2021 Short Story Prize

1st Prize: ‘Earth-Grown Bodies’ by Aoife Inman

2nd Prize: ‘WATCH AND SUBSCRIBE [. . .] by Danielle Vrublevskis

3rd Prize: ‘Reputation Management’ by Katherine Gutierrez

Shortlisted stories:

‘Details’ by Leeor Ohayon

‘Donal’ by JP Pangilinan-O’Brien

‘Sugar’ by Nayela Wickramasuriya

Longlisted stories:

‘Deadlifting’ by Nicholas Kemp

‘Overworld’ by Kate Horsley

‘Our Name Means Unique’ by Madeleine Dunnigan

‘Stolen’ by Ramya Jegatheesan

‘Tapestry’ by Aisha Phoenix

‘The Spot’ by Aden Jamal

‘The longlist gave such diverse reading pleasures, yet every story, without exception, allowed me to enter worlds which felt carefully realised and full of possibility. As a short story writer and reader, I don’t need much convincing of the special power of the form, but these entries confirmed it once more – and most emphatically!’ Wendy Erskine

‘A joy to discover these fresh voices in fiction. This collection of stories is exciting in range and originality, both in subject and form.’ Elise Dillsworth

‘I was struck by the breadth, ambition and flair of the stories in the prize. This anthology presents a thrilling sample of distinctive new talent at work today and highlights some exciting emerging writers for us all to follow.’ Kishani Widyaratna

Photos from the 2021 Book Launch Event (the first real-life event at Brick Lane Bookshop in two years!), prize – judge Elise Dillsworth announced the winners:

Longlisted Writers:

Long-Longlist 2021
A Breath is a Motion is the Air Rising is Water Flowing – Adam Welch
A Man in Half – Matthew Hurt
A Summer in Flames – Karen Waldron
Alice and the Whale – Eleanore Taylor
Battle Cry – Marc Joan
Camellias – Vivian Hassan-Lambert
Chip Shop Pathos – Alberta Gutteridge
Come the Fox – Sean Hannaway
Deadlifting – Nicholas Kemp
Details – Leeor Ohayon
Donal – JP Pangilinan-O’Brien
Earth-Grown Bodies – Aoife Inman
Export Quality – Rashi Rohatgi
Fridge on the Lawn – Sophie Hampton
Girl with Goldfish – Coggin Galbreath
I Saw A Bird – Adam Howard
Like Normal People – Maureen Cullen
Lima Oscar Victor Echo – Dave Wakeley
Ma’s Favourite – Linda Wang
Michael – James Young
More Than The Ear Can Hold – Katy Castle
Our Name Means Unique – Madeleine Dunnigan
Out of Body: Six Questions to Ask Google – Frances Salter
Overworld – Kate Horsley
Oxymorons – Emily Walker
Polite Young Men – Devi Khanna
Reputation Management – Katherine Gutierrez
Stolen – Ramya Jegatheesan
Sugar – Nayela Wickramasuriya
Sweet and Wet – Rachel wild
Tapestry – Aisha Phoenix
Target Practice – Alun Evans
The Arrival Fallacy – Hannah Sutherland
The Goat – Virginia Hartley
The Hesitant – David Micklem
The Octopus – Eleanor Shearer
The Patron Saint of Visas – Arathi Menon
The Retreat – Abigail Chandler
The Spot – Aden Jamal
The Valley – Ben’J Jordon
There’s No Harm in Bending the Truth a Little – Yvonne Singh
Vintage Heaven – Mary Byrne
WATCH AND SUBSCRIBE!! Artemisia eats entire Chicken Shop Menu – Mukbang LIVE! – Danielle Vrublevskis
Watching Birds – Alice Graham
We Care – Susan Axbey
What would Connie do? – JM Briscoe

2021 Prize Judges:

Elise Dillsworth

Elise Dillsworth set up her agency in 2012, and became an associate of DHA in 2020. She represents literary and commercial fiction and non-fiction, with a keen aim to reflect writing that is international. Previously she was commissioning editor at Virago Press, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group. She co-founded the Diversity in Publishing Network in 2005, which later became part of Equip. She has been a judge for numerous prizes including the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, the Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and the Northern Writers’ Awards.

Kishani Widyaratna

Kishani Widyaratna is an editorial director at 4th Estate Books where she publishes literary fiction and non-fiction. She is passionate about nurturing bold new writing talent and is a longstanding contributing editor for The White Review. She has worked with writers including Raven Leilani, Sarah Moss, Mieko Kawakami and Julia Armfield.

Wendy Erskine

Wendy Erskine is a secondary school teacher in Belfast. Her short story collection, Sweet Home, was published by Stinging Fly and Picador. It won the Butler Literary Award, and was shortlisted for The Republic of Consciousness Prize and the Edge Hill Prize, and longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize.  Her work has been broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and 4, and RTÉ, and has been anthologised by Faber & Faber, No Alibis and Repeater, among others. She hosts a show on Soho Radio for Rough Trade Books and she also writes on music, clothes and other arts.