photo by Garry Knight
21 December 2012
The Asham Shortlist
Lennie Goodings, Helen Dunmore and Sara Wheeler are now judging the top 39 stories on the Asham Award Shortlist. Congratulations and best of luck to everyone on the list. The results will be announced in February 2013 – full details are available on the Asham website, here: www.ashamaward.com
30 November 2012
Winners of LWC/HUSH Competition announced
Judges Clare Hay and Alison MacLeod have selected the winners of this year’s London Writers’ Club/HUSH Short Story Competition. Congratulations to both winners, Jo Tiddy and Lucie Wilk, and the seven finalists. All their stories will be published in a book which will be available to buy on HUSH’s website in time for Christmas, along with a digital version of the winning entry, now available from Short Fire Press. Jo Tiddy spent her childhood in Kenya. She spent innumerable years working for local government as a Planner, and then as a Heritage Officer. She currently works part time in a primary school. She lives in Thame, Oxfordshire with her husband, two children and a very large dog. * Lucie Wilk grew up in Toronto and now lives and works as a doctor in London. Her short fiction has been nominated for the McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize Anthology, longlisted for a CBC literary award, and appeared in Descant and Prairie Fire. She is working towards an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia and is currently at work on a novel based on the characters in her short story Stalin’s Good Friday. The runner up is: Celia Reynolds And the shortlist is: Linda Ellis Macdonald Lucy Maddox David McVey Laura Darling Lindsay Fisher Sarah E Moore For full details on the competition, click here.
29 November 2012
Vote for your favourite story in the Costa Short Story Award
The six finalists in the Costa Short Story Award have been listed. You can now download and read the wonderful shortlisted stories on the Costa Book Awards website, and vote for your favourite. Voting closes at midday 23rd January 2013 and the winner and two runners up will be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on 29th January. Good luck to all the finalists. Get voting, here.
15 November 2012
The Short Review Launches New Website
Tania Hershman and The Short Review team have just launched their new website, in time for National Short Story Week and their upcoming fifth birthday. Rather than the monthly journal, new content – short story reviews, interviews, blog posts and more – will be posted on their site every few days, with a monthly newsletter rounding up all the activity. Find the wonderful new website here.
5 November 2012
Martina Devlin wins the 2012 V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize
Judges Jane Gardam, Aamer Hussein and Penelope Lively have selected Martina Devlin’s short story, ‘Singing Dumb’, as winner of this year’s V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize. The judges described Devlin’s story as “our winner for its confidence and simplicity”, “deft, taught and compelling, with a distinctive narrative voice” and “neatly economical, saying most by saying least”. The runners up in this year’s prize are: Clare Colvin for ‘Sehr Schön’ Art Lester for ‘Upstream’ Find out more about the annual V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize on the Royal Society of Literature website. *
15 October 2012
Winner of the 2012 Bridport Short Story Prize announced
The winners of the 2012 Bridport Prize were announced today. Helen Barton has been named as Short Story first prize winner for her story ‘Being David’. Ruth Figgest placed second for her story ‘The Armadillo’, and Lizzy Welby was awarded third prize for ‘Jugged Hare’. The first prize winner of the Flash Fiction category was Gregory Jackson for ‘Nearly New’. Congratulations to all the winners. The other authors who were highly commended for this year’s prize are: Darci Bysouth Peter Caley Eva Ciabattoni Ruby Cowling David Foll Sophie Green Sandra Jensen Martelle McPartland Mel Murphy Naomi J Williams On behalf of the Dept. of English and Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, Professor Alison MacLeod, Director of THRESHOLDS, would like to extend the University’s warm congratulations to our shortlisted students, staff and graduates: (in alphabetical order) Michele Baker, Honoria Beirne, Josephine Corcoran, Vicki Heath, Emma-Jane Hughes (Highly Commended), David Swann, Jacky Taylor (Third Prize for Flash Fiction), and Melanie Walker. The Bridport Competition for Poetry and Short Fiction has long been one the UK’s most prestigious competitions, and the University is, once again, very proud of the outstanding successes of its students and staff in the 2012 results. We’d also like to extend our congratulations to Daisy Behagg, whose entry was ‘Highly Commended’ on this year’s poetry shortlist; Daisy is a graduate of Bath Spa University and a friend to the University of Chichester. We wish all the shortlisted and winning writers every success for their writing. You can find the full Short Story Shortlist on the Bridport Prize website, here. To view the winners of the poetry and flash fiction categories, visit www.bridportprize.org.uk.
28 September 2012
Miroslav Penkov wins the BBC International Short Story Award
Congratulations to Miroslav Penko, from Bulgaria, winner of this year’s BBC International Short Story Award. His winning story, ‘East of the West’, tells of love and identity, set in a region of Bulgaria that’s rife with conflict and sectarian violence. South African author Henrietta Rose-Innes placed as runner-up with her story ‘Sanctuary’. Listen to both stories on the BBC website. You can also find the winning and shortlisted stories in the 2012 BBC International Short Story Award collection, from Comma Press.
14 September 2012
The BBC International Short Story Award
This evening, the shortlisted authors of the BBC International Short Story Award were announced. For the first time, and in celebration of the Olympic year, the Award has gone global to highlight exceptional talent from around the world. The shortlisted stories are: ‘Escape Routes’ by Lucy Caldwell ‘The iHole’ by Julian Gough ‘Even Pretty Eyes Commit Crimes’ by M J Hyland ‘The Goose Father’ by Krys Lee ‘Black Vodka’ by Deborah Levy ‘East of the West’ by Miroslav Penkov ‘Sanctuary’ by Henrietta Rose-Innes ‘In the Basement’ by Adam Ross ‘Before he Left the Family’ by Carrie Tiffany ‘A Lovely and Terrible Thing’ by Chris Womersley Congratulations and good luck to all. The ten shortlisted stories will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 for two weeks (beginning Monday 17th September). For full details of the Award, click here.
13 September 2012
The Seán Ó Faoláin Prize
The winners of the 2012 Seán Ó Faoláin Prize were announced today. Congratulations to Sophie Hampton – creative writing student from Sheffield Hallam University – who was named as first prize winner for her story ‘White Socks and Weirdos’. Second prize went to Thomas Watson’s ‘Café at the V&A’.
The runners up are:
Ferdia Lennon ‘Raskolnikov & I’ (Ireland) David Mohan’s ‘Aerial Meditations of the Slob Land’s Only Prince’ (Ireland) Dan Purdue’s ‘Gecko’ (UK) Maree Spratt’s ‘The Graveyard Shift’ (Australia)
Full details of the competition, including the highly commended authors, are available here.
26 July 2012
The Small Wonder Festival Programme
A dazzling line-up for the 2012 Small Wonder Short Story Festival has just been announced. Charleston House in East Sussex is inviting all lovers of the short story form to attend four days of short story readings, debates, workshops and more. The festival kicks off at 6.30pm on Thursday 27th September, with Kevin Barry, winner of the 2012 Sunday Times EFG Award, and award-winning author Jackie Kay.
Additional speakers at this year’s event include: Sarah Hall * Joseph O’Connor * Michele Roberts * Margaret Drabble * Will Gompertz * D.W. Wilson * Elif Shafak * Susannah Clapp * Hattie Morahan * Barrett Robinson * Woodrow Phoenix * Benedict Hastings * Rob Davis * A.L. Kennedy * Adam Marek
For full details of the Festival’s programme, please visit the Small Wonder website, here.
5 July 2012
Edge Hill Short Story Prize
The winner of the 2012 Edge Hill University Short Story Prize has just been announced. Award-winning writer Sarah Hall has been named as first prize winner for her debut short story collection, The Beautiful Indifference. She also picked up the Readers’ Prize, judged by Edge Hill students. This year’s Edge Hill University MA Creative Writing prize went to Dawn Wild. * The other authors shortlisted for this year’s prize are: A.J Ashworth Tessa Hadley Zoe Lambert Rowena Macdonald Full details about the Sarah Hall’s winning collection and the other shortlisted authors can be found HERE. Information about the annual prize can be found at EdgeHill.ac.uk
8 June 2012
Frank O’Connor Shortlist Announced
The shortlist for the 2012 Frank O’Connor Short Story Award has just been announced. The prize of €25,000 is the largest award of its kind, recognising the best original short story collection published in English by a living author during the preceding year. The award is the gift of the Munster Literature Centre and is presented at the Cork International Short Story Festival The six shortlisted books are: Dark Lies the Island by Kevin Barry (Ireland) What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander (USA) The Trouble With Fire by Fiona Kidman (New Zealand) The Beautiful Indifference by Sarah Hall (UK) Suddenly a Knock on the Door by Etgar Keret (Israel) Happiness is a Chemical in the Brain by Lucia Perillo (USA) This is the second year that a collection by Etgar Keret has been shortlisted for the Award, and should he win, the prize money will be split with the book’s translator and fellow nominee, Nathan Englander. This year’s judges are the poet James Harpur, novelist Mary Leland and festival organiser Ann Luttrell. The winner will be announced on July 5th and the prize will be presented at Cork International Short Story Festival on 23rd September. Read more about the Frank O’Connor Award and the nominated authors HERE.
6 June 2012
Bristol Prize Shortlist Is In
The shortlist for the 2012 Bristol Short Story Prize has just been announced. The 20 stories selected for the shortlist will all be published in the Bristol Prize anthology which will be launched at the awards ceremony on 14th July. The top 20 stories, as selected are: Naked As Eve – John Arnold (Australia) Running to Nuthin’ – Lewis Bardsley (England) Unearthed – Catherine Bokkers (The Netherlands) The Swimmer – Lizzie Boyle (England) Lobster – Alys Conran ( Wales) Inked – Neil Durrant (Australia) People Like Her – Kerry Hood (England) Apple Shot – Tracey Iceton (England) Meat – Avril Joy (England) Last Days of the Unicorn – Danielle McLaughlin (Ireland) Ghost in the Machine – Christopher Parvin ( England) Yoki and the Toy Surprise – Angela Readman (England) Going Grapefruit – Ian Richards (England) Beekiller – Ethel Rohan (USA) The Bird – Samantha Short (England) The Attack at Delium – William Telford (England) Jelly Feel Real – Ellie Walsh (England) After the Flood – Melanie Whipman ( England) I Once Knew Salman Rushdie – Hilary Wilce (England) Symmetry – Samuel Wright (England) The judges for this year’s prize were literary consultant Ali Reynolds, writer, critic and broadcaster Bidisha, writer Anna Britten, and novelist Christopher Wakling. Read more about the prize HERE.
1 May 2012
Scott Prize Winners Announced
SALT Publishing has just announced the results of the 2012 Scott Prize for debut short story collections and THRESHOLDS is delighted to see that Carys Bray, shortlisted for our own International Feature Writing Competition, has been named as joint winner for her book Sweet Home. She is joined by Rob Roensch with his collection The Wildflowers of Baltimore. Both books will be published by SALT in November. The other writers shortlisted for the prize are:
Alison Moore Otis Haschemeyer Julia Bohanna Chris Smith Sarah Faulkner Rusty Dolleman Julie Mayhew Maurice Gartshore Madeleine D’Arcy Full details about the prize and this year’s competition can be found at SaltPublishing.com.
24 April 2012
Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize
2012 Shortlist Announced
Commonwealth Writers has announced shortlists for the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Writers from around the world have been shortlisted for each prize in anticipation of becoming a regional winner on 22 May and ultimately competing for overall winner which will be announced at Hay Festival on 8 June. Read the full announcement. Commonwealth Short Story Prize Morrison Okoli (1955-2010), Jekwu Anyaegbuna (Nigeria) Flight, Jayne Bauling (South Africa) The Queen’s Blessing, Edyth Bulbring (South Africa) Devil Star, Hazel Campbell (Jamaica) Brothers, Adrienne Frater (New Zealand) Like a Heart Maybe, but Cold, Chris Hill (UK) The False River, Nick Holdstock (UK) Radio Story, Anushka Jasraj (India) Rush, Nic Low (Australia) Elbow, Khadija Magardie (South Africa) Two Girls in a Boat, Emma Martin (New Zealand) Glory, Janice Lynn Mather (The Bahamas) The Dolphin Catcher, Diana McCaulay (Jamaica) Friends, Sharon Millar (Trinidad and Tobago) The Ghost Marriage, Andrea Mullaney (UK) If These Walls had Ears, Carl Nixon (New Zealand) Next Full Moon We’ll Release Juno Bridget Pitt (South Africa) The Crane, Sarah Quigley (New Zealand) Drums, Mahesh Rao (UK) Ammulu, Poile Sengupta (India) Another Dull Day, Sreejith Sukumaran (India)
31 March 2012
Kevin Barry Wins the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award
A story about a group of middle-aged men and their passion for authentic beer has won the world’s most valuable short story prize. The Irish author Kevin Barry was presented with a cheque for £30,000 by novelist and prize judge Joanna Trollope at a ceremony last night at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival for his bittersweet tale of camaraderie amongst a group of ale aficionados.
4 March 2012
Shortlist for the 2012 Sunday Times
EFG Private Bank Short Story Award
The six stories chosen for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Awardshortlist have just been announced.
‘Beer Trip to Llandudno’ by Kevin Barry
‘The Hunt’ by Emma Donoghue
‘Where the Gods Fly’ by Jean Kwok
‘The Current’ by Tom Lee
‘El Aziz: Some Pages From His Notebooks’ by Robert Minhinnick
‘Nickel Mines Hardware’ by Linda Oatman High
Comments about the competition by this year’s judge, Joanna Trollope, and extracts from each of the stories, are available on the Book Trust website.
Waterstones Piccadilly will be hosting three events on 27th, 28th and 29th March, featuring readings of the shortlisted stories by actors David Morrissey, Elizabeth McGovern and Julian Sands. Tickets can be obtained in-store, or by telephoning 020 7851 2419.
The winner of the £30,000 prize will be announced on 30th March at the Oxford Literary Festival. An anthology of the shortlisted stories is available for advance purchase from Waterstones.com.
19 February 2012
Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award
2012 Longlist Announced
The Longlist for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award for 2012 has just been announced and we are thrilled that THRESHOLDS director Alison MacLeod is one of the twenty authors whose stories will go forward to the next round of judging. Alison’s story, ‘The Heart of Denis Noble’ was previously shortlisted for last year’s BBC National Short Story Award, and featured on Radio 4’s arts programme Front Row. Alison, author of the short story collection Fifteen Modern Tales of Attraction (Penguin, 2007) and two novels, The Changeling (1996) and The Wave Theory of Angels (2005) says about being longlisted for the Sunday Times award:
I’m delighted and humbled to be longlisted for this award – there are many stunning story writers around at the moment – and it’s such an inspiring panel of judges. These are truly renaissance days for the form, and like many another writer, I’m enormously grateful to that small team at The ST Magazine who passionately support short stories (both in the magazine and, as with this award, in the world beyond) simply for the love of stories and fine writing. They know that the best stories travel far from their author and change lives. Certainly, that’s what stories have done for me in my life. Where ever ‘The Heart of Denis Noble’ travels, I also remain ever grateful to the remarkable, real-life Denis Noble, my eponymous hero. His fingers and mine are crossed for the shortlist, but the longlist is already a lovely honour. I’m proud to be there.
The £30,000 1st-place prize is the largest award in the world for short fiction. In addition, the five runners-up will receive £1000. The longlisted authors and stories are:
- Diana Athill – ‘A Hopeless Case’
- Kevin Barry – ‘Beer Trip to Llandudno’
- Evgenia Citkowitz – ‘Business Class’
- Will Cohu – ‘Two Bad Thumbs’
- Emma Donoghue – ‘The Hunt’
- Jackie Kay – ‘These Are Not My Clothes’
- A L Kennedy – ‘Late in Life’
- Jean Kwok – ‘Where the Gods Fly’
- Barrie de Lara – ‘Dinner at Benutti’s’
- Tom Lee – ‘The Current’
- Toby Litt – ‘The Sandy’
- Alison MacLeod – ‘The Heart of Denis Noble’
- Martin Malone – ‘Valley of the Peacock Angel’
- Robert Minhinnick – ‘El Aziz: Some Pages From His Notebooks’
- Linda Oatman High – ‘Nickel Mines Hardware’
- Alison Pimlott – ‘Five Year Diary’
- Tamara Pollock – ‘Elsa’
- Alex Preston – ‘The Bridge Over Shuto Expressway No. 1’
- Lionel Shriver – ‘Prepositions’
- Johanna Skibsrud – ‘Fat Man and Little Boy’
Full details of the prize can be found HERE.
12 February 2012
University of Chichester
Offers Creative Writing Bursary
The University of Chichester is inviting applications for a Professional Preparation Masters’ award for the study of Creative Writing, to commence in September 2012. Professional Preparation Masters’ studentships aim to support applicants in developing their professional career. The bursary will pay tuition fees and provide a stipend of about £9,490 (pro-rata for part-time). Applicants should be UK or EU nationals. The closing date for receipt of applications is 10 a.m. on 5th March. Interviews will take place on 23rd March. Full details on the AHRC Bursary.
22 December 2011
National Short Story Day
Today, the shortest day of the year, is National Short Story Day in the UK – a day to read, share and celebrate our favourite stories. The organisers have put together a wonderful list of classic and modern short stories, all recommended by writers and critics of the form. Many of the stories can be read or listened to online. Members of the public are invited to submit their own recommendations in 10 words or less via Twitter at: twitter @shortstoryday. The five best will win a book! Read the full list of recommendations.
26 November 2011
Bridport Prize Results Announced
We are pleased to announce that Kitty Aldridge has won 1st place in the 2011 Bridport Prize short story competion. A.L. Kennedy, this year’s competition judge, praised Aldridge’s story – ‘Arrivederci Les’ – for its skilful use of black humour. Aldridge, whose third novel is due to be published next summer, takes home a cheque for £5,000. Second place, and a £1000 cheque, was awarded to Kevin Parry for the story ‘Trying to Think in the Bantustan’, and Barrie De Lara won the 3rd-place prize of £500 for ‘Dinner at Benutti’s’. The ten stories which were highly commended are: ‘Elephants Aren’t Forgotten’ by Sheila Barrett ‘The Last Place You Look’ by Tray Butler ‘Half Life of a Stolen Sister’ by Rachel Cantor ‘Love by Proxy’ by Justine Mann ‘Wishbone Duty’ by David Pescod ‘Some Times’ by James Kinase ‘Methlahem’ by Peggy Riley ‘Saul Kaplan’s Midrash’ by Martha Schulman ‘European Monetary Union’ by Bernadette Smyth ‘The Long Straight Road’ by Pat Winslow In the flash fiction category, also judged by A.L. Kennedy, Becky Tipper was presented with the £1000 1st-place prize for ‘Meeting the Lobster’. Robert Maslin was awarded the 2nd-place prize of £500 for the story ‘More Like a Sister’, and Samuel Wright was awarded 3rd place and £250 for ‘The Christmas House’. Three stories were highly commended: ‘North End 2010’ by Stace Budzko ‘Vampires’ by John Glenday ‘Filament’ by John-Paris Kent The winning stories will all be published in the Bridport Prize 2011 anthology. For further information about the prize-winning authors, see the Bridport Prize website.
15 November 2011
Carys Davies wins 2011 V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize
Congratulations to Carys Davies, winner of this year’s V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize. Davies was presented with a cheque for £1000 at last night’s awards ceremony at Somerset House in recognition of her story ‘The Redemption of Galen Pike’. The V.S. Pritchett Prize, from the Royal Society of Literature, is open to previously unpublished short stories byUKand Irish citizens, and those who are permanent residents. This year’s judges were Jane Gardam, Penelope Lively and Jacob Ross. In 2010, Davies also won the Olive Cook Prize from the Society of Authors. Her collection, Some New Ambush (Salt, 2007), was on the longlist for the 2008 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and was a finalist for the 2008 Calvino Prize. ‘The Redemption of Galen Pike’ will be published in Prospect Magazine Further information about the V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize is available on the RSL website.
14 November 2011
Campaigning to Save the Short Story on Radio 4
In July this year, BBC Radio 4’s Controller Gwyneth Williams announced that the number of Short Story broadcasts would be reduced from three to only one per week and that the news programme ‘The World At One’ would be extended to fill the space. For almost 40 years, Radio 4 ran five fifteen-minute-long story readings a week, along with one repeat slot. In 2009, that number was reduced to three stories per week, with one repeat. The new schedule, which took effect last week, allowed for a single story to be broadcast each week, but as a concession to public protests, a second story will now fill the slot formerly given to repeats. In mid July, Ian Skillicorn, Director of National Short Story Week and founder of Short Story Radio, tweeted about the cuts. The announcement spurred Susie Maguire and a number of fellow writers to start a petition, and with the help of The Society of Authors, Equity UK and The Writers’ Guild, they began a campaign to have the cuts repealed. Supported by actors, writers and passionate fans of Radio 4, along with celebrity names including Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley, the protest grew and the Society of Authors was invited to meet with the Controller. Although concessions were made to the original ‘one story’ decision, concern remained that there was still a lack of understanding about the short story’s place in literary output by Radio4 and that the two story slots would be lost in the week’s news-heavy schedule. In August, the General Secretaries of the Society of Authors, Equity and The Writers’ Guild sent a joint letter to BBC Director General Mark Thompson and to Chair of the BBC Trust Lord Patten, pointing out the issues, analysing the figures offered by the Controller, and suggesting that by making such drastic cuts the BBC may be in breach of its charter. Lord Patten replied, briefly, but Mr Thompson gave no response and a second letter has recently been sent, reiterating the campaign’s points. The petition has continued to grow since it was first delivered to Ms Williams, and it now contains over 9,000 names. Organisers say it will remain open for new signatures and comments until such time as serious discussion takes place between the three Arts unions and BBC senior staff. What more can be done? If you’re dismayed at the loss of the short story slots, you can write to the Controller directly, either by email: email@example.com, or by post: Gwyneth Williams, Controller BBC Radio 4, Broadcasting House, London W1A 1AA. You can comment on the BBC R4 and 4Extra blog. Or, better still, comment at BBC Complaints. Comments via this link go onto the BBC official log, “a daily report of audience feedback that’s made available to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers and other senior managers. The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content. The logs are also published on the BBC’s intranet site, so are available for all BBC staff to view.” Sign the petition, and encourage others to do so. Read more about the cuts on THRESHOLDS in Dr Paul March-Russell’s post ‘Whose Culture? Whose Anarchy?‘ Read what Ali Smith, James Robertson, AL Kennedy, and other authors have said on the Society of Authorswebsite.
19th October 2011
Jane Hayward wins the Lightship International Short Story Competition
Congratulations to Jane Hayward, winner of the first place prize in the Lighthouse International Short Story Competition. Jane’s story, ‘The Way to a Man’s Heart’, was previously awarded a distinction on the MA in Creative Writing programme at the University of Chichester. The story was selected for the £1000 prize by the novelist and short story writer, Toby Litt. The nine other shortlisted stories are: ‘Mercy’ by Elaine Barnard, ‘Kabuki Eye’ by Wes Lee, ‘Stabane’ by Kiare Ladner, ‘Say That You Saw Beautiful Things’ by Sandra Hunter, ‘Sketcher’ by Roland Watson Grant, ‘Sigmund Freud and the Cretinous Dwarf’ by David Carter, ‘The Forgetenarium Keeper’ by Laurie Duniam, ‘Bund Girls’ by Vanessa Fabiano, and ‘Let it Out’ by Lucy Durneen. Jane will be reading her story at the awards ceremony in Hull on November 17th, as part of the Philip Larkin Festival. ‘The Way to a Man’s Heart’ and the nine other shortlisted stories has been published in the Lighthouse Anthology by Alma Books. Read more about the competition and the winning authors, HERE.
15th October 2011
Results of 2011 Manchester Fiction Prize Announced
Congratulations to Krishan Coupland, winner of this year’s Manchester Fiction Prize. Coupland received the £7,500 first-place award for his story ‘Days Necrotic’ at last night’s glittering ceremony at Cheltenham’s School of Music. Richard Hirst took second place with ‘School Report’ and received £2,500. The prize, from Manchester Metropolitan University, is awarded to poetry and short fiction in alternating years, and aims to ‘seek out and celebrate the best new writing from across the world.’ Judges for this year’s competition were the writers John Burnside, Nicholas Royle, and THRESHOLDS Director, Alison MacLeod. A shortlist of eight stories was drawn up out of a total of nearly 1,900 entries from 45 countries. Thirty additional stories received commendations.
The other shortlisted stories are: ‘Flathead Lake’ by Nicole Cullen, ‘The Ugly Duckling’ by Garret Freymann-Weyr, ‘The Doppelgangers’ by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, ‘The Swimmer in the Desert’ by Alex Preston, ‘The Cuckoo’ by Bethany Rogers, and ‘A Mercy’ by Judith Turner-Yamamoto. All of the shortlisted stories can be read on the MMU website, HERE. Details of the commended stories can be found HERE. Information about the Manchester Writing School at MMU can be found HERE.
29 September 2011
Linda McVeigh wins the Asham Award
We are very pleased to announce that THRESHOLDS member Linda McVeigh has won this year’s Asham Award with her short story ‘All Over the Place’. Linda was presented with a cheque for £1000 at the awards ceremony during the Small Wonder Festival. Linda also won the £100 prize at this year’s Small Wonder story slam. ‘All Over the Place’, is Linda’s first published story and is included in the anthology Something Was There alongside stories by Naomi Alderman, Kate Clanchy, Polly Samson, and Daphne du Maurier. The second place prize was won by Kate Morrison for her story ‘Sam Brown’, third place went to Fiona Law for ‘The Traveller’, and a special Honourable Mention was earned by Gabriella Blandy. All four stories appear in the award anthology and are available to read at the Asham Awardwebsite. THRESHOLDS would also like to congratulate runner-up Jacky Taylor on her story ‘On the Turn of the Tide’; Jacky is a graduate of the University of Chichester’s M.A. in Creative Writing programme, and we are delighted for her.
26 September 2011
D.W. Wilson Wins the 2011 BBC National Short Story Award
Canadian writer D.W. Wilson has won this year’s BBC National Short Story Prize for his story ‘The Dead Roads’. Wilson, who is studying for a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of East Anglia, is the youngest author to win the £15,000 prize. The story, which explores the sexual jealousy which arises within a love triangle, is set on a road trip in the author’s native British Columbia. Wilson’s first collection of short stories, Once You Break a Knuckle, has just been published by Penguin books in Canada.
Jon McGregor’s story, ‘Wires’, which was described as being about ‘psychological fear on the hard shoulder’ was the runner up.
Congratulations to all five of the shortlisted writers.
19 September 2011
Edna O’Brien Wins the 2011 Frank O’Connor Prize
Congratulations to Edna O’Brien, winner of the 2011 Frank O’Connor Award. O’Brien wins the €35,000 prize for her short story collection, Saints and Sinners. The award was presented at a glittering awards ceremony at the Cork International Short Story Festival on Sunday night. Read more about the prize HERE.
10 September 2011
Shortlist for the National Short Story Prize Announced:
Two THRESHOLDS Writers in the Top Five
We are thrilled to announce that not one, but two of THRESHOLDS’ contributors are included in this year’s BBC National Short Story Award shortlist, announced last night on Radio 4’s arts programme Front Row. The Forum’s founding member and director ALISON MACLEOD made it onto the shortlist with her story ‘The Heart of Denis Noble’ and University of Chichester PhD student KATHERINE ORR was selected for ‘The Human Circadian Pacemaker’.
It’s an extraordinary honour to be shortlisted for this award. I attended the ceremony for the very first BBC NSS Award in 2005, and vividly remember the sense of excitement and anticipation in the room. How wonderful that the BBC has carried on supporting and celebrating the short story form with this award and with the broadcasts of the shortlisted stories on Radio 4. It means such a lot to writers in this country. The short story form is one of the most exhilarating forms out there, for both readers and writers — every good one, it seems to me, is its own powder keg of truth — and I’m really looking forward to reading (and hearing on Radio 4 next week) all the shortlisted stories. It’s a funny, lovely coincidence that Katherine and I should land together on the same shortlist of five. I’m thrilled for her. She’s a brilliant story writer.
Alison will be interviewed on Front Row, at 7:15 p.m. on Monday September 12, and her story, which is read by Tim Piggot-Smith from The Hour, will be broadcast at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday. She will also be reading from ‘The Heart of Denis Noble’ at the Cork International Short Story Festival on Friday 16th September and at Small Wonder on Thursday the 22nd. On 23rd September, she will be a guest on Radio 3’s The Verbwhere she will discuss ‘short stories and modernity’ with Ian McMillan and Tom Rachman.
Katherine’s stories have previously been shortlisted for the London Writers’ Prize, the Asham Award and the Bridport Prize. Her work has also appeared in the collection Doris Lumsden’s Heart-Shaped Bed & Other Stories (2004) and in the anthologies Cheque Enclosed (2007) and the Bridport Prize 2010. ‘The Human Circadian Pacemaker’ was a runner-up for last year’s Bridport Prize. About being shortlisted here, she says:
It is such an honour to be shortlisted – I am absolutely delighted. ‘The Human Circadian Pacemaker’ is a story I loved writing. It was a case of following my interest in a snippet I heard on the radio a couple of years ago now. It was on accelerated aging in astronauts, which fascinated me, and led me down one of the most enjoyable paths in terms of research and reading – engaging with everything from the training that astronauts go through, to the wonder of being in space, to the oddness of the return to earth and life afterwards. Of course, stories take on a life of their own, and it ended up becoming about relationships as much as about space.
Katherine will be interviewed on Front Row, at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday September 14, and her story will be broadcast at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. The other shortlisted authors for this year’s National Short Story Prize are: prize-winning novelist and story writer M.J. HYLAND, for her story ‘Rag Love’; last year’s runner-up JON McGREGOR, for ‘Wires’; and Canadian novelist and short story writer D.W. WILSON, for ‘The Dead Roads’. Each of the five stories will be broadcast next week on Radio 4, starting at 3:30 p.m. on Monday 12th September. The stories will also be available as a free podcast from the Radio 4 website for two weeks. The winning story will be announced at the awards ceremony on 26th September, broadcast live on Front Row. The shorlisted stories are also available in the anthology BBC National Short Story Award 2011, published by Comma Press. Read more about the BBC National Short Story Award and the shortlisted authors on the Booktrust website and at BBC Radio 4. .
5 September 2011
The 9th Annual Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition
The longlist for the 2011 Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition has just been announced by this year’s judge, Ian Wilde. The 17 stories that made it onto the list were chosen from nearly 700 entries, submitted by writers from around the world. Named after the Irish short story writer and theorist, the annual competition offers a first-place prize of €1500 plus a week-long residency at Anam Cara Writers’ and Artists’ Retreat. Read more HERE.
12 August 2011
From September, the Irish novelist and short story writer Colm Toibin will be replacing Martin Amis as Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing. Toibin, who has most recently been teaching at Princeton University in the United States, will teach on the postgraduate programme for two days a week, one term each year, and will be involved with four public literary events. During the time that Martin Amis held the post, student applications for courses at the Centre for New Writing doubled.
7 August 2011
Cork International Short Story Festival
14 – 18 September
The programme for The Cork International Short Story Festival (formerly the International Frank O’Connor Festival) has just been announced, and this year’s event promises to be a veritable smorgasbord of wonderful writers. THRESHOLDS‘ very own ALISON MACLEOD will be joining an international line-up of writers for the week-long festivities which include live interviews, a literary walking tour of Cork, and panel discussions. There will also be readings by numerous writers, including the six writers shortlisted for this year’s Short Story Award: YIYUN LI, VALERIE TRUEBLOOD, Alexander MacLeod, Suzanne Rivecca, EDNA O’BRIEN and COLM TÓIBÍN. Writers CLARE WIGFALL and JON BOILARD will also be leading workshops for beginner and advanced writers. Full details about this year’s programme can be found HERE. .
26 July 2011
Small Wonder Festival Programme
The organisers of the Small Wonder Short Story Festival at Charleston House in East Sussex have just announced the line-up for this year’s star-studded event. The four-day festival will commence at 6 p.m. on Thursday 22nd September with a discussion by Maggie Gee, Matthew Cobb, Denis Noble and THRESHOLDS director, Alison MacLeod, contributing authors to Litmus, a new anthology of science-based short fiction.
Additional speakers include: Sarah Waters * Geoff Dyer * Joe Dunthorne * Polly Samson * Tom Rachman*Rachel Cusk * Janice Galloway * Ali Smith *Yiyun Li * Robert Coover * Ben Watt * Emma Fielding * Juliet Stevenson
The Department of English & Creative Writing at the University of Chichester is delighted to sponsor a discussion about Something Was There, the new Asham anthology of award-winning ghost stories. Writers Naomi Alderman and Kate Clanchy, will be reading their specially commissioned stories and will discuss their responses to the gothic theme with publisher Lennie Goodings from Virago. This event takes place at 12 noon on Saturday 24th September.
Full details about the festival’s programme are available on the Small Wonder website.
18 July 2011
2011 Bristol Short Story Prize Winner Announced
The winner of the 2011 Bristol Short Story Prize is Emily Bullock, for her superb story ‘My Girl’. Bertel Martin, who chaired the panel of judges – which also included Joe Berger, Maia Bristol, Helen Hart and Tania Hershman – announced the winner at Saturday’s awards ceremony hosted by Bristol’s Arnolfini Arts Centre. Second prize went to Laura Windley for ‘The Kitchen and the Lion’, and Laura Lewis’s ‘Reading Turkish Coffee’ won third prize. Twenty stories were shortlisted for this year’s competition including one by Chichester University’s very own Melanie Whipman, a graduate of Chichester’s MA Creative Writing programme and a PhD probationer at the university. First prize was £1,000 and a Waterstone’s Gift Card for £150. Second prize was £700 plus a Waterstone’s Gift Card for £100, and third prize was £400 and a £100 Waterstone’s Gift Card. The seventeen remaining shortlisted entries were presented with a cheque for £100 each, and all shortlisted stories, including the three prize-winners, will be published in both print and ebook versions of Volume 4 of the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology. UWE graduate of Illustration, Claire Shorrock, also received a prize for her winning cover design for Volume 4 of the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology.
Say ‘No’ to BBC Short Story Cuts
Gwyneth Williams, the new Controller of BBC Radio 4, wants to cut the number of short stories broadcast by the station each week from three to just one. A number of new programmes will be introduced, while other existing programmes such as ‘The World at One’ will be extended. Previously, Radio 4 has been one of the UK’s leading proponents of the short story, with daily short story slots in its programming schedule and sponsorship of the National Short Story Award. Ian Skillicorn, Director of National Short Story Week and author Susie Maguire have drawn up an online petition, urging Williams to reconsider these drastic programming changes. Find out more HERE. See changes to Radio 4 programming, HERE. Sign the petition HERE. Read Susie Maguire’s response: Bad News for the Short Story.
9 July 2011
Women Dominate Shortlist for Frank O’Connor Prize
The shortlist for the 2011 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award has just been announced. Now in its sixth year, the prize of €35,000 is the largest prize in the world for a collection of short stories. The six shortlisted books are: 1) Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyun Li (Chinese-born, American resident) 2) Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod (Canadian) 3) Saints and Sinners by Edna O’Brien (Irish) 4) Death is Not an Option by Suzanne Rivecca (American) 5) The Empty Family by Colm Tóibín (Irish) 6) Marry or Burn by Valerie Trueblood (American) Four of the six shortlisted authors are women, including Yiyun Li who won the inaugural award in 2005 for her first book A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. Alexander MacLeod and Suzanne Rivecca, this year’s debutante authors, are joined by novelist Valerie Trueblood whose first short story collection has also been shortlisted. Two of Ireland’s finest, Edna O’Brien and Colm Tóibín, complete the list. The award will be presented at the culmination of the Cork International Short Story Festival on Sunday September 18th. Read more about the Frank O’Connor Award and the nominated authors HERE.
8 July 2011
Edge Hill Short Story Prize
Congratulations go out to Graham Mort, winner of this year’s Edge Hill Short Story Prize for the collection Touch (Seren). Professor Mort, who is Director of Postgraduate Studies for the Department of English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University, was awarded the £5,000 prize in his absence at last night’s ceremony at the Blackwell Bookshop in Charing Cross Road. Among the collection’s twenty-one stories is the 2007 Bridport prize winning story ‘The Prince’. Congratulations also to Tom Vowler, whose book The Method and Other Stories (Salt Publishing) was chosen by pupils and community groups as winner of the £1,000 Readers’ Prize. Michele Roberts’ Mud, Stories and Sex and Love (Virago), Polly Samson’s Perfect Lives (Virago), and Helen Simpson’s Inflight Entertainment (Random House) completed this exceptionally strong shortlist. Read more about the authors and their work HERE.
Charles Wallace India Trust
Fellowship Applications Now Being Accepted
The University of Chichester has joined an elite group of institutions who cooperate with the Charles Wallace India Trust, to welcome an Indian writer to the UK and provide them with an opportunity to spend time at a British university, devoting themselves to their own writing and contributing to the life of the host institute. Applications will be invited from 1 July to a deadline of 31 October 2011. A shortlist of candidates will be agreed in November/December. The Fellow will begin work at the University from March or April 2012 (to be confirmed). Further details available at: http://www.chiuni.ac.uk/english/fellowships.cfm
3 June 2011
Hay Literary Festival
Children’s Story Competition Winners
The Chris Evans Breakfast Show came live from the Hay Literary Festival this morning where Evans announced the winning entries of the first-ever Hay Children’s Writing Competition. The competition, for 500-word short stories by children 13-years-old and under, attracted 30,000 entries.
The fifty finalists gathered together for the prize-giving ceremony, which was broadcast live on Radio 2 from 7 a.m. this morning. Winning stories were selected by a panel of five judges: children’s authors Anthony Horowitz, Oliver Jeffries and Dame Jacqueline Wilson, comedian and children’s writer David Walliams, and the 2010 Booker Prize winning author Howard Jacobson. Stories by Children Under 9 Years Old: 1st place – ‘The Death Channel’ by Angus Barrett Finalist:
- ‘Dinosaur Remains’ by Madeleine Cook
- ‘Alfie ‘Fesses Up’ by Darcy Burnage
- ‘Winter Woodland Monster!’ by Alexander Boxall
- ‘The Doubtful Viking’ by Emily Latham
Stories by Children 10 – 13 Years Old: 1st place – ‘Stable’ by Olivia Norton Finalists:
- ‘Teeth’ by Rachel Horsfield
- ‘Diary of a Goldfish’ by Eliot Kelly-Reilly
- ‘History’ by Eamon MacDonald
- ‘Charlotte Johnson’ by Kerry Maxwell
Congratulations to the winners and all of the shortlisted authors – you are the literary stars of the future!
All 50 shortlisted stories can be found HERE.
2 June 2011
Shortlist for the 2011 Bristol Short Story Prize
Congratulations to all of the authors who have been shortlisted for the 2011 Bristol Short Story Prize, with an extra special congratulations going out to Chichester University’s very own Melanie Whipman. Melanie is a recent graduate of Chichester’s MA Creative Writing programme and is currently a PhD probationer at the university.
All twenty shortlisted stories will be included in the next Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology, to be published later this year. The winning story will be announced at an awards ceremony on July 16th at the Arnolfini Arts Centre in Bristol, where the author will be presented with a cheque for £1000.
Details of the competition and the shortlisted stories can be found HERE.
31 May 2011
Frank O’Connor Short Story Award
Jury and Longlist Announced
The Munster Literature Centre announced the longlist for the Frank O’Connor Award today. The list contains twelve UK writers, twenty-six Americans, four Irish, eight from Canada, three from India, two from Bulgaria and one each from Japan, Nigeria, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, China and Spain. The 2011 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize is worth €35,000 to the winning author of a collection of short stories published for the first time, in English anywhere in the world, between July 2010 and June 2011. See full details HERE.
New Bursary for MA Creative Writing at
University of Chichester
The University of Chichester is inviting applications for a Professional Preparation Masters’ award for the study of Creative Writing, to commence in October 2011. Professional Preparation Masters’ studentships aim to support applicants in developing their professional career or plans. Studentships for MA Creative writing are for 1 year’s full-time study (2 years part-time). The bursary will pay your fees and provide a stipend of about £9,490 (pro-rata for part-time). Applicants should have resident status in the UK. Closing date for receipt of application for MA Creative Writing: Friday 17 June 2011. Interviews will take place on 4 July 2011. The MA in Creative Writing begins on Monday 5th September 2011. Full details are available HERE.
23 May 2011
Unbound Press Short Fiction Award
‘The Case of Mary Ford’ by John Mole has been selected as this year’s winner of the Unbound Press Short Fiction Award. R.A. Martens’ ‘High Tea’ took 2nd place, and Graeme Scott’s ‘Jump Rope Practice’ came in 3rd. The three winning stories and those which were shortlisted will be included in the next Unboud Press anthology, due to be published in November. Seven additional entries, which were given Honorable Mention, will be published in Issue 5 of the Spilling Ink Review.
Full details are available HERE.
10 May 2011
Edge Hill Short Story Prize Shortlist
The five-person shortlist for this year’s Edge Hill Prize has just been announced. The shortlist is:
- Graham Mort, Touch, Seren
- Michele Roberts, Mud, Stories and Sex and Love, Virago
- Polly Samson, Perfect Lives, Virago
- Helen Simpson, Inflight Entertainment, Random House
- Tom Vowler, The Method and Other Stories, Salt Publishing
The Edge Hill Prize is the only UK award for published story collections, and this year’s competition attracted submissions from both established and emerging writers. There are three categories for this year’s prize – the main literary award of £5,000, a £1,000 Readers’ Prize, and the Edge Hill University MA Creative Writing Prize of £500. The winners will be announced at an award ceremony at the Blackwell Bookshop, Charing Cross Road, on 7th July. Full details about the award can be found HERE.
2011 Scott Prize Winners Announced
We are extremely pleased to announce that THRESHOLDS member A.J. Ashworth has been awarded a Scott Prize for her debut short story collection, Somewhere Else, or Even Here. The book will be published by Salt Publishing in November. Ashworth says: ‘I’m absolutely thrilled to be one of three winners of Salt Publishing’s Scott Prize this year. I’ve dreamed about being a writer since I was quite small so it feels both wonderful and surreal at the same time to be on the verge of seeing my collection in print! It’s wonderful to know that there are still publishers such as Salt who are willing to support new writers, especially in such challenging times for the arts.’ A.J. Ashworth is a former journalist and has an MA in Writing from Sheffield Hallam University. Read her short story ‘The Rings of Saturn’ HERE. Cassandra Parkin and Jonathan Pinnock will also see their story collections published by Salt. All three books will be launched during National Short Story Week in November. Further information about the prize, and the complete shortlist can be found HERE.
7 April 2011
Literary Journals Thrive, on Paper and Otherwise
New York Times journalist Reyhan Harmanci explores the continued rise of American Literary Magazines HERE.
19 March 2011
2010 Asham Award Shortlist
The twelve stories shortlisted for the 2010 Asham Award have been announced. Selected by a judging panel comprised of Lennie Goodings from Virago Press, and the novelists Sarah Walters and Polly Samson, the shortlisted stories are: ‘Cold Snap’ by Maggie Ling; ‘Red Branwen’ by Janet Tchamani; ‘Obeah Blue’ by Jacqueline Crooks; ‘The Traveller’ by Fiona Law; ‘Company’ by Diane Iddon; ‘Pandian Uncle and his Ghosts’ by Anita Sivakumaran; ‘On the Turn of the Tide’ by Jacky Taylor; ‘All Over the Place’ by Linda McVeigh; ‘The Second of November’ by Celine West; ‘Vin Rouge’ by Caroline Price; ‘The Courting’ by Gabriela Blandy; and ‘Sam Brown’ by Kate Morrison. The shortlisted stories will be included in an anthology which will be launched at the Small Wonder Festival at Charleston House in September, and the first, second and third-place winners will be announced this time. Read more about the Asham Award HERE.
17 March 2011
Fish Short Story Prize Winners Announced
The top ten stories for this year’s FISH PRIZE have just been announced. Selected by judge Simon Mawer, the first-place prize of €3,000 goes to the Irish writer Mary O’Donnell for her story The Space Between Louis and Me. Hannah-Fleur Fizt-Gibbon, from the UK, wins the second-place prize of a week’s stay at the Anam Cara Writers’ & Artists’ Retreat for the story La Paix, and Robert Porteous, from Australia, wins the €300 third-place prize for Big Spirit Blow. The three prize-winning stories and the seven runners up will all be included in the 2011 Fish Anthology, to be launched at the West Cork Literary Festival in July. The 2012 competition opens in June. For the full list of prize winners and further information about the FISH PRIZE, click HERE.
13 March 2011
The shortlist for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award has been announced, today. After further review of the 20 stories which made last month’s long list, the judging panel have now chosen their favourite six stories. The shortlisted stories and their writers are:
- ‘East Coast – West Coast’ by Will Cohu
- ‘The Deep’ by Anthony Doerr
- ‘The Fluorescent Jacket’ by Roshi Fernando
- ‘The Science of Flight’ by Yiyun Li
- ‘Comma’ by Hilary Mantel
- ‘The Family Whistle’ by Gerard Woodward
The winner of the £30,000 award will be announced at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival in April. Read more HERE.
27 February 2011
Short Story Downloads
The news from Bookseller.com is that Fourth Estate and the Sunday Times have teamed up on a new project, releasing digital downloads of 32 short stories from writers including Hilary Mantel, A L Kennedy, Carol Shields and Alexei Sayle. Dubbed Fast Fiction, the downloads can be purchased for less than £2.
Find out more HERE.
21 February 2011
Rob Shearman on Long List for Major Prize
The long list for the 2011 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award has just been announced, and we are pleased to see that the story ‘History Becomes You’ by THRESHOLDS Q&A guest Rob Shearmanhas been selected as one of this year’s top 20. Rob is joined on the long list by such notable writers as Hilary Mantel, Tobias Hill, and Susan Hill. Sarah Hall, who was on last year’s short list is also among the authors in contention for this year’s prize. The £30,000 first-place prize is the largest award given to an individual short story.
The complete long list is available HERE.
27 January 2011
Adam Marek Wins Arts Foundation Fellowship
We are delighted to announce that Adam Marek, has been named the winner of the 2011 Arts Foundation Fellowship for the Short Story. Each year the Foundation makes awards of £10,000 to emerging artists who have shown commitment to their particular field of creativity and reached a level of professional standing. This year’s awards were made to artists in five categories: sculpture, folk music, ceramics, live performance art, and the short story. Adam Marek, whose first collection Instruction Manual for Swallowing (Comma Press, 2007) gives us a bizarre and sometimes disturbing perspective of the modern world, is considered by many to be a rising talent in the literary world. Since winning the Bridport Prize in 2003, his stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies including When It Changed, The New Uncanny and the British Council’s New Writing 15. Last year, Adam’s story ‘Fewer Things’ was shortlisted for the prestigious Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. ‘I’m so thrilled,’ Marek said after the announcement of the Arts Foundation award. ‘I can’t wait to start the fellowship. I’ve been desperate for more time to write for so long now, finally I’m going to be able to commit my whole working day to fiction, which is going to be such a pleasure.’ Adam’s stories have been described as a combination of the absurd and the mundane and as the guest of THRESHOLDS’ inaugural Q&A session in October 2010 he discussed the way his stories often arise out of a collision between wildly contrasting ideas. Read more about Adam’s thoughts on short stories and the writing life here.
1 December 2010
To mark the first annual National Short Story Week, which took place 22-28th November, nine of the UK’s premier short story writers were invited to work together to produce a single short story. Each writer contributed 100 to 150 words before passing the story on to the next writer in the chain. Taking part in this literary challenge were the writers Tania Hershman, our very own Alison MacLeod, our recent Q&A guest Adam Marek, Julie Mayhew, Jonathan Pinnock, Valerie O’Riordan, Sarah Salway, Tom Vowler and Susie Wild. You can read the results of their creative collaboration, in the story Consequences, here.
29 November 2010
David Constantine has been named as winner of the fifth annual BBC National Short Story Award, taking home a £15,000 cheque for his story ‘Tea at the Midland’. Launched in 2005, the award aims to raise the profile of the contemporary British short story, and to increase the number of opportunities available for writers, readers and publishers of the form. Jon McGregor was runner-up for ‘If it Keeps on Raining’ and receives a £3000 prize. Aminatta Forna, Sarah Hall and Helen Oyeyemi each receive £500 for their shortlisted stories.
David Constantine shares his thoughts on winning the BBC National Short Story Award and reveals how his stories come into being:
I like the form, it is so various, it lends itself to many very different needs. I suppose I write the kind of short story a person writes who primarily writes poems. Neither story nor poem is, for me, biddable. I have to wait, attend. My stories start in images, bits of speech, a particular tone of voice. I have talked to writers who plot the whole thing from start to finish, then they write it out. That isn’t my way. I have to listen closely for the directions being given by the images and voices that first came to me, and sentence by sentence feel my way. So in the case of ‘Tea at the Midland’ I was given the surfers and Eric Gill’s frieze ‘Odysseus Welcomed from the Sea’; then the man and woman, their voices, and bit by bit what was at stake for each. Their quarrel about Gill, perhaps interesting in itself, is more truly the ground on which they have to fight.
Winning the award is immensely encouraging, of course – both for me and for Comma Press who deserve the support of all who care about the genre. And since being short-listed I’ve seen again and at first hand just how much writers have cause to be grateful to the BBC.
Contribution by Katherine Orr.
Read more here.
12 November 2010
The shortlist for the BBC National Short Story Award has just been announced. Congratulations to David Constantine, Aminatta Forna, Sarah Hall, Jon Mcgregor, and Helen Oyeyemi.
The winner of the £15,000 prize money will be announced on Radio 4’s Front Row on 29 November. The runner-up will win £3,000 while the other nominees will be rewarded with £500 each.
Five actors and actresses will each read one of the shortlisted stories on a daily basis from 15 November at 15.30 GMT on Radio 4.
31 October 2010
First Place in this year’s Bridport Short Story Prize has gone to ‘The Woodcutter’s Wife’ by the Brighton-based writer, Alison Fisher. Fisher will receive a cheque for £5000 at today’s awards ceremony at the Bridport Arts Centre. Wayne Price, of Aberdeen, wins the Second Place prize of £1000 for his story ‘God’s Instruments’, and Kirsty Logan, of Glasgow, takes home Third Place and £500 for ‘Underskirts.’
A special congratulations goes out to supplementary prize winners Honoria Beirne and Katherine Orr, both of whom are studying for postgraduate degrees in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester. Honoria, who is in the final stages of an MA, receives the prize for her story ‘Shake Me, Shake Me’, and Katherine, currently studying for a PhD, receives her prize for ‘The Human Circadian Pacemaker’. We also extend our warm congratulations to University of Chichester English graduate Josephine Corcoran, who won a supplementary prize in the Bridport Poetry Competition, and to Dave Swann, Senior Lecturer in English & Creative Writing at Chichester, who was long-listed in the the same competition.
The 2011 competition will open 1st December.
12 October 2010
Howard Jacobson is the surprise winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize, selected from a shortlist that also included Peter Carey, Andrea Levy and Damon Galgut, as well as Tom McCarthy and Emma Donoghue whose novels were thought to be the favourites. The Finkler Question, Jacobson’s 11th novel, is the first comic novel in the history of the Man Booker Prize to win top honours.
4 October 2010
Congratulations go out to Ron Rash for his short story collection Burning Bright, this year’s winner of the prestigious Frank O’Connor Award. The €35,000 prize, presented to the writer of the best short story collection published in English during the preceding year, is the largest prize of its kind. Read more
17 September 2010
We are delighted to report that Hanif Kureishi, a friend to THRESHOLDS and the subject of our inaugural interview, will be awarded the PEN Pinter Prize on October 20th. ‘The prize aims to honour a writer of “outstanding literary merit” who exemplifies Pinter’s own “fierce intellectual determination … to define the real truth of our lives and our societies”.’