Last year's winner Sarah Hall picks up her award at the ceremony in London.

Now in its ninth year, the Edge Hill Prize is the only UK award that recognises excellence in a single author, published short story collection.

The unique accolade is proving increasingly popular with the prize attracting established authors who compete alongside relative newcomers for the prize. Previous winners have been John Burnside, Kevin Barry, Colm Tóibín, Claire Keegan, Chris Beckett, Jeremy Dyson, Graham Mort and Sarah Hall.

The prize has three categories, the main literary award of £5,000 as well as a £1,000 Reader’s Prize judged by BA Creative Writing students, and a £500 award for rising talents on the MA Creative Writing course.

The Edge Hill Prize is based on critical and practice-based research carried out by Dr Ailsa Cox, a Reader in Creative Writing and English Literature. Ailsa’s fiction has been published in various magazines and anthologies, she has been shortlisted for the Stand International Short Story competition, the V.S. Pritchett award and the Bridport prize and she is the editor of the peer-reviewed journal, Short Fiction in Theory and Practice. Her research and commitment to the short story as a distinct genre in its own right has led to a nationwide revival of interest in a genre that has traditionally been overshadowed.

Longlist announced for 2018 Edge Hill Short Story Prize

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

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).

Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2017 winner announced

Professor Ailsa Cox with Edge Hill Prize winner Daisy Johnson

Professor Ailsa Cox with Edge Hill Prize winner Daisy Johnson

Daisy Johnson was this evening named as the winner of the £10,000 Edge Hill Prize for the Short Story at an exclusive event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Johnson’s collection Fen (Cape), whose stories are set in an uncanny and weirdly magical East Anglian landscape, was chosen from a shortlist of five, which also included collections from Lucy Caldwell (Multitudes – Faber), Irenosen Okjie (Speak Gigantular – Jacaranda), K. J. Orr (Light Box – Daunt) and Joanna Walsh (Vertigo – And Other Stories).

Daisy Johnson said: “This is the first prize I’ve won for the collection and it is such a privilege. I am honoured to be among so many amazing female short story writers, and I hope to be involved with Edge Hill again in the future.” 

Edge Hill Short Story Prize is the only UK-based award that recognizes excellence in published short story collections and also includes a £1,000 Reader’s Choice Award to an author from the shortlist, which went to Lucy Caldwell for Multitudes (Faber).

Prize organiser Ailsa Cox, the world’s first Professor of Short Fiction at Edge Hill University, said: “Every one of the finalists is a fresh and exciting new voice, proving that the best and most innovative fiction-writing happening today is in the short story form. This has been a bumper year for the prize. The standard of entries has been astonishing, and there are many other voices, who didn’t quite make the shortlist, that we’ll be hearing plenty more from. This year’s winner, Daisy Johnson, fuses fantasy and reality in a contemporary English landscape, working the language like clay. The love of language and the emotional drive of all the finalists gives their stories a special potency that stays with you long after you have reached the end.”

This year’s judges were Thomas Morris (finalist, Edge Hill Prize 2016), Cathy Galvin (Director and Founder, The Word Factory) and Dr Rodge Glass (Reader in Literary Fiction, Edge Hill University).

The 2016 award was bestowed on Jessie Greengrass for The Decline of the Great Auk According to One Who Saw It. The other shortlisted authors were Kate Clanchy, Stuart Evers, China Miéville, Thomas Morris and Angela Readman.

 

Shortlist for this year’s Edge Hill Short Story Prize announced

Edge Hill Short Story Prize

The hotly anticipated shortlist for this year’s Edge Hill Short Story Prize has been announced today (Tuesday 13 June).

Five collections have made the shortlist from a longlist of forty-one, four of them debut collections.

Multitudes (Faber), from Belfast’s prize-winning novelist and playwright Lucy Caldwell charts the threats facing women as they grow up.

The stories in Daisy Johnson’s Fen (Cape) are set in an uncanny and weirdly magical East Anglian landscape while Irenosen Okjie’s Speak Gigantular (Jacaranda) explores the surreal and sometimes comic aspects of contemporary experience.

Winner of the 2016 BBC National Short Story Award, K. J. Orr focuses on connections and disconnections between characters across the world, in Light Box (Daunt). Joanna Walsh’s second collection, Vertigo  (And Other Stories), follows one character’s life through a series of fragments.

The winner of the £10,000 prize will be announced at an exclusive Short Story Prize event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on the 26th August, to be hosted by the university in the famous Spiegeltent. The event will be attended by the shortlisted authors and judges

Ailsa Cox

Ailsa Cox

 

Prize organiser Ailsa Cox, the world’s first Professor of Short Fiction at Edge Hill University, said: “What an amazing line-up this is. All five writers are rising stars, and you’re going to hear a lot more of them in the future. In each of these collections, you’ll find passion, wit and intelligence, and above all a way of working with language that is unique to the short story form.”

 

 

Edge Hill Short Story Prize is the only UK-based award that recognizes excellence in published short story collections and will also include a £1,000 Reader’s Choice Award to an author from the shortlist.

This year’s judges are Thomas Morris (finalist, Edge Hill Prize 2016), Cathy Galvin (Director and Founder, The Word Factory) and Dr Rodge Glass (Reader in Literary Fiction, Edge Hill University).

The 2016 award was bestowed on Jessie Greengrass for The Decline of the Great Auk According to One Who Saw It. The other shortlisted authors were Kate Clanchy, Stuart Evers, China Miéville, Thomas Morris and Angela Readman.

The University is also organising a VIP launch event at the festival for Edge Hill University Press and the publication of their second book Atlantic Drift poetry anthology.

Held at 9.30pm on 19th August in the Party Pavilion, the launch event follows the University’s sponsorship of Merseyside poet Roger McGough’s event at 8.15pm.

Book a ticket: Event Closed.

Short Story Prize organisers announce diverse longlist for 2017 competition

Organisers of Edge Hill University’s 11th annual Short Story Prize are delighted to announce the longlist for 2017.

The list includes well established authors such as Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), Susan Hill (The Woman in Black, The Mist in the Mirror and I’m the King of the Castle) and Helen Oyeyemi (Mr Fox and Boy, Snow, Bird) as well as up-and-coming writers.

Dr Ailsa Cox

Dr Ailsa Cox

Prize organiser and Professor of Short Fiction Ailsa Cox said: “As ever, the 2017 longlist features a varied and exciting selection of authors. We have entries from both well-known names and debut authors, including Claire Dean (an Edge Hill MA alumna). There is also a great age range, from twentysomething Daisy Johnson to two distinguished authors in their 80s, both Booker shortlisted (Penelope Lively, David Lodge). As ever, we have a strong contingent of Irish authors – including Daniel Boyle, David Park, Lucy Caldwell – alongside editor of the magisterial Penguin Book of the British Short Story, Philip Hensher.” 

The winner, to be announced at Edinburgh International Book Festival in August, will receive a £10,000 prize.

The Prize is the only UK-based award that recognizes excellence in a published 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.

This year’s judges are Thomas Morris (finalist, Edge Hill Prize 2016), Cathy Galvin (Director and Founder, The Word Factory) and Dr Rodge Glass (Reader in Literary Fiction, Edge Hill University).

The shortlist will be announced by 30th June with awards to be presented at a special event as part of Edinburgh International Book Festival in August.

The 2016 award was bestowed on Jessie Greengrass for The Decline of the Great Auk According to One Who Saw It. The other shortlisted authors were Kate Clanchy, Stuart Evers, China Miéville, Thomas Morris and Angela Readman.

The longlist in full:                  

Light Box K J Orr (Daunt Books)

The Travelling Bag Susan Hill (Profile Books)

Raw Material Sue Wilsea (Valley Press)

A Primer for Cadavers Ed Atkins (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

The Glue Ponys Chris Wilson (Tangerine Press)

Vertigo  Joanna Walsh (And Other Stories)

Hearing Voices Seeing Things William Wall (Doire Press)

All That Lies Be-neath/What I Know I Cannot Say Dai Smith (Parthian)

Ferenji and other stories Helena Mulkerns (Doire Press)

He Runs the Moon Wendy Brandmark (Holland Park Press)

Treats Lara Williams (Freight Books)

Mr Jolly Michael Stewart (Valley Press)

Stations Nick Mulgrew (David Philip Publishers)

When Planets Slip Their Tracks  Joanna Campbell (Ink Tears)

Speak Gigantular Irenosen Okojie (Jacaranda Books)

Sandlands Rosy Thornton (Sandstone Press)

The Other World, It Whispers Stephanie Victoire (Salt)

The Parts We Play Stephen Volk (PS Publishing)

Damage Rosalie Parker  (PS Publishing)

Quieter Paths Alison Littlewood (PS Publishing)

Ritual, 1969 Jo Mazelis (Seren)

This is the Ritual Rob Doyle (Lilliput Press/Bloomsbury)

Gods and Angels David Park (Bloomsbury)

Shore to Shore Tamsin Hopkins (Cinnamon Press)

Dinosaurs on Other Planets Danielle McLaughlin (John Murray Press)

Blind Water Pass Anna Metcalfe (John Murray Press)

The Museum of Shadows and Reflections Claire Dean (Papaveria Press)

Aphrodite’s Kiss Rosemary Jenkinson (Whittrick Press)

Llama Sutra Melanie Whipman (Ink tears)

The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories Penelope Lively (Penguin)

Tales of Persuasion Philip Hensher (Fourth Estate)

The Man Who Wouldn’t Get Up and Other Stories David Lodge (Vintage)

Fen Daisy Johnson (Jonathan Cape)

Multitudes Lucy Caldwell (Faber)

Legoland Gerard Woodward (Pan Macmillan)

What is Not Yours is Not Yours  Helen Oyeyemi  (Pan Macmillan)

Hostages Oisin Fagan (New Island Books)

Wild Quiet Roisin O’Donnell (New Island Books)

Sunrise Sunset Tina Pisco (Fish Publishing)

The Pier Falls Mark Haddon (Vintage)

When Black Dogs Sing Tanya Farrelly (Arlen House)

Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2017 now open for entries

Submissions for Edge Hill University’s 11th annual Short Story Prize are now open.

The winner, to be announced at Edinburgh International Book Festival in August, will receive a £10,000 prize.

The Prize is the only UK-based award that recognizes excellence in a published 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.

This year’s judges are Thomas Morris (finalist, Edge Hill Prize 2016), Cathy Galvin (Director, The Word Factory) and Dr Rodge Glass (Reader in Literary Fiction, Edge Hill University).

Dr Rodge Glass said: “The world of the short story is always evolving in myriad, fascinating ways, and each year of the Edge Hill Prize sees authors from all over the UK and Ireland bringing exciting new shapes to the form. I can’t wait to get stuck into what the Class of 2016 have produced.”

 

Publishers must submit collections for consideration by 3rd March, 2017. The shortlist will be announced by 30th June with awards to be presented at a special event as part of Edinburgh International Book Festival in August. In order to be eligible, collections must be published during 2016. Authors must be born or normally reside in the British Isles (including Ireland).

The 2016 award was bestowed on Jessie Greengrass for The Decline of the Great Auk According to One Who Saw It. The other shortlisted authors were Kate Clanchy, Stuart Evers, China Miéville, Thomas Morris and Angela Readman.

Click here for more information on submitting an entry

Dr Who writer stars at literary event

A trio of exciting authors celebrated the launch of Head Land, the first book from Edge Hill University’s new publishing house, at an event at the Arts Centre, Ormskirk.

Dr Who writer Rob Shearman, local rising star and Edge Hill alumna Carys Bray and renowned short story author Adam Marek read from their contributions to Head Land, a collection of award-winning short stories marking ten years of the Edge Hill Short Story Prize.

Head Land: 10 Years of the Edge Hill Short Story Prize brings together some of the most acclaimed short story writers working today, including previous Edge Hill prize-winners Kevin Barry, Colm Tóibín Jeremy Dyson and Kirsty Gunn. It also features some of the best shortlisted authors and past winners of the student-judged Reader’s Prize.

It is published by Edge Hill University Press (EHUP), a student-led literary imprint designed to equip students with industry knowledge and highly marketable skills. Staffed by a mixture of undergraduate and postgraduate students, EHUP has worked in close partnership with Glasgow-based Freight Books, giving the interns an authentic industry experience and helping them to build the skills and contacts they will need to secure a job in the competitive world of publishing.

Edge Hill Short Story Prize longlist announced

EHU478_ShortStory2015_Ailsa coxOrganisers of the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, who are marking the tenth anniversary of the award this year, have revealed an exciting and eclectic longlist for 2016.

The Edge Hill Short Story  Prize it is the only UK award that recognises excellence in a published collection of short stories and has attracted established names competing alongside relative newcomers for the £10,000 main prize, a £1,000 Readers’ Prize and an additional category worth £500 acknowledging rising talents on Edge Hill University’s own MA Creative Writing course.

The 2016 longlist includes a strong showing from Irish and Scottish authors, and a number of prize-winning writers, including Kate Clanchy, winner of the 2009 BBC Short Story Prize, China Mieville, three-time winner of the Arthur C. Clarke award and winner of the British Fantasy Award twice and Donal Ryan whose novel was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2013 and won the Guardian First Book Award in the same year.

Ailsa Cox, Professor of Short Fiction and organiser of the Short Story Prize said: “We are excited to be able to mark the tenth anniversary of our prize with such a strong longlist of authors from across the UK and Ireland. It is fitting that in our anniversary year a previous winner features in the list – Graham Mort (Winner 2011) – as well as two previously shortlisted authors – Helen Simpson and Ali Smith. We face a tough task in the judging stages, but our tenth anniversary prize will truly showcase some of the best talent in the genre.

kirsty gunnThe Edge Hill Prize is awarded annually by Edge Hill University for excellence in a published single author short story collection. A shortlist of six will be announced in May, and the winner announced on 5th July at a special celebration co-hosted with The Word Factory in London.  Judges are last year’s winner, Kirsty Gunn; Cathy Galvin, Director of The Word Factory; and Edge Hill Creative Writing Lecturer, Billy Cowan.

Ailsa Cox - English - 200offThe Edge Hill Prize 2016 Longlist

Angela ReadmanDon’t Try This at Home

Angela Readman’s stories have been published in a number of anthologies and magazines, and have won awards such as the Inkspill Magazine short story competition and the National Flash Fiction competition. The title story in this collection was shortlisted for the Costa Short Story Prize in 2012, and she went on to win the same competition with ‘the Keeper of the Jackelopes’ in 2013, also in this collection.

Aidan MathewsCharlie Chaplin’s Wishbone

Aidan Matthews has written two previous short story collections, Adventures in Bathyscope and Lipstick on the Host, as well as novels and award winning poetry. He currently works as a drama producer for RTĔ

Ali SmithPublic Library

Ali Smith is the multi-awarding author of the novel How to be Both. She has published four previous collections of short stories, as well as numerous successful novels. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was appointed CBE in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to literature. She was previously shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize.

Andrew FoxOver Our Heads

Andrew Fox was born in Dublin in 1985. He now lives in New York. This is his first book.

China MiévilleThree Moments of an Explosion

China Miéville lives and works in London. He is three-time winner of the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award and has also won the British Fantasy Award twice. The City & The City, an existential thriller, was received critical acclaim and drew comparison with the works of Kafka and Orwell and Philip K. Dick. This is his third collection of short stories.

Chrissie GittinsBetween Here and Knitwear

Christie Gittins is a poet, playwright and short story writer. Her work has been shortlisted for a variety of prizes, including the Manchester Children’s Literature Prize and the CLPE Poetry Award. Her poetry for children has been animated for CBeebies and her stories and poems broadcast on BBC Radio Four, with all four radio plays highlighted as Radio Choice by the Radio Times.

Claire-Louise Bennett – Pond

Claire-Louise Bennett’s short fiction and essays have been published in The Stinging Fly, The Penny Dreadful, The Moth and The Irish Times, to name but a few. She was awarded the inaugural White Review Short Story Prize in 2013. This is her first collection.

Colum McCannThirteen Ways of Looking

Colum McCann is originally from Dublin, Ireland, but now lives in New York. He is the author of six novels, the most recent of which, Let the Great World Spin, won the National Book Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was a New York Times, bestseller.

Donal Ryan A Slanting of the Sun

Donal Ryan lives in County Limerick and is now a full time writer. His novel The Spinning Heart was long listed for the Booker Prize in 2013 and won the Guardian First Book Award in the same year. This is his first collection of short stories.

Elizabeth BainesUsed to Be

Elizabeth Baines was born in South Wales and Lives in Manchester. She has been a teacher, an actor and the prize winning author of plays for both radio and the stage. Her short stories have been published in a variety of literary magazines. And her first collection, Balancing on the Edge of the World was published by Salt in 2007. Her novels include The Birth Machine, Body Cuts and Too Many Magpies.

Eliza RobertsonWallflowers

Eliza Robertson was born in Vancouver and came to England to study. During her MA she won the Curtis Brown Prize for best writer and received the Man Booker Scholarship. In 2013 she won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She now lives in Norwich where she is working on her first novel.

Emma TimpanyThe Lost of Syros

Emma Timpany’s stories have won awards such as The Sara Park Memorial Short Story Award 2013 and The Society of Women Writers and Journalists’ Short Story Award 2011. Originally from New Zealand, she now lives in Cornwall.

Gabrielle BarnbyThe House With the Lilac Shutters

Gabrielle Barnby works in a variety of genres including poetry and children’s fiction. Her short story Hostel was published in Northwords Now and her poetry by the George Mackay Brown Fellowship in Waiting For theTide. She lives in Orkney, Scotland.

Ger Reidy – Jobs For a Wet Day

Ger Reidy has won several Irish poetry competitions and since 2012 has been the judge of the Westport Arts Festival Poetry competition. He is the author of three poetry collections, the third of which, Before Rain, was shortlisted for the Pigott Poetry Prize at Listowel Writers’ Week. This is his first short story collection.

Graham MortTerroir

Graham Mort’s first collection of short stories, Touch, was published in 2010 and contained the Bridport prize winning story ‘The Prince’. Touch went on to win the Edge Hill Prize in 2011. This collection was written over five years, partly during a writing fellowship at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He is currently Professor of Creative Writing and Transcultural Literature at Lancaster University.

Helen SimpsonCockfosters

Helen Simpson has received the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Hawthornden Prize and the E.M. Forster Award. This is her sixth collection of short stories. She was previously shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize.

Jane TalbotThe Faerie Thorn

Jane Talbot was born in Wiltshire and has lived in County Antrim since 2011. She is a champion of the oral storytelling tradition and a fan of both Faerie Tales and medieval literature. This is her first book.

Janice GallowayJellyfish

Janice Galloway studied at Glasgow University and worked as a teacher before becoming one of Scotland’s best-known writers. Her awards include the MIND/Allan Lane Award for The Trick is to Keep Breathing, the McVities Prize for Foreign Parts and the EM Forster Award (amongst others) for Clara. She has written and presented for BBC Scotland and works extensively with musicians and visual artists.

Jessie GreengrassAn Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to the One Who Saw It

Jessie Greengrass was born in 1982. She studied philosophy in Cambridge and London, where she now lives with her partner and child.

John BoyneBeneath the Earth

John Boyne is the author of nine novels for adults and four for younger readers, including the international bestseller, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. This is his first short story collection, and includes the story ‘Rest Day’, which won the 2015 Writing.IE Short Story of the Year Award in Ireland.

Kate ClanchyThe Not-Dead and the Saved

Kate Clanchy was born and grew up in Scotland and now lives in Oxford. Her poetry collections Slattern, Samarkand and Newborn have brought her many literary awards and an unusually wide audience. She is the author of the much acclaimed Antigona and Me, and was the 2009 winner of the BBC Short Story Award. She has also written extensively for Radio 4.

Kirsty LoganA Portable Shelter

Glasgow-based Kirsty Logan is a writer, performer, editor and reviewer. Her first short story collection, The Rental Heart and other Fairytales, won the Scott Prize. Her debut novel, The Gracekeepers, was published in 2015.

Lawrence ScottLeaving by Plane, Swimming Back Underwater

Lawrence Scott’s first novel, Witchbroom, was shortlisted for a Commonwealth Writer’s prize and was read as a BBC Book at Bedtime. Since then he has continued to receive prizes and awards for his novels and short stories. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago he now lives in London.

Maggie HarrisIn Margate by Lunchtime

Maggie Harris was born in Guyana and moved to the UK the early seventies. Her fiction,  short stories, essays and poems have been published by Virago, Little Brown, Wasafiri, Agenda, Equinox, , Poetry Wales and Poetry News. She was the Caribbean winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2014.

Marina WarnerFly Away Home

Mariner Warner is a novelist, short story writer, historian and mythographer. She is known for her non-fiction books relating to feminism and myth and has contributed to literary and art criticism to publications such as the London Review of Books, The Guardian and The New York Review of Books. In 2015 she chaired the panel of the Man Booker International Prize and in the same year was awarded both the Holberg Prize and a DBE. This is her third short story collection.

Meaghan DelahuntGreat Garbo’s Feet and Other Stories

Meaghan Delahunt’s work has won The Flamingo/HQ National Short Story Prize, a regional Commonwealth Prize, a Saltire first Book Award and a nomination for the Orange Prize. As well as publishing three novels her short fiction have been widely translated, anthologised and broadcast on BBC Radio Four.

Michelle GreenJebel Marra

Michelle Green is a British-Canadian writer and spoken word artist working in Manchester. Her short stories have appeared in Short Fiction Journal and the interactive story app LitNav. Her poetry collection Knee High Affair was published by Crocus Books. In 2005 she worked for a humanitarian aid agency and the stories in this book, although fictional, are informed by that experience.

Nicholas ShakespeareStories From Other Places

Nicholas Shakespeare is the author of a number of novels including the Somerset Maugham Award winning The Vision of Elena Silves and The Dancer Upstairs, which was chosen by the American Libraries Association in 1997 as the year’s best novel and in 2001 was made into a film of the same name by John Malkovich.

Padrika Tarrant – Fates of the Animals

Padrika Tarrant is the author of two previous books, Broken Things and The Knife Drawer, both published by Salt. She live in Norwich with her daughter.

Paul O’Reilly  – The Girl Missing From the Window

Paul O’Reilly is a multi-award winning writer, dramatist, documentary maker and musician. His work has been published in The Stinging Fly, The Scaldy Detail, The Irish Times and the Bristol Prize Anthology amongst other places. He lives in Country Wexford, Ireland.

Phyl Herbert – After Desire

Phyl Herbert’s first book, Literacy, Language, Role-Play, written with Celia de Freine, was grant aided by CDETB. Her creative work is published in the anthology Sixteen after Ten and her essays have been broadcast on the radio. This is her first short story collection.

Pippa GoldschmidtThe Need for Better Regulation of Outer Space

Pippa Goldschmidt grew up in London and now lives in Edinburgh. Her novel, Falling Sky was a runner-up in the Dundee International Book Prize in 2012 and her short stories, poetry and non-fiction have been broadcast and published in a wide variety of publications including Gutter, New Writing Scotland and The New York Times. She has a PhD in astronomy and was an astronomer for several years at Imperial College.

Rachel JoyceA Snow Garden

Rachel Joyce’s debut novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, was on the longlist for the 2012 Man Booker Prize. Since then she has frequently been shortlisted for, or won, a number of literary awards. This is her first short story collection.

Susan KnightOut of Order

Susan Knight is the author of three novels, as well as a previous short story collection, Letting Rip, in 2012. She has compiled and edited non-fiction, written a number of plays, the most recent of which, A Simple Twist of Fate was performed at the Viking theatre in London. Her short fiction and stage and radio plays have won her a number of prizes, including the James Plunkett Memorial Award and the Bryan McMahon Award.

Stuart EversYour Father Sends his Love

Stuart Evers in the author of Ten Stories About Smoking (London Book Award) and the much acclaimed novel If This is Home. He lives in London with his family.

Thomas MorrisWe Don’t Know What We’re Doing

Thomas Morris is from Caerphilly, South Wales. He was educated solely through the Welsh language until the age of eighteen. He now lives in Dublin where he is the editor of The Stinging Fly magazine.

Vanessa J HornEclectic Moments

Vanessa J Horn lives in Havant, Hampshire and has been writing since 2012. Her work has been published in literary magazines such as Bella Mused and she has won short story competitions including those run by Word Hut, Cazart and Thynks Publications. She plays piano and flute and has a degree from the Royal College of Music in London

Vicki JarrettThe Way Out

Vicki Jarret lives and works in Edinburgh. Her short fiction has been widely published and broadcast and her first novel, Nothing is Heavy, was shortlisted for the Saltire Society First Book of the Year in 2013

 

Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2015 winner announced

Kirsty Gunn has been announced as the winner of the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2015 with her collection Infidelities (Faber & Faber).

Infidelities includes stories about love, marriage, and beyond and the collection was praised by judges for its haunting imagery and the beauty of its style.

Kirsty Gunn said:  “It is a tremendous honour and surprise to be awarded the Edge Hill Prize. I would like to thank Ailsa Cox and her colleagues for running such an important prize celebrating the short story. It creates community and a sense of fellowship for short story writers.

Now in its ninth year, the Edge Hill Prize is the only UK award that recognises excellence in a published collection of short stories.

This year the judging panel included The Guardian’s Chris Power, 2014 Readers’ Choice winner Rachel Trezise and Edge Hill’s Dr Ailsa Cox. The winner was announced at London’s Free Word Centre on the evening of Thursday 2 July.

Prize co-ordinator Dr Ailsa Cox, Reader in Creative Writing and English at Edge Hill University, said: “This shortlist shows the huge range and diversity of short story writing today, and how many risks writers are taking with the form, with stories based on, amongst other things, twitter fiction, autobiographical memories, oral history and role-playing games. All of these collections are winners. All contain powerful personal versions and test the language to its limits. In the end we chose Kirsty Gunn’s Infidelities for its haunting imagery and the beauty of its style. Sentence by sentence, Infidelities shows us the short story’s ability to take us straight to the heart of the mystery.”

As well as the Main Literary Award of £5,000 won by Kirsty Gunn, a £1,000 Reader’s Choice award was presented to Madeleine D’Arcy whose debut collection Waiting for the Bullet (Doire Press), features stories set in Cork, London, and New York.

The £250 Jo Powell Award which commemorates and celebrates the life of crime writer Jo Powell, whose first novel, The Drop Room, was written as part of her doctoral study at Edge Hill, is judged by Edge Hill Creative Writing MA students. This year’s winner is Shannon Eden, for The Glass Passenger.

The winner of an additional category worth £500 acknowledging rising talents on Edge Hill University’s own MA Creative Writing course was also announced as Trevor Fevin for his story Reckitt’s Blue.

Edge Hill Short Story Prize reveals bumper shortlist for 2015

short story image pen

The shortlist for the Edge Hill Prize for the Short Story 2015 has been confirmed ahead of a ceremony naming the overall winner on 2 July.

This year’s shortlist features six titles, from authors Toby Litt, Anneliese Mackintosh, Carys Davies, Madeleine D’Arcy, Rose Tremain and Kirsty Gunn, including two debut collections.

 

Toby Litt has been shortlisted for his collection Life-Like (Seagull Books). The novelist and short story writer from Bedfordshire’s novels include Beatniks, Corpsing, Deadkidsongs, Finding Myself, Journey into Space, and King Death. Short story collections include Adventures in Capitalism, Exhibitionism and I Play the Drums in a Band Called Okay. In 2001, Litt edited The Outcry, Henry James’ last completed novel, for Penguin in the UK. Litt’s Life-Like is a collection of 26 short stories that explore our globalizing and atomizing world, with stories set in India, Sweden, Australia, and Iran.

Anneliese Mackintosh’s Any Other Mouth (Freight) is her first book, and a semi-autobiographical collection. Her writing explores sexuality, grief, women, relationships, mental health, addiction, and recovery. Any Other Mouth won the Green Carnation Prize and has been featured in The Herald’s Books of the Year 2014, The Scotsman’s Favourite Books of 2014, The List’s Top Scottish Books of 2014, Civilian’s The Best Books of 2014, and has been voted Top 10 in The Guardian’s The Readers’ 10 Best Books of the Year.

Lancashire-based Welsh writer Carys Davies’ The Redemption of Galen Pike (Salt) is a collection of 17 stories which centre on how little we know of other people and the unpredictable bonds that spring between us when our worlds collide. Before becoming a fiction writer, Davies worked as a journalist in New York and Chicago. Her short stories have been widely published in magazines and anthologies, as well as having been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Davies’ publications have won the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Award, the Royal Society of Literature’s V S Pritchett Prize, and a Northern Writers’ Award, in addition to being shortlisted and longlisted for many other prizes.

Irish writer Madeleine D’Arcy’s debut collection Waiting for the Bullet (Doire Press), featuring stories set in Cork, London, and New York, is also shortlisted. Her works have appeared in Sunday Tribune, Made in Heaven and Other Short Stories, Sharp Sticks, Irish Examiner, Necessary Fiction, and Irish Independent, among many others. D’Arcy’s short story Dog Pound has been made into a short film featuring the distinguished Irish actor Frank Kelly. Her work has been short-listed and commended in many competitions, and in 2012 she received a Hennessy X.O Literary Award for First Fiction, as well as the overall Hennessy X.O Literary Award for New Irish Writer.

Rose Tremain’s shortlisted collection The American Lover (Chatto & Windus) contains stories that transport readers to Imperial Russia, Georgian Norfolk, Cornwall in the mid-Thirties, and Normandy in the wake of D-Day. She is also the author of a number of radio and television plays, including Temporary Shelter, which won a Giles Cooper Award, and One Night in Winter, first broadcast by BBC Radio 4 in 2001. Her novels include The Swimming Pool Season, Restoration, Sacred Country, and Music and Silence, among others. These novels won the Angel Literary Award, the Sunday Express Book of the Year Award, the Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread Novel Award respectively. Tremain has published several collections of short stories. She was chosen as one of the 20 ‘Best of Young British Novelists’ by literary magazine Granta in 1983, and was a judge for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1988 and 2000. Tremain was awarded a CBE in 2007.

Kirsty Gunn’s shortlisted collection Infidelities (Faber & Faber) includes stories about love, marriage, and beyond. Originally from New Zealand but now settled in London and Scotland, Kirsty has written five works of fiction, including short stories and a collection of fragments and meditations. Furthermore, her stories have been broadcast, turned into film and dance theatre, and have been the recipients of various prizes and awards, including Scottish Book of the Year 1997. Gunn is also Professor of Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee and regularly contributes to a range of international newspapers and magazines.

Now in its ninth year, the Edge Hill Short Story Prize it is the only UK award that recognises excellence in a published collection of short stories and has attracted established names competing alongside relative newcomers for the £5,000 main prize, a £1,000 Readers’ Prize and an additional category worth £500 acknowledging rising talents on Edge Hill University’s own MA Creative Writing course. The winners will be announced at a ceremony at London’s Free Word Centre on Thursday 2 July.

Dr Ailsa Cox

Dr Ailsa Cox

Dr Ailsa Cox, organiser of the Prize and Reader in English & Writing at Edge Hill University said: “There’s an astounding variety of styles and subject matter. Some collections link the stories in new, inventive ways; all take daring imaginative leaps. The decision to shortlist 6 instead of 5 reflects the diversity of short story writing today.”

 

The judges are The Guardian’s Chris Power, 2014 Readers’ Choice winner Rachel Trezise and Edge Hill’s Dr Ailsa Cox.

The 2014 winner was John Burnside with his collection Something Like Happy (Jonathan Cape). Judge Kevin Barry described the work as “A tremendous collection from a writer working at the full tilt of his gifts.” Other previous winners and shortlisted authors include Kevin Barry, David Rose, Bernie McGill, Sarah Hall, Jeremy Dyson, Graham Mort, Robert Shearman and Helen Simpson.

English Language and Literature research rated as rated as world-leading in the REF 2014

EHU045 Short Story Prize 20011 DSC_1482

Research Edge Hill University’s Department of English Language and Literature has been rated as rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in the national Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

The REF assesses the quality of research at universities across the UK and informs research funding allocations from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, HEFCE. Research conducted by Professor Robert Sheppard into linguistically innovative poetry and Dr Ailsa Cox’s creative and critical work on the short story genre, acted as case studies to demonstrate the impact of research conducted by the unit.

Read more about the department’s impact case studies here.

Finalists announced for Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2014

Writers published by small presses dominate the shortlist for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, which has been announced today.

Among the finalists for the £5,000 prize are Jaki McCarrick whose story The Visit won the Wasafari prize for new fiction, Rachel Trezise who has previously featured in the Orange Future List and won the inaugural Dylan Thomas Prize for her story collection Fresh Apples, and Bernie McGill who won the Zoetrope: All Story Short Fiction contest in the US in 2008.

Also featuring in the list is multi-award winning poet John Burnside who also has a regular column in The New Statesman and contributes to newspapers and periodicals in the UK, Germany and Switzerland and David Rose whose story Flora appeared in The Best British Short Stories 2011.

The final list of nominated authors and short story collections competing for the prize are:

  • David Rose, Posthumous Stories (Salt)
  • Rachel Trezise, Cosmic Latte (Parthian)
  • Bernie McGill, Sleepwalkers (Whittrick Press)
  • Jaki McCarrick, The Scattering (Seren Books)
  • John Burnside, Something Like Happy (Jonathan Cape)

AilsaCox001Prize co-ordinator Dr Ailsa Cox, Reader in Creative Writing and English at Edge Hill University, said:

“It has been an incredibly difficult decision for all our judges to draw up year’s shortlist and it’s going to be even trickier to decide on the winner, which we’ll announce at our award ceremony in London on July 3. It is interesting that this year all but John Burnside are authors published by small presses, and both Seren and Parthian are Welsh publishers, with Seren already winning the award with Graham Mort for his collection Touch in 2011.”

Now in its eight year, the Edge Hill Prize is the only UK award that recognises excellence in a published collection of short stories.

This year the judging panel includes Kevin Barry, author and winner of the 2013 Edge Hill Prize, Carys Bray,  Author and winner of the inaugural Edge Hill MA Prize in 2010 and Katie Allen, Journalist and editor of welovethisbook.com.

The prize has three categories:

  • The main literary award of £5,000.
  • The £1,000 Readers’ Choice, chosen from the same shortlist.
  • A £500 student prize, which will reward one of the stars of Edge Hill University’s MA Creative Writing course.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 3th July at Free Word Centre on Farringdon Road, London.

Short biographies for the five writers are as follows:

  • John Burnside. Born in Dunfermline in 1955, Burnside had several occupations before becoming a full-time writer in 1994. A prolific writer of poetry and prose, he has been shortlisted for and has won many awards; he writes for radio and television, is a regular contributor to a number of periodicals and newspapers in the UK, Germany and Switzerland and has a regular ‘Nature’ column in The New Statesman. Something Like Happy is Burnside’s first short story collection since Burning Elvis (2000).
  • Jaki McCarrick. London-born, McCarrick has written for the stage and television and received much acclaim. She is the first winner of the Liverpool Lennon Paper Poetry Competition. Now living in Dundalk, many of the stories from The Scattering, her debut short story collection, are set on the Irish border. One of the stories, ‘The Visit’ won the Wasfari Prize for new fiction, and many have been published in literary magazines. McCarrick is currently editing her first novel.
  • Bernie McGill. Born in Northern Ireland and living in Portstewart, McGill has pursued a diverse career in the arts, writing for theatre before winning the Zoetrope: All-Story Short Fiction Contest in the US in 2008. Her first novel, The Butterfly Cabinet, was published in 2010. Her short fiction has been broadcast by BBC Radio Ulster and published in magazines and anthologies. ‘No Angel’, one of the stories in Sleepwalkers, won second prize in the Sean O Faolain Short Story Competition and the Michael McLaverty Short Story Award.
  • David Rose. Born in 1949, Rose lives outside west London and all his working life has been in the Post Office. He is the joint founder and Fiction Editor of literary magazine, Main Street Journal. His debut story, ‘Private View’, was published in The Literary Review and since then has been widely published in small presses in the UK and Canada. ‘Flora’ appeared in The Best British Short Stories 2011 and the same year Salt published Rose’s debut novel, Vault. Posthumous Stories is Rose’s long-awaited first short story collection.
  • Rachel Trezise. Born in Rhondda, South Wales, in 1978, Trezise graduated in 2000 and her first novel In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl, published the same year, attracted much critical acclaim and won a place on the Orange Future List. In 2006 her short story collection Fresh Apples won the inaugural Dylan Thomas Prize. Trezise has also written for BBC Radio 4. She is currently working on her third novel and a third short story collection. The Times describes her as ‘An outstanding young writer’.

International recognition for short story expert

AilsaCox001Edge Hill lecturer and short story expert, Dr Ailsa Cox, has presented at a prestigious international conference on the life and work of Canadian author, Alice Munro – the only British academic to take part.

The Alice Munro Symposium, which took place at the University of Ottowa in May, featured keynote presentations from Munro’s biographer, Robert Thacker, her agent, Virginia Barber, and Professor Charles E May, one of the foremost authorities on the short story genre, as well as contributions from a host of renowned international academics.

As a member of the conference panel, Ailsa’s presentation explored the role of the infant in Munro’s work, drawing on stories from two of her acclaimed collections, The Love of a Good Woman and Dear Life.

I’m interested in the way Munro plays with notions of reality in her storytelling. How do we know what’s true? Both of the stories I’m looking at, My Mother’s Dream and Dear Life, recount incidents that happened during early childhood, told later from the perspective of the child or the mother. The narrators in both reconstruct events, blurring the lines between real life, memories and speculation.”

“The figure of the baby is also interesting as it represents a meeting point between the past and the future; the inheritance of previous generations and the hopes and expectations of the parents. Although both stories appear at the end of Munro’s collections they are about beginnings rather than endings. The baby represents the continuum of life.”

Ailsa, whose 2003 book, Alice Munro, is one of the only critiques of her work to be written by a UK author, is a long-time admirer of Munro’s craft as a short story writer.

She says:

Alice Munro is thought of as a writer’s writer. When I started studying her for my PhD in the early 90s, no-one had really heard of her, except other writers. Although she published her first collection in 1968, she’s had a very slow burn of public recognition – maybe because she only writes short stories, possibly because she is a very modest person who doesn’t court publicity.

In the 21st century she is deservedly recognised by readers and academics alike as one of our greatest living short story writers. Munro has been a huge influence on my own writing so I was delighted to be invited to share my thoughts on her work with other Munro scholars. As a result of appearing at the Symposium, I have now been asked to contribute to a Chinese language journal about Alice Munro, which will raise her profile further around the world.”

Alice Munro’s work has been described as “having revolutionised the architecture of short stories”. She has published 14 original short story collections and is cited as a major influence on generations of authors from AS Byatt to Anne Enwright. In 2013 she won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Dr Ailsa Cox is a fiction writer and critic, with a special interest in the short story genre, whose stories have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. As well as teaching on Edge Hill’s Creative Writing programmes, she is editor of peer-reviewed journal, Short Fiction in Theory and Practice, coordinator of the annual Edge Hill Prize for the Short Story, and co-director of the newly formed European Network for Short Story Research.

 

Six-figure deal for Carys’ debut novel

UK - London - Short Story Competition Winner

Literary star and Edge Hill University alumnus Carys Bray has struck a six-figure deal for her début novel about a tragedy-stricken Mormon family.

Hutchinson publishing director Jocasta Hamilton has signed world rights to Here We Are Together, the ‘devastatingly emotional and sharply observed’ novel of a Lancashire Mormon family whose world is shattered when the youngest daughter, Issy, dies. The father believes the family will see her again in heaven, while seven-year-old Jacob thinks he’ll be able to perform a resurrection miracle if he prays hard enough.

Carys completed the novel as part of a PhD in Creative Writing at Edge Hill and couldn’t believe it when she got the call. “Forty-eight hours after she sent my novel out on submission, my agent telephoned me at home and said, ‘You need to sit down’. No one has ever said that to me before. When I heard the news, I reached for my mobile to text my husband but I couldn’t form the words because my thumb was shaking so much. My children appeared and as soon as they realised what was happening they ran around the house cheering.”

She added: “I’m delighted that my novel has been selected by a publisher with such an impressive list. Hutchinson and Windmill publish some wonderful writers and their books are objects of beauty. It was a real pleasure to meet Jocasta and hear her talk so enthusiastically about the novel and I can’t wait to work with her.

Told by each member of the Bradley family during a time of particular sadness, Carys’ novel is a story of doubt, faith and absent miracles amid the enduring and sometimes chafing bonds of family.

Publisher Jocasta said: “I loved Carys’ writing from the first page but by the time I was weeping with the different members of the Bradley family, I knew this was an incredibly special novel that I would be so proud to publish. Emotionally true, morally interesting, structurally inventive, Here We Are Together takes you to the heart of what being part of a family means.”

Carys herself grew up in a strict Mormon family but in her early thirties she replaced religion with writing.

“I began creative writing in earnest when I started my MA at Edge Hill. I was very shy about my writing when I started the course, but I’d hit my thirties and saw this as a last chance to find out if this was something I could do.”

Carys’ tutors soon spotted her talent and urged her to send her stories to literary magazines. Her first story to be published was The Ice Baby, which appeared in New Fairy Tales.

The Southport mother-of-four then won the MA category of the Edge Hill Short Story Prize in 2010 before going on to scoop the Scott Prize for Short Stories, an international award for a first collection of short stories by a single author.

Her first novel will be published in hardback in June 2014.

Irish author Kevin Barry wins Edge Hill Prize

Winner Kevin Barry

Winner Kevin Barry

Literary supernova Kevin Barry has been named the winner of the Edge Hill University Short Story Prize 2013.

The Irish writer, who has recently won a string of major literary awards, also picked up the Readers’ Prize, judged by Edge Hill Creative Writing students, at an awards ceremony tonight (4th July) at Waterstones Piccadilly, London for his collection Dark Lies The Island, published by Jonathan Cape.

Receiving both the first prize of £5,000 and the £1,000 Readers’ Choice Prize, Kevin said: “I feel bad that I’ve actually won two prizes. Maybe I’m not always the most humble child in the room but with such talent on the shortlist I feel very close to humble tonight. My thanks to Edge Hill University for keeping this important prize going. The short story should be kept to the fore as it’s such an important genre of writing – we need stories in our lives”.

“For me the short story is my first love. When I started out in journalism I always felt that there was a murky part in my brain that I wasn’t using, and that’s when I started to write short stories. I think that the genre has become more popular in recent years, particularly as more people are reading online, so they want more intense reads and the short story fits this perfectly – long may it continue.”

Born in Limerick, Kevin spent much of his youth travelling, living in 17 addresses by the time he was 36. He lived variously in Cork, Santa Barbara, Barcelona, and Liverpool before settling in Sligo, purchasing and renovating a run-down Royal Irish Constabulary barracks. His decision to settle down was driven primarily by the increasing difficulty in moving large quantities of books from house to house.

He started out as a journalist for a local paper, going on to do freelance work, columns and sketches for Glasgow’s Sunday Herald, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Times and The Guardian.

After leaving journalism to write fiction, Kevin published his first collection of short stories, There Are Little Kingdoms, which won the 2007 Rooney Prize for Literature. Most recently, his genre-busting novel, City of Bohane, scooped the 2013 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and he was also last year’s Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award winner.

He says it has been a “long hard road” but his own self-belief, self-discipline and determination are finally paying off.

Offering words of advice to other writers he said: “Work hard, always make sure you finish everything you start, I think that’s critical. And try to write when you’re still half asleep in the morning as writing comes from the same place as dreaming.”

Judge Sarah Hall described Kevin as a “master of all” and congratulated him for his “outstanding power and range” and for creating “convincing worlds of the natural and unnatural”.

The other writers on this year’s shortlist were: Dublin-born Emma Donoghue, best known for her Booker short-listed novel, Room (2010); Adam Marek, who won the 2011 Arts Foundation Short Story Fellowship and was shortlisted for the inaugural Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award; Jon McGregor, who was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Prize in 2010 and 2011 and is also an IMPAC prize-winner; Jane Rogers, the award-winning author of The Testament of Jessie Lamb, who was a finalist in the BBC National Short Story Competition 2009; and Lucy Wood with her debut collection Diving Belles.

Dr Ailsa Cox, Co-ordinator of the Prize and Reader in Creative Writing and English at Edge Hill University, said: “Ours is the only UK award that recognises excellence in a published collection of short stories and each year the number and quality of the submissions is growing. 38 books were entered this year, both debut collections and work from some of our most highly acclaimed fiction-writers.  Extending the shortlist from five to six titles has not made the judges’ job any easier, but Kevin Barry is a deserving winner, joining Colm Tóibín and Claire Keegan as the third Irish winner of the Edge Hill Prize.”

The judging panel included Sarah Hall, 2012 prize-winner for The Beautiful Indifference, alongside Scottish author and literary critic Lesley McDowell and Jim Lee, Regional Buyer at Waterstones.

 

This year’s winner of the Edge Hill University MA Creative Writing category went to Jenny Barrett, who received a prize of £500. The new Jo Powell BA Prize of £500 went to Saffron Palmer.

 

All-female shortlist for Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2012

Only woman writers have been shortlisted for the Edge Hill University Short Story Prize 2012.

Now in its sixth year, it is the only UK only award that recognises excellence in a published collection of short stories and has attracted established names competing alongside relative newcomers.

This year’s event attracted a record number of entries from a diverse range of writers, with interest from a wide range of mainstream publishers and independent presses.

It’s the first time that the shortlisting has resulted in an all-female finale. The authors nominated are:

  • A.J Ashworth – Somewhere Else, Or Even Here (Salt Publishing).
  • Tessa Hadley – Married Love (Cape).
  • Sarah Hall – The Beautiful Indifference (Faber).
  • Zoe Lambert – The War Tour (Comma).
  • Rowena Macdonald – Smoked Meat (Flambard).

Dr Ailsa Cox, Reader in Creative Writing and English at Edge Hill University and co-ordinator of the Prize, said: “Women writers have always featured strongly on the shortlist, but it is quite unusual to have all female finalists for a literary prize.

“We’re delighted by the sheer quality and diversity of the shortlist. A good short story is intense and exciting, sometimes sad and often very comic. The five collections all have these vital ingredients – so I predict that judging will be difficult this year.”

The judging panel includes the 2011 winner Graham Mort, also known as one of contemporary poetry’s finest practitioners, alongside writer and critic Suzi Feay, and Professor Rhiannon Evans, former Pro Vice-Chancellor at Edge Hill University.

The prize has three categories:

  • The main literary award of £5,000. A panel of judges will choose the winner from a shortlist of five collections to be announced in May.
  • The £1,000 Readers’ Choice, chosen from the same shortlist.
  • A £500 student prize, which will reward one of the stars of Edge Hill University’s MA Creative Writing course.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 5th July at the Free Word Centre in London.

Short biographies for the five writers are as follows.

  • A.J Ashworth. This is the Lancashire-born former journalist’s debut collection of short stories, which also won Salt Publishing’s Scott Prize 2011. She has previously had stories published in magazines such as Tears in the Fence, The Warwick Review, and The View From Here. She has also been longlisted/shortlisted in competitions including the Willesden Herald International Short Story Competition, the Short Fiction Competition and Fish Short Story Prize.
  • Tessa Hadley. Based in Cardiff, Tessa teaches Literature and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. She reviews regularly for the London Review of Books and the Guardian and was shortlisted for The Story Award in the US. She has also been a judge for the IMPAC literary prize 2011 and for the BBC Short Story Award 2011.
  • Sarah Hall. The multi award-winning writer from Cumbria is the author of Haweswater, which won the 2003 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel, a Society of Authors Betty Trask Award, and a Lakeland Book of the Year prize. She has been featured in The Times 100 Best Books of the Decade. This is her first collection of short stories.
  • Zoe Lambert. The Manchester-based writer lectures on creative writing at universities across the north-west. She was the founder of cult Manchester literature night, Verberate. The War Tour, her first collection, reflects her work as an active campaigner for asylum seekers by engaging with the experiences of the casualties of war.
  • Rowena Macdonald. Smoked Meat is based on the author’s time in Montreal working as a waitress, bartender, life-model and cleaner. She now lives in London and works at the House of Commons. Her stories have appeared in anthologies published by Serpent’s Tail, Roast Books and The Do-Not Press. She has won two Asham Awards, the 2010 Exeter Writers competition and the 2008 Writers Inc competition.

In Conversation with the Edge Hill Short Story Prize-winners

Winners of the 2011 Edge Hill Short Story Prize will come together for a special event as part of Liverpool’s Chapter & Verse Literature Festival.

The prestigious prize, sponsored by Edge Hill University, is awarded annually for excellence in a published short story collection.

Graham Mort who was named the winner of the overall prize, for his collection, Touch, will read alongside Tom Vowler, winner of the Readers’ Prize, judged by local schools and colleges, for his collection The Method.

In Conversation with the Edge Hill Short Story Prize-winners takes places at the Bluecoat Arts Centre on Friday 14th October, from 6.30pm to 7.45pm. During the event, the two writers will read from their work and discuss the art of the short story in the twenty-first century.

Now in its fourth year, the Bluecoat’s Chapter & Verse Festival presents a breadth of literature that appeals to all people interested in the power of the word – spoken, written, reported and performed. More than 40 writers are involved in 35 exciting events listed in the programme.

Dr Ailsa Cox, Co-ordinator of the Short Story Prize and Reader in Creative Writing and English at Edge Hill University, said: “I’m delighted that these two outstanding writers are able to join us through Chapter and Verse. Both of them bring an energy and emotional power to their stories, and characters who stay in the mind’s eye long after you’ve turned the page. I’d encourage anyone interested in a good story to join us for what promises to be a great night.”

Born in Lancashire, Graham Mort is best known as an award-winning poet, and has also written radio drama.  Now based at Lancaster University, he has run writers’ workshops in a great variety of settings, including schools, prisons and psychiatrist units. He directs the ‘Crossing Borders’ project, supported by the British Council and Lancaster University, which mentors African writers in countries including Uganda, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Tom Vowler, from Devon, was named the winner of the Scott Prize 2010 for his début short fiction collection, The Method. Since winning the Edge Hill prize, he has secured a publishing contract for his forthcoming novel, a dark psychological thriller. He is also assistant editor of the literary journal Short FICTION.

Tickets for the event on 14th October are £2/£3. To book, for further information or for a copy of the programme, visit www.thebluecoat.org.uk or ring 0151 702 5324.

Poet scoops Edge Hill University Short Story Prize 2011

Graham Mort, one of contemporary poetry’s most accomplished practitioners, has been named the winner of the Edge Hill University Short Story Prize 2011.

His name was unveiled at a special awards ceremony tonight (7th July) at Blackwell bookstore in Charing Cross, London for his collection Touch. In settings from the heat of Africa to the warmth of France or the snowbound dales of northern England, the twenty-one stories displayed a deep sensitivity to both the natural world and to human relationships.

Presenting the first prize, judge Jeremy Dyson said: “When you’re a writer you never get a chance to read so it was a real pleasure to be able spend time reading the short-listed collections, the quality of which was extraordinary, it made me want to give each one a prize. For me, when something stays with you after you have read a story that is what makes a good writer. Graham Mort’s collection is so vivid and evokes character in just a few lines. His one story about the travelling salesman really haunted me. He won this prize for the sheer range of stories in his collection, I fell into so many places in one book and saw into so many lives, for me it was so wonderful to read.”


Footage from the awards ceremony.

Although Graham was unable to receive the first prize of £5,000 in person due to commitments to a project working with writers in Uganda, he sent a message of thanks, saying: “I’m sending this message from Kampala, and the title story, Touch begins here in Uganda and that seemed somehow fitting. My relief at winning was tinged with regret for the other finalists – all of them terrific writers, who also deserved to win. I’m glad that some of them will be picking up other prizes and I’m honoured to be listed amongst them. Literary prizes were never intended to provoke competition alone but to celebrate diversity, quality and commitment. I’m pleased to have been awarded the prize on those terms and in that spirit of solidarity.

“I’m sorry not to be at the ceremony, though I’m not sorry to be here in Kampala, working with Femrite, a women writers association who represent an emerging generation of Ugandan writers who don’t have this kind of opportunity to publish or win prizes. Their work is pitched at social conditions that they believe can be changed by the insights and understanding that literature creates. Thank you and cheers – have a great evening.”

Graham was born in Lancashire and studied English at Liverpool University. He worked as a mill labourer, dairy operative and psychiatric nurse before training as a teacher. He taught in schools, colleges, prisons, special education and psychiatric units before becoming a freelance writer. He also currently works as Director of Postgraduate Studies for the Department of English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University. A specialist in distance learning, he also leads the Lancaster University/British Council African writers mentoring scheme, ‘Crossing Borders’.

He writes mainly poetry but has written short fiction and radio drama for BBC Radio and also won the 2007 Bridport Prize. He has also received a major Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors for his first collection of poems, A Country on Fire and Circular Breathing.

This year’s £1,000 Readers’ Prize went to Tom Vowler for The Method and Other Stories who, upon receiving the accolade, said: “It feels wonderful and a real honour to have won the Readers Prize. This is my first short story collection and for me this is the perfect form of writing because there is such an intensity and energy to it, which is different to the novel. All writers want to be read and it’s fantastic to know that people have picked up my book and read it and they liked it, especially the young sixth formers who judged this category, it’s nice to know that my writing appealed to their age group.”

Considering himself as a late developer; he didn’t even discover books until his mid-twenties. He then tried journalism, editing and proofreading before dabbling with fiction. His stories started appearing in literary journals, doing well in competitions, and in 2009 he received an Arts Council grant to research and write a novel. The newcomer, based in Devon, was named the winner of the Scott Prize 2010 for this début short fiction collection. He is also assistant editor of the literary journal Short FICTION.

The other authors included on this year’s shortlist were:

Anglo-French author Michele Roberts, Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, for Mud, Stories and Sex and Love (Virago); London-born journalist Polly Samson, who has written lyrics for two number one albums, with Perfect Lives (Virago); and Helen Simpson, with her fifth collection Inflight Entertainment (Jonathan Cape).

The judging panel included:

Jeremy Dyson, winner of the 2010 Edge Hill University Short Story Prize, and co-creator of the hit West End play Ghost Stories and TV series The League of Gentlemen; author, presenter and Edge Hill alumnus Stuart Maconie, Marcus Gipps, editor at Gollancz Publishers and Dr Ailsa Cox, Reader In Creative Writing at Edge Hill University.

This year’s winner of the Edge Hill University MA Creative Writing category went to Avril Scott, who received a prize of £500.

Ailsa Cox, Co-ordinator of the Prize and Reader in Creative Writing and English at Edge Hill University, said: “The quality of the shortlist was phenomenal this year, with a range of highly acclaimed writers, from both ‘mainstream’ and independent presses such as Graham Mort’s publisher, Seren. Graham’s well-deserved success is a reminder of the high standard of small press publishing in the UK.”

A League of Gentleman creator scoops Edge Hill Short Story Prize

Famous screenwriter and co-creator of The League of Gentlemen Jeremy Dyson has been named the winner of the Edge Hill University Short Story Prize 2010.

He received the first prize of £5,000 at a special awards ceremony last night (8th July) at Blackwell’s bookstore in Charing Cross, London for his collection of macabre short stories, The Cranes that Build the Cranes. Brimming with black humour and the promise of something sinister just around the corner, the collection explores the dark depths of the human condition, offering tales of death, disaster and – just occasionally – redemption, which captured the imagination of the judges.

Upon receiving the accolade, Jeremy said: “I’m delighted to win the Edge Hill prize. Writing can be a lonely business and you can feel very sensitive towards your work so it is a boost to know that people enjoy reading it.”

Jeremy, who has been writing short stories for nearly 20 years, started as a child through his love of ghost stories and despite writing for TV, theatre and novels, he still finds this the easiest and most enjoyable genre of writing.

“There is such a purity in it, almost like a bedtime story and fairytale-like. I come up with my ideas at the oddest times, so if I think of something I’ll jot it down on a piece of paper and then store all the ideas until I’m ready to write a collection. A lot of the time a story will develop from two colliding ideas. For example, my idea for Bound South came from an image I had about an Edwardian carriage with a fire in it, quite odd but cosy. It’s such a pleasure to make up this type of story as you go along because you can really surprise yourself along the way and the reader too.”

Encouraging others to take up short story writing he said: “It is a vocation and a passion and if you have it in your heart then write short stories and make sure you get them out there, enter competitions, send to magazines and make sure people read them.

“I’d just like to thank Edge Hill for running this award, it is hugely important and highlights that the short story is publishable and it is popular. It is the oldest form of writing and I hope that people recognise and celebrate this.”

Born in Leeds, Dyson went to Leeds Grammar School before studying philosophy at Leeds University and later an MA in screenwriting at the Northern School of Film and Television. He is best known as the co-founder of the multiple award-winning TV series, The League of Gentlemen. Due to his self-confessed lack of acting skills and a rather camera-shy nature, he does not appear in the series or any of its offshoots, apart from very brief cameos. He also co-wrote and co-created the highly acclaimed comedy drama series Funland with Simon Ashdown which was nominated for a BAFTA. He is also co-author of Ghost Stories, currently playing to packed houses in the West End.

Jeremy has pursued a successful solo career as a writer. The Cranes that Build the Cranes is his third work of fiction, following a previous collection of short stories Never Trust a Rabbit (2000) which was nominated for the Macmillan Silver Pen award, and an equally acclaimed novel What Happens Now (2006) which was nominated for the Goss First Novel award.


Winner of the 2010 Edge Hill University Short Story Prize, Jeremy Dyson reads from his winning entry, The Cranes that Build the Cranes. 

This year’s £1,000 Readers’ Prize went to Robert Shearman. For the first time ever, this was judged by groups of A-level English students from the North West. It is the first time that the University have invited students to judge this category in a bid to engage young people in literature.

Upon receiving the accolade, Rob said: “The short story is very non-commercialised. When you are nominated for a prize like this it is fantastic because you always hope that people will read your work and it is evidence that people not only read it but like it. To win the Readers’ Prize means so much to me because it raises the profile of what the short story is all about – it is readable and fun and builds a complete world. Knowing that my collection appealed to the younger generation is also thrilling because they are the writers of our tomorrow.”

The shortlist included newcomer and critically acclaimed novelist Jane Feaver with Love Me Tender (Random House); Costa prize-winner turned comedian A.L. Kennedy with What Becomes (Jonathan Cape); Irish fiction writer and poet Nuala Ní Chonchúir with Nude (Salt Publishing); and Robert Shearman with Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical (Big Finish), who is best-known as a writer for Doctor Who.

Judge Chris Beckett, winner of the 2009 Edge Hill Short Story Prize said: “Jeremy’s was the most varied collection, the different moods were both dark and gentle yet all enjoyable and made you want to go on reading.”

Judge Katharine Fry, Trade Buying Manager at Blackwell added: “The shortlist of collections was of an incredibly high standard and ticked all the boxes of our criteria. Regarding the new MA Creative Writing category it was great to see new and upcoming literary talent and I look forward to seeing how their careers progress.”

To help celebrate the University’s 125th anniversary, a new category was also introduced to acknowledge one of the rising talents on the institution’s MA Creative Writing course. The winner was Carys Bray for her story Just in Case. Carys receives £500 and a commemorative copy of her winning story, printed by the prize’s co-sponsor, Blackwell’s.

Edge Hill University Short Story Prize 2010

 Excitement is growing over the third Edge Hill Prize for the Short Story.

The award will enjoy a double celebration in 2010 as its host, Edge Hill University, also celebrates its 125th anniversary.

The prestigious Prize recognises excellence in a published single author short story collection. It is unique in the UK as it is the only such award for a published short story collection from a British/Irish author.

The 2009 winner was cult science fiction writer Chris Beckett – a surprise for many due to the genre’s specialist market and because he is published by a small press. He won £5,000 and a specially commissioned painting by Liverpool artist, Pete Clarke.

The judges chose his book The Turing Test, published by Elastic Press, which beat off competition from collections by Booker Prize-winner Anne Enright, Whitbread winner Ali Smith and other acclaimed writers. Since winning the prestigious award, Chris has secured a two book deal with Corvus, an imprint of Grove Atlantic.

Other previous winners and shortlisted authors include Neil Gaiman, Rob Shearman, Colm Toibin and Claire Keegan.

Sponsored by Blackwell, the 2010 prize will have three categories:

  • The main literary award of £5,000, plus an original piece of artwork specially commissioned by Blackwell. A panel of judges will choose the winner from a shortlist of five collections.
  • The £1,000 Readers’ Prize will be chosen by a group of A-level English students. They will announce their winner from the same shortlist as the main panel.
  • A new prize will also reward one of the stars of the University’s MA Creative Writing course. £500 will be awarded to the most outstanding short story submission by a current student – and they will also have the chance to see their story printed using Blackwell’s cutting-edge Espresso Book Machine publishing technology which has been heralded as the biggest change for the literary world since the invention of the printing press. The chance for one winner to see their work printed in this way is a major coup, particularly for an unpublished author.

Winner of Short Story Prize announced

The internationally-renowned writer Claire Keegan has been announced as the winner of the Edge Hill University Short Story Prize 2008, with her second short story collection Walk the Blue Fields.

Keegan, originally from Ireland, received £5,000 in prize money along with a stunning glass sculpture by award-winning glass maker Amanda Notarianniduring an awards ceremony at the Bluecoat. Simon Robson took second prize, receiving £1,000 and Christopher Fowler was named as the Readers’ Prize winner, also receiving £1,000.

The judges, BBC radio producer Duncan Minshull, Prof. Rhiannon Evans from Edge Hill University and the short story writer and novelist Hilary Mantel said: “Keegan wrote superbly crafted stories, successfully merging them together as one volume. Her lyricism and dream logic, coupled with the harsh realism of an Ireland wrestling with its past, created a whole world under an uncompromising gaze. The sense of place was acute, and her often sly and dry humour was a constant delight.

“She is a young writer who has already staked her claim to genius. Her mastery of language and her full-blooded and flowing narratives impress on the reader a certain bleak and tender vision, which has much in common with that of the great Irish writer John McGahern. Yet it is distinctive, personal and modern. Her stories stand at the strong point where myth and reality intersect. Even in this competitive year, they were in a class of their own.”

The second prize went to Simon Robson for his debut collection, The Separate Heart. Robson graduated from RADA and appeared briefly in EastEnders as a doctor. He is an actor and playwright of several productions, including The Ghost Train Tattoo which premiered at the Royal Exchange, Manchester in 2000. He lives in London with his two children and wife, the soprano Sophie Daneman.

Christopher Fowler won the Readers’ Prize with his eighth collection Old Devil Moon – a tale of dark, compelling urban unease. Old Devil Moon was also shortlisted for the Horror Writers’ Association Bram Stoker award. The collection depends less on blood and gore and more on the psychological flaws of the characters – ordinary people who yield to everyday temptations. Fowler has also published novels, including the Bryant and May mystery series and comic books and is a reviewer for The Independent. He lives in Kings Cross, London.

Unusually, the Readers’ Prize is judged primarily by Get Into Reading – an organisation that gives people who might not normally think of joining a reading group the chance to enjoy stories and poems together. In a typical week, Get Into Reading works with recovering drug abusers, elderly people in day centres, young homeless men, full-time carers, isolated young mums and people with mental health or other chronic illnesses. Even those who cannot read have been encouraged to participate in the judging, with the stories being read aloud.