Clare Colvin, Jasmin Donahaye, Fiona Marshall and Kenneth Steven have been shortlisted for the V S Pritchett Memorial Prize 2016.
The annual prize of £1,000 is awarded to the best unpublished short story of the year.
Colvin, who is opera critic for the Sunday Express, has been shortlisted for her story “The Scattering” which is a “darkly humorous” tale of memory and mourning.
Also shortlisted is Donahaye’s “Theft”, a “haunting” period piece that harks back to its narrator’s experiences as an 11 year-old country girl hired to help a couple of visiting gentry collect birds’ eggs in remote bog-land. Donahaye’s memoir Losing Israel (Seren) won the non-fiction category of Wales Book of the Year in 2016.
Marshall’s “The Street of Baths”, a portrait in a tenement in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona has also been shortlisted. Marshal has self-published a novel about epilepsy tilted Absence.
Completing the shortlist is Steven’s “The Listener”, which according to judge Sara Taylor “captures a landscape as if in a photograph, allowing the reader to encounter it slowly and naturally, with more detail unfolding with every beautiful paragraph”.
Joining Taylor, an American writer living in Norwich, on the judging panel are author Aamer Hussein and chief fiction reviewer for The Sunday Times and member of the RSL Council, Peter Kemp.
The winner will be announced at a public event featuring Ali Smith on Thursday 17th November.
The winning entry will be published in Prospect magazine and in RSL Review.