Fish Anthology 2009 – Ten Pint Ted

ISBN: 978-0-9562721-0-2

This anthology contains winners from Fish Publishing’s three annual competitions – The Fish Short Story Prize, The Fish One-Page Prize and The Fish Poetry Prize, plus new work from judges Colum McCann and Peter Fallon. Read below introductions from this anthology by Colum McCann and Peter Fallon Listed below you will find all authors and poets published in this anthology along with the names of their works. Read the winning story from the Fish short Story Prize – Ten Pint Ted by Ian Wild, the winning story from the Fish One-Page Prize In the Car by Bernadette M. Smyth and a poem published in the anthology – The Locksmith by Annie Atkins Introductions by Colum McCann and Peter Fallon, Literature is not an Olympics.  It never has been and it never will be.  Part of the beauty of writing is that the writer creates a world that has not existed before.  We step into the new and the un-tried.   And the reader then has the ability to venture into a time, a place, a geography that is not his or her own.  We get new bodies and homes and minds to dwell in for a while.  We are re-made.  I love this process.  It is the dignity of writing.  It is what fills the lungs of literature.  And – just as it is impossible to say which life or which country or  body is the best to live in – it is also impossible to say which story is the best to read.  I hate competitions in a way.  It pretends that one story is better than the other.  It claims that one territory has been more deeply inhabited than the other.  It presumes that one character is deeper than the next.  This is not the case.  It never will be.  Every time I judge a competition I swear I will never do it again.  I am convinced that I missed a story somewhere, one that was about to break my heart.  I am sure that the postman forgot to deliver that one manuscript that would have shone.  I am certain that I have upset somebody by not reading their story properly.  I know that somewhere along the line I fouled up.  I am quite sure that someone who deserved it didn’t make it to the short-list, and I didn’t get the chance to read them.  I am afraid that I will meet them in a dark alley, or even worse, see them at the Nobel podium somewhere down the years.  But that’s life. I have to accept it.  I probably got it wrong.  But, byGod, I hope I got some of it right.  I sing those who are published here – they have done a very fine job.  But I also sing those who did not get published.  I know and recognise the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into the work of every single story.  It is difficult to create from dust, which is what writers do.  I hail everyone who entered.  And I thank those who made it through to this stage.  It is an honour to have read your work.  And I know that the best stories are those that are still untold … so keep writing, keep creating, keep the faith. Colum McCann New York May 2009 Attention, Please? Someone wasn’t paying attention.  That someone submitted a poem to which I considered awarding first prize.  Gnomic, assured, haunting, it is a poem that’s clearly aware of the tradition of recent poetry and alert to its own chances of taking its place in the great assembly of our art. But it’s a poem that isn’t eligible for the prize because it has been published already.  That’s against the rules.  And this example shows the price of not paying attention.  In poetry, the payment, or act, of attention is basic and crucial.  Ways of seeing: ways of saying. As I judged the competition I read hundreds and hundreds of anonymous poems.  Poems of all kinds, from an uncommon range, I’d hazard, of countries and cultures.  I read each at least twice.  Several of those on my ‘longlist’ I read a dozen or twenty times.  The ones I’ve chosen display a healthy variety.  They are credible versions of lives, lives lived and lives longed for.  It’s as if each of them found and channelled a force of trust that, in turn, made it trustworthy. To the winner and four runners up I’ve added a couple for honourable mention.  The strengths of these endure either in details or in the emotional embrace of unknown circumstances.  The four runners up suggest something of the reach of poetry itself – from one (‘The Long Run’) that’s responsive to and fuelled by an utterly up-to-date predicament to one that achieves the quiet expression of a private aspiration.  ‘I Can Move Stars’ nearly shouldn’t succeed.  It’s almost too simple.  But it’s persuasive ultimately because it conveys an impression that it couldn’t have been written by anybody else.  Similarly ‘I Am’ (echoing John Clare) and ‘This Corolla, Mama’ (this what?!) bear distinctive signatures.  Their energies move unerringly towards their endings. I warmed to ‘The Locksmith’ for its innocence, for the purity of its lines and for the way it unfolds the drama of a relationship and its two protagonists.  The integrity of its stanzas reminds us that stanza means room.  And this poem’s ‘rooms’ become an attractive house of feeling and tone because, I believe, it remains fully attentive to all of its components.  All of these poems, in their differing ways, stand properly for themselves.  Saluting their subjects and their readers, they stand up to their responsibilities.  They stand, you might say, to attention. Peter Fallon Loughcrew May 2009


Short Stories Ten Pint Ted by Ian Wild The Return of the Baker, Edward Tregear by Vanessa Gebbie Painting Over Elsa by Annemarie Neary Bridie’s Birthday Party by Gerry Boland Epistle of a Doddery Old Bastard by Kit Fletcher Lad by Derick B. Donahoe The Weight of Clouds by Elizabeth Kazura Jesus on a Cross with Blu-Tack by Dolores Walshe Chicken and Beef by Ann Ward A Capitalist Adventure by Mair Masuda This is the House that Horse Built by Colum McCann One-Page Stories In the Car by Bernadette M. Smyth Theoretically by Tom Glover 71st Street by Theresa Barnett View from Limbo by Colette Dartford April Fool and the Feministas by D. K. McCutchen The Last Bullet by Fia Kenzie Reincarnation by Geraldine Walsh A Simple Mathematical Equation by Annie Atkins Plaza de Armas by R. S. Mann Night Games by Gerry Galvin Poetry The Locksmith by Annie Atkins I am by Jane Clarkee I Can Move Stars by Mary O’Gorman Gap Year by Helaena Nolan The Long Run by Adam Wyeth This Corolla Mama by Marcella Spruce Factory Girl (Guangdong Province, China) by Marie Altzinger Always Something by Peter Fallon Micro Fiction Blown Away by Jan Sanzone Bottle by Angela Carr

Fish Books

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The standard is high, in terms of the emotional impact these writers managed to wring from just a few pages. – Billy O’Callaghan

Loop-de-loopy, fizz, and dazzle … unique and compelling—compressed, expansive, and surprising. – Sherrie Flick

Every page oozes with a sense of place and time. – Marti Leimbach

Energetic, dense with detail … engages us in the act of seeing, reminds us that attention is itself a form of praise. – Ellen Bass

Fish Anthology 2017

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Dead Souls has the magic surplus of meaning that characterises fine examples of the form – Neel Mukherjee
I was looking for terrific writing of course – something Fish attracts in spades, and I was richly rewarded right across the spectrum – Vanessa Gebbie
Really excellent – skilfully woven – Chris Stewart
Remarkable – Jo Shapcott


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The practitioners of the art of brevity and super-brevity whose work is in this book have mastered the skills and distilled and double-distilled their work like the finest whiskey.

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€12  (incl. p&p)   Sunrise Sunset by Tina Pisco Read Irish Times review by Claire Looby Surreal, sad, zany, funny, Tina Pisco’s stories are drawn from gritty experience as much as the swirling clouds of the imagination.  An astute, empathetic, sometimes savage observer, she brings her characters to life. They dance themselves onto the pages, […]

Fish Anthology 2015

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How do we transform personal experience of pain into literature? How do we create and then chisel away at those images of others, of loss, of suffering, of unspeakable helplessness so that they become works of art that aim for a shared humanity? The pieces selected here seem to prompt all these questions and the best of them offer some great answers.
– Carmen Bugan.

Fish Anthology 2014

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Reading the one page stories I was a little dazzled, and disappointed that I couldn’t give the prize to everybody. It’s such a tight format, every word must count, every punctuation mark. ‘The Long Wet Grass’ is a masterly bit of story telling … I still can’t get it out of my mind.
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Fish Anthology 2010

The perfectly achieved story transcends the limitations of space with profundity and insight. What I look for in fiction, of whatever length, is authenticity and intensity of feeling. I demand to be moved, to be transported, to be introduced into other lives. The stories I have selected for this anthology have managed this. – Ronan Bennett, Short Story Judge.


Fish Anthology 2009 – Ten Pint Ted

I sing those who are published here – they have done a very fine job. It is difficult to create from dust, which is what writers do. It is an honour to have read your work. – Colum McCann


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The entries into this year’s Fish Short Story Prize were universally strong. From these the judges have selected winners, we believe, of exceptional virtue. – Carlo Gebler


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I was amazed and delighted at the range and quality of these stories. Every one of them was interesting, well-written, beautifully crafted and, as a short-story must, every one of them focused my attention on that very curtailed tableau which a short-story necessarily sets before us. – Michael Collins


Fish Anthology 2006 – Grandmother, Girl, Wolf and Other Stories

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Each of the pieces here has been chosen for its excellence. They are a delightfully varied assortment. More than usual for an anthology, this is a compendium of all the different ways that fiction can succeed. I invite you to turn to ‘All the King’s Horses’. The past is here. Begin.
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You only know who you can’t trust. You can’t trust the law, because there’s none in New Ireland. You can’t trust the Church, because they think they’re the law. And you can’t trust the State, because they think they’re the Church And most of all, you can’t trust your friends, because you can’t remember who they were anymore.


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News & Articles

Poetry Prize 2019: Results, Short & Long-lists.

15th May 2019
    Winners Short-list Long-list     Winners Here are the 10 winning poems, as chosen by judge Billy Collins, to be published in the Fish Anthology 2019 The Fish Anthology 2019 will be launched as part of the West Cork Literary Festival  (July 2019). All of the writers published in the Anthology are invited to read […]

Flash Fiction Prize 2019: Results, Short & Long-lists

9th April 2019
Winners Short-list Long-list     Winners Here are the 10 winning Flash Fiction Stories, as chosen by judge Pamela Painter, to be published in the Fish Anthology 2019 The Fish Anthology 2019 will be launched as part of the West Cork Literary Festival  (July 2019). All of the writers published in the Anthology are invited to read […]

Memoir Prize 2019: Results, Short & Long-lists

31st March 2019
  Winners Short-list Long-list     The Ten Winners: Here are the 10 winners as chosen by judge Chrissie Gittins, to be published in the Fish Anthology 2018   The Fish Anthology 2018 will be launched as part of the West Cork Literary Festival  (July 2019). All of the writers published in the Anthology are invited to […]

Short Story Prize 2018/19: Results, Short & Long-lists

17th March 2019
  Winners Short-list Long-list     The Ten Winners: Selected by judge Mia Gallagher  to be published in the Fish Anthology 2019   FIRST:  Wakkanai Station by Richard Lambert (UK) Is awarded €3,000, one thousand of which is for travel to the launch of the Fish Anthology 2018, and a short story workshop at the West […]

Fish Editor, Mary-Jane Holmes, Wins Myslexia Flash Prize

9th March 2019
Mary-Jane Holmes, ‘Mathematics for girls‘ ‘Winning the Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition was such a boost. Flash is my first love – I teach it, I edit it, I tell everyone I know to read it, but having spent two years working on a poetry collection, I wasn’t sure I could return to it. Moving from […]

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