A record number of writers entered this year’s prestigious Edge Hill Short Story Prize, with interest from a wide range of large mainstream publishers and independent presses.
Now in its seventh year, it is the only UK award that recognises excellence in a published collection of short stories and has attracted established names competing alongside relative newcomers for the £5,000 main prize and £1,000 Readers’ Prize.
Previous years’ winners have been Colm Tóibín, Claire Keegan, Chris Beckett, Jeremy Dyson, Graham Mort and Sarah Hall (pictured) who won both the main prize and the Readers’ Prize in 2012, for The Beautiful Indifference. She will join the panel of judges for the 2013 awards, which will be presented in London in July. Speaking in 2012 on winning, Sarah said, “I really love writing short stories; it’s my ideal form because it can be unsettling, allows you to go into dark corners and allows you to challenge the ordinary, which is what I enjoy. It’s taken me a while to have the confidence to write this way though because I never felt I was very good at structure or shape. But winning this award shows I can do it.”
Among the finalists for the 2013 £5,000 prize are Irish writers Kevin Barry, last year’s Sunday Times Short Story Prize winner and Emma Donoghue, who was Booker Prize shortlisted for Room. British author Jon McGregor, who was winner of the 2012 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for Even The Dogs, is also shortlisted.
To reflect the strong showing of talented writers, this year’s shortlist has been extended to six names and also includes Adam Marek, winner of the 2011 Arts Foundation Short Story Fellowship, and Lucy Wood with her debut collection Diving Belles.
The final list of nominated authors and short story collections competing for the prize are:
- Kevin Barry – Dark Lies The Island (Jonathan Cape)
- Emma Donoghue – Astray (Pan Macmillan)
- Adam Marek – The Stone Thrower (Comma Press)
- Jon McGregor – This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You (Bloomsbury)
- Jane Rogers – Hitting Trees With Sticks (Comma Press)
- Lucy Wood – Diving Belles (Bloomsbury)