Momaya Press


 

Momaya Press Prize Ceremony 2005
1 December, London Review Bookshop

Monisha Saldanha Koruth had the idea for the Momaya Press in January 2004, when she started an evening creative writing course at the Mary Ward Centre, nearby in Holburn. Many of the writers she met had been struggling, some of them for many years, to find outlets to get their short stories published. The novel, particularly in the UK, is the preferred format for many publishers. But a novel, unlike a short story, cannot be easily written at weekends or evenings. Most individuals do not have the financial backing or bravado to take time off from working full-time to devote themselves to novel-writing. It occurred to Monisha that an important service could be rendered, both to authors and readers, by devising a format to encourage writers to experiment with the short story, by providing a forum for them to be heard.

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

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."
Louis Malloy, 3rd place winner, McCauley Speaks Out


Louis Malloy accepts his award for Third Place

"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."
Alison Bullock, Published for exemplary treatment of 2005 theme Humour, Martin Slewinsky's Wheel of Fortune


Allison Bullock accepts her award for exlemplary treatment of the theme, Humour

"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."
Graham Burchell, Published for exemplary treatment of 2005 theme Humour, I am not a wicked Queen

"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."
Tracy Moyle-Maton, 1st place winner, Sleeping Lions


Tracy Moyle-Maton accepts the First Place prize

"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 be associated."
Andrew Stilwell, Director, The London Review Bookshop


Audience at the London Review Bookshop

Schedule of the Momaya Press Prize Ceremony

Introduction of Momaya Press, the Competition, the Judges
Monisha Saldanha Koruth, Director, Momaya Press


Monisha Saldanha Koruth opens the ceremony


Audience clapping

Words from Momaya Writers:

On Writing
Alexandra Fox, First Place (2004)


Alexandra Fox, 2004 First Place winner, addresses the audience

The Transition from Short Stories to a Comic Novel
Deborah Thomas, Honourable Mention (2004)


Deborah Thomas, 2004 Honorable Mention, describes the transition to novels

Performance of selected pieces

3rd Place
McCauley Speaks Out, Louis Malloy
Read by Daniel Landau


Actor Daniel Landau performs the Third Place Story, McCauley Speaks Out

2nd Place
Lost Ideas, Donald Hiscock
Read by Veronika Tugendraich


Actress Veronica Tugendraich performs Second Place story, Lost Ideas

1st Place
Sleeping Lions, Tracy Moyle-Maton
Read by James Tait


Actor James Tait reads the First Place story, Sleeping Lions

Presentation of prizes to the authors


Judge Jason Arthur of Vintage presents the First Place award


Judge Lucy Alexander of the Times presents the Second Place award


Donald Hiscock accepts Second Place for his story, Lost Ideas


Judge Claire Nozieres introduces the Third Place story


Andrew Myers accepts Honourable Mention award


Frances Gapper accepts Honorable Mention award


Alex Keegan accepts his award for exlemplary treatment of the theme, Humour


Catherine Myhal accepts her award for exlemplary treatment of the theme, Humour


Concluding the ceremony, Monisha invites writers to participate in next year's competition

Wine reception

Congratulations to the authors published in the Momaya Annual Review 2005

First Place
Sleeping Lions, Tracy Moyle-Maton

Second Place
Lost Ideas, Donald Hiscock

Third Place
McCauley Speaks Out, Louis Malloy

Honourable mention
Bistro and Cemetery, Frances Gapper
English Lesson, Toni Scott
Copyright on my Soul, Louis Malloy
God's Feather, Andrew Myers
Raynor's Parade, Leon Davey
I am not a wicked Queen, Graham Burchell
Nail Lady, Sandra Stone

Published for exemplary treatment of the 2005 theme: Humour
Myclonic Jerk, Catherine Myhal
Martin Slewinsky's Wheel of Fortune, Alison Bullock
Losing Georgina, Alex Keegan

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