1 December, London Review Bookshop
Monisha started Momaya Press in partnership with Maya Cointreau, an experienced website and print designer, and a writer as well. Monisha took the role of finance and marketing communications, while Maya concentrated on the website and later, on designing the printed Momaya Annual Review. Maya's creative flair and distinctive style have resulted in quality print and web publications.
We consider this, our second, year to be very successful, having secured widespread interest and participation in our project. The Momaya Press Prize Ceremony provides the opportunity for Monisha and Maya to thank some of the many people who contributed to Momaya Press over the years.
First, we'd like to thank our three judges, who took the time out of their busy schedules to participate on the panel that choose tonight's winners. Lucy Alexander writes on a variety of topics at The Times, having worked in PR previously. Jason Arthur started his publishing career at Routledge, where he was Development Editor on the Literature and Performance Studies lists. He moved to trade publishing in 1999, joining Random House's Jonathan Cape imprint. He is currently Editorial Director at Vintage. Claire Noizeres works as a literary agent at Andrew Nurnberg Associates where she sells translation rights of US and UK authors to France and finds new young European authors for international representation.
Our thanks to the London Review Bookshop, which has very kindly served as the host of this event, featuring it in the London Review of Books and stocking the Momaya Annual Review for sale. Momaya Press also thanks the actors and actresses of the American Repertory Theatre of London, who will be giving dramatic readings of a selection of our published writing tonight. Last, but not least, we thank the writers who submitted 177 stories (an increase of 27% on the number of submissions we received in 2004). These authors were based in sixteen countries around the world (an increase of four countries or 33% from 2004): Argentina, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Spain, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States. Women accounted for 55% of the entries, and many writers chose to submit multiple stories.
The Momaya Annual Review 2005 contains some of the finest writing of the year, complimented by poems and photography. We would like to thank the writers, artists, judges, and others who have supported this project, and we would encourage everyone here to support the short story as an art form, both as readers and writers.
Photos and Feedback from the Participants in the 2005 Momaya Press Prize Ceremony
"Thank you so much for the Momaya event last Thursday, you did a terrific
job of organising it. I enjoyed the whole evening- the readings, the
speeches, meeting other literary-minded folk and drinking considerably more
free wine than I was entitled to. The Momaya Annual Review is excellent
too. I wish there were more compettions like this- well done for making the
idea work so well."
"There was so much to love about the 2005 Momaya Prize ceremony, that I
don't know where to begin! I enjoyed hearing the dramatizations of the
stories by such talented actors. What an original idea! I loved listening
to each of the authors speak about their writing process, and getting a
chance to talk with some of them after the ceremony. It was a friendly and
generous group, offering many helpful ideas about how to proceed in the
short story market going forward. And last but certainly not least, was the real treat; taking home my very
own copy of the Momaya Annual Review. What a thrill it was to see my
writing in print for the first time! I spent the night reading story after
story; impressed with the overall quality and unique style of each piece.
Leon Davey's Rayner's Parade had me laughing into my pillow so as not to
wake the whole house! Thanks so much for a memorable evening, and for choosing to include my story
in such a wonderful publication."
"Just a note to say that I received my copy of the Annual Review 2005, and
very good it looks too. I particularly like the opening story! I just want
to thank you for the efficient way that everything has been handled leading
up to the receipt of my copy of the review. My honorable mention was not the
only literary prize that I won this year, but it was the most professional.
Thus I am a Momaya fan. I have advertised the review on my website. Good
luck with next year's adventure - I'll be there."
"The Momaya prize ceremony was a delight. There was a lovely atmosphere and
the common bond made me feel as though I was among friends, not strangers.
It was great to have an opportunity to hear other writers talk about their
stories; the kernels stem from such varied sources. It's a treat to be read
to, and the performers of the three stories certainly held our attention.
James brought my story to life; his accent somehow helped to convey the
voice of a child and I was thrilled with his rendition. It was also
immensely gratifying to witness the laughter.
As I said on the day, winning the competition had a significant impact on my
writing habit. I began to give writing more time and felt less guilty for
doing so. I would be very pleased to come back next year and tell you
whether or not my dedication has waned. By the way, all the friends I brought thought the
LRB was a fab bookshop! Thank you so much for everything."
"As an independent bookshop that is committed to supporting good literature,
The London Review Bookshop has tried to be particularly supportive of two
areas that continue to elude the mainstream: literature in translation (we
hosted the Stephen Spender Prize in 2004) and the short story. Along with
the Asham Short Story Award, which we have hosted since 2003, we have been
delighted to be the venue of choice for the Momaya Press Prize Ceremony,
which this year celebrates the second annual Momaya Short Story Competition.
This enterprise has been very effective in promoting the importance of the
short story and is, as far as I know, unique in that the winning entries are
not merely read aloud but given significant dramatic impact by being
rendered by actors from the American Repertory Theatre of London: I am
pleased to say that it is also a truly global phenomenon, unlike most
literary prizes, and one with which The London Review Bookshop is proud to
Schedule of the Momaya Press Prize Ceremony
Introduction of Momaya Press, the Competition, the Judges
Words from Momaya Writers:
The Transition from Short Stories to a Comic Novel
Performance of selected pieces
Presentation of prizes to the authors
Congratulations to the authors published in the Momaya Annual Review 2005
Published for exemplary treatment of the 2005 theme: Humour