Niamh Campbell, who published her debut novel just last month, has been awarded the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award for her "original and touching" piece "Love Many".
"Love Many" is set in Campbell’s hometown of Dublin and follows the recollections of a woman who has finally met a man she sees a future with, after dating a host of unsuitable men, and was dubbed a "truly modern love story" by the judging panel.
Judge Andrew Holgate commented: “We were completely seduced as a judging panel by Niamh Campbell's 'Love Many'—immaculately written, haunting, richly imagined and psychologically astute, with phrases that will stay with you. One of the great joys of the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award is its ability, because of the "blind" reading by judges, to discover remarkable new voices. And Campbell clearly demonstrates with this story just how remarkable she is, and what a natural short story writer. After the prize's discovery of Sally Rooney, and after Danielle McLaughlin carried off the award last year, Campbell's win just confirms, if confirmation was needed, the striking rise of female Irish voices on the world literary stage.”
Campell—whose debut novel This Happy was published by W&N in June—was chosen from a shortlist that included fellow Irish author Louise Kennedy, Zambian author Namwali Serpell, Alexia Tolas from the Bahamas, and American authors Shawn Vestal and Daniel O’Malley. Campbell is the third Irish writer to win the award, following in the footsteps of Danielle McLaughlin, who won last year, and Kevin Barry, who won in 2012.
The panel of judges included novelist and screenwriter David Nicholls, novelist and short-story writer Carys Davies, author Diana Evans, short-story writer and novelist Romesh Gunesekera and Andrew Holgate, literary editor of the Sunday Times. This year saw 983 eligible entries, from 48 countries, with all continents represented.
Audible is sponsoring the award for the second year running, and will produce an audio anthology of all the shortlisted entries, which will be available to listen to in the coming months.