Published authors are being encouraged to enter the prestigious 2013 Edge Hill Prize for the Short Story.

The award, now in its seventh year, is organised by Edge Hill University and recognises excellence in a published single author short story collection.

It is unique as it is the only such award for a whole collection from a British/Irish author in the UK.

The 2012 winner was award-winning writer Sarah Hall for her first short story collection The Beautiful Indifference, a dark, fierce and sensual piece of fiction that gets to the heart of matters. Sarah, who also scooped the Readers’ Choice category, is also the author of four novels, including The Electric Michelangelo and How to Paint a Dead Man. She will serve as a judge in 2013, alongside Scottish author and literary critic Lesley McDowell and Jim Lee, Regional Buyer at Waterstones.

Other previous winners and shortlisted authors include Jeremy Dyson, Graham Mort, Robert Shearman, Helen Simpson, Neil Gaiman, Chris Beckett, Colm Toibin and Claire Keegan.

Prize co-ordinator Dr Ailsa Cox, Reader in Creative Writing and English at Edge Hill University, said: “Each year the competition grows stronger and stronger as more publishers recognise the significance of this unique award for the short story. I’m sure this year will be no exception and I’m confident that in our seventh year we will attract entries from a diverse range of writers, from well-established names to burgeoning new talent.”

The prize has three categories:

  • The main literary award of £5,000. A panel of judges will choose the winner from a shortlist of five collections to be announced in May.
  • The £1,000 Readers’ Choice, chosen from the same shortlist.
  • A £500 student prize, which will reward one of the stars of Edge Hill University’s MA Creative Writing course.

Publishers are invited to submit collections for consideration up to the closing date of 4th March. Collections must be published during 2012. For more information, please contact Ailsa Cox on 01695 584121 or email wendy.gillett@go.edgehill.ac.uk.