Kirsty Gunn has been announced as the winner of the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2015 with her collection Infidelities (Faber & Faber).
Infidelities includes stories about love, marriage, and beyond and the collection was praised by judges for its haunting imagery and the beauty of its style.
Kirsty Gunn said: “It is a tremendous honour and surprise to be awarded the Edge Hill Prize. I would like to thank Ailsa Cox and her colleagues for running such an important prize celebrating the short story. It creates community and a sense of fellowship for short story writers.
Now in its ninth year, the Edge Hill Prize is the only UK award that recognises excellence in a published collection of short stories.
This year the judging panel included The Guardian’s Chris Power, 2014 Readers’ Choice winner Rachel Trezise and Edge Hill’s Dr Ailsa Cox. The winner was announced at London’s Free Word Centre on the evening of Thursday 2 July.
Prize co-ordinator Dr Ailsa Cox, Reader in Creative Writing and English at Edge Hill University, said: “This shortlist shows the huge range and diversity of short story writing today, and how many risks writers are taking with the form, with stories based on, amongst other things, twitter fiction, autobiographical memories, oral history and role-playing games. All of these collections are winners. All contain powerful personal versions and test the language to its limits. In the end we chose Kirsty Gunn’s Infidelities for its haunting imagery and the beauty of its style. Sentence by sentence, Infidelities shows us the short story’s ability to take us straight to the heart of the mystery.”
As well as the Main Literary Award of £5,000 won by Kirsty Gunn, a £1,000 Reader’s Choice award was presented to Madeleine D’Arcy whose debut collection Waiting for the Bullet (Doire Press), features stories set in Cork, London, and New York.
The £250 Jo Powell Award which commemorates and celebrates the life of crime writer Jo Powell, whose first novel, The Drop Room, was written as part of her doctoral study at Edge Hill, is judged by Edge Hill Creative Writing MA students. This year’s winner is Shannon Eden, for The Glass Passenger.
The winner of an additional category worth £500 acknowledging rising talents on Edge Hill University’s own MA Creative Writing course was also announced as Trevor Fevin for his story Reckitt’s Blue.