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Judges announced for the world's richest short story prize 2020

Carys Davies, Diana Evans, Romesh Gunesekera, David Nicholls and Andrew Holgate to judge The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2020

‘There's no equivalent of the Man Booker fiction prize for a short story, but the Sunday Times award must come close…’
Sydney Morning Herald

A prestigious and highly experienced panel of judges has been announced for the world’s most valuable prize for a single short story, the award is worth £30,000 to the winner. The judging panel for the 2020 Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award will comprise novelist and short-story writer Carys Davies; prize-winning author Diana Evans; novelist and screen writer David Nicholls; and acclaimed short-story writer and novelist Romesh Gunesekera. Andrew Holgate, Literary Editor of The Sunday Times, completes the line-up.

“The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award is the most dynamic short story prize in the world, and is to be admired for its earnest celebration of this very exacting, perpetually exciting literary form. I am delighted to be a part of the 2020 judging panel and look forward to immersing myself in the manifold gift of storytelling, the voices, worlds and moments it conjures. What a treat.”
Diana Evans, Judge

Previous judges include Sebastian Faulks, Tessa Hadley, Joanna Trollope, Richard Eyre, Lionel Shriver, AS Byatt, Nick Hornby, Hanif Kureishi, Mark Haddon, Will Self, David Baddiel, Sarah Hall, Rose Tremain, Sir Melvyn Bragg, Kit de Waal, Sarah Churchwell and John Carey. The judges read the entries ‘blind’, without knowing the author’s identity. The success of past judging panels has seen the Award celebrate not only the work of literary giants, but has allowed it to discover and promote new and emerging talent such as Jessie Greengrass, Roshi Fernando, Rebecca F John, Sally Rooney and last year's winner Danielle McLaughlin.

Writing about the Award, Hilary Mantel said:
“Why write short fiction? Because it is difficult. Because it is exposing, unforgiving. Because it is just possible to get it right - every word the best word and in the best place - and produce wonder and delight; and sometimes an inspired beginner does this as well as the professional after years of practice. Short fiction is an art just as demanding as the novel. A prize of international stature recognises this. It encourages the form to flourish and writers to be ambitious. Because the permitted length is generous, it does not restrict the writer's remit as some lesser contests do, and it has reliably produced strong shortlists and outstanding winners. To support such a prize is an imaginative act of generosity that ripples out in its effects to readers and writers worldwide.”

The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award is a hugely prestigious international prize open to any novelist or short story writer from around the world who is published in the UK. As sponsor of the 2020 Award, Audible, the leading provider of audio storytelling, will produce an audio anthology of the shortlisted stories.

Now in its eleventh year, the Award’s ‘I Heart Short Stories’ initiative champions the short story in all it’s guises, offering a digital home for short story authors, critics and enthusiasts to discuss and celebrate this unique form of modern fiction.

Join in the discussion here:

Previous winners of the award include three Pulitzer Prize-winning American authors - Junot Díaz, Anthony Doerr and Adam Johnson - as well as Chinese-American novelist Yiyun Li, CK Stead from New Zealand, Jonathan Tel from the UK, Kevin Barry from Ireland, and Bret Anthony Johnston and Courtney Zoffness from America. Shortlisted authors include Colum McCann, Petina Gappah, Hilary Mantel, Emma Donoghue, Elizabeth Strout, Ali Smith, David Vann, Gerard Woodward, Curtis Sittenfeld, Emma Cline and Miranda July. The 2019 winner was Irish writer Danielle McLaughlin.

Longlist announcement: 3 May
Shortlist announcement: 7 June
Winner announcement: 2 July

For full details of the Award visit:
Keep up-to-date with the Award via Twitter and Facebook #IHeartShortStories

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Judges of The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2020

Carys Davies is the author of two collections of short stories, Some New Ambush and The Redemption of Galen Pike, which won the 2015 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. She is also the recipient of the Royal Society of Literature's V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize and the Society of Authors' Olive Cook Short Story Award. Her latest book is a novel, West, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Rathbones Folio Prize, runner-up for the McKitterick Prize, and winner of the Wales Book of the Year for fiction. Her new novel, The Mission House, will be published in August. Born in Wales, she lives in Edinburgh.

Diana Evans is the author of the novels Ordinary People, The Wonder and 26a. She has received many awards and nominations for her work, including most recently the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Literature for Ordinary People, which was in addition shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction. She was the inaugural winner of the Orange Award for New Writers for 26a. She also writes short fiction, essays and literary criticism and is an associate lecturer in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Romesh Gunesekera is the author of many acclaimed works of fiction including Reef, which was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize, The Sandglass, winner of the inaugural BBC Asia Award, and The Match, a ground-breaking cricket novel. His debut collection of stories, Monkfish Moon, was a New York Times Notable Book. Noontide Toll, published in 2014, captured a vital moment in post-war Sri Lanka. His latest novel, Suncatcher, returns to an earlier era and a story of divided loyalties and endangered friendship in the Ceylon of the 1960s. His fiction has been translated into over a dozen languages and he is the recipient of many awards including a Premio Mondello in Italy. He was born in Colombo and lives in London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He was the chair of judges for the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and has also judged many other prizes including the Caine Prize and Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists 2013.

Andrew Holgate has been the Literary Editor of The Sunday Times since 2008. Amongst many other prizes and awards, he has previously been a judge for the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Orwell Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and the Betty Trask Award. He is also a member of the Folio Prize Academy.

David Nicholls is the bestselling author of Starter for Ten, The Understudy, One Day and Us. David’s novels have sold over 8 million copies worldwide and are published in forty languages. His most recent novel is Sweet Sorrow, which was published in 2019. One Day was published in 2009 to extraordinary critical acclaim and became a no. 1 Sunday Times bestseller, winning the 2010 Galaxy Book of the Year Award. David was named Author of the Year at the 2014 National Book Awards after his fourth novel, Us, was another no. 1 bestseller and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. David is also a successful screenwriter. His first screenwriting break came when he wrote for the third series of Cold Feet. Highlights since then have included adapting Far From the Madding Crowd and Great Expectations – as well as his own novels Starter for Ten and One Day - into feature films. His most recent screenwork was Patrick Melrose, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, which he adapted from the novels by Edward St Aubyn.

About the Award
Originally launched by Lord Evans of EFG Private Bank and Cathy Galvin of The Sunday Times in 2010, The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award is the richest prize for a single short story in the English language. Worth £30,000 to the winner, the international annual award aims to promote and celebrate the excellence of the modern short story, and has attracted entries from some of the world’s finest writers.

Previous Winners
2019 Danielle McLaughlin
2018 Courtney Zoffness
2017 Bret Anthony Johnston
2016 Jonathan Tel
2015 Yiyun Li
2014 Adam Johnson
2013 Junot Diaz
2012 Kevin Barry
2011 Anthony Doerr
2010 CK Stead

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