Whittled down from the 12-strong longlist, six collections of short stories will do battle for the top award of £10,000 at an exclusive event at Waterstones Piccadilly. They include debut books Sweet Home by Wendy Erskine (Stinging Fly), Mothers by Chris Power (Faber & Faber), Vicky Grut’s Live Show Drink Included (Holland Park Press), David Szalay for Turbulence (Jonathan Cape), Simon Van Booy’s The Sadness of Beautiful Things (Penguin) and Lucy Wood, shortlisted for the second time for The Sing of the Shore (4th Estate).
Each author will read from their collections before the winner is announced, followed by a wine and canapé reception in the 5th View restaurant inside Waterstone’s flagship store. The judging panel for 2019 is made-up of Tessa Hadley, who won last year for Bad Dreams (Cape), writer Elizabeth Baines and Sam Jordison, co-founder of Galley Beggar Press.
There will also be a £1,000 prize for the Reader’s Choice and a category for stories by Edge Hill University’s MA Creative Writing students, with Harry Draper, Molly Smallwood, Carolyn Stockdale, Natalie McCulloch, Steven Kenny and Tamsin James all in the running.