The Sunday Times short story award is open to stories under 6,000 words written by fiction writers who have been published in the UK or Ireland. The winner of the prize receives £30,000, the other shortlisted writers each receive £1,000. In the six years the award has been running, it has never been won by a British writer, or a woman.
Yiyun Li, a previous nominee – “A Sheltered Woman” follows a Chinese-American nanny. Her latest novel is Kinder than Solitude
American author Elizabeth McCracken – “Hungry”(this is in Thunderstruck)
Canadian writer Madeleine Thien – “The Wedding Cake”, which sees four friends who grew up in war-torn Lebanon reuniting after decades apart.
British newcomer Rebecca F John – “The Glove Maker’s Numbers“, about a woman grieving over her brother.
New Zealander Paula Morris – “False River”
American writer Scott O’Connor -“Interstellar Space”.
Previous winners include Pultizer Prize-winners Adam Johnson and Junot Diaz.
19 writers have been long listed for the 2015 £30,000 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, managed by the Book Trust. You can read the longlisted stories on the Sunday Times website if you have a subscription to the Times.
The list includes: Man Booker Prize long listed Joseph O’Neill (for “The Referees”) and Mark Haddon (for “The Pier Falls.”) Guardian First Book Award winners Yiyun Li and Colin Barrett for “A Sheltered Woman” and “The Ways” respectively; Louise Doughty, author of Apple Tree Yard, for “Fat White Cop with Ginger Eyebrows” and Caine Prize winner Nigerian Rotimi Babatunde “The Collected Tricks of Houdini”. There are two new British writers – University of East Anglia student, Julianne Pachico for “Lucky”, and Welsh writer Rebecca F John for “Clown’s Shoes”.
In all, writers from four continents have made the list.
Judge Aminatta Forna, novelist and critic, said: “It’s been a hugely enjoyable experience so far. There is a pleasing breadth of subject matter from the adventures of a Nigerian political ingenue to the child who imagines she can talk to spiders. What’s more, and deeply important to me as a judge, these imaginative and often ambitious stories are crafted out of the most gorgeous prose.”
The shortlist will be announced in the Sunday Times on 1st March, the winner on Friday 24th April.
- “The Indian Uprising” by Ann Beattie
- “The Collected Tricks of Houdini” by Rotimi Babatunde
- “The Ways” by Colin Barrett
- “Fat White Cop with Ginger Eyebrows” by Louise Doughty
- “Qualities of the Modern Farmer” by Emily Franklin
- “The Pier Falls” by Mark Haddon
- “The Glove Maker’s Numbers” by Rebecca F. John
- “A Sheltered Woman” by Yiyun Li
- “Hungry” by Elizabeth McCracken
- “False River” by Paula Morris
- “Interstellar Space” by Scott O’Connor
- “Jules Verne Seeks Dreamers for Long-Distance Travel in Time” by Mary O’Donoghue
- “The Referees” by Joseph O’Neill
- “Lucky” by Julianne Pachico
- “After the War, Before the War” by David Peace
- “Holiday” by Mona Simpson
- “Still Water, BC” by Erin Soros
- “The Spiders of Stockholm” by E J Swift
- “The Wedding Cake” by Madeleine Thien