Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award longlist revealed

Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award longlist revealed

American authors dominate the 2021 longlist for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award, the world’s richest short story prize with £30,000 for the winner.

Eight American writers have been nominated for the 15-strong shortlist. Nine of the nominees are women, with established authors such as Louise Erdrich and Elizabeth McCracken sitting alongside relatively new names such as Laura Demers.

British writers are represented by two new names, Jonathan Gibbs and Rachael Fulton, as well as non-fiction author Adam Nicolson, who is longlisted for his first work of fiction.

The winner will receive £30,000, and the five other shortlisted writers will each receive £1,000. The shortlist will be announced in the Sunday Times on 6th June. The winner will be announced on 8th July. As sponsor of the 2021 award, Audible, will produce an anthology of the shortlisted stories.

This year's judging panel features writers Yiyun Li, David Mitchell, Curtis Sittenfeld, Romesh Gunesekera and Sunday Times literary editor Andrew Holgate.

Holgate said: "We always judge blind in this award and have no idea about author identity or nationality when we are reading. So for American writers to feature so strongly this year, as they have done throughout the competition's 12-year history, says something significant about the quality of short story writing in the US. The prize, because of that blind reading, also has a proud history of discovering new talent — including Sally Rooney and Louise Kennedy — and I'm particularly excited by the new voices sitting on this list alongside some very well-established names."

The award accepts entries of 6,000 words or under in English from fiction authors from anywhere in the world who have been published in the UK or Ireland.

The longlist in full:

“The July War” by Rabih Alameddine

“Comfort” by Jamel Brinkley

“Flashlight” by Susan Choi

“Stuffed Peppers” by Susannah Dickey

“Sleeping Beauty by Laura Demers

“Oil of Emu” by Louise Erdrich

“Call” by Rachael Fulton

“A Prolonged Kiss” by Jonathan Gibbs

“A Challenge You Have” Overcome by Allegra Goodman

“Kirpal” by Rachel Heng

“A Case Study” by Daniel Mason

“The Irish Wedding” by Elizabeth McCracken

“Further West” by Gráinne Murphy

“The Fearful Summer” by Adam Nicolson

“This is Not How Good People Die” by Mark Jude Poirier