The 15-strong longlist for Edge Hill University’s 12th annual Short Story Prize has been announced, including such names as James Kelman, Sarah Hall and Tessa Hadley.

Billy Cowan

Prize organiser, playwright and Creative Writing lecturer Billy Cowan said: “This year’s Edge Hill Prize longlist includes an exciting mix of literary giants such as James Kelman, Sarah Hall and Tessa Hadley and newcomers like Eley Williams, David Hayden and Agnieska Dale. The list includes just as many small presses as large publishers, and there’s a healthy balance of male and female writers.

“Many of the books are debut collections and stories range from political satire and the uncanny to SF and gritty social realism. It also seems to be the year of the fox with our little, urban scavenger popping up in many of the wonderful stories.”

The longlist in full:

Kelly Creighton – Bank Holiday Hurricane (Doire Press)
Agnieszka Dale – Fox Season (Jantar Publishing)
Lucy Durneen – Wild Gestures (MidnightSun Publishing)
Tessa Hadley – Bad Dreams (Jonathan Cape)
Sarah Hall – Madame Zero (Faber & Faber)
M John Harrison – You Should Come With Me Now (Comma Press)
David Hayden — Darker with the Lights On (Little Island Press)
James Kelman – That was a Shiver (Canongate)
Alison MacLeod – All the Beloved Ghosts (Bloomsbury)
Sean O’Reilly – Levitation (Stinging Fly Press)
Adam O’Riordan – The Burning Ground (Bloomsbury)
Tom Rachman – Basket Of Deplorables (Riverrun)
Leone Ross – Come Let us Sing Anyway (Peepal Tree Press)
Nicholas Royle – Ornithology (Confingo)
Eley Williams – Attrib (Influx Press)

The winner of the £10,000 prize will be announced at a special event in London in November.

The Prize is the only UK-based award that recognises excellence in a single author short story collection and will also include a £1,000 Reader’s Choice award to a writer from the shortlist, and a further category for stories by Edge Hill University MA Creative Writing students.

The Edge Hill Short Story Prize was founded in 2006 by the world’s first Professor of Short Fiction, Ailsa Cox, to highlight the intricate artisanship of short story writing and acknowledge the wealth of published collections available.

The 2017 prize was awarded to Daisy Johnson for Fen (Cape). The Readers’ Choice winner was Lucy Caldwell for Multitudes (Faber). The 2017 Prize featured an all-female short list, including Irenosen Okjie (Speak Gigantular – Jacaranda), K. J. Orr (Light Box – Daunt) and Joanna Walsh (Vertigo – And Other Stories).