"The best things come in small packages."
The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award is the world’s richest and most prestigious prize for a single short story, with £30,000 going to the winner.
Co-founded in 2010 by Lord Matthew Evans of EFG Private Bank and The Sunday Times’s Cathy Galvin, the award is now sponsored in its 11th year by Audible, the spoken word publisher.
Winners of the prize, which is international in reach and rewards stories of outstanding literary merit, include three Pulitzer Prize-winning American authors - Junot Díaz, Anthony Doerr and Adam Johnson - as well as Chinese-American novelist Yiyun Li, and fellow Americans Bret Anthony Johnston and Courtney Zoffness. They are joined by CK Stead from New Zealand, Jonathan Tel from the UK, and Kevin Barry and Danielle McLaughlin from Ireland. The 2020 winner was Irish writer Niamh Campbell.
The shortlisted authors are equally outstanding, counting Pulitzer and Man Booker prize-winners among them, and hail from all over the globe. This impressive list includes Elizabeth Strout, Colum McCann, Petina Gappah, Hilary Mantel, Emma Donoghue, Ali Smith, David Vann, Gerard Woodward, Curtis Sittenfeld and Miranda July.
The prize also prides itself - through the blind reading undertaken by its judges - on discovering and promoting new and emerging writers - not in the least its past two winners.
1,256 writers entered the award in 2020, with stories coming from 48 different countries and every continent except Antarctica. Entries must be of 6,000 words or less, must be written in English, and must be either unpublished or, for the 2021 award, not published before January 1, 2020. The author must have a track record of published creative writing in the UK or Ireland.
The judges over the past ten years have reflected the power and prestige of the award, and have included names as diverse as Melvyn Bragg, AS Byatt, John Carey, Sarah Churchwell, Carys Davies, Kit de Waal, Anne Enright, Sir Richard Eyre, Sebastian Faulks, Aminatta Forna, Tessa Hadley, Mark Haddon, Nick Hornby, Hanif Kureishi, Mark Lawson, Blake Morrison, Neel Mukherjee, Andrew O’Hagan, David Nicholls, Romesh Gunesekera, Diana Evans, Will Self, Elif Shafak, Lionel Shriver, Rose Tremain, Joanna Trollope and Sarah Waters.
Since 2019, a feature of the award has been an Audible audiobook anthology of the shortlisted stories, which has dramatically broadened the audience for the short story, and allows the award's stories to be enjoyed in a brand new way. Shortlisted authors will receive an extra £1,000 fee, on top of a prize payment of £1,000, for being included in the anthology.
Entries for the 2021 prize opened on Sunday, October 11 and closed on Friday, December 4. The winner will be announced on Thursday, July 8 2021.
2010 - C.K. Stead for Last Season’s Man
2011 - Anthony Doerr for The Deep
2012 – Kevin Barry for Beer Trip to Llandudno
2013 – Junot Diaz for Miss Lora
2014 – Adam Johnson for Nirvana
2015 – Yiyun Li for A Sheltered Woman
2016 – Jonathan Tel for The Human Phonograph
2017 – Bret Anthony Johnston for Half of What Atlee Rouse Knows About Horses
2018 – Courtney Zoffness for Peanuts Aren't Nuts
2019 – Danielle McLaughlin for A Partial List of the Saved
2020 - Niamh Campbell for Love Many
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times, founded in 1822, is Britain’s best-selling quality newspaper. It celebrated its 10,000th edition in May 2016 and has won a clutch of awards for its Insight team investigations unit, its foreign reporting and its magazine features and interviews in particular. At the 2020 Press Awards The Sunday Times's Insight team took the popular-life scoop of the year, the political editor Tim Shipman won political reporter of the year, chief foreign correspondent Christina Lamb was named broadsheet feature writer of the year and Chris Haslam was selected as travel journalist of the year.
Audible is the leading provider of digital spoken word entertainment, offering people a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day with more than 300,000 audio programmes from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters and entertainers. Among the acclaimed performers who have narrated works of literature for Audible are Stephen Fry, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Emma Thompson and Thandie Newton. Audible Studios has won a Grammy Award, for its production of Janis Ian’s memoir Society’s Child, and has also been recognised with the Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year, for Colin Firth’s performance of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair.