‘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
SIX AUTHORS IN THE RUNNING FOR THE £30,000 SUNDAY TIMES AUDIBLE SHORT STORY AWARD 2019
IRISH WRITERS DOMINATE AN ELECTRIFYING 2019 SHORTLIST
“This year Irish authors have stolen the short-story crown from the US, which dominated the prize in 2018. The Irish influence on the Award - which was the first prize to recognise Sally Rooney - and the world of short fiction continues to grow as we discover new voices and also welcome back former winner Kevin Barry”
Andrew Holgate, Judge
A truly modern set of inventive and memorable stories feature on the 2019 Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award shortlist, announced today. This year’s shortlist is dominated by Irish writers – relative newcomers Danielle McLaughlin, whose short fiction has won the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition, and Louise Kennedy. They are shortlisted alongside award-winning author and 2012 winner of the prize, Kevin Barry. The youngest shortlistee is Australian author Paul Dalla Rosa, 27, from Melbourne (only Sally Rooney has been younger, 26 when shortlisted in 2017). British writer Joe Dunthorne, author of novel Submarine, and Emma Cline, author of The Girls and recipient of the 2014 Plimpton Prize, complete the line-up.
Celebrating its tenth year, The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award is the world’s richest and most prestigious prize for an English-language single short story, with the winner receiving £30,000 and the five other shortlisted writers £1,000 each. As sponsor of the 2019 Award, Audible, the leading provider of audio storytelling, will produce an audio anthology of the shortlisted stories, which will be available later in the year. This is the first time that the shortlist will be available as a collection in audio format, ensuring that the award will reach millions of new readers.
The stories selected for this year’s shortlist are diverse and moving, touching on grief and loss, love, communication and loneliness as well as being stylistically inventive, and darkly humorous.
The 6 shortlisted stories and writers are:
THE COAST OF LEITRIM – Kevin Barry
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH A GENERAL – Emma Cline
COMME – Paul Dalla Rosa
ALL THE POEMS CONTAINED WITHIN WILL MEAN EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE – Joe Dunthorne
IN SILHOUETTE – Louise Kennedy
A PARTIAL LIST OF THE SAVED – Danielle McLaughlin
About the shortlisted writers and stories:
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 story All The Poems Contained Within Will Mean Everything to Everyone is about the world of writers, providing psychological insight with a humorous touch.
‘This is an immensely beguiling story, full of universal truth.’ – Judge Carys Davies
Irish writer Danielle McLaughlin’s short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Stinging Fly and Irish Times. A Partial List of the Saved explores an impending divorce and the interwoven family relationships it affects.
‘A fascinating portrayal of both cowardice and courage' – Judge Blake Morrison
Our youngest shortlistee Paul Dalla Rosa is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia whose discovery is a product of the blind reading aspect of the Award (other authors discovered by the prize include Sally Rooney, Roshi Fernando and Rebecca F John.) In Comme a man working in a high-end clothing store reflects on his life. Darkly funny, this story focuses on superficiality, self-knowledge and how we live now.
‘Word perfect, with undercurrents of sorrow and angst’ – Judge Kit de Waal
Louise Kennedy grew up in Holywood, Co.Down. Her short stories have been published in journals including The Stinging Fly. In Silhouette is an ambitious story set over four time periods inspired by The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
‘A mystery novel in 6,000 words’ – Judge Sarah Churchwell
A previous winner of the award, and longlisted for the 2019 Booker prize, Irishman Kevin Barry is the author of short story collections Dark Lies the Island and There Are Little Kingdoms; his new novel, Night Boat to Tangier has just been published. The Coast of Leitrim is a love story which explores the relationship between an Irish man and a Polish woman he meets in a café.
‘It’s got perfect pitch … with a raconteur tone’ – Judge Kit de Waal
Emma Cline is an American writer who is best-known for her novel, The Girls. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker. In What Can You Do With a General, a family gathers for Christmas in California while dark undercurrents hint at past violence and abuse.
‘A Cheever-esque, perfect story’ – Judge Carys Davies
Judge Carys Davies said,
“These six outstanding stories moved me to both laughter and tears. Every one of them took me into corners of the human heart I wasn’t expecting to go, and into worlds which never felt anything but completely real and true. There is so much artistry on display here – all the formal control and intricacy which, in the best short stories, forges as much power between the lines as in what’s on the page. I’ve read all of them many times now, and continue to marvel at the delicate alchemy by which their brief, intense dramas build towards endings which feel as inescapable as they are surprising.”
The judging panel for the Award has always been strong - past judges include AS Byatt, Sir Richard Eyre, Nick Hornby, Anne Enright, Will Self, Hanif Kureishi, Sarah Waters, Rose Tremain, Sebastian Faulks and Sir Melvyn Bragg. This year’s is one of the most impressive yet and comprises author, journalist and commentator Sarah Churchwell; short story writer and novelist Carys Davies; acclaimed poet and novelist Blake Morrison, and award-winning novelist and short-story writer Kit de Waal. Andrew Holgate, Literary Editor of The Sunday Times, completes the line-up.
The winner will be announced in London on Thursday 12th September 2019
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Kevin Barry 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 was published in June 2019 and has been longlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize. His awards include the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Goldsmiths Prize, the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award and the Lannan Foundation Literary Award. His stories and essays appear in the The New Yorker, Granta and elsewhere. He also works as a playwright and screenwriter, and he lives in County Sligo, Ireland.
Emma Cline 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.
Paul Dalla Rosa 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.
Joe Dunthorne 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, has been published tby Faber & Faber.
Louise Kennedy 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.
Danielle McLaughlin 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.
Notes to editors:
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. Now in its tenth year and 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.
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
About The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times, founded in 1822, is Britain’s best-selling quality newspaper. It celebrated its 10,000th edition in May 2016 and has won a clutch of awards for its Insight team investigations unit, its foreign reporting and its magazine features and interviews, in particular. At the 2019 Press AwardsThe Sunday Times won Sunday Newspaper of the Year, the political editor Tim Shipman was named both the Political Reporter of the Year and Political Commentator of the Year, and Decca Aitkenhead was selected as Interviewer of the Year.
www.thesundaytimes.co.uk About Audible
Audible is the leading provider of digital spoken word entertainment, offering people a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day with more than 300,000 audio programmes from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters and entertainers. Among the acclaimed performers who have narrated works of literature for Audible are Stephen Fry, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Emma Thompson and Thandie Newton. Audible Studios has won a Grammy Award, for its production of Janis Ian’s memoir Society’s Child, and has also been recognised with the Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year, for Colin Firth’s performance of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair.