Two Pulitzer Prize-winners and a Man Booker-shortlisted author are among the 16 people longlisted for the fifth Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award.
The list, which also includes three 2013 Granta Best of Young British Novelists, is being called the “most wide-ranging” yet.
Pulitzer Prize winners Elizabeth Strout and Adam Johnson will compete against Man Booker-shortlisted M J Hyland and 2013 Granta Best of Young British Novelists Tahmima Anam, Jenni Fagan and Taiye Selasi.
Debut novelists Alissa Nutting and Marjorie Celona are also in the longlist, which consists of eight British writers and 10 women, although no Brits and no females have won the £30,000 prize – the largest in the world for an individual short story – in the prize’s history.
Sunday Times literary editor Andrew Holgate, who is on the judging panel for the award, said: “Particularly gratifying to see this year is the sheer variety of subjects tackled by the stories and how wide-ranging they are, the increasingly strong international flavour of the award – with significant American writers very keen to enter – and the huge range of experience on display.
“So, alongside veteran American novelist Daniel Woodrell, we also have on the longlist 26-year-old British writer Anna Metcalfe, a graduate of the University of East Anglia writing programme who has yet to publish her first book.”
The judging panel also includes the Booker shortlisted novelist and short story writer Sarah Hall; Sunday Times chief literary critic John Carey; Turkish novelist, columnist and speaker Elif Shafak; novelist and comic David Baddiel; and Lord Matthew Evans, chairman of EFG private bank, who is the non-voting chair of judges.
The shortlist will be announced in The Sunday Times on 2nd March, with a specially produced e-book featuring the shortlisted stories available on the same day. People will be able to vote online at The Sunday Times website for their favourite story.
Events at Foyles Charing Cross Road on Wednesday 2nd April and Thursday 3rd April will see readings of the shortlisted stories by actors.
The winner will be announced at a gala dinner at Stationer’s Hall in London on Friday 4th April.
The award accepts entries of 6,000 words or under published in English from fiction authors from anywhere in the world who have been published in the UK or Ireland, and is managed by Booktrust.
The 2013 winner was Junot Diaz for his story Miss Lora.
The 16 longlisted writers and the titles of their short stories are:
Tahmima Anam – Anwar Gets Everything
Marjorie Celona – Othello
Clare Clark – Ward Three
Carys Davies – On Commercial Hill
Jenni Fagan – When Words Change the Molecular Composition of Water
M J Hyland – Somebody Else’s Bed
Adam Johnson – Nirvana
Jonathan Lee – Philip's 9 Best Christmas Presents
Anna Metcalfe – Number Three
Alissa Nutting – The Expectation of Anywhere
David Park – Learning to Swim
Taiye Selasi – Driver
Elizabeth Strout – Snow Blind
Jonathan Tel – The Shoe King of Shanghai
Kevin Wilson – Sanders for a Night
Daniel Woodrell – Johanna Stull