As they say in Italian, I’m touching the sky/heaven with one finger. The news is out today… I am one of the five regional winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2021. I’m thrilled and honoured and still a little stunned to have my story, ‘Turnstones’, represent Canada and Europe.
The prize attracted 6423 entries this year, so it means a lot that the judges have chosen my story. I’m still walking on air after reading judge Keith Jarrett’s generous comments.
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize stories has long been a highlight of the short-story year for me. Every year they pick short story gems such as Ingrid Persaud’s ‘The Sweet Sop’; every year, they send an anthology of wonderful, international short stories out into the world.
The prize was launched in 2012 and seeks out writers and stories from across the five continents. This award celebrates the short story and supports writers often from countries ‘with little or no publishing infrastructure and from places that are marked by geographical, geopolitical or economic isolation’.
The regional winners’ stories will be published in Granta, in the weeks leading up to the final announcement of the overall winner in June. I’ve dreamed of appearing in Granta’s pages since I was knee-high as a writer, so I am overjoyed at this!
I’m so happy to find a home again in New Writing Scotland. My short story, ‘Likewise’, has been published in The Last Good Year: New Writing Scotland 38. The contents page is a roll call of brilliant writers: Dean Atta, Olga Wojtas and Krishan Coupland, and dear Glasgow MLitt classmates Kathrine Sowerby, Sarah Ward and Alan Gillespie. And isn’t that front cover a stunner?
My story ‘Likewise’ is set in Emergency or neutral 1940s Ireland, a time not much explored in fiction, but a time that draws me, as questions of identity and conscience and nationalism prove so urgent once again–or reveal they never went away. And I love writing from places, like Dublin, that hear the sea…
I’m thrilled to be on the shortlist for this year’s Bristol Short Story Prize. My short story, ‘Clipped’, was one of twenty chosen out of 2,705 entries — callooh and callay!
The Bristol is a prize I’ve long followed and admired. Previous winners and shortlisted writers make quite a roll call: Danielle McLaughlin, Benjamin Myers, Deepa Anappara, Dima Alzayat, Cherise Saywell and Chloe Wilson, to name a few.
Each year, The Bristol Prize also publishes an anthology of the winning and shortlisted stories; and each year, these are treats. One of my favourite publications of the year. So, I’m delighted that my story will appear in the pages of the 2020 anthology.
The anthology will launch at on online event on October 10th, when the winner and runners-up will also be announced. So although there’s sadly no award ceremony this year in Bristol, lots more folk can now take part in the online celebrations.
You can read more about the shortlisted writers here, and pre-order the anthology here.
I’m so pleased to be a little part of Fairlight, a fantastic press. They published Sophie Van Llewyn’s luminous novella-in-flash, Bottled Goods–which I loved!–the wonderful Lynda Clark’s debut novel Beyond Kidding, and many, many more gems.
I also enjoyed their interview questions. On a different day, though, a different answer to that teaser of which superpower…
The Tom Gallon Award celebrates single short stories and runs alongside other prizes such as the Betty Trask Prize for novels and the Eric Gregory Award for poetry. This year’s judges are the brilliant Michèle Roberts and Stuart Evers.
My story, ‘High Water’, is keeping company with some great talent in this year’s shortlist: Lynda Clark, Ani Kayode Somtochukwu, Diana Powell, Wendy Riley and Catriona Ward. Previous winners and runners-up include two of my most loved short-story writers: Carys Davies and Lucy Wood.
Sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no awards ceremony in London this year, but there will be an online bash on the 18th June. Looking forward to it. In the meantime, I’m just hanging out with that sunshine…