Salley Vickers and Chioma Okereke are among the authors shortlisted for the Costa Short Story Award.
Vickers' Mown Grass is shortlisted alongside the Nigerian author Chioma Okereke's Trompette de la Mort and Millie and Bird by Avril Joy. Also shortlisted are Sheila Llewellyn's Dislocation, Angela Readman's Don’t Try This at Home and Guy le Jeune's Small Town Removal Guy.
A panel of judges selected the authors' six stories from 1,800-plus entries received. They were downloaded anonymously onto the Costa website to allow the public to vote for their favourite, with their authors' identities only revealed today (24th).
The voting is now closed, with the most popular title to be awarded the £3,500 prize at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on 29th January while two runners-up will each receive £750.
Latest odds from the bookmakers William Hill predict Hilary Mantel to be in with a 5-4 chance of winning the Costa Book of the Year on 29th January for her Booker-winning novel Bring Up The Bodies. Francesca Segal’s The Innocent is in second place with a 3/1 chance, Mary and Bryan Talbot’s Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes 4/1 and Kathleen Jamie The Overhaul 5/1 follow. Sally Gardner is in fifth at 7-1 for her Maggot Moon.