2020 Short Story Prize

Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize Longlist 2020

‘Full of verve, emotional enquiry and imagination.’ Harriet Moore

‘An illuminating and vivid range of stories from an exciting array of new voices already so accomplished in their craft.’ Sharmaine Lovegrove

‘I really appreciate the range and ambition on display in these stories. These are writers putting work into voice and craft rather than relying on event alone, and that’s what makes their work persist in the mind.’ Chris Power

1st PrizeThe Closed Door  – Alice Haworth-Booth

2nd PrizeTo Those Born Later – Kieran Toms

3rd PrizeFix – K. Lockwood Jefford

Shortlisted Stories:

Chameleon – Rea Dennhardt
No Phones at the Dinner Table – Jack Houston
Small Differences – Huma Qureshi

Longlisted Stories:

Night Classes – Lucy Sweeney Bryne

Sharing Time – Gemma Reeves

Spiders – Andrea Watts

The Bhootam in the Tree – Rajasree Variyar

The Bread Man – Kevin Dyer

Via del Tramvai  Han Smith

Watch judges Sharmaine LovegroveHarriet Moore and Chris Power announce the winners, and Brick Lane Bookshop owner Denise Jones and Short Story Prize Project Manager Kate Ellis thank everyone who made the prize happen.

Listen to 2020 first prize winner Alice Haworth-Booth chat to competition project manager Kate Ellis on the MIR Podcast. They discuss writing climate change and what it takes to run a writing competition.

Produced and edited by Peter J. Coles

2020 Prize Judges

Sharmaine Lovegrove: 2020 Short Story Prize Judge

Sharmaine Lovegrove spearheads Dialogue Books, home to a variety of stories from illuminating voices often excluded from the mainstream. 

Established first as an English-language bookshop in Berlin in 2008, and reignited as an imprint as part of Little, Brown in July 2017, Dialogue Books has built its foundations upon the idea that through storytelling a dialogue is created to engender a more inclusive, nuanced conversation about experiences in our world that come before, after and next.

Dialogue Books shines a spotlight on stories for, about and by readers from the LGBTQI+, disability, working class and BAME communities. The imprint has a clear focus of distinctive, cross-genre titles that spark a conversation across fiction, non-fiction, commercial and literary publishing.

‘A short story should be to the point and ambitious and leave the reader with the memory of the story but not aching to find out more.’

Harriet Moore: 2020 Short Story Prize Judge

Harriet Moore is a literary agent at David Higham Associates. She represents literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, illustrated non-fiction and poetry. She is looking for writing which has atmosphere, ambition, style and flair with a particular interest in books which are emotionally rigorous. She is drawn to voices which are precise and artful; writing which is both intimate and political; and women thinking hard about other women.

Writers she admires include: Lydia Davies, Joy Williams, Anne Enright, Rachel Cusk, Denise Riley, John Berger, MFK Fisher, Fleur Jaeggy, Jean Rhys, Natalia Ginzburg, Katherine Heiny, Elizabeth Strout, Claudia Rankine, Anne Carson, Jane Bowles, Mary Gaitskill, Laurie Colwin.

“Clarity, energy, unusual and surprising diction; and ‘a moment’ which Flannery O’Connor has described every great story as having, ‘in which the presence of grace can be felt as it waits to be accepted or rejected’.”

Chris Power: 2020 Short Story Prize Judge

Chris Power’s short story collection Mothers was published by Faber in 2018. It was longlisted for the Folio Prize and shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize. His next book, a novel, will be published in 2021. His column, ‘A Brief Survey of the Short Story’, has appeared in the Guardian since 2007. He lives in Hackney.

“A great short story is one that completely shrinks or expands your world to its parameters, maybe for the duration of reading it, maybe for the rest of your life. It can be about anything, and it can do anything, but for it to be great it needs to take hold of you with tis first word and not let go of you until its last.”

2020 Long-longlist

A Dirty Hit – Elliot Sweeney
Afterlife – Ella Braidwood
All About Ruby – Erika banerji
Barbie Number One – Estefania Cortes Harker 
Carmine’s Cleaner – Robert Hood
Chameleon – Reena Dennhardt
Chips With Your Shawarma – Loretta Ramkissoon
Cigarette Butts – Rose McGinty
Days and Nights in the Love Machine – Matt Thomas
Descending – Charlotte Tuxworth-Holden
Diving in Firelight – Mashal Iftikhar
First Love and Other Betrayals – Reshma Ruia
Fix – K. Lockwood Jefford
Fox Fur – Mauren Cullen
Grandpa’s Birthday – Alex Jacobs
Handover Notes – Katherine Gutierrez
I Am Not Dead – A Flett
Kumi’s Cake – James Ellis
Leave to Remain – Atiha Sen Gupta
Many Happy Returns – Rachel Belward
Much Too Little – Rachel Cleverly
Nero’s Playground – Theodora Hawlin
Night Classes – Lucy Sweeney Bryne
No Phones at the Dinner Table – Jack Houston
None of This is Normal – Kate Vine
November 1983 – Farès Kheireddine
Of New Churches and Devils – Foday Mannah
Portrait Of Her – Herries Anderton
Services – Jonathan Griffiths 
Seville is Oranges – Louis Parker
Sharing Time – Gemma Reeves
Sink – David Frankel
Small Differences – Huma Qureshi
Spiders – Andrea Watts
The Bhootham in the Tree – Rajasree Variyar
The Bread Man – Kevin Dyer
The Closed Door – Alice Haworth-Booth
The Fall – Judy Birkbeck
The Plasticine Effect – Kate Watson
The Pleasure of Living – Sophia Hinton-Lever
The Processing – Jane Dugdale
The Puckering – Lucie McKnight Hardy
The Rushing of the Wind – Rachel Robinson
The Treatment – Andrea Watts
The Woods – Ben Addy
To Those Born Later – Kieran Toms
Tonight – the Tube of Ten Thousand Blossoms – Han Smith
V Day – Alicia Mietus
Via del Tramvai – Han Smith
Wild Girls, Tender Hearts – Elizabeth Churchill