Thursday 25 July 2024
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Costa Short Story Award 2015: The Finalists

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LONDON, UK – The Costa Short Story Award was launched in 2012. Although under the umbrella of the Costa Book Awards, it’s judged separately and the winner is voted for by the general public. The following Finalists for the Costa Short Story Award 2015 were announced on Wednesday.


Gerardo Dreams of Chillies

Gerardo smoked as the truck hurtled towards the outskirts of Puebla. He dreamed as he smoked. He dreamed of chillies.

Niall Bourke is 34 and originally from Kilkenny in Ireland. He now lives in London, where he teaches English at St Michael’s College, Bermondsey. He recently completed an MA in creative writing and teaching at Goldsmiths. He writes both poetry and short fiction, and has been published in a number of journals and magazines in both the UK and Ireland including The Galway Review, Prole, Southbank Poetry, Roadside Fiction, Holdfast Magazine and The Irish Literary Times. In 2015 he was longlisted for The Short Story competition and shortlisted for The Over The Edge New Writer Of The Year Award in both the poetry and prose categories. He’s currently working on his first novel.


Watching the Storms Roll In

We watch the storm coming in, you and I; the bubbling black clouds and the faint growl of thunder.

Annalisa Crawford lives in Saltash in Cornwall and is a part-time gym instructor. She is the author of novellas Cat and the Dreamer and Our Beautiful Child which are published by Vagabondage Press, and a short story collection, That Sadie Thing. Her new collection You. I. Us. will be published in June by Vine Leaves Press.



Our lives unfold in stories, their meaning revealed at the last, in their endings. And Rogey’s story? And me?

Danny Murphy gave up teaching and headteaching in 2010 to concentrate on his writing but, after a spell as a volunteer Adviser in the Cambodian Ministry of Education, he got sidetracked into publishing three books on education to help with training teachers and headteachers: Dealing with Dilemmas (2013), Schooling Scotland (2014) and Everyone’s Future (2015). Having got these off his chest and off his desk, he’s now spending more time on his creative writing, with a book of interlinked short stories and a psychological thriller under way. He lives in Stirling and works part-time in Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh.


The Night Office

All days are broken into prayers, and the Night Office is the darkest. One nun looks for light.

Peggy Riley is an author and playwright. Her first novel, Amity & Sorrow, was published by Headline/Tinder Press and was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her short fiction has won prizes at the Bridport Festival and in MsLexia, and has appeared in print for magazines and newspapers including the Wall Street Journal, Sunday Express and Elle. As a playwright, her work has been produced off-West End, on the fringe, and at festivals/on tour throughout the UK. Recently she completed a residency at Yaddo and was a recipient of an Arts Council England Grant for the Arts. She has been a bookseller, a festival producer and writer-in-residence at a young offender prison.



A logging accident takes a man’s arm. The only woman living in camp gathers with the loggers to mark the loss.

Erin Soros has published fiction and non-fiction in international journals and anthologies, and her stories have been aired on the CBC and BBC as recipients of the CBC Literary Award, the Commonwealth Prize for the Short Story, and as a finalist for the BBC Short Story Award. She has twice been longlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award and her story, “Still Water, BC”, was a finalist for the 2013 Costa Short Story Award. She was the Charles Pick Fellow at the University of East Anglia and, most recently, was the Harper-Wood Fellow at St John’s College, Cambridge—a position that funded travel to research Inuvialuit oral history in the Canadian Arctic.


To William Burroughs, from His Wife

Cult writer William Burroughs shot his wife Joan Vollmer in Mexico City in September 1951. This is her story.

Rupert Thomson is the author of ten critically-acclaimed novels, including The Insult, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize and chosen by David Bowie as one of his Top 100 Must-Read books of all time; and Death of a Murderer, which was shortlisted for the 2007 Costa Novel Award. His memoir, This Party’s Got to Stop, won the Writers’ Guild Non-Fiction Book of the Year. His most recent novel, Katherine Carlyle, described by Philip Pullman as “a masterpiece”, was published in November 2015. He lives in London.

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