Booker Prize-winning Graham Swift and Orange Prize-winning Helen Dunmore are among the 16 writers to be longlisted for the £30,000 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award.
Ali Smith, Toby Litt, Mark Haddon and Adam Foulds are also among the longlisted names, with 12 of the 16 stories coming from UK-based authors.
Among the international authors on the longlist are American Claire Vaye Watkins and Philomena Kearney Byrne, as well as Belinda McKeon from Ireland and Pulitzer Prize-winning Dominican-American writer Junot Diaz.
The shortlist will be announced on 24th February, with the winner to be revealed on 22nd March. The winner will receive £30,000 and the five shortlisted will receive £1,000.
Judge and novelist Andrew O'Hagan said: "The short story used to be the orphan of prose fiction – a bit unloved, a bit uncelebrated. But this year's entries for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award demonstrate just how the form has grown up to be something spectacular and super-confident. The best and brightest of the new generation, as well as hundreds of world-class established authors, are not only writing short stories but submitting their favourite ones for this competition, and the judge's work this year was not easy."
The full longlist is:
• Caroline Adderson – "Erection Man"
• Junot Diaz – "Miss Lora"
• Helen Dunmore – "Spotted Dick"
• Adam Foulds – "Tunnelling"
• Mark Haddon – "The Gun"
• Sarah Hall – "Evie"
• Cynan Jones – "The Dig"
• Philomena Kearney Byrne – "Honda Fifty"
• Toby Litt – "Call it 'The Bug' Because I Have No Time to Think of a Better Title"
• Belinda McKeon – "Eyes on Me, Eyes on You"
• Mark McNay – "Ten Years Too Late"
• C D Rose – "Arkady Who Couldn"t See and Artem Who Couldn't Hear"
• Ali Smith – "The Beholder"
• Graham Swift – "I Live Alone"
• Claire Vaye Watkins – "Rondine al Nido"
• Samuel Wright – "Best Friend"
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