taught literature from a wide range of styles and periods, in the UK, France and Canada.

Alice Shepherd works as an investment writer. Before this, she was an assistant editor at Penguin, where she worked on a wide range of commercial fiction. Having started her publishing career at Abner Stein literary agency, she then went on to work at Headline Publishing Group.

Alyssa Warren is the author of the recently published debut novel Not the Only Sky. After studying English in Santa Barbara, California, and Sydney, Australia, she taught creative writing and modern British literature in Quito, Ecuador, and served as a contributing editor to Surface magazine. A printmaker and photographer she lives in London with her husband and three sons.