The longlist for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, the only one of its kind in the UK, has been announced.

The prestigious prize, now in its 15th year, is the only national literary award to recognise excellence in a published, single-authored short story collection. 

The 15-strong longlist represents an exciting range of new writing from the UK and Ireland. 

Billy Cowan, organiser of the prize, said: “Although it has been a tough year for the publishing industry, it is great to see the short story in such a healthy state with more collections entered this year than 2020.

“This made the longlisting process very difficult as there were many, many strong entries. Our team of readers finally narrowed it down to a list of fifteen writers that include two previous Edge Hill Prize winners as well as many new writers with first collections by small independent publishers.”

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 2021 prize are 2020 winner Shelley Day, literary agent Elise Dillsworth and Dr Kim Wiltshire, writer and senior lecturer in Creative Writing 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.

The longlist in full is:

  • Alice Ash Paradise Block (Profile/Serpent’s Tail)
  • Annabel Banks Exercises in Control (Influx)
  • Kevin Barry That Old Country Music (Canongate)
  • Adrian Duncan Midfield Dynamo (Lilliput Press) 
  • Angela Graham A City Burning (Seren)
  • Rosanna Hildyard Slaughter (Broken Sleep Books) 
  • Rosemary Jenkinson Lifestyle Choice 10MG (Doire Press) 
  • A L Kennedy We are Attempting to Survive our Time (Jonathan Cape)
  • Louise Kennedy The End of the World is a Cul-de-Sac (Bloomsbury) 
  • Jo Lloyd The Earth, that Great Exchequer, Ready Lies (Swift Press)
  • Graham Mort Like Fado (Salt)
  • John O’Donnell Almost the Same Blue and other stories (Doire Press)
  • Alexandros Plasatis Made by Sea and Wood in Darkness (Spuyten Duyvil)
  • Fernando Sdrigotti Jolts (Influx)
  • Hannah Vincent She-Clown (Myriad Editions)