The editors would like to thank all who participated. The prize winning entries for NAW Short Story Competition 2018 are:
- Capsules by Alex Jasinski
Alex Jasinski was born in Wroclaw, Poland but bred in Prague, Czech Republic and educated in the mysteries of zoo archaeology at the University of York, UK where he specialized in ants and termites. Afterwards, he taught English in Nanjing for three years and is presently educating himself further at KU Leuven in Brussels. He mostly writes poetry in Polish and English and loves W.H. Auden, Philip Larkin, Robert Burton, Kashiwa Daisuke Lagavulin and Suzhou cuisine.
Capsules follows the story of an aging businessman named Kimoto during his would-be triumphant return to Tokyo. Unfortunately, his business meeting does not go according to plan and the man is confronted not only with his fragile self and long-harboured fears but also with the city that has transformed over the years to the point where it is barely recognizable. Struggling with his failing body and flooding memories, Kimoto seeks refuge in the sleepless district of Akihabara.
- Nothing by Anukrti Upadhyay
Anukrti Upadhyay has post graduate degrees in Management and Literature and a graduate degree in Law. She also wrote a doctoral thesis in Hindi Literature in a past life. She writes fiction in both English and Hindi and poetry in Hindi. An English novella has been accepted for publication by Speaking Tiger and Hindi poetry by Rajkamal Prakashan, the foremost publishing house for literary works in Hindi. Short stories in Hindi have appeared in prestigious literary journals and have attracted some attention.
In her other life, she works in a global investment bank as a Compliance and Risk Officer. She is Indian by nationality, married and mother of one and leads a more or less unsettled existence between Bombay and Singapore.
Nothing is about the ancillary or collateral existence of women in traditional Indian set up. They are objects and conduits and means to ends. They are taught to pare down their own selves till they reduce themselves to relationships. The story happens in a conversation between two women, co-passengers on an airplane, both unnamed, both representative of a very large number of women. One of them has lost her sense of touch, a metaphor for the non-verbalized isolation and loneliness she experiences. The dark ending came organically with the theme.
- Like a Shadow at Dawn by Vineetha Mokkil
Vineetha Mokkil is an Indian writer currently based in New Delhi. Mokkil is the author of the short story collection, “A Happy Place and other stories” (Harper Collins, 2014), which was listed as one of the Ten Best Works of Fiction of 2014 by The Telegraph. Her fiction has appeared in the Santa Fe Writers’ Project Journal, Asian Cha, The Missing Slate, Jellyfish Review, The Bombay Review, and the Bangalore Review among other journals.
Like a Shadow at Dawn is about Arjun and Anjali, a young, successful, and apparently happily married couple drive from the city to picturesque Kashipur to spend a few weeks at their friend’s summer house. They are well looked after by Shanti, the housekeeper, who takes pains to make their holiday comfortable. Shanti grows quite fond of Anjali as the days go by. When Shanti accidentally discovers that Arun is having an extra-marital affair, she is torn. Would she be doing Anjali a favour by telling her the horrible truth? Or is it kinder to stay silent and bear the burden of her secret?