A collage image of the front covers of the six shortlisted texts.

The contenders for this year’s Edge Hill Prize have been revealed and previous winner Kevin Barry is in the running. 

Six authors were shortlisted for the £10,000 prize for short stories instead of the usual five – testament to the high standard of submissions – and there are four debut collections featured. 

The shortlist is: 

  • Paradise Block by Alice Ash (Serpent’s Tail/Profile); 
  • That Old Country Music by Kevin Barry (Canongate). Kevin won the prize in 2013 for Dark Lies the Island
  • Lifestyle Choice 10mg by Rosemary Jenkinson (Doire Press); 
  • The Earth, Thy Great Exchequer, Ready Lies by Jo Lloyd (Swift Press); 
  • Made by Sea and Wood, in Darkness by Alexandros Plasatis (Spuyten Duyvil); 
  • She-Clown by Hannah Vincent (Myriad Editions). 

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

The three shortlisted stories for the MA Prize are: 

  • Urchin by Jasmine Gray; 
  • L’Homme de Dieu by Maya Hutchinson; 
  • Epiphany by Kashyap Raja. 

Now in its 15th year, the Edge Hill Prize is the only annual UK-based award to recognise excellence in a single-author short story collection. 

Prize organiser Billy Cowan, senior lecturer in Creative Writing, said: “It was such a challenge this year to get the longlist down to five books that we’ve decided to choose six!

“The shortlist is an exciting mix of established and new writers which includes one previous winner and four writers with debut collections.

“The quality of work in the longlist was extraordinary but in the end we think we’ve found six very special books.” 

There are three judges facing the difficult task of choosing a winner, to be announced in January: 2020 winner Shelley Day, literary agent Elise Dillsworth and Dr Kim Wiltshire, writer and senior lecturer in Creative Writing at Edge Hill University. 

The Edge Hill 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.  

Edge Hill University’s English, History and Creative Writing department seeks to make a difference. Delivering research-informed teaching, the team actively engages with public audiences and organisations, and students are partners in all activities, to the benefit of their employability and preparation for life after their degrees.