The Costa Short Story Awards
Costa are not only experts at coffee, but also picking some pretty awesome books and stories for their literary awards.
And the Costa Short Story Awards are now ready for your vote. The six finalists have been made available online for you to download and vote for your favourite (just click the link to find them – you can also read last year’s stories). The winner will get £3,500, whilst second place receives £1,500 and £500 goes to third place.
The winner of the inaugural prize in 2012, Avril Joy, is now a full-time writer and two of the finalists from 2012 – Sheila Llewellyn and Angela Readman – appear in the shortlist again. The shortlist was chosen by Richard Beard, Fanny Blake, Victoria Hislop and Simon Trewin from a choice of 1,400 entries.
Meet the shortlist
Tony Bagley – The Forgiveness Thing
‘A journalist suspects the motives of a disfigured man who forgives his attacker.’
Tony Bagley has won with his writing before – the Giles Cooper Award, New London Radio Playwrights Award and he was the 1999 Grand Prix winner of the PAWS Drama Award. A journalist, scriptwriter and copy editor, Tony can wrangle a word or two.
Clare Chandler – The Gun Shearer
‘During a heat wave in New South Wales, the arrival of a young sheep shearer to the farm prompts the owner to revisit a life-changing moment from her past.’
Clare Chandler has worked in education, publishing and government publicity, performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and co-founded Bookgroup Info. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Exeter University and is completing the final draft of a novel – I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
Sheila Llewellyn – The Papakh Hat
‘The 1978-9 Revolution in Iran has begun, and two men living in Tabriz are forced to make life-changing decisions about their future together.’
Sheila Llewellyn’s career history is a veritable smorgasbord of interesting jobs! She has worked for the British Council in Iran, Africa and Singapore, and been a psychologist specialising in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Previously shortlisted for this award, she also has a bit of a shiny history when it comes to literary awards – shortlisted for the Bridport Short Story Prize, the Sean O’Faolain Prize and the Fish Memoir Prize, and in 2011, her radio play The House on Shareni Street won the PJ O’Connor Radio Drama Award.
Angela Readman – The Keeper of the Jackalopes
‘The story of a girl, her father, a Jackalope and survival.’
Another previous shortlister, Angela Readman has also been shortlisted for The Asham Award and The Bristol Prize. She has been published both online and in anthologies, and is working on her own short story collection. She’s is also a poet, and won The Essex Poetry Prize and The Mslexia Poetry Competition.
Erin Soros – Still Water, BC
‘The only woman in a logging camp of men is in the last stages of pregnancy. It’s a summer day.’
Erin Soros is another frequenter of anthologies, with both non-fiction and fiction. Her previous writing winnings and shortlistings are almost too numerous to name (head to the website to find out exactly what), and to further impress you, she’s a professional puppeteer!
Kit de Waal – The Old Man and the Suit
‘In their basement workshop, an old tailor and his apprentice struggle with life, love and mastering the perfect suit.’
Before Kit de Waal began her career as a writer of flash fiction, short stories and long form prose, she spent 15 years working in criminal and family law. She is currently working on a novel (The Scarlet Emperor), is represented by Jenny Hewson of Rogers, Coleridge & White, and is an editor of non-fiction. Phew!
What do you think of the Costa Short Story Awards shortlist?