The words 'short story' displayed on a piece of paper set up in an old typewriter.

The longlist for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, the only one of its kind in the UK, has been announced – and it’s an all-female line-up for the first time.

The prestigious prize, now in its 14th year, is the only annually-presented UK-based literary award to recognise excellence in a published, single-authored short story collection.

The twelve-strong longlist represents an exciting range of new writing from UK and Irish-based writers and this year, for the first time, there is an all-female longlist.

Billy Cowan, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing.

Billy Cowan, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, said: “At this precarious time I am thrilled that Edge Hill University is continuing its support of the short story and those who write and publish in this form.

“This year our readers particularly engaged with collections written by women and this all-female longlist, the first time we have had one, feels special.

“Choosing a shortlist is not going to be easy!”

The longlist in full is:

  • Julia Armfield – Salt Slow (Picador);
  • Lisa Blower – It’s Gone Dark over Bill’s Mother’s (Myriad Editions);
  • Elleke Boehmer – To the Volcano (Myriad Editions);
  • Lucy Sweeney Byrne – Paris Syndrome (Banshee Press);
  • Ruby Cowling – This Paradise (Boiler House Press);
  • Shelley Day – What Are You Like (Postbox Press);
  • Nicole Flattery – Show Them a Good Time (Bloomsbury);
  • Sarah Hall – Sudden Traveller (Faber);
  • Kirsty Logan – Things We Say in the Dark (Vintage);
  • Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi – Manchester Happened (One World);
  • Linda Mannheim – This Way to Departures (Influx Press);
  • Amanda O’Callaghan – This Taste of Silence (University of Queensland Press).
Collection of books randomly positioned as seen from above.

The Edge Hill Short Story Prize continues to gain momentum year on year and previous winners include acclaimed authors such as David Szalay, Tessa Hadley and Daisy Johnson.

Founded in 2006 by the world’s first Professor of Short Fiction, Ailsa Cox, the prize highlights the intricate artisanship of short story writing and acknowledges the wealth of published collections available.

A short list will be announced by September, with the winner of the £10,000 prize announced in November.

The judges of the 2020 prize are 2019 winner David Szalay, Sara Hunt, managing director of award-winning independent publisher Saraband, and Dr Zayneb Allak, poet and creative writing lecturer at Edge Hill University.

A £1,000 Reader’s Choice Award will also be presented to one of the shortlisted authors and there will be a £500 prize for the best short story submitted by an Edge Hill University MA Creative Writing student.

Find out more about Edge Hill’s Department of English, History and Creative Writing and the course offered, including BA (Hons) Creative Writing and MA Creative Writing.