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November: short story low-down


Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo win the Man Booker Prize

It's a decision that divided opinion, but wherever you stand on the ethics of choosing not one, but two winners for the prestigious literary award, it would be unfair not to celebrate both novels by these exceptional authors (Atwood's The Testaments and Evaristo's Girl, Woman, Other). Read this wonderful interview with Bernardine (who talks about the power of perseverance and how talent is a "seed that needs to be nurtured" on Arvon's website.

And if you want more, read this short story by Evaristo, ohtakemehomelord.com, published by the Guardian in 2005.

Alice Munro is NOT dead

Earlier this week, the internet was awash with tributes to Alice Munro, the iconic Nobel-prize winning short story writer, after the news broke of her "death" at the age of 88. A Twitter account claiming to be that of McClelland & Stewart, Munro’s publisher, sent a tweet on Monday 11th December announcing the much-admired author's death. Fortunately it was a hoax and luckily for those of us who love her work, it has been confirmed that the Canadian is indeed alive and well and with any luck, will write another day...

The Bristol Short Story Prize is now open

The 2020 Bristol Short Story Prize is open for entries. Closing date is midnight on 30th April 30th, 2020. 1st prize is £1,000, 2nd prize is £500, 3rd prize is £250.

Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People is adapted for television

Normal People, a novel by the Irish author Sally Rooney, widely dubbed the voice of the millennial generation, will air on BBC Three next year. Sally was shortlisted for this Award in 2017, with ‘Mr Salary’, the first time her extraordinary talent had been recognised by a prize. You can read an excerpt of it here.

New short story collection: Sudden Traveller by Sarah Hall

The award-winning British author's latest collection of short stories, Sudden Traveller, was published by Faber & Faber earlier this month. Hall, who has also written Madame Zero, The Wolf Border and The Beautiful Indifference, judged the Award in 2014. Read our interview with her about the judging process, aimed to inspire published authors to submit to this year's award, here.

Bridport Short Story Prize

Ross Foster won this year's Bridport Short Story Prize with ‘Henry’, judged by Kirsty Logan. Sulaxana Hippisley took second place with ‘The Quarter Loaf’ and Anna Metcalfe scooped the third spot with ‘Start Again’. Congratulations! Read the judge's report and if you're feeling keen, buy the new Anthology for a mere £10.

VS Pritchett Short Story Prize winner

This year’s VS Pritchett Short Story Prize for the best unpublished short story has been awarded to Ursula Brunetti who has won the 20th anniversary prize of £1,000 for her story ‘Beetleboy’. The shortlist, as selected by the judges Candice Carty-Williams, Philip Hensher and Leone Ross, also included:

  • K.M. ELKES for ‘Alone, But Not Lost’
  • CATHERINE FINN for ‘The Celt’
  • NAT LUURTSEMA for ‘Howling Pack of Undesirables’
  • DIANA MCCAULAY for ‘Picking Crabs in Negril’
  • STEPHEN WALSH for ‘The Leash’

New short story collection: Nudibranch by Irenosen Okojie

Nudibranch, a new collection of short stories by the Nigerian-British writer, Irenosen Okojie, is out now, published by Dialogue Books. Okojie's previous collection Speak Gigantular was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, the Jhalak Prize and the Saboteur Awards and nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award. She recently had the pleasure of interviewing the legendary author Margaret Atwood in Birmingham during her Testaments tour.

Poetry from the Sunday Times Short Story Award co-founder

Cathy Galvin, who co-founded the Sunday Times Short Story Award in 2009, has published a new poetry sequence, Walking The Coventry Ring Road With Lady Godiva (published by Guillemot Press). On Twitter, Neil Gaiman describes Cathy as: “A poet of enormous subtlety and beauty.”

The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award is now open for entries

Needless to say, we want to remind you that published authors have until 6pm on Friday 13 December to submit a story of up to 6,000 words to this year's Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award. You could win £30,000. More information here.

Compiled by Sophie Haydock


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