Tuesday 25 June 2024
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Voting opens for the 2015 Costa Short Story Award

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Voting has opened today for the 2015 Costa Short Story Award, an Award launched in 2012 for a single short story, run in association with the Costa Book Awards but judged independently of the main five-category system. The general public is now invited to vote for its favourite from the shortlist of six stories which can be downloaded either to read or listen to from the Costa Book Awards website.

Over 1000 entries were received to the competition which is now in its fourth year. Open to both published and unpublished writers, the Award is for a single, previously unpublished short story of up to 4,000 words, written in English by an author aged 18 years or over.

All entries were judged anonymously (ie without the identity of the author being available to the judges) by a panel comprising author Raffaella Barker; Richard Beard, Director of the National Academy of Writing; Fanny Blake, novelist, journalist and Books Editor of Woman & Home magazine; Sarah Franklin, founder of Short Stories Aloud and Senior Lecturer in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University and Simon Trewin, agent at William Morris Endeavor.

The judges have selected the following six stories which are now available to read and listen to at www.costabookawards.com. They are:

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

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


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

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

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.

Watching the Storms Roll In: We watch the storm coming in, you and I; the bubbling black clouds and the faint growl of thunder.

The identities of the authors will be revealed after public voting closes on 13th January and the winning author and two runners-up will be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on Tuesday 26th January 2016, when the winner will receive a cheque for £3,500 and the authors in second and third place will receive £1,000 and £500 respectively.

“This year’s competition has produced another brilliant selection of stories,” commented Jim Slater, Managing Director, Costa UK and Ireland.We hope people will enjoy reading – and listening to them – on our website and most importantly, voting for their favourite. The 2015 winner is in the public’s hands!”

Previous winners of the Award include writer and poet, Angela Readman, from Newcastle (2013) whose debut short story collection, Don’t Try This At Home, was published in May 2015 by & Other Stories; and former prison manager and now full-time writer, Avril Joy, from Witton-le-Wear in Bishop Auckland (2012).

Avril Joy’s winning 2012 Costa Short Story Award entry, Millie and Bird, was chosen to appear in The Story, Love, Loss and the Lives of Women, 100 short stories selected by novelist Victoria Hislop and published by Head of Zeus in 2013. She has also since published an e-book, From Writing with Love.

The 2014 winner, writer and PhD student Zoe Gilbert from Sydenham Hill, South-East London, received a story commission from Comma Press and been invited to contribute a story to Birkbeck’s Mechanics’ Institute Review since winning the competition. She is currently completing her first collection of short stories as well as a PhD in Creative Writing.

The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize that is open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and also, uniquely, recognises the most enjoyable books across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – published in the last year.

Originally established by Whitbread PLC in 1971, Costa announced its takeover of the sponsorship of the UK’s prestigious and popular book prize in 2006.

For more information on this year’s Costa Book Awards, go to www.costabookawards.com.


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