A record number of writers have entered this year’s prestigious Edge Hill Short Story Prize.
A diverse range of talents from the literary world have entered their work in the 2013 awards, with interest from a wide range of large mainstream publishers and independent presses.
Now in its seventh year, it is the only UK award that recognises excellence in a published collection of short stories and has attracted established names competing alongside relative newcomers for the £5,000 main prize and £1,000 Readers’ Prize.
The long-list includes a number of well-established, award-winning writers including DW Wilson, the 2011 winner of the National Short Story Prize, Irish writer Kevin Barry, last year’s Sunday Times Short Story Prize winner, Jon McGregor, winner of the 2012 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for Even The Dogs, Jane Rogers, author of many novels and Jackie Kay, who was also shortlisted in the first year of the Edge Hill Prize in 2007.
There is also a strong showing from other well-known Irish writers, including Emma Donoghue, who was Booker Prize shortlisted for Room, Joseph O’Connor, author of the widely acclaimed novel Star Of The Sea, Eilis Dhuibhne, Nula Ni Chonchuir, Mary Costello, Mike McCormack, James Marytn Joyce, Eileen Casey and John Walsh.
Prize co-ordinator Dr Ailsa Cox, Reader in Creative Writing and English at Edge Hill University, said: “This is the biggest and the most impressive long-list we’ve ever had, with a fantastic mix of voices and styles. Clearly, writers and their publishers are recognising the significance of this prize, unique in the British book world.
“The variety is matched by the very high standard of so many of these collections. It is going to be harder than ever to limit our shortlist to five.”
The short-list will be revealed in May and the winners announced at an awards ceremony on 4th July at Waterstones Piccadilly, London.
The prize has three categories:
- The main literary award of £5,000. A panel of judges will choose the winner from a short-list 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.
Notes to editors
Names on the long-list are as follows:
- Celeste Auge – Fireproof (Doire Press). The Irish-Canadian writer won the 2011 Cuirt New Writing Prize for fiction and has won awards for her poetry.
- Kevin Barry – Dark Lies The Island (Jonathan Cape). Winner of last year’s Sunday Times Short Story Prize and in 2007 won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.
- Carys Bray – Sweet Home (Salt Publishing). Winner of the 2012 Scott Prize, she also scooped the MA Creative Writing category in the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2010.
- Rebecca Burns – Catching The Barramundi (Odyssey Books). This is her debut collection and, keen to promote creative writing, she sits on the Steering Committee of the Grace Dieu Writers Circle in Leicestershire.
- David Constantine – Tea at the Midland (Comma Press). A noted poet and translator, he also won the 2010 National Short Story Prize
- Eileen Casey – Snow Shoes (Arlen House). Her prose and short fiction has won many awards including a 2010 Hennessy Literary Award.
- Nuala Ni Chonchur – Mother America (New Island Books). A full-time fiction writer and poet, living in Galway county, she reached the Edge Hill shortlist in 2010 with Nude.
- Mary Costello – The China Factory (The Stinging Fly). Published her first short story in the mid-90s and was shortlisted for a Hennessy Prize, but this is her first collection.
- Brindley Hallam Dennis – Talking To Owls (Pewter Rose). He edits a regular Flash Fiction slot on the Eden Arts Newsletter, Weekly Word.
- Ellis Ni Dhuibhne – The Shelter Of Neighbours (Blackstaff Press). Acclaimed Irish novelist and short story writer who has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction.
- Emma Donoghue – Ashtray (Pan Macmillan). The award-winning Irish writer who now lives in Canada has been Booker Prize shortlisted.
- Jon Gower – Too Cold For Snow (Parthian). One of Wales’s brightest literary talents, the former BBC arts and media correspondent, has published numerous books, including An Island Called Smith, winner of the John Morgan Travel Award.
- Tania Hershman – My Mother Was An Upright Piano (Tangent Books). The former science journalist is currently writer-in-residence in the Science Faculty at Bristol University and is founder of online journal The Short Review.
- James Marytn Joyce – What’s Not Said (Arleen House). The former Barna National School principal from Ireland has been nominated for a number of short story awards and has had work featured on BBC Radio Four.
- Jackie Kay – Reality, Reality (Pan Macmillan). The Scottish poet and novelist has been shortlisted for a number of awards including the first year of the Edge Hill Prize 2007.
- Adam Marek – The Stone Thrower (Comma Press). Winner of the 2011 Arts Foundation Short Story Fellowship, he was shortlisted for the inaugural Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award.
- Mike McCormack – Forensic Songs (The Lilliput Press). The Irish author was awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 1996 and Notes From A Coma was shortlisted for the Irish Book of the Year Award in 2006.
- Jon McGregor – This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You (Bloomsbury). The novelist won the 2012 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the world’s largest literary prize for a novel written in English.
- Joseph O’Connor – Where Have You Been (Harvill Secker). Former journalist and Irish novelist widely known for his acclaimed novel Star of the Sea.
- Ryan O’Neill – The Weight of the Human Heart (Old Street Publishing Ltd). Having taught for several years in Lithuania, China, Rwanda and Australia, the British writer now works at the University of Newcastle, Australia and is fiction co-editor for Etchings.
- Wendy Perriman – Second Sex (Robert Hale Ltd). Expelled from her convent school for hearsay, Oxford-educated Perriman is the author of 17 novels and six short story collections.
- Dave Pescod – All Embracing And Other Stories (Route Books). A comedy writer, he has won the Suffolk Short Story Competition and his work has been published in literary magazines and broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
- Jonathan Pinnock, Dot Dash (Salt Publishing). He leads a dual life both as a writer of fiction and non-fiction and running a software development company.
- Garry Craig Powell – Stoning the Devil (Skylight Press). A fiction writer and professor of Creative Writing at the University of Central Arkansas.
- Wayne Price – Furnace (Freight Books). As Runner-up in the 2010 Bridport Prize and the Scotland on Sunday/Macallan Short Story Competition, this is his first collection to be published.
- Jane Rogers – Hitting Trees With Sticks (Comma Press). A scriptwriter and Professor of Writing at Sheffield Hallam University she is best known for novels Mr Wroe’s Virgins and The Voyage Home. In 1994 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
- Cynthia Rogerson – Stepping Out (Salt Publishing). Her short stories have been widely anthologised and broadcast on radio. She won the V.S. Pritchett Prize in 2008 and is a Scottish Book Trust Live Literature Author.
- Royston Tester – Fatty Goes To China (Tightrope Books). A freelance editor, after immigrating to Canada from England in 1978 his work has been published globally.
- Douglas Thompson – Entanglement (Elsewhere Press). Winner of the Grolsch/Herald Question of Style Award in 1989 and second prize in the Neil Gunn Writing Competition in 2007.
- Sam Thompson – Communion Town (Fourth Estate). Teaching English at St Anne’s College, Oxford, he writes for the Times Literary Supplement, the London Review of Books and The Guardian.
- Guy Ware – You Have 24 Hours To Love Us (Comma Press). Having worked with homeless ex-offenders before training as a public finance accountant, he has published stories in anthologies.
- John Walsh – Border Lines (Doire Press). The London-Irish writer is organiser of North Beach Poetry Nights in Galway and co-director of Doire Press, a small literary press in the west of Ireland.
- Gee Williams – A Girl’s Arm (Salt Publishing). A widely-published poet and a dramatist, many of her scripts have been broadcast by BBC Radio 4. She has won both The Rhys Davies and The Book Pl@ce Contemporary Short Story awards.
- Joel Willans – Spellbound (Route Books). The English born writer sets many of his stories in Finland where he is based.
- Tony Williams – All The Bananas I’ve Never Eaten (Salt Publishing). A poetry and prose fiction writer, he teaches creative writing at Northumbria University, but previously worked as an environmental charity worker and custodian of a disused lead mine.
- Sue Wilsea – Staying Afloat (Valley Press). Her writing has been widely published and performed, with accolades including being one of nine writers labelled ‘New and Gifted’ by the Jerwood/Arvon Foundation in 2010.
- DW Wilson – Once You Break A Knuckle (Bloomsbury). The 2011 winner of the National Short Story Prize also regularly appears in literary magazines globally.
- Lucy Wood – Diving Belles (Bloomsbury). With an MA in Creative Writing, she grew up in Cornwall and this is her first work.