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The 2019 longlist

There is an exciting mixture of big names and fresh talent in the 18-strong long list for the 2019 Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award, which features writers from three continents and five countries.


Danielle McLaughlin

With her story: 'A Partial List of the Saved'

Danielle McLaughlin’s short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Stinging Fly, the Irish Times, and elsewhere. They have also been broadcast on RTE Radio 1 and BBC Radio 4. Her debut collection of short stories, Dinosaurs On Other Planets, was published in Ireland in 2015 by The Stinging Fly Press, in the UK and US in 2016 by John Murray and Random House. Her awards for short fiction include the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition, The Willesden Herald International Short Story Prize, The Merriman Short Story Competition in memory of Maeve Binchy, and the Dromineer Literary Festival Short Story Competition. Her debut novel A Retrospective will be published in 2020.


Paddy O'Reilly

With her story: 'All the Languages'

Paddy O'Reilly is the author of three novels, The Factory, The Fine Colour of Rust and The Wonders, and two collections of short stories, The End of the World and Peripheral Vision. Her novels and stories have won and been shortlisted for major awards, and have been published, anthologised and broadcast in Australia, Europe, the UK and the USA. She has also edited three collections of true stories ­– about dogs, fishing and the iconic Holden car.

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Joe Dunthorne

With his story: 'All The Poems Contained Within Will Mean Everything To Everyone'

Joe Dunthorne was born and grew up in Swansea. His debut novel, Submarine, was translated into sixteen languages and adapted for film by Richard Ayoade. His second, Wild Abandon, won the Encore Award in 2012. His latest is The Adulterants. His short stories have been published in The Paris Review, the Guardian and McSweeney’s. A collection of his poems, O Positive, was published earlier this year by Faber & Faber.

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Kevin Wilson

With his story: 'Biology'

Kevin Wilson is the author of two collections of stories and three novels, including The Family Fang (Picador, 2012), which was adapted as a feature film starring Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman, and Baby, You’re Gonna Be Mine (Picador, 2019). His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Tin House, One Story, A Public Space, and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Rivendell, and the KHN Center for the Arts. He lives in Sewanee, Tennessee, with his wife, the poet Leigh Anne Couch, and his sons, Griff and Patch, where he is an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of the South.


Paul Dalla Rosa

With his story: 'Comme'

Paul Dalla Rosa is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. His fiction has appeared in Granta, Meanjin, and NY Tyrant. He is a 2017 Felix Meyer Scholar and is a former Next Wave Writer-in-Residence and Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow. He is currently undertaking his Ph.D. at RMIT University studying the ‘real’ within contemporary autofiction and is at work on his debut short story collection.

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Toby Litt

With his story: 'Impatience'

Toby Litt grew up in Ampthill, Bedfordshire. He is the author of ten novels, including Corpsing, deadkidsongs and Notes for a Young Gentleman, and four short story collections. His story ‘John & John’ won the Manchester Fiction Prize, and his story ‘Call it “The Bug” Because I Have No Time To Think of a Better Title’ was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. He was a Granta Best of British Novelist. His most recent book is Wrestliana (Galley Beggar), a memoir about his great-great-great grandfather, William Litt – a champion wrestler, smuggler, exile and poet. Last year, Toby was one of the poets included in Carcanet’s New Poetries VII anthology. His new novel, Patience, will be published by Galley Beggar in August 2019. When he is not writing, he likes to read, play guitar and do nothing. He teaches Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London.

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Louise Kennedy

With her story: 'In silhouette'

Louise Kennedy grew up in Holywood, Co.Down. Her short stories have been published in journals including The Stinging Fly, The Tangerine, The Lonely Crowd and Banshee. Her work has won the Ambit Short Fiction (2015), Wasifiri New Writing (2015), John O’Connor (2016) and Listowel Los-Gatos (2016) prizes and been short-listed and commended in others.

She is a PhD candidate at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queens University Belfast, where she’s researching the writer Norah Hoult (1898-1984). Louise has completed a collection of short stories with the assistance of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and is working on a novel.

She lives in Sligo with her husband and two teenage children.

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Marie-Helene Bertino

With her story: 'In The Basement of Saint John the Divine'

Marie-Helene Bertino is the author of the novel 2 A.M. AT THE CAT’S PAJAMAS (Picador) and the story collection SAFE AS HOUSES and was the 2017 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Fellow in Cork, Ireland. Her work has received The O. Henry Prize, The Pushcart Prize, The Iowa Short Fiction Award, The Mississippi Review Story Prize, and has twice been featured on NPR's Selected Shorts. She teaches at NYU and The New School in New York, New York, and Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, and lives in Brooklyn, New York where she was the Associate Editor for One Story and Catapult. In Spring 2020 she will be the Distinguished Kittredge Visiting Writer at the University of Montana. Her third book, PARAKEET, is forthcoming from FSG in June 2020. For more information:

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Wendy Erskine

With her story: 'Inakeen'

Wendy Erskine’s debut short story collection, Sweet Home, was published by The Stinging Fly Press in September 2018, and will be published by Picador in June 2019. It was shortlisted for The Republic of Consciousness Prize, and is longlisted for The Gordon Burn Prize and The Edge Hill Short Story Prize. My stories have appeared in The Stinging Fly, Winter Papers, Female Lines (New Island), Being Various (Faber and Faber), We’ll Never Have Paris (Repeater), Belfast Stories (Doire), Still Worlds Turning (No Alibis Press), and on BBC Radio 4 and RTE Radio 1. She lives in Belfast where she works as a teacher in a secondary school.

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Nicholas Petty

With his story: 'It is Summer at Camp Pomodoro'

Nicholas is a British writer. His short story, Down in the Mud on Limehouse Beach, was ‘Commended’ in the 2018 Bath Short Story Award and published in the corresponding anthology. His work has also been published in Bath Flash Fiction Volume 3 and elsewhere online. He is currently working on a novel. Nicholas grew up in Macclesfield and studied chemical engineering at university. After a stint as a management consultant in London, he moved to Utrecht, The Netherlands, where he walks dogs and writes.


Brian Van Reet

With his story: 'Lazarus'

Brian Van Reet was born in Houston, Texas, and grew up there and in Maryland. Following the September 11 attacks, he left the University of Virginia and enlisted in the U.S. Army as a tank crewman. He was deployed to Baghdad from 2004-5 and received a Bronze Star for valor. After an honorable discharge he completed degrees in English at the University of Missouri and an M.F.A. at the Michener Center for Writers. His short fiction has been cited in the Best American series, and he has twice won the Texas Institute of Letters short story award. His first novel, Spoils, was published in the U.K. by Jonathan Cape in 2017. It won the Balcones Prize, the Writers’ League of Texas Book Award, and was longlisted or a finalist for the Colby Award, the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence. Spoils was named one of the year’s best books by the Guardian, Military Times, British GQ, the New Zealand Listener, Waterstones, and the Wall Street Journal, which called it “the finest Iraq War novel yet written by an American.”

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Kathleen Alcott

With her story: 'Natural Light'

Kathleen Alcott’s third novel, America Was Hard To Find, was published in May 2019 by Ecco in the US and will be published in 2020 in the UK by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, in 2020 by Solferino Libri in Italy, and in 2021 by Editions Stock in France. Born in 1988 in Northern California, she is the author of the novels Infinite Home and The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets. Her short fiction, criticism, memoir, and food writing have appeared in outlets including Zoetrope: All Story, The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Review of Books, ZYZZYVA, Tin House, The Bennington Review, and The Coffin Factory; “Natural Light” will appear in The Best American Short Stories of 2019. In 2017, her short story "Reputation Management" was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Short Story Award, and appeared in translation in South Korea and the Netherlands. A fellow of the MacDowell Colony, she has taught at Columbia University and Bennington College.


Caoilinn Hughes

With her story: 'Prime'

Caoilinn Hughes is the author of ORCHID AND THE WASP (Oneworld 2018), which is shortlisted for the Hearst Big Book Awards, was a finalist for the Butler Literary Award and was longlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award. Her poetry collection, GATHERING EVIDENCE (Carcanet 2014), won the Irish Times Strong/Shine Award and was a finalist for four other prizes. For her short fiction, she won The Moth International Short Story Prize 2018 and an O. Henry Prize in 2019. Her work has appeared in Granta, POETRY, Tin House, Best British Poetry, BBC Radio 3 and elsewhere. She holds BA and MA Degrees from Queen’s University, Belfast, and a PhD in English Literature from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She was Visiting Writer at Maastricht University in the Netherlands from 2014-17. Her second novel, THE WILD LAUGHTER, will be published in May 2020.

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Kevin Barry

With his story: 'The Coast of Leitrim'

Kevin Barry is the author of the novels Beatlebone and City of Bohane and the story collections Dark Lies the Island and There Are Little Kingdoms. His new novel Night Boat to Tangier will be published in June 2019.

His awards include the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Goldsmiths Prize, the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Prize and the Lannan Foundation Literary Award. His stories and essays appear in the New Yorker, Granta and elsewhere. He also works as a playwright and screenwriter, and he lives in County Sligo, Ireland.

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A.M. Homes

With her story: 'The National Caged Bird Show'

A.M. Homes is the author of the 2013 Orange/ Women’s Prize winning novel, May We Be Forgiven, the best-selling memoir, The Mistress’s Daughter and ten other books, including the story collections, Days Of Awe, The Safety of Objects and Things You Should Know. She often collaborates with artists in other forms; in 2019 she worked with Experiments in Opera and six composers to create a new opera, Chunky In Heat. She writes frequently on the arts and culture for publications including Vanity Fair where she is a Contributing Editor and is currently at work on a new television show for BBC/AMC. Published in 22 languages around the world, A.M. Homes lives in New York City and teaches at Princeton University. She is passionate about being involved in ones community and is active on the boards of Yaddo, a 100 year old artist’s colony, Poets and Writers, The Elizabeth Dance Company and is a Council member of the The Writers Guild of America East.


Alecia McKenzie

With her story: 'TREES'

Alecia McKenzie is a Jamaican writer and journalist currently based in France. She won the regional Commonwealth Writers Prize (1993) for best first book for her short-story collection ‘Satellite City’ (Longman), and the regional Commonwealth Book Prize (2012) for her novel ‘Sweetheart’ (Peepal Tree Press). ‘Sweetheart’ has been translated into French as ’Trésor’ (Envolume) and was awarded the Prix Carbet des lycéens in the French Caribbean in 2017. Alecia’s other books are ‘Stories From Yard’ (Peepal Tree Press), ‘Doctor’s Orders’ (Heinemann) and ‘When the Rain Stopped in Natland’ (Longman). She recently edited a collection of contemporary Jamaican short stories and is working on a second volume. Her stories have appeared in a range of literary magazines and anthologies, and her journalistic articles have been published in various international newspapers. 


Gerard McKeague

With his story: 'Wet Bloody Country'

Gerry’s story came third in the Bridport Short Story competition 2018 and he has won prizes in the Michael McLaverty Short Story competition 2010 (runner up), the Bryan McMahon Listowel Writers’ Award 2013 (runner up). He has been shortlisted for the Fish short story prize 2015. Brought up in Belfast, he now lives with his family in Geelong, Australia where he works as a GP. He has had stories published in the Bridport Prize Anthology 2018 and in ‘Scandal and other stories,’ published by the Linen Hall Library.

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Emma Cline

With her story: 'What Can You Do With a General'

Emma Cline is the author of “The Girls” and the recipient of the 2014 Plimpton Prize, from The Paris Review. The Girls was a finalist for a National Book Critic’s Circle Award, the First Novel Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was the winner of the Shirley Jackson Award. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and The Paris Review, and have twice been included in The Best American Short Stories. In 2017, Cline was named one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists.