It is the only UK award that recognises excellence in a published collection of short stories and has some pretty enticing prizes for the winning short story god or goddess!
I noticed a big number of short story writers from Ireland and am crossing every finger for them. We
The judges have to shortlist 5 names only! That is tough. It will be revealed in May and the winners announced at a plush ceremony on 4th July in London. There is a main prize of £5,000 and a Readers’ Choice of £1,000 chosen from the 5 shortlisted. That is when I will be pushing everyone to vote for the best and Irish, hopefully!
On the long-list from Ireland are:
- Kevin Barry with his brilliant Dark Lies The Island. You know how I feel about Kevin’s unique work. Noone like him though they may try.
- Eileen Casey with her collection Snow Shoes. This is one I want to read but haven’t yet.
- Nuala Ni Chonchur with her emotive collection Mother America. Nuala is obviously a highly talented writer, that’s a given but she is also extremely generous with her time promoting literature and the short story form that I am sending all my good vibes to her!
- Mary Costello with her breathtaking and breathe deeply collection The China Factory. This is her first collection so it would be great for her.
- Ellis Ni Dhuibhne and her diverse collection The Shelter Of Neighbours. I loved, loved, loved every single piece in this. She knows how to do it and has been doing for years now, well deserved and my prediction.
- Emma Donoghue with her short story collection Astray. Again, beautiful prose but the content of history does not connect with my reading tastes. Maybe, the judges will have a historical interest?
- Mike McCormack – Forensic Songs. I have not read anything by Mike but my aim this year. Please, send me more time.
- Joseph O’Connor – Where Have You Been. This is my next collection to read. It is sitting there waiting for me on the window. It looks lonely.
We really have some strong contenders there. Anyone of them is truly deserved as inspiring me and their readers to love the short story form. Best of luck to all of you in great company and you have given me another To Read list!