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The Sunday Times and Audible renew their successful union after a record-breaking year for the world’s richest short story prize

Now accepting entries from publishers, agents and authors via

the leading provider of audio storytelling, will once again sponsor The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award in 2021, after last year’s prize attracted a record number of eligible entries from 48 countries and six continents.

Entries are now open to the world’s richest and most prestigious prize for an English-language single short story. In its 11-year history, the Award has attracted some of the finest literary talent from around the world, including Hilary Mantel, Elizabeth Strout and Sally Rooney.

Andrew Holgate, literary editor of The Sunday Times comments: ‘Last year was a memorable one for The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award with a record 983 eligible entries and more countries represented than ever before. We’re thrilled with our growing relationship with our partner and sponsor Audible, and excited by our new digital initiatives including Writers’ Picks, in which some of the world’s great authors take to video to tell us about their favourite short stories. Last year’s winner Niamh Campbell proved once again how good the blind-judged award is at discovering new talent, and we’re really looking forward to expanding even further this year.’

The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award is worth £30,000 to the winner, with the shortlisted authors receiving £1,000 each. The shortlisted stories are also showcased in an exclusive audiobook anthology produced by Audible.

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, Bret Anthony Johnston and Courtney Zoffness from America, and Kevin Barry and Danielle McLaughlin from Ireland. Shortlisted authors include Colum McCann, Petina Gappah, Hilary Mantel, Emma Donoghue, Elizabeth Strout, Ali Smith, David Vann, Gerard Woodward, Curtis Sittenfeld and Miranda July. The 2020 winner was Irish writer Niamh Campbell.

As well as its notable list of winners and shortlistees, one of the features of the prize has been its distinguished list of judges, who have included Sebastian Faulks, Tessa Hadley, Joanna Trollope, Richard Eyre, Lionel Shriver, AS Byatt, Nick Hornby, Hanif Kureishi, Mark Haddon, Aminatta Forna, David Baddiel, Sarah Hall, Rose Tremain, Sir Melvyn Bragg, Kit de Waal, Carys Davies 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 Sally Rooney, Roshi Fernando, Rebecca F John, Courtney Zoffness, Danielle McLaughlin and last year’s winner Niamh Campbell.

The judges this year will be looking for an outstanding English-language story of 6,000 words or under from a fiction author from anywhere in the world who has been published in the UK or Ireland. The deadline for entries is 6pm on Friday 4 December 2020. The winner will be announced on 8 July 2021.

‘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

‘The most prestigious prize for a single short story’ Lit Hub

‘In recent years The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award has very successfully shone a light on a crucial and venerable literary form that too often struggles for attention. Its judges have consistently rewarded serious artistic ambition at a time when commercial forces grow ever more dominant in our reading culture, and the Award has brought to our notice a raft of important writers – some new, some with many years’ experience – whom I for one may never otherwise have discovered. There is currently no other prize or institution in the UK that fulfils this role.’ Kazuo Ishiguro

For any questions on the Terms and Conditions of Entry or other aspects of eligibility please email the administrators:

Keep up-to-date with the Award via Twitter and Facebook

The latest news from Audible can be found at: Facebook and Twitter and Instagram

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. 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

2020 Niamh Campbell

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

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 Awards The 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.

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.

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