Three debut collections appear on this year’s shortlist for the £10,000 Edge Hill Short Story Prize, which sees an equal balance of male and female writers.
Whittled down from the 12-strong longlist, six collections of short stories will do battle for the top award. They include debut books Sweet Home by Wendy Erskine (Stinging Fly), Mothers by Chris Power (Faber & Faber) and Vicky Grut’s Live Show Drink Included (Holland Park Press).
Also shortlisted are David Szalay for Turbulence (Jonathan Cape), Simon Van Booy’s The Sadness of Beautiful Things (Penguin) and Lucy Wood, shortlisted for the second time for The Sing of the Shore (4th Estate)
Prize organiser Billy Cowan, senior lecturer in creative writing, said: “We’re thrilled to have six books on the shortlist, three of which are debut collections. It’s also great to see a previous shortlisted writer, Lucy Wood, on there again.
“Historically, the Edge Hill Prize has been dominated by female writers, so it is interesting to see male writers making a strong showing this year. The shortlisted books reflect the infinitely varied nature of the short story, and I don’t envy the judges in having to decide on a winner out of such strong and unique collections.”
The judging panel for 2019 is made-up of Tessa Hadley, who won last year for Bad Dreams (Cape), writer Elizabeth Baines and Sam Jordison, co-founder of Galley Beggar Press.
This year’s winner will be announced at an exclusive Short Story Prize event on 25th October at Waterstones Piccadilly.
There will also be a £1,000 prize for the Reader’s Choice and a category for stories by Edge Hill University’s MA Creative Writing students, with Harry Draper, Molly Smallwood, Carolyn Stockdale, Natalie McCulloch, Steven Kenny and Tamsin James all in the running.