An equal balance of female and male writers are shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Edge Hill Short Story Prize, worth £10,000.
Six collections have been whittled down from the longlist of 12 for the only UK-based award that recognises excellence in a single author short story collection. They are:
Wendy Erskine – Sweet Home (Stinging Fly)
Vicky Grut – Live Show Drink Included (Holland Park Press)
Chris Power – Mothers (Faber & Faber)
David Szalay – Turbulence (Jonathan Cape)
Simon Van Booy – The Sadness of Beautiful Things (Penguin)
Lucy Wood – The Sing of the Shore (4th Estate)
Prize organiser Billy Cowan, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, said:
“We’re thrilled to have six books on the shortlist, three of which are debut collections. It’s also great to see a previous shortlisted writer, Lucy Wood, on there again.
“Historically, the Edge Hill Prize has been dominated by female writers, so it is interesting to see male writers making a strong showing this year. The shortlisted books reflect the infinitely varied nature of the short story, and I don’t envy the judges in having to decide on a winner out of such strong and unique collections.”
The winner will be announced at an exclusive Short Story Prize event on 25 October at Waterstones Piccadilly, London. The ceremony will also include a £1,000 Reader’s Choice Award to an author from the shortlist, and a further category for stories by Edge Hill University’s MA Creative Writing students. The students who have been shortlisted this year for the MA prize are: Harry Draper, Molly Smallwood, Carolyn Stockdale, Natalie McCulloch, Steven Kenny and Tamsin James.
This year’s judges are literary heavyweight and last year’s winner, Tessa Hadley; writer and short story expert Elizabeth Baines; and Sam Jordison, writer, journalist and co-founder of Galley Beggar Press.
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 2018 prize was awarded to Tessa Hadley for Bad Dreams (Cape), with the Readers’ Choice winner going to Sarah Hall for Madame Zero (Faber).