The White Review Short Story Prize has unveiled its shortlist following a record year of 570 submissions.
In the award’s seventh year, Salma Ahmad has been nominated for "Manholes”, while Rachel Bower was selected for “Homing”, and Vanessa Onwuemezi earned a shortlisting with “At the Heart of Things”. “Our Lady of Perpetuity” by Catherine Mitchell is also in the running for the £2,500 award, as is Saba Sams’ “Tinderloin”. “Career Advice” by Sarah Trounce and Stephen Walsh’s “Shine/Variance” round off the shortlist.
The White Review told The Bookseller that the seven entries were selected from 570 submissions, an increase of almost 90 from last year’s 482, which is believed to be due to the “cumulative success of former winners”.
The inaugural winner, Claire-Louise Bennett, went on to be published by Fitzcarraldo Editions for her debut short story collection, Pond, while 2016 winner Sophie Mackintosh was longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize for The Water Cure (Hamish Hamilton). Last year’s victor, Julia Armfield, has a collection of short stories salt slow (Picador) out next month.
The prize was founded in 2013 by Jacques Testard, publisher at Fitzcarraldo Editions, with Ben Eastham, co-founder and editor at the White Review. Its aim is to discover exciting new authors and encourage writing that explores and expands the possibilities of the form. It was initially supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and is now supported by United Agents.
The White Review is a quarterly literary journal which also launched a poetry prize two years ago to build on the success of the short story award.
The winner—which is judged this year by Jonathan Cape publishing director Michal Shavit, author Chris Power and agent Sophie Scard of United Agents—will be announced at a party in central London on 25th April.
For more information or to book tickets visit thewhitereview.org.