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The 2018 longlist

Female and American writers are at the core of the 15-strong longlist for the 2018 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, which includes ten women, ten American writers and four British authors.



Lisa Blower

Lisa Blower

With their story: 'Abdul'

Lisa Blower is an award-winning short story writer and novelist. Her work has appeared in The Guardian,Comma Press, The New Welsh Review, The Luminary, Short Story Sunday, and on Radio 4. She won the Guardian National Short Story Competition in 2009. Her debut novel ‘Sitting Ducks’ (Fair Acre Press) was shortlisted for the inaugural Arnold Bennett Prize 2017 and longlisted for the Guardian Not the Booker 2016. She has written a second novel ‘ Green Blind’ and just completed her debut short story collection ‘It’s Gone Dark over Bill’s Mother’s’, which draws heavily on her childhood in Stoke on Trent. She is now working on her third novel, ‘Pondweed’. Blower is a creative writing lecturer at Bangor University, where she studied for her PhD. She lives in Shrewsbury.


Jonathan Tel

Jonathan Tel

With their story: 'Berlin Lends A Hand'

Jonathan Tel is a former quantum physicist with a Ph.D from Stanford University. He has lived and written in Tokyo, Beijing, Jerusalem, Berlin and San Francisco.

He is a previous shortlistee for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, in 2014 for “The Shoe King of Shanghai”, and won the 2016 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award for his story, “The Human Phonograph”. He won the 2015 V.S. Pritchett Story Award and was a finalist for the 2015 Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize for “The Seduction of a Provincial Accountant” and “Year of the Panda” respectively. This story, “The Human Phonograph”, won the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. The four stories are extracting from an unpublished collection relating to financial corruption in contemporary China entitled “Scratching the Head of Chairman Mao.”


Judy Chicurel

Judy Chicurel

With their story: 'Black Diamond'

Judy Chicurel’s writing has appeared in national and regional publications, including The New York Times, Newsday and Granta. Her plays have been performed in NYC theatres and festivals, including the NYC International Fringe Festival, New Perspectives Theatre and Metropolitan Playhouse. She is a member of the New York Writers’ Coalition, and was a 2011 Fellow in the CUNY Graduate Center Writers’ Institute Fiction Writing Program. Her novel, ‘If I Knew You Were Going to be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go’, was published in 2014 and was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She is currently a part-time grants consultant for a non-profit public defender. Chicurel lives with her husband in Brooklyn, New York.

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P Kearney Byrne

P Kearney Byrne

With their story: 'Buck Mad'

P Kearney Byrne has won the Francis MacManus (2012), Bryan MacMahon (2014) and WOW (2016) Awards. In 2013 she was longlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award and was a finalist in the 2015 Hamlin Garland Award (Beloit Fiction Journal, USA). She has been published or has work forthcoming in Compose Journal, Vitality, Litmag and Per Contra. Kearney Byrne has an MA in Creative Writing from University College, Dublin and was subsequently awarded the John McGahern Award (2016) with a residency at Tyrone Guthrie Centre and an Irish Arts Council Emerging Writer Award (2017) to assist in the completion of a novel begun on the MA. Originally from Dublin, she and her partner now live in Co Leitrim in a straw-bale eco-house on nine acres of land. She is also a psychotherapist.

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Naomi Booth

Naomi Booth

With their story: 'Cluster'

Naomi Booth is a fiction writer and academic, born in Bradford and based in York, where she lives with her partner and daughter. Her first work of fiction, ‘The Lost Art of Sinking’ (Penned in the Margins, 2015), was selected for New Writing North’s Read Regional campaign and won the Saboteur Award for Best Novella 2016. Her debut novel ‘Sealed’ (Dead Ink Books 2017) has been described as “an accomplished, slow-burning meditation on motherhood, pregnancy and love… a marvellous first novel” (Guardian). Her short story Cluster was longlisted for the Galley Beggar Short Story prize. She read English at the University of Cambridge and spent several years working in publishing before completing a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Sussex. She has since lectured in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Sussex and York St John University, where she is Subject Director for Creative Writing. She works alongside creative writing colleagues within the York Centre of Writing.


Nicolas Burbidge

Nicolas Burbidge

With their story: 'Cooking A Wolf'

Nicolas Burbidge’s short stories have appeared in The Bridport Prize Anthology and Shooter Literary Magazine. He has an MA in Creative & Life Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London and has worked in the media and charity sectors for 20 years. He lives in London with his partner and daughter.


Curtis Sittenfeld

Curtis Sittenfeld

With their story: 'Do-Over'

Curtis Sittenfeld is the bestselling author of five novels: ‘Prep’, ‘The Man of My Dreams’, ‘American Wife’, ‘Sisterland’ and ‘Eligible’. Her first story collection, ‘You Think It, I’ll Say It’, will be published in 2018. Her books have been selected by The New York Times, Time, Entertainment Weekly and People for their “Ten Best Books of the Year” lists, optioned for television and film, and translated into twenty-five languages. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Esquire, and her non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times, Time, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic and Slate. A graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she is married with two children and lives in the American Mid-West.


Allegra Goodman

Allegra Goodman

With their story: 'F.A.Q.s'

Allegra Goodman is an American writer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Three of her novels have been published in the UK by Atlantic Books. They are ‘The Chalk Artist’, ‘The Cookbook Collector’ and ‘Intuition’ (shortlisted for the Wellcome Prize in 2009). Her other novels are ‘Paradise Park’ and ‘Kaaterskill Falls’ (a National Book Award finalist in 1996). Her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Commentary and Ploughshares and has been anthologized in The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories, and she has written two collections of short stories, ‘The Family Markowitz’ and ‘Total Immersion’, and a novel for younger readers, ‘The Other Side of the Island’. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The Boston Globe and The American Scholar. She grew up in Honolulu, and studied English and philosophy at Harvard, received a PhD in English literature from Stanford, and was a recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award (1991), the Salon Award for Fiction (1997) and a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (2006-2007). She lives with her husband and has four children.


Victor Lodato

Victor Lodato

With their story: 'Herman Melville, Volume 1'

Victor Lodato born in New Jersey. He is the author of ‘Edgar and Lucy’ (Head of Zeus) and ‘Mathilda Savitch’ (2009), which was hailed by The New York Times as “a Salingeresque wonder of a first novel”. The novel won the PEN USA Award for Fiction and the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, and has been published in sixteen countries, including the UK (Fourth Estate). Victor is a Guggenheim Fellow, as well as the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Camargo Foundation (France) and the Bogliasco Foundation (Italy). He was shortlisted for the 2017 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. His short fiction and essays have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Granta and Best American Short Stories. His new novel, ‘Edgar and Lucy’, is published by Doubleday in February 2018. Lodato currently divides his time between Tucson, Arizona and Ashland, Oregon.


Molly McCloskey

Molly McCloskey

With their story: 'Life On Earth'

Molly McCloskey was born in Philadelphia and grew up in North Carolina and Oregon. In 1989, she moved to Ireland, spending ten years on the west coast before moving to Dublin. She is the author of two short story collections, ‘Solomon’s Seal’ and ‘The Beautiful Changes’, and a novel, ‘Protection’. Her first work of non-fiction, ‘Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother’, appeared in 2011. Her new novel was published by Penguin Ireland in 2017 as ‘When Light is Like Water’, and in the US by Scribner in 2018 under the title ‘Straying’. Her work has appeared in the Irish Times, Dublin Review,Guardian, Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. She has taught writing at universities in Ireland and the US, serving as writer-in-residence at Trinity College, Dublin, University College, Dublin, and George Washington University in Washington, DC. She has also worked in the field of international development in the UN’s Kenya-based Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for Somalia. She currently lives in Washington, DC, and recently served as a judge for the DC-based PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.


Yiyun Li

Yiyun Li

With their story: 'On The Street Where You Live'

Yiyun Li is the author of four works of fiction, ‘Kinder Than Solitude’, ‘The Vagrants’, ‘A Thousand Years of Good Prayers’ and ‘Gold Boy, Emerald Girl’ (all from Fourth Estate in UK); a children’s book, ‘The Story of Gilgamesh’ (Pushkin Press); and a memoir, ‘Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life’ (Hamish Hamilton). She grew up in China, and came to the United States to pursue a science career in immunology before she became a writer. She is the recipient of many awards, including the PEN/Hemingway Award, Guardian First Book Award, Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, Benjamin H. Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a MacArthur Foundation fellowship. She was named by The New Yorker as one of the “20 under 40” fiction writers to watch. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, Granta, The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. She teaches creative writing at Princeton University.


Courtney Zoffness

Courtney Zoffness

With her story: 'Peanuts Aren't Nuts'

Courtney Zoffness won the 2017 Arts & Letters Creative Nonfiction Prize, the 2016 American Literary Review Fiction Prize, and was an Emerging Writing Fellowship from the Center for Fiction. She has received awards from the MacDowell Colony and the Bread of Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Southern Review, Indiana Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. Zoffness has taught at numerous institutions, including Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Allegheny College and the University of Freiburg, where she was a writer-in-residence. She currently directs the Creative Writing Program at Drew University in New Jersey and lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.


Tania James

Tania James

With their story: 'The Liberator'

Tania James is the author of three works of fiction, most recently the novel ‘The Tusk That Did the Damage’ (Harvill Secker), plus ‘Aerogrammes and Other Stories’ and ‘Atlas of Unknowns’. ‘Tusk’ was named Best Book of 2015 by The San Francisco Chronicle and was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize. James’s stories have appeared in Freeman’s Anthology, Granta, One Story and Tin House. Her criticism has appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times Book Review. She is associate professor at George Mason University’s Creative writing Program and lives in Washington DC.


Miranda July

Miranda July

With their story: 'The Metal Bowl'

Miranda July is a filmmaker, artist and writer. Her most recent book is ‘The First Bad Man’, her debut novel; Andrew Solomon described it as “an audaciously original, often hilarious map of the ever-expanding reach of unhinged imagination in America”. July’s collection of stories, ‘No One Belongs Here More Than You’, won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and has been published in twenty-three countries. ‘It Chooses You’ was her first book of non-fiction. She wrote, directed and starred in The Future and Me and You and Everyone We Know — winner of the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and a Special Jury Prize at Sundance. July’s short fiction has been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review and Zoetrope. She is the recipient of a 2016 USA Artist fellowship award and is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Raised in Berkeley, California, July lives in Los Angeles.


Joseph O’Neill

Joseph O'Neill

With their story: 'The Sinking Of The Houston'

Joseph O’Neill lives in New York and teaches at Bard College. He is the author of four novels, ‘Netherland’ (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2008),’The Dog’, ‘This Is the Life’ and ‘The Breezes’, as well as a memoir, ‘Blood-Dark Track’. His short stories have been published in The New Yorker and Harper’s, and his literary criticism has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, The Irish Times, The Atlantic, Granta and other publications. He won the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Prize for Fiction and 2009 Kerry Fiction Award for ‘Netherland’. He has a new collection of short stories, ‘Good Trouble’, due to be published in June 2018.

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