Edge Hill University has launched a prestigious literary competition to find the best short stories of 2006.

Publishers will be invited to enter a collection of short stories by a chosen author and compete for a top prize of £5000.

The Edge Hill Prize for the Short Story is thought to be the only competition in the UK to focus on a published single author collection.

A shortlist will be announced in May 2007. The winning author will be presented with their prize at a glittering ceremony before an invited audience at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, in July 2007. For competition rules and contacts click here

Ailsa Cox, Reader in English and Writing at Edge Hill University and one of the judges, said:

“James Joyce, Katherine Mansfield, Rudyard Kipling and many other famous authors achieved great success with the short story. There was a period in the last century when its popularity waned, but I am delighted to say that it is now enjoying a major revival.

“Short stories are an intense, exciting form. As an author you can achieve so much that is challenging and innovative. The growth of the internet, the work of independent presses and the rise of new formats such as flash fiction have all contributed to this renewal.

“The Edge Hill Prize will show that the short story is back and here to stay.”

The competition is expected to attract entries from all major publishing houses and the smaller presses.

Collections must have been originally published during 2006, from an author born or based in the British Isles, including Ireland.

Ailsa Cox added: “We are in the exciting position where we have no idea whether we will be handing the prize to an internationally famous figure or a relative unknown.”

The panel of judges also includes leading short story writer and novelist A L Kennedy (Indelible Acts and Original Bliss) and Andrew Cant from independent book shop, Simply Books.

Entries must be submitted by 28 February, 2007.

For further details of the competition contact Ailsa Cox, Edge Hill University, tel: 01695 584121 or 01695 584783