Independent publisher Galley Beggar Press is launching a short story competition this weekend.
The Norwich-based publisher, which originally published Eimear McBride’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction winner A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, said the competition built on the success of its monthly Galley Beggar Singles Club, which releases a new short story every month for readers.
The Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize will run annually, and is open to published and unpublished writers.
The winner will be able to choose their prize – either £500 cash or a year of editorial support from the directors of Galley Beggar Press, Eloise Millar and Sam Jordison.
Millar told The Bookseller: “The Singles Club has been a great thing in terms of having different writers come on board and get a bit of a platform. We get to look at some new writing and the prize seems a natural extension of that.
“There are short story prizes out there but certainly for new writers it’s always good to win an award in terms of submitting [work] to agencies.”
Millar and Jordison will be joined on the judging panel for the prize by authors Paul Ewen and Ben Myers. The prize will be judged anonymously.
Myers said: “Short stories are at the very heart of civilisation; they have been shared for thousands of years. Yet they remain perhaps the hardest writing discipline to perfect. Novels can be freewheeling and poems can provide snapshots or capture fleeting moments, but stories are something else entirely. As one of the judges I won’t be looking for condensed novels but instead hope to be surprised or immersed in a world, even if only for a short time.”
Submissions are open from this Sunday 16th August and close on 15th November. A longlist of eight to 10 stories will be announced on 1st January 2016, and a shortlist on 21st January 2016.
The winner will be announced on 14th February 2016.
All the longlisted and shortlisted authors, as well as the winner, will have their work published as part of the Galley Beggar Singles Club, and on 10th March 2016, at Waterstones Piccadilly in London, will be invited to attend a celebratory event and read from their work.
There is a submission fee of £10 for each short story, and stories must not be longer than 6,000 words.
Galley Beggar Press launched a short story list this year.