Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2010 Edge Hill Short Story Prize LONGLIST

BIG NAMES in the literary world as well as screenwriters, an actor and a comedian have entered their works for the 2010 Edge Hill University’s Short Story Prize.

The unique accolade, now in its third year, is the UK’s only literary award that recognises a published collection of short stories and has attracted entries from a number of distinguished writers and newcomers all competing for the winning title.

This year’s event, which also celebrates the University’s 125th anniversary celebrations, has seen submissions from high-profile names such as Robert Shearman, writer for the Doctor Who TV series and who has recently been nominated for this year’s Shirley Jackson award, Jeremy Dyson, co-creator of The League of Gentlemen, and famous novelist and comedian A.L. Kennedy, pitted against newer talents such as Jane Feaver and Sian Hughes.

The longlist has on it an impressive wide range of writers—comedians and comic writers, scriptwriters, poets, science fiction writers and even includes work by actor Ben Moor.

Chris Beckett, the 2009 winner of the Edge Hill Short Story Prize and who is on the judging panel for this year’s awards, said: “The range of work that has been submitted this year is very impressive, and I am sure it is going to be very difficult to whittle it down to a shortlist, let alone to pick a winner and a runner-up. Having won the prize last year, I think I will find this particularly hard, because I know from first-hand experience how much this prize can mean for a writer, and therefore how much may hang on our decision as judges.

“This is a unique prize in that it is the UK’s only literary award for single author short-story collections. Winning it last year has made a huge difference for me in terms of my sense of myself as a writer, but also in very much more practical terms: I have a two-book contract as a direct result, and have been able to reduce my working hours in my ‘day job’ to spend more time on writing. I hope the 2010 winner, whoever it may turn out to be, will find that the Edge Hill Prize opens similar doors for them into the competitive literary world.”

The entries are as follows:

  • Regi Claire: Fighting It (Two Ravens Press, 2009). She has been twice shortlisted for a Saltire Book of the Year Award.
  • David Constantine: The Sheiling (Comma Press, 2009). The contemporary British award-winning poet and translator is co-editor of the literary journal Modern Poetry in Translation.
  • Jeremy Dyson: The Cranes that Build Cranes (Little, Brown, 2009). The famous English screenwriter is the co-creator of The League of Gentlemen.
  • Jane Feaver: Love Me Tender (Random House, 2009). The newcomer is a critically acclaimed novelist.
  • Patrick Gale: Gentleman’s Relish (HarperCollins, 2009). His father was a prison governor and Gale’s work reflects his life being brought up in and around prisons. His stories are frequently broadcast on Radio 4.
  • Sian Hughes: The Beach Hut (Biscuit Publishing, 2009). Winner of the 2006 Arvon International Poetry Competition.
  • Mark Illis: Tender (Salt Publishing, 2009). The author regularly writes for popular TV soap Emmerdale as well as radio plays and other TV dramas.
  • A.L. Kennedy: What Becomes (Jonathan Cape, 2009). In between being a comedian and a lecturer, Kennedy still finds the time to be a prolific writer of stories. She was also a judge for the Edge Hill Prize in 2007.
  • Tom Lee: Greenfly (Harvill Secker, 2009). His stories have appeared in the U.S. as well as being broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
  • Declan Meade: Life in the Universe (The Stinging Fly, 2009). He is the founding editor of The Stinging Fly, a literary magazine publishing poetry, short stories, reviews and creative nonfiction.
  • Ben Moor: More Trees to Climb (Portobello, 2009). The actor and writer has starred in several films including Dead Man Running and his television credits include Time Gentlemen Please and Fist of Fun.
  • Nuala Ní Chonchúir: Nude (Salt Publishing, 2009). Last year she was selected to be writer in residence for the 2009 Cúirt International Festival of Literature.
  • Philip O Ceallaigh: The Pleasant Light of Day (Penguin, 2009). His first collection of stories won the Glen Dimplex New Writers Award. He also won the 2006 Rooney Prize.
  • Robert Shearman: Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical (Big Finish, 2009). He is best known as a writer for Doctor Who, his short-story writing and for his association with Jarvis & Ayres Productions which has resulted in six plays for BBC Radio 4.
  • Charles Stross: Wireless (Little, Brown, 2009). The writer won the 2006 and 2007 Locus Award for best novella.
  • Craig Taylor: One Million Tiny Plays About Britain (Bloomsbury, 2009). Described as ‘Alan Bennett meets Ricky Gervais’ his work has gained a cult following.
  • Douglas Thompson: Ultrameta (Eibonvale Press, 2009). A biographer, broadcaster and international journalist, he won second prize in the Neil Gunn Writing Competition in 2007.
  • Simon Van Booy: Love Begins in Winter (Beautiful Books, 2009). He has previously won the 2009 Frank O’Connor Prize International Short Story Prize, the world’s richest and most prestigious prize for short stories.
The shortlist will be revealed on May 8, 2010, and the winners announced at an awards ceremony in July at the Charing Cross Blackwell Store in London.


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