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The 2021 longlist


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Daniel Mason

With their story: 'A Case Study'

Daniel Mason is a physician and author of The Piano Tuner (2002), A Far Country (2007), The Winter Soldier ?(2018), and A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth (2020). His writing has been translated into 28 languages, awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (2021), the Joyce Carol Oates Prize (2020) and the Northern California Book Award for Fiction (2019), and shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (2008). The Piano Tuner was produced as an opera by Music Theatre Wales and performed at the Royal Opera House in London, and later adapted to the stage in Chicago by Lifeline Theatre. His short stories and essays have appeared in ?The Atlantic, Harper’s, Zoetrope: All Story, Zyzzyva and Lapham’s Quarterly, and have been awarded a Pushcart Prize (2017) and a National Magazine Award (2008). In 2014 he was a recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. An Assistant Professor in the Stanford University Department of Psychiatry, his research and teaching interests include the subjective experience of mental illness and the powerful ways literature, history, and culture shape the practice of medicine.


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Allegra Goodman

With their story: 'A Challenge You Have Overcome'

Allegra Goodman’s novels include The Chalk Artist, Intuition, The Cookbook Collector, Paradise Park, and Kaaterskill Falls (a National Book Award finalist). Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Commentary, and Ploughshares and has been anthologized in The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. 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. Raised in Honolulu, Goodman studied English and philosophy at Harvard and received a PhD in English literature from Stanford. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award, the Salon Award for Fiction, and a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced study. She lives with her family in Cambridge, Mass, where she is writing a new novel.


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Jonathan Gibbs

With their story: 'A Prolonged Kiss'

Jonathan Gibbs is the author of two novels, Randall, or The Painted Grape (Galley Beggar) and The Large Door (Boiler House), and a book-length poem, Spring Journal. This poem, about life under Covid-19 and inspired by Louis MacNeice’s Autumn Journal, was written on Twitter between March and August 2020, and published in December of that year by CB Editions. His short stories have been anthologised in Best British Short Stories 2014 and 2015, and shortlisted for the inaugural White Review Short Story Prize 2013. He curates A Personal Anthology, which invites writers and critics to dream-edit an anthology of their dozen favourite short stories. A Personal Anthology has been running since 2017, and the online archive includes over 1,500 short story recommendations, by over 800 writers, picked by over 100 guest editors. He teaches Creative Writing at City, University of London, where he is Programme Director for the MA/MFA Creative Writing. He lives in south-east London with his wife and three children.


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Rachael Fulton

With their story: 'Call'

Rachael Fulton is a Scottish journalist and editor. She studied Spanish and Multimedia Journalism at universities in Glasgow, then worked as a local reporter for Scottish Television and later as a comic book editor for Mark Millar at Netflix. During that time, she won Elle Magazine’s New Talent Award for fiction, two refugee media awards and a MIND media award for her journalism. In 2020 she returned to her rural hometown of Castle Douglas to help her parents run the family business, and to focus on her own writing. Her short stories Call and Blood were published in the Bridport Anthology and by The Common Breath later that year. Another short story, Witches, is due to be published in 2021 and is currently in development as a sitcom. Rachael cares very deeply about feminism and racial equality, and in women of all races and backgrounds having a platform to tell their stories. She has volunteered in various roles in care homes, refugee camps and slums in different parts of the world and hopes to do similar humanitarian work in future. She is editor of the local community paper and splits her time between Castle Douglas and Glasgow.


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Jamel Brinkley

With their story: 'Comfort'

Jamel Brinkley is the author of A Lucky Man: Stories (Serpent’s Tail, 2019). The collection, published by Graywolf Press in the United States, was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award, the 2018/19 Story Prize, the 2019 NBCC John Leonard Prize, the 2019 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, and the 2019 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. The book won a 2019 PEN Oakland Award and the 2018 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. His fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, among other journals, and has been anthologized twice in The Best American Short Stories (2018, 2019). He was educated at Columbia University and the University of Iowa, and was a 2018-2020 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Raised in New York City, he currently teaches at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.


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Susan Choi

With their story: 'Flashlight'

Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction. Her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her third novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. In 2010 she was named the inaugural recipient of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award. Her fourth novel, My Education, received a 2014 Lammy Award. Her fifth novel, Trust Exercise, received the 2019 National Book Award for fiction. She has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2019 she published her first book for children, Camp Tiger. She teaches fiction writing at Yale and lives with her family in Brooklyn.


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Gráinne Murphy

With their story: 'Further West'

Gráinne Murphy’s debut novel, Where the Edge Is, was published in September 2020 and her second, The Ghostlights, will be released in September 2021, both with Legend Press.A Thousand Ways (unpublished) won the Irish Writer Centre Novel Fair 2019 and was shortlisted for the Caledonia Novel Award and the Blue Pencil Agency First Novel Award in 2019. Her first novel, On a Sunday (unpublished), was shortlisted for the Virginia Prize for Fiction in 2013.

Further West was placed 3rd in the Zoetrope All-Story Short Fiction 2018 (unpublished), and other stories have been shortlisted for the Fish Short Story Award: Full of Grace in 2013, Nothing Like Me, Frank &amp and Alfie in 2014, and The After Life in 2019.

Gráinne’s short fiction has appeared in the Fish Anthology 2020 (Safekeeping), the RiPPLE Anthology 2017 (The Agatha Christie Bookclub), the Irish Literary Review (Frank & Alfie) and Nivalis 2015 (Full of Grace). She writes: I am endlessly interested in family, particularly in intergenerational connection and disconnection, and in identity, those moments where we have to stare life down and choose who it is we want to be. I find that even if I start somewhere else, or with something else in mind, my stories inevitably end up there.


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Rachel Heng

With their story: 'Kirpal'

Rachel Heng was born and raised in Singapore. She is the author of the novels The Great Reclamation (forthcoming from Riverhead in 2022) and Suicide Club (Sceptre, 2018), which has been translated into ten languages worldwide and won the Gladstone Library Writer-In-Residence Award. Rachel's short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The New Yorker, McSweeney's Quarterly, Glimmer Train, Kenyon Review, and has been recognized by anthologies including Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions and Best New Singaporean Short Stories. Her non-fiction has been listed among Best American Essays’ Notable Essays and published in Al Jazeera, Guernica, BOMB Magazine, Grazia, The Telegraph and elsewhere. She has received grants and fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, Sewanee Writers' Conference, Fine Arts Work Center and the National Arts Council of Singapore. Rachel received her MFA in Fiction and Playwriting from the Michener Center for Writers, UT Austin, and her BA in Comparative Literature & Society from Columbia University.


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Louise Erdrich

With their story: 'Oil of Emu'

Louise Erdrich is the author of seventeen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and her debut novel, Love Medicine, was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Erdrich has received the Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction, the prestigious PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.


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Laura Demers

With their story: 'Sleeping Beauty'

Laura Demers’ short stories have been published in the North American Review, New Voices, Granta.com and the upcoming issue of Appalachian Review. She was nominated for the Pen/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers in 2017 and was a finalist for the Robert Day Award for Fiction in 2021. She won The Masters Review 2018 Anthology Prize award. Her education is in English literature, with an MA from NYU in English Education. She received an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths College in London in 2009.


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Susannah Dickey

With their story: 'Stuffed Peppers'

Susannah Dickey was born in Belfast in 1992 and grew up in Derry. Her second poetry pamphlet, genuine human values (The Lifeboat, 2018), won the 2019 Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize. Her most recent poetry, pamphlet, bloodthirsty for marriage (Bad Betty Press, 2020) received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Poetry London, The Dublin Review, Poetry Ireland Review, The White Review, and her fiction has been broadcast as part of the BBC Radio 4 ‘Short Works’ series. She holds an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths College, and is currently doing a PhD in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre. Her debut novel, Tennis Lessons, was published in 2020 by Doubleday UK. She lives in southeast London.


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Adam Nicolson

With their story: 'The Fearful Summer'

Adam Nicolson was educated at Eton College where he was a King's Scholar, and Magdalene College, Cambridge. He has worked as a journalist and columnist on the Sunday Times, the Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Telegraph, National Geographic Magazine and Granta, where he is a contributing editor. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Society of Antiquaries and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

He has made several television series (with Keo Films) and radio series (with Tim Dee, the writer and radio producer) on a variety of subjects including the King James Bible, 17th-century literacy, Crete, Homer, the idea of Arcadia, the untold story of Britain's 20th-century whalers and the future of Atlantic seabirds.

Adam has written about history, landscape, great literature and the sea. Among his recent books have been The Mighty Dead HarperCollins (US title:Why Homer Matters Henry Holt) exploring the epic Greek poems; The Seabird's Cry (HC/Henry Holt)about the disaster afflicting the world's seabirds; and The Making of Poetry (HC/FSG) on the Romantic Revolution in England in the 1790s. His work has been nominated for multiple prizes and awards, including The Samuel Johnson Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, The Wainwright Prize, the Costa, and the Scottish BAFTAs.

He is married to the writer and gardener Sarah Raven.


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Elizabeth McCracken

With their story: 'The Irish Wedding'

Elizabeth McCracken is the author of seven books, most recently a collection of stories called The Souvenir Museum. Her stories have been published in The Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, and The O Henry Prize. Her last collection, Thunderstruck won the 2015 Story Prize. She lives in Austin, Texas, where she teaches at the University of Texas at Austin.


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Rabih Alameddine

With their story: 'The July War'

Rabih Alameddine is the author of the novels Koolaids, and I, the Divine, The Hakawati, An Unnecessary Woman, The Angel of History, the story collection, The Perv. His next novel, The Wrong End of the Telescope will be published by Corsair in Fall of 2021. He divides his time between his bedroom and his living room.


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Mark Jude Poirier

With their story: 'This Is Not How Good People Die'

Mark Jude Poirier is the author the novels Goats and Modern Ranch Living, as well as the story collections Naked Pueblo and Unsung Heroes of American Industry, all published by Bloomsbury in the UK, and Hyperion and Random House in the US. His fiction has appeared in Tin House, The Southern Review, BOMB, Subtropics, The American Scholar, The Iowa Review, and many other literary magazines. His books have been named New York Times Notable Books of the Year, as well as Barnes and Noble Discover and Waterstone’s Editor’s picks, and for his short stories, he recently won both an O. Henry Award and a Pushcart Prize. Other honours include a James Michener Fellowship and a Chesterfield Screenwriting Fellowship through Paramount Pictures. Feature films he has written have played at The Sundance Film Festival, The Toronto International Film Festival, The American Film Festival of Deauville, MOMA (NY), and in theatres all over the world. Poirier has taught at Columbia University, The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Harvard University, where he was a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer on English. He was raised in Tucson, Arizona, and now lives in New York City with his partner, Edward Cahill.