Smith's 'subtle and sly' tale wins Guardian BAME prize

Smith's 'subtle and sly' tale wins Guardian BAME prize

Lisa Smith has won the Guardian and Fourth Estate BAME Short Story Prize for her story "Auld Lang Syne", a "subtle and sly" look at ageing and masculinity.

Smith, who is studying creative writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, won the £1,000 prize for her story which follows septuagenarian Rufus Samuels during an evening in jail after a fight with his much younger girlfriend and is the “perfect example of what the short story can do”, according to the judges.

Sian Cain, judge and Guardian books website editor, said of "Auld Lang Syne": “It is a very confident story, in spite of its very difficult subject matter. It made all of the judges very excited to see what Lisa will write for her undoubtedly marvellous first book. [It's a] perfect example of what the short story can do when the form is at its best: containing as much of an emotional blow as that of a 800-page novel, regardless of its brevity.”

Joining Cain on the judging panel was Anna Kelly, commissioning editor at Fourth Estate; author Niven Govinden; Dialogue Books publisher Sharmaine Lovegrove; and Emma Paterson, literary agent at Rogers, Coleridge & White. 

The prize was open to black, Asian, minority ethnic writers living in the UK and Ireland aged 18 and above. The story has been published on the Guardian website.