Public voting has opened for the 2015 Costa Short Story Award.
Launched in 2012, the award is for a single, previously unpublished short story, up to 4,000 words in length. It is run in association with the Costa Book Awards but judged independently of the main five-category system.
Open to the scrutiny of the general public via the Costa Book Awards website, the six-strong shortlist includes stories about a nun and a man losing an arm in a logging accident, as well as the story of William Burroughs’ wife who was shot by her husband in Mexico City in the 50s. The winner of the award will receive a cheque for £3,500 while authors in second and third place will receive £1,000 and £500 respectively.
The shortlist comprises of “Fallen”, “Gerardo Dreams of Chillies”, “Rogey”, “The Night Office”, “To William Burroughs from his Wife” and “Watching the Storms Roll In”.
Whittled down to six from over 1,000 entries submitted, each story was judged anonymously by the expert panel without any knowledge of the authors' identities. These same conditions have been extended to the public when they vote on the short stories in the coming weeks. The identities of the authors will be revealed when voting closes on 13th January.
The panel of judges were 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.
Jim Slater, managing director of Costa UK and Ireland, said: “This year’s competition has produced another brilliant selection of stories. 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!”
The winning author and two runners-up will be announced at the Costa Book Awards ceremony on Tuesday 26th January 2016.