The Edge Hill Short Story Prize


First Prize: £10,000
The Edge Hill Prize is awarded annually by Edge Hill University for excellence in a published single author short story collection.

The literary world, particularly fiction, has long been dominated by the novel, with countless awards that exclusively acknowledge authors for their work around this form. Now, in the digital era, literary fiction is under pressure; a faster pace of life and a plethora of distractions threaten to eliminate reading as a form of entertainment. Suddenly, big-name novelists and playwrights are keen to be seen in the company of short stories, with acclaimed writers turning their attention to short form like never before. The short story has the ability to encapsulate existence in the briefest of moments and engulf the reader in a snapshot of another realm.

“The great thing about a short story is that it doesn’t have to trawl through someone’s whole life; it can come in glancingly from the side.” – Emma Donoghue

To recognise the acceleration of what was once an overlooked art form, Professor Ailsa Cox (the world’s only Professor of Short Fiction) founded the Edge Hill Short Story Prize in 2006, highlighting the intricate craftsmanship of short story writing. The Prize remains unique as the only annually presented award that recognises excellence in a published, single-authored collection of short stories in the UK and Ireland.

“A short story is the ultimate close-up magic trick – a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart.” – Neil Gaiman

Now in its 12th Year, the prize money currently stands at £10,000 and is judged by a selected panel of literary experts. An additional prize of £1,000 is awarded for the ‘Reader’s Choice’, traditionally judged by Edge Hill University BA Creative Writing students; and an additional category worth £500 acknowledging rising talents on the University’s MA Creative Writing course.

Previous years’ winners have been Colm Tóibín, Claire Keegan, Chris Beckett, Jeremy Dyson, Graham Mort, Sarah Hall, John Burnside, Kirsty Gunn, Jessie Greengrass, and Daisy Johnson, who won the 2017 prize for Fen (Cape).  The Readers’ Prize 2017 was won by Lucy Caldwell for Multitudes (Faber).  

Entry to the 2018 Prize is now closed. Keep up to date with all our announcements, including this year’s shortlisted authors at 

The opening date for entries for the 2019 Prize will be announced later this year.


Entry for the 2018 Prize for Short Story has now closed. The shortlist is available to view on our Announcements page.

Entry for the 2019 Prize will be announced later in the year. Please do not send any applications until entries have been declared open.





  • The 2018 award is open to original single author short story collections first published in English between 1st January and
    31st December 2017.
  • Authors must be born or normally resident in the British Isles, including Ireland.
  • Translations are not eligible
  • Self-published collections are not eligible.
  • Permanent employees of Edge Hill University are excluded from the award.


  • Following the closing date for entries, a longlist of collections will be announced, followed by a shortlist.
  • The shortlist of up to six collections will be announced by 30th June 2018
  • Shortlisted authors will be invited to participate in a special event in London where the first prize of £10,000 plus the £1,000 Reader’s Choice prize will be awarded
  • The judges’ decision is final.
  • In the event of unforeseen circumstances, Edge Hill University will be entitled to change the panel of judges and/or arrangements for the prize-giving.

2018 Judges

Professor Ailsa Cox – The world’s first and only Professor of Short Fiction and expert of Nobel Prize winning short story writer, Alice Munro.

Paul McVeigh – Co-Founder of London Short Story Festival and Associate Director of The Word Factory.

Daisy Johnson – Winner of the 2017 Edge Hill Short Story Prize for Fen (Cape).

Alice O’Keeffe – Critic for The Guardian, The Observer, The New Statesman, and Literary Programmer for the Brighton Festival.


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