Cusk and Moshfegh to judge Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize

Cusk and Moshfegh to judge Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize

The Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize will be judged by Claire-Louise Bennett, Rachel Cusk, Niven Govinden and Ottessa Moshfegh in 2020, running in its third year.

The award - which was launched from the Desperate Literature bookshop in Madrid in 2017 - seeks to reward innovative and experimental fiction writing, while attempting to provide an international network to aid the development of all shortlisted authors. The prize is awarded to a piece of fiction under 2,000 words. A high profile list of judges has been announced to oversee the prize featuring Pond author Claire-Louise Bennett, Rachel Cusk, of the Outline trilogy (Faber), novelist Niven Govinden and the Man Booker-shortlisted author Ottessa Moshfegh.

The overall winner of this year’s prize will receive €1,000 (£857), a stay in the Civitella Ranieri artist’s residency in Umbria, Italy, and a consultation with a London-based literary agent. The winner, along with the rest of the shortlist, will also be published in a limited edition riso-print book published by Desperate Literature, have their work put forward to one of seven partner journals, and invited to read at bookshop events in Madrid (Desperate Literature), London (Burley Fisher Books, The Second Shelf) and Edinburgh (Typewronger Books)..

The two runners-up will receive €500. The Casa Ana literary retreat in Andalucia, Spain, will pick another shortlisted author to offer a one-week residency place to. The prize is also in partnership with the Rizoma Film Festival in Madrid and writer development agency Spread the Word in London.

This year’s partner journals are Gorse Journal in Donegal, Helter Skelter in India and the following UK publications: Hotel, Open Pen,The London Magazine, the Second Shelf and 3:AM Magazine. Last year’s winners were Francesca Reece, Shola Von Reinhold, and Tom Benn.