Cunningham Short Story Competition 2019

Shortlist announcement

Willowdown Books are pleased to announce the shortlist for the third international short story anthology competition created in memory of the late Robert Hamilton Cunningham


The shortlisted authors are

Suzanne Bennell, Teri Bran, Nella Gaye Coffé, Thomas L. Franklin, Mike Friers, Spencer Fillore, Dean Gessie, RD Girvan, G.K.Grieve, Li Lin, Piet Pedersson, Kevin Michael Phillips, Randy Singh, Ola Tam, Greg Voss, Lynne Zotalis

The final selection will be made on 30th June, with publication in or around 15st August, 2019.


Comments on ‘Our World’ and ‘Life Dances’, the anthologies of 2018 and 2017 respectively.

“The storytellers voice their tales in distinctive and interesting ways taking us from Viet Nam, to the US, from a centuries-spanning tale of femininity to a memoir of an iconic film director’s wife.  I feel I learnt of the world from others’ perspectives, it opened my eyes.”  Don T (OH)

“Entertaining and thoughtful short stories, with my particular favorite, the truth-based life on which the competition itself was set up in memory of.”

Kim L (CA)


The winner of the 2017 anthology “Life Dances” was Sandy Norris with NO GOING BACK

The winner of the 2018 anthology “Our World, Your Place” was Rebecca Evans with VEILED

The winner of the 2019 anthology (title to be decided) will be announced on publication in August, 2019.

1.  Press contact Trevor Maynard at on 0 44 7966 079968 or by snail mail at Willowdown Books, 105 Crockford Park Road, Addletone, Surrey, UK, KT 15 2LP

2.  Trevor Maynard set up the Cunningham Short Story Competition in honour of his maternal grandfather Robert Hamilton Cunningham (1911 – 2006), who was a bit of a raconteur, and a decent ballroom dancer.  The brief for the competition was to tell a story of the world from eyes anew

3. The shortlisted stories for 2019 are; “My Name is Known” by Suzanne Bennell, “Thumbs Up” by Teri Bran, “Flight” by Nella Gaye Coffé, “Crowley” by Thomas L. Franklin, “The Race” by Mike Friers, “Don Colley On” by Spencer K Fillore, “Misanthropes” by Dean Gessie, “White Flags” by RD Girvan, “In Search of Searching” by G.K.Grieve, “Life in China” by Li Lin, “Starlight” by Piet Pedersson, “Elan” by Kevin Michael Patrick, “Saratoga Sprung” by Randy Singh, “Flying by Night” by Ola Tam, “Your Table is Ready” by Greg Voss, “Serious As a Heart Attack” by Lynne Zotalis

An addition story, not in competition, “George” will be included by Trevor Maynard in honour of his paternal grandfather, George William Maynard (1916-2001), who could also spin a tale or two. 

4. The final selection will be made 30th June, 2019, with the winner of the $100 first prized announced just before publication of the 2019 anthology in August 2019.


5. Trevor Maynard is a UK based poet, writer and editor.  As well as the Cunningham Short Story Competition he is the editor of the international poetry anthology series THE POETIC BOND, now in its ninth year.  His latest poetry collection is GREY SUN, DARK MOON.   Trevor is also the author of several plays.  Further information at


6. The Poetic Bond – the ethos behind choosing poetry for the modern audienece

The process of selecting poems for publishing The Poetic Bond series is unlike any other in that there is no set plan as to what will be published. It depends on the themes which emerge from the pool of work submitted, or to put it another way, the poetic energy which comes together at this certain time and place.  Where themes emerge, patterns of energy harmonize, form bonds, connections, and these in turn lead to interconnected chapters, and the creation of a holistic volume, deeply connected with humanity, nature, and the universe.