The prestigious Edge Hill Prize is now in its 16th year and is the only national literary award to recognise excellence in a published, single-authored short story collection.
This year’s shortlist includes two previously shortlisted writers and two debut collections, with the winner set to scoop a £10,000 prize.
The five shortlisted books are:
- Man Hating Psycho by Iphgenia Baal (Influx Press)
- Intimacies by Lucy Caldwell (Faber)
- Dance Move by Wendy Erskine (Stinging Fly/Picador)
- Dark Neighbourhood by B(Fitzcarraldo Editions)
- Send Nudes by Saba Sams (Bloomsbury)
A £1,000 Readers’ Choice Award will also be presented to one of the shortlisted authors, as well as a £500 prize for the best short story submitted by an Edge Hill University MA Creative Writing student.
The winners of this year’s awards will be announced in November.
The judges of the 2022 prize are 2021 winner Kevin Barry, literary development agent Arzu Tahsin; and Sarah Schofield, Edge Hill University lecturer, whose collection Safely Gathered In is published by Comma Press.
The annual Edge Hill Prize awards £10,000 to the author of what the judges consider to be the best published short-story collection from the UK or Ireland. This year’s shortlist includes previous winner Kevin Barry, plus four debut authors. It also includes two short story cycles. Full list below:
- Paradise Block by Alice Ash (Serpent’s Tail/Profile);
- That Old Country Music by Kevin Barry (Canongate).
- Lifestyle Choice 10mg by Rosemary Jenkinson (Doire Press);
- The Earth, Thy Great Exchequer, Ready Lies by Jo Lloyd (Swift Press);
- Made by Sea and Wood, in Darkness by Alexandros Plasatis (Spuyten Duyvil);
- She-Clown by Hannah Vincent (Myriad Editions).
Small and independent publishers have made a strong showing. There’s a huge amount of variety amongst these collections, ranging from tales of migrant fishermen (Plasatis) to postmodern historical fiction (Lloyd) and a magic realist version of life on a council estate (Ash). The winner will be announced early in 2022 – hopefully at a live event in the UK.
Short Fiction in Theory and Practice 10.1 contains original fiction by Zoe Lambert on the theme of illness and caring, plus co-written fiction from Amy Lilwall and Rupert Loydell. There are articles on writers including Agatha Christie, Margot Lanagan, Flannery O’Connor and Patrick Gale, plus an unpublished short story by the British writer Carl Tighe, who recently died from Covid-19, accompanied by an appreciation by Elizabeth Baines. Paul March-Russell reviews Borders and Border Crossings in the Contemporary British Short Story and Moy McCrory reviews Being Various, the anthology of new Irish Irish short stories edited by Lucy Caldwell. And you can find out about how oral ghost stories mingle the discourse of fact and fiction.
10.2, coming early in 2021, will be a special issue on Short Fiction as Humble Fiction, and will include an interview with Sarah Hall.
In today’s world, there is ample evidence of the return of borders worldwide; as a material reality, as a concept, and as a way of thinking. Edited by Barbara Korte and Laura Lojo-Rodriguez, Borders and Border Crossings in the Contemporary British Short Story focuses on the ways in which the contemporary British short story mirrors, questions and engages with border issues in national and individual life. It discusses the work of wide range writers including Zadie Smith, Anne Enright, Kamila Shamsie, Valda Jackson, Andrea Levy, Sarah Hall, Hanif Kureishi, China Mieville, Daisy Johnson, Jon McGregor and Helen Simpson, and includes a chapter in which Pete Kalu reflects on his own practice as a Black British writer.