Short Story Prize

Submissions for the 2022 Short Story Prize are now closed.

The Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize was created in 2019 as a celebration of the short story form and the resilience of independent booksellers. Funded by Brick Lane Bookshop, the competition is open to all UK residents and seeks to discover, publish and promote new, exciting and diverse voices in fiction. The prize is run by ex- Brick Lane Bookseller Kate Ellis.

Each year we invite a writer, a publisher and a literary agent to judge the competition. From a longlist of twelve, they select a shortlist of six and three prize winners. First prize is £1000.

The twelve longlisted stories are published in our anthology which is available to buy from this website, Brick Lane Bookshop and many other good bookshops.

Previous longlistees have gone on to win and/or be shortlisted in other short story competitions (Isha Karki, K. Lockwood Jefford, Judith Wilson, Jack Houston, Leeor Ohayon), and be published in their own right (Huma Qureshi, Gemma Reeves, Melody Razak, Rosanna Hildyard, Alice Haworth-Booth).

Praise for our Anthologies:

‘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

‘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



‘An amazingly diverse list. All the stories have their own unique energy, originality and power.’ Zoe Gilbert

‘Eclectic, accomplished, bursting with life – the Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize is an act of literature in discovery. It pushes and pulls the reader in all sorts of directions, yet remains centred around one consistent premise: the joy of the written word.’ Kit Caless

‘Arrives and lands with thrilling confidence, quickly establishing an atmosphere that is subtle but indelible.’ Emma Paterson on the 2019 winner

‘One of the best multi-author short-story collections that I have read in recent years. The 2019 Longlist achieved an impressive feat, demonstrating the variety and power of the form.’ Jarred McGinnis


The BLB Podcast

The BLB Podcast is a new project from Brick Lane Bookshop where we interrogate the short story form. We talk about why we love short stories, the writing process and how to get published.

Listen here, or on your preferred podcast app:
AppleSpotifyAnchorPocketcasts


MIR PODCAST: Listen to 2020 1st Prize winner Alice Haworth-Booth chat to our bookseller/SSP director Kate Ellis and MIR’s Peter J Coles about her winning story ‘The Closed Door’, writing, climate change and books.


PODCAST: Listen to 2019 1st Prize winner James Mitchell chat to our bookseller/SSP director Kate Ellis and MIR’s Peter J Coles about his winning story ‘A Body is An Empty Vessel’, writing, ASMR, and books.



Here are some of our recent favourite short story collections: